Week #2- 52/52 Painting Challenge
I had the wonderful opportunity to go to the Lubee Bat Festival on October 29, 2011. The festival is held every year at the Lubee Bat Conservancy right here in my home town of Gainesville, Florida. The Lubee Bat Conservancy is an international non-profit organization working with others to save fruit bats and their habitats through research, conservation, and education. During the festival, Brian Pope the Director at Lubee approached me and Eve Wheeler about being part of a "photo opportunity" to go inside the cages and photograph the bats up close and personal. Only 40 people were invited for the day. This was the first time in the history of the conservancy that the general public was allowed inside the cages. Eve and I were thrilled! We spent the day with the bats and got see them in action.
"Grace, The Rodriguez Flying Fox; Graphite, MIndy Lighthipe ©2012"
Our favorite bat was a little bat named " Grace". She is a Rodrigues Flying Fox Pteropus rodricensis. She is a small sized fruit bat with a wingspan of 3 ft and weighing 13 oz. Her diet includes flowers, nectar, and fruit. The Rodrigues Flying Fox is critically endangered. In the 1970’s only 75 individuals remained. Their range is limited to the island of Rodrigues, which is east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. Here is my preliminary drawing of Grace. My final painting of "Grace" which is painting #2 of my 52/52 painting challenge for 2012 will be finished and posted on Friday. Stay tuned!
If you would like to stay in touch with the Lubee Bat Conservance check out their FaceBook Page.