I am excited to announce I have created a youtube channel. I hope to make it a place where you can see more about the process of creating the artworks for the modern dragon. It has been quite a challenge learning the software and skills needed (although not super complicated) it was always intimidating to me. So I’m chuffed to have this first video under my belt. I am thankful for your support both here, my Patreon page and now my youtube channel.
If there are any aspects of my art you would like to see in my videos let me know. I hope they will become a fun part of the modern dragon experience.
The only thing more dangerous than a wolf in sheep’s clothing is a dragon in wolfs clothing. Dragons are the undisputed apex predator of every food chain. Their cunning and tenacity have allowed them to maintain a low profile in our modern era. Forsaking their old hunting tactics of raining fire down from above, openly flying the skies and generally being highly conspicuous, they rather opt for more stealthy operations like seamlessly blending in with their desired prey, getting them acclimatized to their presence, gaining their trust and waiting for the ideal time to strike.
Despite common belief dragons despise butterflies. I am not quite sure why, though I have a theory.
Butterflies are beautiful and colourful, they are the treasures of the animal kingdom. However they are also alive, making them difficult to catch and they have a general unwillingness to lie down and become a permanent fixture in a pile of treasure. Should they be caught they also disintegrate in heat and with rough handling.
Thus Butterflies are an unending source of frustration to dragons. They covet butterflies yet ultimately destroy the treasure they long to poses. It is probably then, in their frustration that they burn to dust the entire field of flowers the butterfly once called home and return to their cave to curl up on some less rebellious treasures.
Of all the behaviors of the modern dragon, the most puzzling at first glance is their friendship with cats. In ancient times the greatest dragons came equipped with mighty intellects. Some were even able to bend the minds of would be heroes to their will, sending them back out into the world as ‘thralls’, faithful servants who would achieve the dragon’s ends in places the dragon could not personally go. In our day very few dragons remain with the strength required to enthrall men. Cats on the other hand are plentiful and make amazing thralls. Swift hunters and inconspicuous, faithfully serving their dragon masters, bringing them mice and birds that they could not catch themselves without being noticed by us. The relationship is not one sided however. Few dogs would dare to tangle with a dragon, and dragons on account of their fiery insides are delightfully warm. Just perfect for cats to warm themselves on.
“I desired dragons with a profound desire. Of course, I in my timid body did not wish to have them in the neighbourhood. But the world that contained even the imagination of Fáfnir was richer and more beautiful, at whatever the cost of peril.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien
The great dragons have not been seen for millennia. They have hidden themselves deep within the bones of the earth. In order to understand the Modern Dragon it is important to learn about where they came from.
Historically speaking dragons have often been associated with water. They, like any top predator, would secure for themselves that most valuable of resources and defend it. They would often establish a burrow or occupy a cave close by their chosen water source. Whether that water source was a town well, watering hole, dam or lake did not bother them. Understandably this would often lead to conflict. First with farmers who were used to not having to contend with a ferocious wall of scales, claws, teeth and flames whenever they lead their cattle to water. Then followed shortly after by a brave knight, or two or three (Depending on the size and ferocity or the dragon). These cases almost always led to the eventual demise of the dragon, and the reclaiming of the precious water source hopefully unspoiled by toxic dragon blood.
In our day, water is easily accessible in most first world countries. I would imagine that very few wonder if they can safely secure a cup of water. This bounty has worked out great for modern dragons who are smart enough to figure out our complex water storage devices.
It was a hot summers weekend and as had become the norm for a Saturday I headed to the Black River to rack up search time. I figured seeing as I’m the only one looking for this dragon I’m likely to to be the only one to find it. There are a few places you can pull off the highway to gain access to the river bank, so off I went. I walked along my usual route, starting where the river is broad and grass banked, I walked all the way up until the banks become more heavily lined with reeds and getting to the waters edge is very difficult. When I reached the end of where one can walk, a little bit further up river there is a large pipe that juts out almost to the middle of the river. The favourite perch of many a bird, cormorants, ibis’s , egrets and geese. That pipe and a couple birds had been my last view before I would turn around to walk back to my car for the last 3 months. My resolve and enthusiasm for the dragon search had begun to die out. However this time was different, this time I saw it, the Dragon sitting there, right on the end of the pipe in plain sight, wings spread spectacularly, sunning itself, completely unaware or unconcerned by my presence. I don’t know how long I watched it , time seemed to stand still, every detail burned into my brain. I was transfixed. Birds where around it completely unperturbed, apparently they aren’t on the menu.
My viewing ended almost as suddenly as it begun, I don’t know if it was because it noticed me or because it had just had it’s fill of sunbathing but it stretched briefly, gave a couple powerful wing beats and dove off the pipe. It glided just above the surface of the water for about 20 meters. I was able to see that it had four legs, quite crocodilian looking as well as the two great wings which I could now see were clearly usable for flight as well as swimming. At the end of that glide it quickly folded it’s wings and almost without a splash dived into the water. The last I saw of it was a flick of its powerful tail and it was gone. I waited for over an hour but it didn’t resurface. This image depicts what I saw, I foolishly didn’t have my camera on me and even if I had I would no more have had the presence of mind to use it as one who witnesses a car accident has the mind to photograph it as it’s happening.Many things are better off only seen with the eye than through a lens. I expected that I would soon be reading news articles about this sight as couldn’t imagine I was the only one to see it but, there has been nothing. I really do seem to have been the only witness.
I would tentatively call this dragon a River Dragon or a Fresh water Dragon. I don’t know if I will ever see it again, But this sighting has raised so many questions. Do other Water dragons have wings too? That would certainly allow them to move from lake to lake or river to river with relative ease. Where do they sleep? Do they have caves? Perhaps I should look for hidden entrances along the river bank? Those questions will have to be answered another time.
I’m exhausted. I hope you enjoyed this post, Keep an eye out for dragons, you may actually see one!