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For the Artists: A Turtle

I took a look out my window about an hour ago and saw a large mound of mud 
moving upstream in the creek just outside. Shortly, a massive snapping turtle 
head emerged from in front of the mound. The snapping turtle mating season is 
now on in central New Jersey. Instead of swallows at Capistrano, it's snappers 
here at Cedar Brook! The geese are suddenly nervous. All this reminds me every 
year of a wonderfully illustrated book, _Minn of the Mississippi_by Holling C. 
Holling, still in print after over 50 years. It's a book meant for "children 
of all ages" just crammed with marvelous watercolor paintings and pencil 
drawings about a snapping turtle's journey down the Mississippi River. One of 
plates is based on Chas.R.Knight's Field Museum murals that I practically 
x-rayed with my eyes as a kid. At any rate, I urge you art-types to take a look 
these very imaginitive images. You'll love them. I think Donna Braginetz will 
agree with me. _Pagoo_,another book by Holling about tidepool life, is equally 
as rewarding.
       On another front, the new (April) National Geographic has an excellent 
feature about Badlands National Park featuring my good friend, Rachel Benton, 
park paleontologist, and a superb article on cranes with an insert on bird 
migration featuring fabulous paintings of birds in flight. Tough competition in 
the bird art field these days! 
       And finally, in May, a magazine will be coming out with an article 
about the original "King Kong" illustrated with photos from Willis O'Brien's 
personal scrapbooks. Should put some folk in a lather: