The Ten of Coins - House Sparrows are the most widespread of any avian species - being found in every continent (exept Antarctica) and most countries. From their humble beginnings in the Middle East, they have populated Europe, the UK, the Americas, and even gotten into the Pacific. Sometimes they were introduced, other times stowaways. They flourish in the urban environment, are sociable and get on well with other species. For a card to match success and great wealth, the House Sparrow seemed the most appropriate.
The Ten of Peaks - up in the snowy NZ Alps a merino sheep has been left in the highlands for the winter. Perhaps it was because she evaded capture, perhaps she had strayed too far. Whatever the reason, now she is floundering in the snow, trapped and half starved, and the predators are descending. Yes, keas may be parrots, but they have been known to eat meat - whether it be the fledglings of other birds (they enjoy muttonbirds) or the rich fatty flesh of sheep. Even without the birds eating her while she still lives, this sheep is most likely doomed.
Ten of Trees - The Archey's Frog, burdened by his four froglets, can only watch and wait as the bulldozer makes a move on his forest home in the Coromandel. Some years ago, the government declared that they were looking to mine the Coromandel - one of our last refuges for this frog. The outcry was immense, and the project brought to a halt - the frog's home was safe. For now. But still, for this tiny, ancient amphibian, the outside pressures must be extreme - his environment is changing, shrinking, there are more toxins in the air and the water and he is already clinging to survival.
Yes, it is the male that raises the young. They spend their tadpole life in the egg, hatching as tailed froglets to ride on their father's back. He can have up to 13 young, but I really didn't feel like drawing ten, even though they would have been more suitable for the card.
The Ten of Waves, featuring the Maui Dolphin, was designed and uploaded several weeks ago, to celebrate my 3000th card.