One more brief hiatus from my hiatus to pass on some very good news: The Ice Bear Project -- created by sculptor Mark Coreth, assisted by my friends and village neighbors Nick Baker and William-Todd Jones (and a host of other good people) -- has received the endorsement and sponsorship of the prestigious World Wildlife Fund.
Here is a brief description of the project: "Mark Coreth is creating a life-sized sculpture of a polar bear out of ice for London's Trafalgar Square this December, and then for major cities across four continents. As each Ice Bear melts it will leave a skeleton, a pool of water and a powerful environmental message about climate change. The Bear will be exhibited at ground level, so that everyone can reach out and touch this inspirational and iconic symbol of the Arctic."
For more information, visit the project's website, or watch the short video above. They're still in need of more donations, sponsors, and host cities in order to spread the project as widely as possible. Become a Friend of the Ice Bear by donating here. No amount is too small. Please spread the word!
...On the subject of animals, briefly, before I go back offline to confront my Impending Deadline: I've just received the beautiful picture on the left below, which is Charles Vess' enchanting cover illlustration for The Beastly Bride -- volume 4 in the "mythic fiction" anthology series (for young adult readers) that I edit with Ellen Datlow for Viking. The picture on the right is "The Heron Girl" by my neighbor Danielle Barlow, whose charming blog about country life and art, Notes from the Rookery, I recommend. And just to tie this whole post together, the young girl who posed for Danielle's painting is William Todd-Jones' youngest daughter.