I drop everything detail small 2 © 2014 . All rights reserved.

Secret treasure of the Pacific Northwest: THE PACKRAT ! – REPOSTING FOR SPRING!

DSCF1965I’m reposting this for spring since this is the time of year we see most of the packrats !  Keep your eyes open for them, the young ones are out and about, not nearly as shy as the adults.

When I moved to the Pacific Northwest I became acquainted with a most curious creature, the bushy- tailed woodrat (also known as the packrat). Packrats are nature’s little folk artists, always searching for interesting items to bring back to their nest, constantly adding new treasures to their collection. They secrete a substance called “amberat” which preserves their collections so they last for hundreds of years. Scientists have studied ancient packrat nests and found plant species that no longer exist in the area but were collected and preserved by packrats many years ago. Packrats actually create their own time capsules!

feeding PEDRO


Pedro, a very special packrat I was able to tame with peanuts!


Packrat nest in an old juniper tree behind our house

I drop everything when I see you

I drop everything when I see you 

I drop everything detail small 2

I drop everything when I see you DETAIL


This is a new packrat who came to live here recently!  BUSHY TAILED WOODRAT  (Neotoma cinerea) 

Neotoma Cinerea

The title of this painting is Neotoma cinerea and the woman becomes the tree with the nest made of a collection of her favorite things, like a packrat ! The text on her body describes the life of packrats, both human and animal. Detail below:


Neotoma Cinerea det

If you want to subscribe to LIGHT SEEKING EYES, please enter your email in the subscribe box at the very bottom of this page. You will receive an email of each new post. 



  1. Chrissy hanley

    Oh Irene! These are marvelous. The pack rat is a wonderful creature, full of mystery! Your paintings are just incredible. Will you be showing on the east coast any time soon? xo C

  2. Thank you Chrissy! I will be coming east in June. I ‘m going to be doing presentation and book signing after the Art Happy Hour at The New Britain Museum of American Art in CT. (June 12 5.30 pm). I’d love to see you again if not there maybe in Norfolk!
    I can actually hear the packrat outside in the eaves of the cabin as I’m writing this!

  3. I just discovered your art (and like it very much!) when another artist friend Undine Brod shared this post on Facebook. Greetings from Seattle.

  4. Sarah Thornington

    Oh how I love the pack rat, what a fascinating creature. Your art captures him so fabulously!

  5. Sandy

    Irene, The desert is a place I am most comfortable and your Packrat friend is one of my favorites, also. You are blessed in his friendship.

    Your art inspires me to do more, since our first meeting in CT, oh so long ago, the memories of your stories and images remain in my heart. One day soon we shall meet again in your desert of the Northwest.

  6. I really appreciate all of the comments- wish I could tell the packrat about it.

  7. The rat picture is amazing. I am floored by the detail and the playfulness. Masterful work.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.
Required fields are marked:*