Even though I live in a city, a block away from a busy street, I’m definitely xylophilous! (In the etymological sense, that is– wood-loving.) My childhood home bordered on a forest, & my family spent many hours working, playing & wandering in the woods. But I’ve always said that I can’t see the forest for the lichen, because my favorite thing to explore & paint are all the tiny little life-forms that are overshadowed (yet also supported) by the overstory.
So when Anu offered this word, I jumped at the chance to create my own little peaceable kingdom of wood-loving flora & fauna. It’s certainly not an accurate sample of xylophilous species in the scientific sense, & it vastly under-represents the number of species that depend on trees– I couldn’t begin to show the tiny beetles and borers that live in & under bark, for example– but I hope it gets the point across that even dying or damaged trees can be teeming with life & potential & beauty in their own way. As William Blake said, “A fool sees not the same tree that a wise man sees.” Or even a wise beetle!
I couldn’t resist hiding that quotation in the bark, & if you look in the background near the pendulous possum, you may find a rather dreadful math pun tucked in there too. Apologies in advance.
The original painting is sold, but prints are now available in my Etsy shop, Curious Art Lab.
I so enjoy all the distinctive aspects of this….. I would like to share it with a special little friend of mine, homeschooled, who just simply loves nature and all it’s ‘critters’.
Thank you so much, Ray! If you’d like to give them a print, it’s in my Etsy shop– https://www.etsy.com/listing/1136544475
If you just want them to see it, maybe they’d like to see my Instagram post about it, which includes a little snippet of me painting the possum in the upper left corner– https://www.instagram.com/p/CXOYVTurzKe/