Aldo Leopold shot a wolf and it changed his life; I live with Painted Wolves and it has changed my life….

Aldo Leopold inspires my thoughts:

Sometimes you need to lose something to realize how precious it is… as in his comment on shooting a she-wolf in his hunting days….

“We reached the old wolf in time to watch a fierce green fire dying in her eyes. I realized then and have known ever since that there was something new to me in those eyes, something known only to her and to the mountain”.

Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac

Nothing could be more resonant of the Leopold quote than the intense eyes of this magnificent Iberian Wolf – credit to Life WolFlux which is part of Rewilding Portugal

‘A fierce green fire’ …this image of an Iberian Wolf is credit to Re-Wilding Portugal Life WolFlux project…

Endangered European and North American wolves and endangered African wild dogs (AKA Painted Wolves, Painted Dogs) resonate in my mind. They are charismatic social animals and apex predators in healthy ecosystems, hunters who, in the past and often in the present, have been persecuted by Man, considered as vermin with bounties paid for their tails…..as in this childhood photograph from Clive Stockil

wild dogs persecuted as vermin- Clive & Vhandi with wilddogs shot on Essanby, Zimbabwe – mid 1950’s

I have lived for the last 23 years with Clive Stockil, (winner of the Tusk/ Prince William Award for a lifetime of dedicated Conservation in 2013…) and we have observed various packs of African wild dogs in the Save Valley Conservancy and Gonarezhou National Park, Zimbabwe. Senuko Ranch and Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge are my home bases. This area is part of the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area (GLTFCA), which encompasses rural communities and national parks within Zimbabwe, Mozambique and South Africa.

Working from my bush house, I paint large canvases, overseen by another natural predator, the vulture!

The fierce green fire that Aldo Leopold acknowledges is the same fierce red fire I see in our wild dogs eyes…

a fierce red fire…..

As I progress, using my field sketches to create a new large painting on canvas, the parts begin to make the whole…. a young dog stares out at me, red fire in her eyes, fierce yet wondering…

red fire in her eyes, fierce yet wondering…

and the rest of her pack follow, decisions on the best way forward for a successful hunt are high in their minds….

Decisions, decisions, where to from here….?

Heres the final LARGE painting … ( it is on loose canvas, hence a few wrinkles which will stretch out with framing…)

Lin Barrie, “Decisions”, acrylic on loose canvas , 140 x 185 cm

My photographs and field sketches embrace the warmth and social care that the African wild dog packs exhibit for each other..here is our Mbungo Pack, with the Alpha Male and Alpha female in the foreground…

wild dogs photo by Lin Barrie, – Mbungo pack – the alpha female pregnant April 2018

Sketching and watching these social hunters is one of my primary joys…. and I work towards raising awareness of these charismatic animals, as essential threads in the wonderful tangled webs of our wild ecosystems.

Lin Barrie “Wild dog Sisters”, mixed media on loose canvas, 90 x 87 cm

Vultures and eagles follow naturally after wild dogs, cleaning up and maintaining healthy environments, and they are dramatic subjects for me to sketch of course… Vulpro creates great awareness of the importance of these characterful birds in our ecosystems…

Lin Barrie “Vultures”, mixed media on loose canvas, 90 x 87 cm

Our challenge worldwide is to embrace wildlife adjacent to and within human and domestic animals systems, to view the whole picture of mosaic landscapes and creatures as one…

Lin Barrie, ‘Thorns and Baobab’, acrylic/charcoal, 79 x 100 cm

Certainly in Zimbabwe, I begin to see a change of heart in rural communities, such as these Xangana herders shepherding their Nguni cattle in a sand forest shared with wild life on the edge of Gonarezhou National Park. Outreach conservation/education allows them to understand the possibility of co-existence with wildlife… when they spot wild dogs they message us at Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge and tell us, showing excitement and not concern…

Our local communities speak Shona, English, Shangaan (Tsonga and Hlengwe) and Portuguese, and they call wild dogs ‘Hlolwa’ in the native languages, ‘Mabeco’ in Mozambique, and I guess ‘Lobo’ in Portuguese! What’s in a name!?

Awareness of the interlinked web of life that we all share has a long way to go, but initiatives such as African Wildlife Conservation Fund, Painted Wolf Foundation, Painted Wolf Wines, Endangered Wildlife Trust, Tusk Trust and Painted Dog Conservation in Africa and also such as Life WolFlux in The Rewilding Europe programme, ARE making a difference…

Culture, art, stories myths, fairytales and poetry are powerful education and conservation tools worldwide, and here they combine in this powerful poem from Zimbabwe by young Emmy, succinct comment on our present and hope for our future….

Painted Dog Conservation and photo by Nicholas Dyer

Painted Dog Conservation and African Wildlife Conservation Fund empower local communities to tolerate wild animals in their areas, by interactive education and practical management of conflict between people and wild dogs…

Painted dog pup rescued…Painted Dog Conservation photo
African Wildlife Conservation Fund photo

My hope is high for the future of humanity and animal co-exisitence- there is a will, and the right decisions ARE being made in many re-wilding areas…

It all comes down to the decisions that we as humanity make for our future, Decisions, DECISIONS!

Let’s not let the fire go out…….

Create awareness, create physical and mental corridors!!!! We are working on corridors within the GLTFCA here in Africa. Let’s embrace corridors worldwide that can link ecosystems, create mosaics of diversity for the betterment of all…

My painting “Hands on Hearts” expresses my wish for a global social ‘togetherness”, a healthy environment and a stable human community….

Lin Barrie, “Hands on Hearts”, acrylic painting on canvas, 90 x 128 cm

Lin Barrie, “HANDS ON HEARTS“, acrylic on loose canvas, 90 x 128cm

Painted Wolves, (aka African Wild dogs, Painted dogs), although Canidae, are not a species of wolf or dog, and can not interbreed with wolves or domestic dogs. lycaonp pictus are unique unto themselves.

But Lycaon pictus are our African equivalent of the European and North American wolf races in their social habits, and in their predation on indigenous antelope and other smaller mammals.

read my blog and visit Painted Wolf Foundation for more fascinating facts

all the various common names for the same wonderful creature, Lycaon pictus….

read my blog-all the various common names for the same wonderful creature, Lycaon pictus….

About wineandwilddogs

Lin Barrie The Save Valley Conservancy stretches along the upper reaches of the great Save River in the south east of Zimbabwe. The Gonarezhou National Park laps against the southern banks of the Save River and between these two nestles the Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve. These three celebrated wildlife areas form part of the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area, (GLTFCA)- a unique wilderness jewel which is home to the “Big Five” (endangered Black and White rhinos, elephants, buffalo, lion, leopard) and the ”Little Six” (Klipspringer, Suni, Duiker, Steenbok, Sharpe's Grysbok and Oribi). Endangered African wild dogs, Cheetah, Brown hyena, Bat-eared foxes and a host of special birds and plants contribute to the immense variety of this ecosystem. Communities around the GLTFCA contribute to innovative partnerships with National Parks and the private sector, forming a sound base on which to manage social, economic and environmental issues. This is home to artist and writer Lin Barrie and her life partner, conservationist Clive Stockil. Expressing her hopes, fears and love for this special ecosystem with oil paints on canvas, Lin Barrie believes that the essence of a landscape, person or animal, can only truly be captured by direct observation. Lin Barrie states: “Through my art, and my writing, I feel an intimate connection with the natural world, and from my extensive field sketches of wild animals, people and landscapes, I create larger works on canvas. Lin's work is in various public and private collections in South Africa, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Australia, England, Canada, Sweden and the United States of America. She is represented by galleries in South Africa, Zimbabwe, England, Kenya and Florida, USA.
This entry was posted in abstract art, adventure travel, Africa, africa, African child, African flora, African Safari, African wild dogs, african wildlife, african wildlife conservation fund, Aldo Leopold, animal rights, anti poaching, arid areas, art, art collaboration, art exhibition, beauty, bio diversity, birding, bush camps, Changana people, Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge, citizen science, climate change, community, community conservation, conservation, conservation education, conservation news, conservation publication, Covid 19, cultural beliefs, culture, dogs, drawing, ecosystem, education, endangered, endangered species, environment, family, film, fire, flowers, food, gonarezhou national park, great limpopo transfrontier conservation Area, hardwood trees, Hunter gatherers, hunting, landscape, Life Drawing, Lin Barrie Art, Lin Barrie publication, lions, media, mopani trees, mozambique, portugal, portuguese, Tsonga and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Aldo Leopold shot a wolf and it changed his life; I live with Painted Wolves and it has changed my life….

  1. Pingback: Endangered Landscapes – Earthscapes, Skyscapes; Wildscapes, Mindscapes… | wine and wild dogs

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