Barry Kent MacKayArt by Barry Kent MacKay
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Art and Photo Presentation

In this section are copies of original works of art. All of them are dedicated to helping us live according to unconditional love and compassion, which is the foundation of our peaceful means of bringing true and lasting peace to all of God's creatures, whether they are human beings or other animals.

Arctic Fox Vulpes (Alopex lagopus)

 

Barry Kent MacKay arctic fox
(Artwork - 075)
Arctic Fox Vulpes
(Alopex lagopus)

This is one of the smaller members of the family Canidae, which includes wolves, dingoes, coyotes and, of course, dogs. The Arctic Fox lives, as its name suggests, in the higher latitudes of the Northern hemisphere, although in Canada they can be found as far south as northern Ontario (around James Bay) and northern Newfoundland.  Generally speaking they don’t come too far south of the treeline but they can be found north past the northern tip of Greenland, as far as there is land, and probably further onto ice, if they can find food to eat.

They have relatively short legs and short muzzles, and ears, to conserve heat, although they are well endowed, in winter, with a thick coat of beautiful fur. Most of them are, in winter, white all over except for the black noses and sometimes a bit of dark trim around the ears, and a variable width black area around the eye, which in some individuals looks ever so much like mascara. But all that changes in the summer, when they shed the thick fur and show just an undercoat of browns and tans and grey tones, often with sharply defined splotches of white, and at such time they look far thinner…often almost scrawny-looking. They only weigh about three and a half kg. (about seven and a half pounds) on average.

There is also a rare morph, found mostly in coastal regions and on islands, that is a lovely slate-grey or blue-grey colour, all over.

I have chosen the very much more common white morph, but I have shown it as it would appear in the fall, around October, before becoming entirely white, although it is almost entirely in the winter pelage (fur coat).

These little guys will catch live prey (lemmings, baby birds…especially including Snow Geese, and anything else they can catch and subdue) but they will also scavenge, and are noted for following Polar Bears around, eating whatever the big, strong bear leaves behind.  Like Polar Bears, they can swim, but food is the limiting factor in their winter survival, and the average lifespan is only about three or four years. A lot starve, but they are true omnivores, and will avail themselves of anything edible, including even seaweed, berries, other plant material, mollusks and other invertebrates and even, in extreme circumstances, resorting to cannibalism. They are cute, but they are tough.

The painting was done in acrylics on compressed hardboard and is a little smaller than life size.

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Copyright © Barry Kent MacKay
Barry describes himself as a Canadian artist/writer/naturalist.
See his website: http://barrykentmackay.ca/

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