Very, very quick sketch, before the team gets to work. Sketch by Alison Nicholls.

A Frozen Valentine

Given the frigid temperatures in the Eastern United States at the moment, I’m sure there are plenty of frozen valentines to be found, but this post is about a very specific species of valentine…

Earlier this week I was stomping around in the snow with the wolves up at the Wolf Conservation Center. It was a beautiful winter day, cold and sunny. Lovely blue tree shadows crossed the banks of snow and every now and again a wolf could be seen trotting tirelessly in the distance. Eventually 6 male wolves were captured and transported in crates to meet Dr Cheri Asa and Karen Bauman from the Saint Louis Zoo.

The first time I have sketched a wolf's tongue!  Mexican gray wolf by Alison Nicholls.

The first time I have sketched a wolf’s tongue! Mexican gray wolf by Alison Nicholls.

Yes, the time had come for the wolves to give semen samples to be frozen and stored at the St Louis Zoo sperm bank, where they can accessed in the future for breeding purposes or genetic research.

A wolf check-up. Sketch by Alison Nicholls.

A wolf check-up. Sketch by Alison Nicholls.

There were 4 Mexican gray wolves and 2 red wolves. It was a very interesting experience, helping to capture the wolves, watching the vets at work, seeing semen samples under the microscope and sketching while the work was underway.

Very, very quick sketch, before the team gets to work. Sketch by Alison Nicholls.

Very, very quick sketch, before the team gets to work. Sketch by Alison Nicholls.

It was quite difficult sketching the wolves because there were so many people working around the table. So at one point I decided to sketch the team instead of the wolf!

Teamwork. Sketch by Alison Nicholls

Teamwork. Sketch by Alison Nicholls

 Alison Nicholls sketching wolves

Alison Nicholls sketching wolves.

Alison Nicholls sketching wolves.

I have had a terrible time writing this post because all kinds of jokes in very poor taste kept springing from my keyboard! But suffice it to say that the wolves are now back in their wooded enclosures with their mates, loving the frigid temperatures. And a little part of them will be returning to St Louis to help with the conservation of these vital predators!

Happy Valentine’s Day!!

Until next time…
Alison

www.ArtInspiredbyAfrica.com
I make a donation to African conservation from every sale.

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