Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Metal Tapirs in the California Desert

Near Borrego Springs, California ~ January 11, 2012
Photos by Patrick Tillett

What else would you expect to find in the California desert? Sidewinders? Tortoises? Jackrabbits? Although they don't belong here today, tapirs did roam this speck of earth when it was a very different place.

Dennis Avery, along with artist Ricardo Breceda, decided to bring back to Galleta Meadows an extinct form called Tapirus merriami, or Merriam's tapir, an ungulate that roamed these parts about a million years ago. Take a look at the illustration showing Merriam's tapir as it might have looked on the shores of Lake Borrego so far back in time. (Click on "The Shores of Lake Borrego" on their site if the tapir doesn't come up automatically.)

 In poking about, I found a comment by Eric Scott after visiting the massive art installation in 2009. He liked it, but he thought it needed a few tapirs. Maybe someone listened, or maybe Eric missed the "noses." Apparently the massive display of animals is spread out so you come upon them in unexpected places.

Blogger friend Pat Tillet was surprised, and thanks to his penchant for finding weird stuff, we can all enjoy them. If you like to follow interesting daily adventures, you might want to take a look at his blog. It's a bit of travel, a bit of photography, bit of poetry, and some of the strangest personal stories I know. It's nicely written, and comments always acknowledged. It's one my favorite blogs. And you never know when the odd tapir will turn up.

Please e-mail your photos and text if you would like to see them on this blog.
This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.
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Pat Tillett said...

Nice! These look good here! We are going down the mountain to the desert again tomorrow and I'll see what else I can find... Thanks so much for the kind words!

Catherine Todd said...

All I can say is: WOW!

Jeremias Soler said...

nice animal! I wish strongly this animal specie (and all) survive.

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