I like to think about multitudes. Species so numerous that they blacken the sky, cover the plain, make the sea boil. That line of thinking leads, in this era of mass extinction, to the consideration of the last individual of such a multitude. I made this print with that in mind. It shows an imagined burial of the last of the Eskimo Curlews, a once-innumerable bird that migrated annually between the northern and southern latitudes of the Americas. Its population declined drastically in the late 1800s as a result of hunting, the destruction of the plains for agriculture, and the extinction of one of its main food sources, the Rocky Mountain Grasshopper. It hasn’t been seen since 1963, and is presumed extinct. As the beautiful things of the world pass away from us, we continue to lose our connection to the earth and to the wild nature that we come from. I hope we can return to whatever’s left.
I’ve imagined this scene in a forest in the Northwest, featuring Vine Maple, Chinquapin, Scrub Oak, Chanterelles, Rough-skinned Newt, and Snail-killer Carabid Beetle.