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 Northern Cacomistle (1994)

Acrylic on illustration board
18" x 24"

 One of two members of a genus of long-tailed, agile carnivores, the northern cacomistle (Bassariscus astutus) is distributed in the western United States and Mexico. Like it's relative the raccoon, its range has expanded during the twentieth century, and now stretches as far east as Ohio and Alabama. Capable of exploiting a multitude of habitats, it is still most typically a creature of rocky terrain, scrambling about sheer cliffs with amazing dexterity. This nocturnal animal is only rarely abroad in daylight. It is usually only in the springtime that it habitually basks in the early morning sunlight before bedding down for the day. In Utah I associate the cacomistle with the sandstone desert of the Colorado Plateau. Incidental creatures in this piece are a side-blotched lizard (Uta stansburiana) and a hairy scorpion (Hadrurus sp.).