Love More, Live Wilder – Sipsey Wilder
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    Love More, Live Wilder

    Opossum Blossom!

    Opossum Blossom!

    We are so pleased to offer our platform to Christy Ramirez, a volunteer and board member at Opie Acres Wildlife and Opossum Rehabilitation in Chattanooga, Tennessee as well as at Lookout Mountain Conservancy who wrote a guest blog for us to advocate for an often misunderstood creature, the Opossum. 

    These opossums were delivered to Christy at home and were taken directly to a local wildlife rehab. Opossums, like all wild animals, are not pets.

    I’m so excited and thankful for Sipsey Wilder’s upcoming addition of the “Opossum Blossom” print to their collection. Opossums are under-appreciated animals that play such an important role in the health of ecosystems, not only in the Southeast, but all over our country. They are opportunist omnivores that can individually consume thousands of ticks in a season and can even eat poisonous snakes due to their immunity to certain venoms. Many people incorrectly think that these non-aggressive, nocturnal cuties are rabies carriers, however this is a misconception. In fact, an opossum’s body temperature is too low for the rabies virus to thrive. 

    As North American’s only marsupial, a female opossum can give birth to more than 20 joeys at a time.  However, only 13 have the potential to survive once they travel up to the pouch and latch on to one of their mom’s 13 nipples. Once in Mom’s pouch, they will spend months there until they get big enough to climb out and hitch a ride on her back. 

    Although opossums are amazing and adorable, it’s important to remember that they are wild animals and need to observed and respected from a distance. They’ve been around for millions of years and will do just fine without the interference of people. There are times when wildlife will need emergency help. In these instances, please contact Animal Help Now to locate a licensed wildlife rehabber in your area. These rehab centers can treat injuries and know the right specialized diet to keep the animals healthy until they can be re-released to the wild. 

     The volunteers at Opie Acres and I know a lot about the usefulness of pouches and we are excited to show off the new “Opossums & Blossoms” bags to our naturally pouch carrying residents.

     

    Anxiously waiting,

    Christy Ramirez

    Chattanooga, TN

    Christy shared these photos with us from Opie Acres where opossums are often rescued, rehabilitated and returned to the wild. 

     

    Meet Stevie, a blind non-releasable, educational ambassador. In this photo she was channeling her inner Mrs. Claus for an educational holiday event. Opie Acres does not advocate use of wild animals in this manner. 

    Our anticipated Opossum Blossom pattern is finally available for pre-order on the 3-in-1 Bag! Expect to see it on other products late spring/early summer. 

     

    Floating through Cahaba Stars

    Floating through Cahaba Stars

    The water always takes my breath away. Now though, my attention has been averted to the gleaming stars setting atop the water.  They only show themselves once a year. Free-flowing river right at the transition point from mountains to the plain. Their fragrance is sweet, but short-lived. They are dependent upon a moth pollinator with at times, great distances between populations. Once was a common site amongst our southeastern rivers has become a rare joy. I am delighted to marvel in their glory.
    -Carla Atkinson, Ph.D., biology (University of Alabama)

    A little over a month ago Dr. Atkinson and I took our kayaks and made the annual trip to the Cahaba River National Wildlife Refuge in Alabama to see the lovely Cahaba Lillies that bloom once a year from mid-May to mid-June. These iconic aquatic flowering plants require a very specialized habitat --swift-flowing water over rocks and lots of sun. They can only be found in the shoals areas or above the fall line in Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina.
    These striking spider lilies once flourished in many locations on southeastern rivers, but due to damming of rivers and other human activities they now only appear in a very limited number of places. I am so fortunate to live close to the area they are the most populace, the Cahaba River.

    Mussels, Turtles and Darters, Oh My!

    Mussels, Turtles and Darters, Oh My!

    I recently put my photo editing experience to good use when I helped an ecologist friend Dr. Carla Atkinson assemble a collection of her beautiful photography. These photos were taken in Oklahoma, Georgia and Alabama while she was earning her PhD. Luckily she let me share them with you! 

    Tiger Salamander near Honobia, Oklahoma.

    Lampsilis ovata, freshwater musselfiltering 

    Cope's Gray Tree Frog in south Georgia

    Alligator in south Georgia

    Razorback Musk Turtle in southeastern Oklahoma 

    Darter fish in Bear Creek, Alabama

    Amblema plicata, freshwater mussel, in Bear Creek, Alabama

    Ouachita Map turtle in Oklahoma 

    One Year Strong!

    One Year Strong!

    Today marks the one year anniversary of Sipsey Wilder! We went live on January 31st, 2019 and had our very first sale that night. Thank all of you so much for visiting our store, checking out our stuff and hopefully finding something you like!

    To commemorate this day I'm going to take a little journey back to the beginning of the concept and share the history of our logo. Before I found my way into pattern making and bag design I created a series of still-life photographs of the natural treasures in my home. Relics of nature have always captivated me. Even as a child my pockets were filled with interesting rocks, bone fragments, feathers and shells I had found.

    One of the photographs from this series became the inspiration for the Sipsey Wilder logo. This Longnose Gar skull posed with a flower stem became my jumping off point.

    I experimented with versions with the Gar skeleton and the SW initials. This set was the first I settled on, but they were quite complex. I now consider them our vintage logos.

    Finally these more graphic interpretations became our final versions and what you see today on your favorite Sipsey Wilder products! 

    To celebrate the anniversary we have some special little give-aways with orders placed today!  

    Fallen Friends

    Fallen Friends

    The apocalyptic wildfires in Australia have killed nearly half a billion animals. The grief is hitting me in waves. My mind is haunted by images of terrified koalas climbing to the tops of trees for safety only to find an agonizing death. It is a living nightmare and so many of our animal friends have fallen.

    It can feel so hopeless, but we can still help. Here is a list of options for helping or donating on the WIRES Wildlife Rescue page. WIRES is the leading wildlife rescue organization in Australia.

    One of my ways of coping with the grief is to channel it into artwork. These two pieces were the result. 

    I have converted this koala piece into a seamless pattern for fabric. Soon I will be announcing a pre-order for a koala tote and clip wallet in which the net profits will be donated to WIRES Wildlife Rescue in Australia. 

    Here is a digital mock-up of these products. Sign up for our newsletter to find out when these will be available for pre-order!