Archives for posts with tag: Europe and North America

Eel_lorez_ashleyhalseyI recently painted the American Eel as a contribution to a the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center 2016 calendar with the theme of field and stream. A few years ago I read a fascinating book on these mysterious and mythical creatures called Eels: An Exploration, from New Zealand to the Sargasso, of the World’s Most Mysterious Fish. While reading this book I learned all sorts of facts about these bizarre and unusual fish.

” The freshwater eel, of the genus Anguilla, evolved more than fifty million years ago, giving rise to fifteen separate species. . . The freshwater eel is one of the few fishes that does the opposite, spawning in the sea and spending is adulthood in lakes, rivers, and estuaries. . .” —James Prosek, Eels.

The American eel is found along the Atlantic coast including Chesapeake Bay and the Hudson River and as far north as the St. Lawrence River region. Is also present in the river systems of the eastern Gulf of Mexico and in some areas further south.




AHalsey_mushrooms4All the mushrooms shown here can be found in Northeast America, mainly in forests. They can be found throughout spring and summer but peak in late summer and throughout autumn. Fungi lack chlorophyll and as a result cannot photosynthesize, instead they take in complex chemicals just like animals do. Fungi grow right upon or into their food source, like leaves, and penetrate with thin strands called hyphae. The fungi included in this illustration are listed below:

1) Chanterelle (Cantharellus cibarius): This is an edible fungus and is common in kitchens in Europe and North America.

2) Yellow Morel (Morchella esculenta): This is a choice edible mushroom. There are also the poisonous false morels (Gyromitra caroliniana and G. brunnea)

3) Fly Agaric (Amanita muscaria): This is the quintessential toadstool and is part of the Amanitaceae, a highly poisonous group which includes the Destroying Angel (Amanita virosa) and Deathcap (A. phalloides).

4) Black Trumpet (Craterellus cornucopioides): Also known as the horn of plenty, this is an edible mushroom.

5) Goblet Waxcap (Hygrocybe cantharellus): While these mushrooms are edible, they are so tiny that the energy required to pick enough to make a meal is usually not worth while.

6) Bitter Bolete (Tylopilus felleus): Boletes have small, tubelike openings (pores) instead of gills under the cap and range in color from orange-red to yellow or brown.

Limited edition prints, as well as the original of this painting are available on my Etsy shop.

© 2014 Ashley P. Halsey

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