The Disappearing Emu

Australia’s early settlers hunted emus for food and as a result the emus that were abundant in Tasmania and Australia’s east coast disappeared.  Today, only one population remains in existence, aside from the thriving Australian inland emus, the coastal emu. The New South Wales (NSW) Government, in 2002, listed the coastal emus as an endangered population as its numbers were, and continues to be, in steep decline.

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The coastal emu. Photography by Stephen Otton

The coastal emu is genetically distinct from the inland emu and an important seed disperser. It travels large distances and plays an important role in the regeneration of native species. Other species do a similar service but not to the same capacity. If the coastal emu is lost from the ecosystem it will reduce diversity and populations of species that depend on the plants, not to mention the loss of another emu species.

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The range of the endangered coastal emu population. (Image credit: Coastal Emu Alliance). An estimated 50 Coastal Emus remain in crucial habitat areas of the Clarence and Richmond valleys.

A concerted effort is necessary to save an endangered species with numbers as low as the coastal emu. It is encouraged that sightings of coastal emus and/or nests are reported to The Coastal Emu Register. Identifying nesting sites can help target feral animal control at the local level. Tracking the seasonal movements of the emus, will help build an understanding of the survival rates of adults and chicks, and whether a captive breeding may be required to re-build the number of Coastal Emus found in the wild.

If you are out and about coastal emu spotting, for accuracy sake, please be aware that there are also adventuresome PJ Paintings emus running around.

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Family Outing
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Bonnie and Me!
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Surfing Clifton Beach, Tasmania

Take care and thank you for visiting the unfurling artist. 🙂

PJ Paintings prints are available at http://www.pjpaintings.com

With a Little Help from my Friends

Sometimes I paint something that no matter how hard I rack my brain, I can’t think of a title. I know you can go with the title “Untitled” but I’d rather not.

A good friend of mine, from the northern end of Tasmania, asked me if I could paint an ice skating emu so that she could get a print of the painting to give to her daughter, who LOVES ice skating. She regularly travels to Hobart for that very purpose – to ice skate.

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Thinking of a title turned out to be more difficult than drawing and painting the picture. Has anyone else had this problem?? Some of the titles I came up with were:

  • Spin- ster
  • Going for a Spin
  • Ice Queen
  • Ice Princess

Unhappy with all of the above, I decided it was time to elicit some help from my Facebook friends. Ideas were proposed and I narrowed it down to “Emu Icecapades”. I think this is an awesome title for the painting.

Thank you friends for helping me name this painting!

Prints are available at www.pjpaintings.com

Emus Barred from Bar

The Yaraka Hotel in outback Queensland, Australia, has banned entry to Kevin and Carol emus, and as a consequence gained worldwide notoriety, as the story has gone viral. The world is in need of some light-hearted news during the COVID-19 pandemic and this story seems to be fulfilling some of this demand.

A local Animal Rescuer, Leanne Byrne, found an abandoned emu nest of eggs and raised the clutch of emus. Kevin’s and Carol’s brothers and sisters have moved on, but this pair remained and endeared themselves to the locals and visitors alike.

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Leanne Byrne poses for a photo with one of her feathery babies.

A rift developed after Kevin and Carol learnt how to climb stairs to gain entry into the pub.

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The inquisitive emus were captured on digital by pub customer and visiting tourist Sam Guzzardi.

The pair caused havoc by eating guests’ food and leaving messy, smelly deposits behind, which the pub owner wasn’t too thrilled about having to clean up each time it happened, and apparently emu toileting needs are frequent!

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The emus are no longer allowed in the Yaraka Hotel after a spate of bad behaviour.(Supplied: Chris Gimblett)

In order to maintain a good working relationship, the owner of the pub set up emu barricades, citing ‘bad emu behaviour’ as making this a necessary action.

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The hotel has erected barricades and put up signs urging tourists to keep the emus out.(Supplied: Chris Gimblett)

Kevin and Carol aren’t the only emus strutting there stuff around town. I’ve captured other emus in their strutting action too.

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Bright & Breezy
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Walking with Flair
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A Fashion af-Flair

Take care everybody and be careful around misbehaving emus.

P.S. Original paintings and prints are available at http://www.pjpaintings.com

Share houses

It is a little too squishy for three tawny frogmouths and a baby wombat to share a nest, so the frogmouths have generously given the best room in the house to their guest, while they try to get some shut-eye on the outside premises.

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Share house

It’s a tight squeeze but this little wombat has managed to get comfy in this share house (wombats have such cute, gnarly feet!). Luckily wombats and Superb fairy-wrens are such gentle souls.

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House sharing

Prints of my “Share house” and “House sharing” paintings are available at http://www.pjpaintings.com under the Animals tab.

I hope that you are keeping well and safe.

Cheers, from PJ Paintings

Chickens

Panic-buying and hording during pandemics, or times of uncertainty, is nothing new. During the Great Depression or the build-up to Y2K, people were looking for ways to build their self-reliance, whether it was baking their own bread, building emergency shelters or gardening. The Coronavirus pandemic has created a sense of urgency around chickens. Anxiety about the availability of eggs, boredom or just yearning for something to love and nurture have resulted in record numbers of people panic-buying little chicks. Chick purchases in United States have increased by 500% during this current pandemic.

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One of my chicken paintings hanging up in somebody’s house. This one is titled: Walking Away

My chicken ownership has increased 300%, from zero to three.  I have a friend who moved in to spend the quarantine period with me, and along with her belongings, she brought her three chickens!: Fluffball (the white hen), Ginger (the ginger coloured hen) and Red Hen (the dark hen, which you can barely see). (Chicken names are quite often funny and funky.)

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Fluffball, Ginger and Red Hen

Fluffball, Ginger and Red Hen have been living here for 8 weeks now and have not produced ONE egg yet, not even one! I thought I might be able to sketch them but they are always ducking out of sight under bushes as soon as I come into the backyard, so they are not even being good models.

Here’s another one of my chicken paintings.

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Oh well, c’est la vie or c’est les poulets.

Take care and stay safe.

What a Contrast!!!

One good thing that is coming out of the time in Quarantine, is that I’m getting stuck into tidying and re-organising my house – big time!

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Building shelves for my art work-room
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A corner of my art work-room before the tidy-up
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The same corner after the tidy. What a contrast!!

During my intensive tidy up, I have found forgotten and not-forgotten pieces of artwork.

These were forgotten pieces that I painted about five years ago.

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“Heartbroken” – This card is available by emailing pjpaintings@gmail.com

I’ve often wondered why Sympathy cards overwhelmingly picture fields of flowers, a beach or ocean scene, a fence with the sun setting over the hills and the like? These images don’t reflect or acknowledge the pain that many people feel at terrible times in their lives. I understand that the images are trying to help a person to focus on the “the half-full glass” but I sometimes think that an image like “Heartbroken” can help somebody feel that the sender of the card understands the pain and emptiness that they are feeling right now and their immense grief during the early weeks, months, and years they are living with.

I’d be really interested in hearing what you think of this, or am I odd?? Would you send a “Heartbroken” card? Would you like or prefer a card like this over traditional imaged sympathy cards if you suffered a loss? (which I really hope you haven’t or don’t).

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This one I titled “Heartache” and it is also available as a card via pjpaintings@gmail.com

I’ve tried to research this topic but I have found very little about it or explanations about the reason behind the image choices of Sympathy cards. Apparently there are cultural differences with grief. I read an article that has studied differences between how Germany and United States respond to grief. According to this text, American culture encourages people to avoid negative emotions more than the German culture. American expressions of sympathy focus less on the negative and more on the positive than the Germans.

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I named this drawing “Broken Hearted”

I hope that your heart is happy and healthy.

Take care and thank you for visiting, from Pj Paintings

http://www.instagram.com/hopwoodwade    pjpaintings@gmail.com

National Eucalypt Day

Happy National Eucalypt Day!

I must admit that this day, unbeknownst to me, has passed me by my whole life but this year I know about it so I will endeavour to hug a gum tree and thank it for being what it is – wonderful.

National Eucalypt Day celebrates eucalypts and the important place that these unique trees hold in the hearts and lives of Australians annually on the 23rd of March.

I often paint eucalypts, and for some reason that I haven’t been able to figure out why yet, I feel very peaceful when painting their soft green leaves. I like painting the gumnuts too because with artistic licence you can add so many different colours into the mix, which makes it fun. The flowers are more tedious and not as much fun to paint but they are worth the effort because they are such an outstanding, colourful feature of the trees.

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Scarlet Robins

Take care, PjPaintings