The American badger (Taxidea taxus) belongs to the mustelidae family along with weasels and wolverines (and skunks and mink). They are carnivores and feed on smaller mammals like voles, mice and chipmunks. In the U.S., it ranges from western to central states using a variety of open habitats such as prairies or old fields.

Badgers are one of ~130 species of mammals that use delayed implantation as a reproductive strategy, mating mid- to late summer with implantation delayed until winter. Cubs, also called kits, are born in spring when it is warmer and more food is available to feed them. The family unit remains together until fall.

If you are out and about in open grassy habitats and happen on a hole in the ground similar in size and shape to a football with an adjacent mound of dirt, it may be a badger den. Take note, keep your distance and move on.

#watercolorandink #wildlifeart #badger

I could hardly believe my ears and doubted what I heard until my eyes caught a familiar flash of blue against the backdrop of tannish winter stems. I believe it was Henry David Thoreau who made note of how the bluebird carries the sky on his back and the earth on his belly - or something like that. Regardless, it's perfect inspiration for exploring the blues and oranges in my watercolor palette. Zippity doo dah, zippity day, indeed!

#watercolorandink #easternbluebirdart #zippitydodah