Friday, 20 March 2009

Polo

Here is the long awaited Polo! Also known as the polar bear! I was going to wait a couple of days before posting this to make sure that everyone got the chance to see my shiny new award! (see below) But Leanne begged to see him, so here he is!




It's hard to see in the photo's, but his body turns slightly to his left, and his right foot is a little further forward than his left. I didn't want to make him exactly symmetrical. I'll have to get back to you with the measurements. Edit: from nose to tail - about 18 inches. Height about 15 1/2 inches, width about 10 inches.

Why Polo?
When I was a kid my Mum made soft toys for a while to earn a bit of extra cash. She made the most beautiful polar bear and I begged and begged her for it, for what seemed like forever. Imagine my surprise and delight when I unwrapped her on Christmas day! She is still one of the best gifts I have ever had. I named her Polo, which made perfect sense to me at the time - Polo sounded similar to polar, and she was white like a polo mint! I loved her so much. She came everywhere with me. I never stayed away from home without her, much to my friend's amusement, but I didn't care. She was my best friend and I shared all my secrets with her. I knitted her boots and a hat and made her a coat - not that polar bears need any help to keep warm!

By the time I was about 18 I decided to pass her on to my youngest sister. I was so disappointed that she didn't love her as I had, but why would she? By that time Polo was old and tatty, not the beautiful shiny and smooth furred bear that I had unwrapped about 10 years earlier. I wish I had kept her, but alas, she is long gone now.

So, male or female, I decided from the start that this bear would be named Polo. In memory of my dear old friend.

Some interesting facts about the polar bear.
The male and female don't meet that often, so when they do, they mate. Due to the many months spent feeding her cubs and not hunting, the female needs to be in good health and of a good weight before birth, and so she doesn't always fall pregnant immediately - her embryos go into a type of suspended animation, so cubs are always born in the winter after the female has had a good summer getting fat. Unlike the brown or grizzly bear, polar bears don't hibernate, except pregnant bears. This isn't a proper hibernation as she will give birth to her cubs and feed them during this time. Once they come out of their den, the mother will continue to feed them and to lose weight and will not be able to go in search of food until the cubs are strong enough. By this time she will not have eaten for 5 months and will have lost half her body weight.

Polar bears hunt seals by pounding on the ice with their front legs, with their weight behind them, until it breaks. They have an amazing sense of smell and are able to smell seals even through thick ice. They are excellent swimmers as well, being able to block off their nostrils and having webbed feet.


PS. Queeny and Leanne, you would have loved the big owl that my Mum made!

13 comments:

Kathy L said...

Polo is amazing! And what a tribute to your special cjildhood lovey. I loved your post and even learned something. You are a creative blogger and I am glad you are my cyber friend...matbe one day I will reach your shore...

k

Undaunted said...

Oh, thank you so much Kathy! Wouldn't that be great if you could come over? I haven't given up on the dream of visiting you all in America one day, although at the moment it really is just a dream.

Polar bears are so interesting aren't they? Can you tell I've been swotting up? :)

painter girl said...

Oh Linda!
Polo is FANTASTIC!!!!!!
Amazing. Love all the details of the fur and his face is so sweet.
Thank you for sharing your story about your stuffed polar bear. I had a doll that I felt like that about and your story brought back those sweet memories of childhood.

Thank you for indulging my impatience for seeing Polo....but I just couldn't wait. And I just love him!

Hope I didn't take away from your creative award because you deserve it!

Mom-Children-Etc. said...

What a sweet and sentimental story. Both of my children loved their stuffed animals (actually they still do, shsss), and I just thought, "wow, such love".

Polo turned out wonderful! I can't wait for Haley to see him/her. She'll be so excited!

Tara

Undaunted said...

Thank you so much Leanne! I'm glad you like him. I hope he survives the kiln because I've actually grown quite attached to him now that he's finished. I don't think he'll be as cuddly as the original Polo if I take him off to bed with me though!


Thank you Tara! I'm glad you like him too!
It makes you wonder what their memories will be doesn't it?
I just realised this evening that you have your own blog! Thank you for linking to me! I shall go and have a little nosey now...

cynthia said...

A+ Fantastic, Linda - you are most definitely without a doubt a sculptor!

Undaunted said...

Thank you so much Cynthia!

I do feel that I have found my "thing", and I'm loving it!

mimilove forever said...

*Round of applause*
Fabulous work there madam..love his expression!

(Thank you for my award too!)
x;)

Undaunted said...

Thank you! Thank you! *takes a bow*

Thank you Mimi - I actually thought he looked a bit gormless!

You're very welcome for the award - thank you for being so inspiring!

queencraftygirl said...

He is INCREDIBLE!!! After long awaited days....he's staring at me with his sweet little face (i'm glad Aunt Leanne begged you :)

His face is so pretty and his fur is realistic. Thank you for all the fun facts about the polar bears! They are very interesting...I wonder if the only thing you can see of a polar bear if you were in the Artic with it would be it's nose... hmmm.

Polo is so amazing!

Love,
Queeny

Undaunted said...

Thank you so much Queeny! I'm glad you like him! I've grown quite attached to him and I keep wanting to give him a little cuddle! :)

Hehehe, imagine that! "I can see a nose coming towards me... do you think I should run?!"

queencraftygirl said...

That would be funny! A nose charging at you! Maybe you should run...for all I know...the nose maybe strong enough to sniff you right up! HeHe :)

Love,
Queeny

P.S. Sorry I have not been blogging. I have been very busy! I will get back into the swing of blogging world as soon as I can!

Undaunted said...

No need to apologise Queeny! I look forward to reading what you have been up to when you have time!