Sunday, August 28, 2005

Illustration Friday - Hedgehog Dreams

This weeks Illustration Friday topic is Dreams.

I pondered on this for a while yesterday and was thinking of carreer goals and day dreaming but wasn't sure how to really bring these ideas to life.

I also thought about a pencil drawing of my daughter that i made 13 years ago, while she was sleeping and dreaming of milk. I gave up on redoing this too.

After a while i thought about hibernation and about what an animal might dream while they slept out the winter. I suspected their dreams would be about food mainly.

That lead me to the hedgehog. I am particularly fond of hedgehogs - I've loved them since i was a child and it was always a thrill when one visited the garden.

My grampa encouraged them, of course, becuase he was a fantastic gardener and they do a wonderful job of eating pests like slugs and caterpillars. One of my earliest memories is of creeping outdoors at night to see one eating. I expect it wasn't really very late , as Scotland has very short days in winter and when i was young there was a double summer time experiment which meant the clocks went back 2 hours, making a short day even shorter. We had reflective armbands to wear on the way home from school but I heard that a lot of children were run over by cars and the experiment was ended.

Hedgehogs tend to hibernate late in the year - often starting in December or January as Britain frequently has hard frosts and snows from January to March.
The hedgehogs curl up in a special nest and they must have stored as much fat as possible in order to survive hibernation.

Scientifically speaking hibernation is not much like sleep at all as the body metabolism slows down dramatically - heart rate and body temperature are a fraction of their normal levels.
They lose about a third of their bodyweight by the end of hibernation so then need to drink and eat as soon as they wake up.


This particular hedgehog is in a kind of zen dream state rather than hibernation.
Its a European Hedgehog in a nest of fallen oak leaves and his dream foods surround him: beetle , snail, earthworm and caterpillar. This particular caterpillar is the large white butterfly caterpillar




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22 comments:

kg said...

ooh, me likey! it's adorable, and well-done! the oak leaves are awesome.

Knitting Painter Woman said...

You reminded me that I like hearing about the artist's thoughts as much as seeing the final result. I am still mulling over what I want to "dream up" this week.

Kebibi said...

How adorable is he?! Great image... and thanks for the comment on mine.

Dreams during pregnancy are generally very vivid, and because it was a true prediction mine has stuck with me as though I had it last night.

I am sure the shoes out of autumn leaves were just lovely in your dream, and not out of the ordinary at all... as dreams tend to make us believe everything is normal!

Rowantree said...

As always another great work and nice story !

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

i wish i was stoned! very funky illo..love it! but would probably have a kick out of it in other function...
cheers,
kerry

rainbowtrout said...

The colours in this are very evokative. I also love the composure (and the feet!) - very cosy.

fhiona said...

this is cute I love hedgehogs. I'm a member of the hedgehog preservation society!!!

JacqueLynn said...

sweet and cute and very dreamy

carla said...

This reminds a bit me of a scientific illustration...getting the view of the hedgehog in its nest with examples of the kinds of food it eats. It's so beautifully done with the winter colors of the leaves, and I just love how his needles (Is that what are they? I've never seen a hedgehog in person.) pushed upwards. I also enjoyed reading your explanation. You always impart some very cool knowledge about esoteric subjects. It's a double treat :>

miragee said...

beautiful...and a very special perspective on this topic :-)

Ms. Momma said...

I love the name of your blog! What a sweet little hedgehog! I love the colors you used and how you chose to draw him/her sleeping on its back. Wonderful!

isay said...

sweet and the colors are great!
lovely story, too!

Caribbean Colors said...

Your illustration makes me feel all snuggly and sleepy

kan said...

Oh this is so charming...just want to snuggle up with this sleepy guy and dream away.

"Maggie" said...

Adorable and love the padded little feet and muted tones. Has me looking forward to fall.

beth said...

don't let him eat the snail... the snail is so cute! very pretty illo. and thanks for the informative story.

Toni said...

Your illustration is adorable. I love the chesnut brown colors. He really looks like he's in a dreamy state.

Amy Solovay said...

Delightful!

Kim Carney said...

That little guy to too adorable. Great design. It is perfect.

Katherine said...

He's so cute!! i want to snuggle that little furry belly!!

bee'nme said...

My how I love this! I love everything about it...from the perspective, to the perfectly rendered leaves, to his little toes! Just adorable and thoughtful.