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  • Writer's pictureKaitlyn Kraybill

August 2023 Newsletter

Hello hello,

I completed the summer segment of the SF Exploratorium's Science Teacher Institute and am clinging to the last days of my summer.

August Artwork of the Month

I will be selling one finished piece every month. This month's piece is called “Wolves in the park” (6”x18”) India ink in black, sanguine, and indathrene blue.

So the story of the reintroduction of the grey wolf into yellow stone goes something like this…Grey wolves control the population of elk in the park. With the complete elimination of the wolves, the elk population skyrocketed to numbers completely unsustainable for the rest of the ecosystem. This caused a ripple effect that goes way beyond large elk populations and less vegetation. So no wolves equal huge elk numbers. More elk with less fear of predation, means more grazers are eating away at the plants, trees, and shrubs (like Junipers and Willows) that grow around the riverbed. These trees slow erosion, so without them the winding riverbed itself straightens and the velocity quickens, speeding up even more erosion. The low hanging branches are also vital to beavers building their damns, which also slow the river. More elk also affect the bears in the area. Along with the Juniper and Willow trees being consumed at higher rates, berries are also being wolfed down (so to speak) by the Elk, which means bears don’t have as much fuel for hibernation. Finally, there are salmon involved. There are cutthroat trout which are native but endangered to Yellowstone, and lake trout which were introduced and are outcompeting their relatives. Because cutthroat trout are the bear’s preferred food item, but are becoming more scarce, this in turn leads bears to hunt young elk (Wolves usually hunt older elk), which impacts the Elk and Wolf population in its own right. So when the wolves were re-introduced - everything went back to a more balanced equilibrium.

Completed works

“Tiger for Eleanor” (8”x8”)

“Monkey for Ian” (8”x8”)

August Commissions are open!

This month's commission special is a 8"x8" piece ($275) in my "Black and Sanguine" style which can be seen above in the completed works section.


This was inspired by the TV show 'West World' The dots are the first part of the theme song on sheet music for a player piano.

Thanks for joining me in my artistic adventures! See you next month!

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