When Clayoquot Action began looking for an artist to design our logo this spring, our high dream was to ask Leanne Hodges, a signature member to the Artists for Conservation Society, if she could help out. Leanne is a talented artist, naturalist, and wild salmon warrior. With characteristic enthusiasm she agreed, and asked what sort of image we were thinking of.
One image kept surfacing—a coastal wolf with a wild coho spawner in its mouth. Leanne has worked as a fisheries guardian in Clayoquot Sound. She first witnessed wolves teaching their pups to eat chum salmon while stream-walking in Mosquito Harbour on Meares Island Tribal Park—a memorable experience!
Wolves of the west coast rainforest are part of the salmon guild—over two hundred species that feed on wild salmon when they return each fall to their natal streams to spawn and die. The wolves, bears and other animals spread much-needed nitrogen from the salmon bodies throughout the ecosystem, fertilizing the forest. This is why the trees here grow to such monumental size—wild salmon are the lifeblood of Clayoquot’s rainforests.
Leanne got to work, and soon had created the wonderful piece of art pictured above. It is a 2′ by 3′ oil on canvas painting. She has captured the interconnectedness of the rainforest and the spirit of Clayoquot Action.
Leanne is based in Cowichan Bay and the Clayoquot Wolf is currently on display at the Cowichan Maritime Center, a short walk away from Leanne’s stunning mural at the Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre.
Check out more of Leanne’s artwork here.