American Bison once roamed a massive range from Alaska into Mexico and from Northern California to New York. They have strong hooves that trample the woody brush making room for meadows and the plants and insects that rely on meadows to flourish. This woodcut is about the relationship between the Bison and an endangered butterfly called Karner Blue. The butterfly has only one host plant, wild lupines. They lay their eggs on the plants and live for only 4-5 days as adults but the caterpillars will only eat lupines. Lupines can only survive if they aren't crowded out by bushy tall plants. Bison have done a good job at keeping the meadow intact and grazing plants that would otherwise crowd out the lupines.
Such a cool story I had to make a woodcut about it. Nature is full of symbiotic relationships. And some animals just aren't as adaptable, and need very specific circumstances in order to survive. I hope that these butterflies and buffalo continue to thrive.
Image Size: 9.25” x 24"
Title: Bison Preserving Butterflies
Edition Size: 14