“Matia’s wandering family”
The Southern resident killer whales number less than a hundred. Eighty-three (just seventy-six as of 2017) members of one, big, extended family that roams the Salish sea and beyond. On this painting are the remaining members of the L12 matriline. Once lead by L12 Alexis, its members now solely consist of the grandchildren and great-grandchildren she left behind. The L12 matriline has always been a close-knit group that took its own course, away from the rest of the L-pod, and they continue to do so today. They tend to go further south than the others, and never wander far from each other.
Swimming in front is L77, Matia. Her second calf is L119 Joy, who can be seen in the background as the leftmost whale. Behind Joy is Matia’s big brother Mega, L41. Swimming on the right, with a calf by her side, is L94 Calypso, Matia’s eight year younger sister. Calypso is a mother to one of the babyboom calves: born in 2015, one-year-old L121 Windsong stays close to her flank. On Calypso’s right side swims her older daughter L113 Cousteau who is now seven years old. By watching her mother care for Windsong she may be learning for the day when she will hopefully have a calf of her own.
This painting was made as a commission for EarthEmerald on Deviantart.