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Happy National Moth Week!

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I love random weird holidays, and obviously I love moths, so you can imagine my excitement when I just discovered that the last week of July is National Moth Week! πŸ˜€

In celebration I thought I’d share some of my old moth-inspired drawings as well as some fun facts about my blog’s whimsical little namesake.

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Fun Fact #1: Although the moths I drew in the image above are fluttering around in the dark, not ALL moths are nocturnal. Some are out and about in the daytime and some of them are even important pollinators. Some of our daytime pollinating moths are even confused regularly for other pollinators such as bees or even hummingbirds.

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FUN FACT #2: The world’s smallest moth, the Stigmella Maya, comes from Mexico with a forewing measuring in at a mere 1.2 millimeters. On the other end of the spectrum, we have the well-named Hercules Moth, with the largest ever documented boasting a whopping wingspan of 36 centimeters!

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FUN FACT #3: I was very surprised to learn this just recently, but those feathery fluffy antennae that many of us associate with moths, is actually a trait specific to male moths.

FUN FACT #4: There are some moths, like the Luna Moth, who do not even have a mouth and survive only long enough to breed. An adult Luna Moth will only live a few short days.

Well, that’s it for my little National Moth Week appreciation post! What do you think of moths? What’s your favorite kind?

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Shark Week Drawings: 2019

❀ Ahoy! Happy Shark Week! ❀

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Fan art for the game Hungry Shark World by yours truly.

This has truly been a Jawsome Shark Week so far, but it has also been a VERY busy one! I was beginning to fear that I would run out of time to do some Shark Week art this year, but I managed to squeeze in the time for at least 2! (Which is one more than last year! Haha) πŸ˜›

I recently learned about the game Hungry Shark World (and totally want to play it) which resulted in the fan art you see above. All the sharks in the game have attitude and some are really outlandish and cool looking. It even has zombie sharks and prehistoric sharks you can play as, along with a few other non-shark species. I guess the premise of just eat all the things is pretty simple, but it looks fun to me, so, why not? πŸ˜€

The other drawing I did is definitely more in the “doodle” category, but I did it more for fun anyway. πŸ˜› Every single time I see a photo of a basking shark gliding through the water with its mouth gaping open as it feeds, all I can imagine is it saying “Hey, you guys!” in the voice of Sloth from The Goonies. Don’t ask why my brain works the way it does, because even I couldn’t tell you sometimes. Haha

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If you don’t know about basking sharks, here’s a quick little Basking Shark 101 for ya:

Basking Sharks are the second largest shark in the entire world, dwarfed only by the whale shark.

Luckily, like the whale shark, basking sharks are one of three gentle giants of the sea, using filter-feeding as their method of consumption. That means, despite the intimidating size and wide, gaping mouths, they’re really just cruising around for plankton and other itty bitty prey.

They are surprisingly capable of breaching the surface and launching themselves out of the water, which, when you consider their size, is pretty cool and terrifying all at once if you just so happen to be in a boat beside one. πŸ˜› The reason they do this isn’t really known since they aren’t doing it for hunting purposes like great whites do. Some theories are that it could be a move to impress the ladies during mating season, or that it is in an effort to rid themselves of parasites and lamprey eels that hitch along on them for a ride. No one knows for certain, though. Apparently one is reported to have unintentionally capsize a boat off the coast of Scotland while breaching, resulting in the drowning of 3 people. 😦

Anyway, hope you guys enjoyed the Shark Week drawings this year! πŸ™‚ I wish I’d had the time to do more, but even though it’s still technically shark week, I am going to be too busy having fun and hanging out with Mr. and Mrs. Cupcakes and Machetes this weekend as we enjoy shark week, our body weight in rum, and celebrating Mr. C&M’s birthday! Have a great weekend, everyone!! ❀ ❀ ❀

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SPECIAL SHARK WEEK SPOTLIGHT: Sharktopia

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I love art and I love wildlife conservation. Combine the two and you have such an utterly amazing win-win situation on your hands. πŸ™‚ I recently discovered the site sharktopia.org through theirΒ Instagram account and I am absolutely over the moon about it! ❀

Sharktopia is run by the friendly and talented Caiti Rose, a self-described “coffee-loving, shark-obsessed, happy vegan artist with the goal of altering the misconceptions surrounding sharks and other Ocean life”.

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Stickers!
She uses her creative and amazing art to help spread awareness about a variety of topics regarding sharks and other ocean life. Her work ranges from absolutely adorable and lighthearted to impactful and eyeopening, and all of it is for the benefit and love of sharks.

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The line work and coloring and cuteness, I just absolutely adore it. ❀

I’ve already purchased and received my own shark goodies and can honestly say that they were absolutely worth the money. πŸ™‚ I love what I ordered. ❀ I also printed some of the free coloring pages available on the site for my participants at work to color and learn more about different types of sharks as they do so. The coloring pages are awesome and so informative!

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Be sure to check out the Sharktopia website and enjoy some great artwork featuring our favorite finned friends and Caiti Rose’s great mission to raise awareness about their struggle. There’s the free downloadable coloring pages I mentioned, a great shop, and more to be discovered there, so dive on in! πŸ™‚

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SHARK WEEK!

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It’s that magical time of year again, guys! ❀ SHARK WEEK! ❀

It’s no secret around here that I friggin’ LOVE sharks. I love marine life in general, but sharks always take the cake for me. Needless to say, this week it’s all about sharks on my blog. πŸ™‚ Even at work, I’ve planned my weekly activities with our finned friends in mind. I’ll have my group doing shark arts and crafts, doing cool mini-lessons about them, and making shark-themed snacks and desserts for cooking! I can’t wait! A few of my awesome participants love sharks as much as I do so I can’t wait to see what they think of the activities I have planned. πŸ˜€

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Sorry in advance to the parents who will have to hear about sharks ALL.WEEK.LONG. from the participants on my team. Haha #sorrynotsorry

Do you tune into Shark Week each year? What are you looking forward to seeing? I personally would be thrilled to see more love for the sharks that aren’t great whites. Great whites are awesome too, but there are SO MANY amazing and fascinating types of sharks out there that they could cover. Gimme those whale sharks, your Greenland sharks, threshers, goblin sharks, gimme ALL the sharks! I get that great whites are what the average person thinks of when they picture sharks, but all the more reason to mix it up a little. πŸ˜‰

So, what can you expect to see around here this week? More shark doodles from yours truly, updates about what shark projects we’re doing at my work this week, a special spotlight post on a great artist with a mission, and more! I hope you guys enjoy the posts and have a JAWSOME Shark Week! ❀

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Goblin Shark Facts

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One of my favorite things about sharks is simply how many different kinds there are, and how vastly unique one species can be from another. One of the first sharks to come to mind when I think about “weird sharks” would have to be none other than the goblin shark. I’ve enjoyed learning what little snippets I could about these elusive buggers for some time now, so I was looking forward to having this excuse to research them some more. So, that said, let’s get into the fun and talk about these interesting sharks!

Despite their ghoulish name (and appearance), Goblin sharks are of the “pretty in pink” variety, ranging in color schemes from a lighter greyish pink to a strikingly vibrant dark pink as they get older. Their unique color is due to their skin being ghostly translucent due to lack of pigment, so the pink you’re seeing is actually from the shark’s blood vessels showing just beneath the skin.

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If you think the goblin shark looks frightful at a glance, you should see it in action when its hungry! Utilizing a feeding method known as “slingshot feeding”, the goblin shark launches its whole friggin’ mouth forward to snatch up prey in what I can only compare to the chestburster scene in the movie Alien.

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Similarly to great white sharks, goblin sharks do not do well in captivity, and the few times they have been kept in aquariums they have died shortly after arrival. 😦 This, combined with the rarity of sightings of living specimens, makes them pretty mysterious to scientists.

Despite being rarely seen by humans, goblin sharks are found in oceanic waters all around the world, but most sightings and captures have occurred off the coasts of Japan, making it little surprise that the very first specimen was discovered there in 1898. (Imagine being the first person to find such an unusual-looking shark!)

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Greenland Shark Facts Because “SHARK WEEK!”

Greenland shark (Somniosus microcephalus)

Greenland sharks are seriously interesting sharks, so I was really looking forward to doing the Info portion of this post. πŸ™‚ I had also intended to include an illustration like I did for my recent Whale Shark Post, but 1.) Greenland sharks are kind of wonky to try to draw/color (at least for me) and 2.) My access to scanners is much more limited at the moment than I had anticipated. So thank you google images! Phew! Excuses aside, onto the info:

Greenland sharks are part of the family of sharks known as Somniosidae, more commonly known as “sleeper sharks”. As the name would imply, this group of sharks are the more mellow of the bunch, swimming at lower speeds and just being pretty “chill” in general. The Greenland shark specifically is known to be the world’s slowest shark, not even reaching 1 mile per hour.

Other names for the Greenland shark include: the “gurry shark”, “grey shark”, and “eqalussuaq“.

These guys get old. Like, realllly old. Being the longest-living of all vertebrate species, these big guys are estimated to be capable of living for anywhere between 200 to even 500 years!

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Many people tend to only think of sharks living in warmer waters, but Greenland sharks prefer the cold. In fact, they can be found thriving in Arctic and sub-Arctic waters year round, making the waters around Greenland, Iceland, and Canada their home.

Comparable in size with the Great White, these predators have never been recorded to attack humans. They sustain themselves by hunting and scavenging, and have been found with some interesting things in their stomachs when caught. (One particular Greenland shark on record was even found with the body of an entire reindeer in its stomach!) Due to their slow speed, scientists were surprised that these guys were able to prey on living seals which can travel so much faster . . . until they discovered that Greenland sharks were nomming on the speedy little guys while they were sleeping under water.

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Due to the depths these guys like to hang out in, their tissue is loaded with a potent neurotoxin (trimethylamine oxide) making their meat toxic. Despite this, they are still hunted for food, and through a lengthy and longstanding process involving fermentation and curing of the meat, they are not only eaten, but even considered a delicacy in Iceland.

There are loads of other awesome things to learn about these sharks whether it comes to them themselves or the mythology that surrounds them. Seriously, if you’re looking for an interesting shark to research, look no further than the Greenland shark. They may not be much to look at to most, but they truly are fascinating. πŸ™‚

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Whale Shark Drawing/Facts

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Drawing by IgnitedMoth (aka: ME!) πŸ˜‰

My favorite shark of all is none other than the whale shark, so of course I had to do a Shark Week post about these docile behemoths. πŸ™‚

As their name would imply, these magnificent creatures are HUGE. On average, a mature whale shark is estimated to reach lengths of 32 feet, and to weigh in at a massive average of 20,000 pounds! (Even larger specimens than that have been recorded, though, believe it or not.) It’s no surprise that they are the largest fish in the world.

Don’t let their massive size intimidate you though, because these sharks are the gentle giants of the ocean. They’re actually filter feeders who use their giant gaping mouths to dine on plankton and some small fish and other itty bitty sea critters.

Much like how two tigers never have the same stripes, no two whale sharks have the same spot/stripe pattern.

Whale sharks have some BIG mouths. (All the better to nom on all that tasty plankton with!) A mature whale shark’s mouth is about five feet wide on average and is home to over 300 teeth. (Again, no worries about them coming up to divers for a little nibble. They’re basically giant cinnamon rolls just floating around doing their thing.) Fun Fact, though: These guys will use their giant mouths to suck out a free meal from the full nets of fishermen. I personally find this hilarious. Way to stick it to the man, whale sharks!

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All in all, whale sharks rock and are to be respected for the mellow and distinguished sharks they are.

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Happy Shark Week!

Woo! My favorite week for television is upon us: SHARK WEEK! πŸ˜€ I don’t watch a whole lot of TV, but when Shark Week is on, Discovery Channel reigns supreme in my home. I love sharks (and marine life in general) so an entire week of non-stop specials about sharks is always a big plus in my book. πŸ˜‰ Let the binge-watching begin!

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In honor of Shark Week, I will be posting multiple shark-related posts throughout the week that I’ve been putting together. You can count on there being a couple new drawings and plenty of snazzy shark facts I thought you guys might find interesting. I’ve got several posts that shine a light on some of my favorite types of sharks. πŸ™‚ Hopefully you will enjoy reading the posts as much as I’ve been enjoying creating them. ❀

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So, how about you? Are any of you fine folks planning to partake in the “Jawsome” glory that is Shark Week? Any particular sharks you’re hoping to see and/or learn more about from this year’s specials? Ever seen or encountered a shark in real life?? Let’s talk SHARKS!! πŸ˜€

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Aaaaand on a related note, I’m still attempting to catch up on reading other blogs after my recent absence. There’s so much to catch up on and I look forward to seeing what everyone has been up to. πŸ™‚ It’s amazing how fast you can get behind and how long it takes to try to catch up. Wish me luck! πŸ˜‰

 

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Joan of Arc, The Maid of OrlΓ©ans (Women’s History Month Post #3)

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For my third entry for Cupcakes & Machetes’ Women’s History Month Blog Event I’ve decided to go with none other than Joan of Arc. (Be sure, if you haven’t already, to check out C&M’s postsΒ here andΒ here to see all the amazing posts about women people have been posting for the month!)

Joan of Arc is a woman who became many things despite her life ultimately being cut so short. She was born a French peasant, but would go on to become a military leader and a hero to her people. Sadly, she also ended up becoming a martyr. Eventually she would be deemed a saint and go down in history, her name and her legend living on for centuries.

Joan outlined military strategies for the French army against the English during the Hundred Years’ War, and directed troops in several victories, including breaking the siege the English had been holding over the city of OrlΓ©ans for months. She became a hero to her country, and helped lead Charles VII of France to the crown.

Reputation has always been something of importance, and it was Joan’s very reputation in 1429, upon her victory atΒ OrlΓ©ans, that inspired what is known as the Bloodless March. This historic military campaign was one that stretched through English occupied territory from Gien to the Reims Cathedral (where Joan would witness the coronation of Charles VII). Along the way, Joan captured every English occupied city and fortress that barred the road, and she did it all without shedding a single drop of blood and relying only on her reputation.

Although she ultimately met a tragic end, being burned at the stake for multiple charges including witchcraft, heresy, and wearing men’s clothing, her strength and courage still lives on and inspires others to this day.

JOAN OF ARC QUOTES:

“I am not afraid… I was born to do this.”

“All battles are first won or lost, in the mind.

β€œThe poor folk gladly came to me, for I did them no unkindness, but helped them as much as I could.”

 

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Harriet Tubman (Women’s History Month Post #2)

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For my second Women’s History Month illustration, I chose to draw the ever-inspiring Harriet Tubman. I’ll be continuing to post drawings I’ve done of women who have helped shape history throughout the month as part of Cupcake & Machetes’ Women’s History Month Blog Event. (Be sure to check out her post to learn all about it and maybe even join in on the fun if you haven’t already!) πŸ˜‰

If you’re familiar with U.S. History, you’ve no doubt heard this heroic woman’s name. If you haven’t, or even if you just want to possibly learn more about her, let me fill you in a little on Harriet Tubman and her amazing legacy.

Harriet Tubman cemented her place in American history by fighting back against slavery and freeing not only herself, but many other enslaved people through her work with the Underground Railroad. Her awesomeness does not stop there, though. She even became an armed scout, recruiter, and Union spy during the American Civil War. She became the first woman in United States history to lead a military expedition. And she managed to do all of this after being born into slavery in 1822, in a time when not only her race, but also her gender, were things that would be exploited and used against her.

She was a leading abolitionist, and devoted her entire life to fighting for the freedom of others. Her work was far from done upon the end of the Civil War. She then proceeded to put all she had into helping former slaves, as well as the elderly. Seriously, is it even possible for this woman to get any more inspiring? ❀

HARRIET TUBMAN QUOTES:

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“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”

“I was the conductor of the Underground Railroad for eight years, and I can say what most conductors can’t cay; I never ran my train off the track and I never lost a passenger.”