Moving for Monarchs
In this photo, Vetter-Drusch jumps over an orange variety of milkweed and other prairie flowers that support monarchs and other pollinators. Photo by Jaime Schirmer for “Moving for Monarchs: The Awakening,” which was filmed at the Konza Prairie LTER site. It beautifully shows how art––in this case dance––can educate people about environmental issues. These dancers and artists, in conjunction with the nonprofit conservation organization MonarchWatch, intend to “make visible the critical challenges facing monarchs and other pollinators” and inspire grassroots action. Learn more about Moving for Monarchs.
The word “quilt” connotes a nurturing relationship with whatever it covers. It also suggests a sense of community spirit and collaboration based on the tradition of quilting bees. The Land Quilt enlarges this community spirit to include the soils, waters, plants, and animals that Aldo Leopold referred to collectively as “the land.”
Each “patch” of the Land Quilt concentrates natural precipitation with a fabric funnel stretched over a wire frame staked into the ground. Below the funnel and hollowed in the soil is a seed ball consisting of native seeds, clay and compost. When the Land Quilt is removed after the monsoon season (July 15 to October 15, 2012), our hope is that patches of native plants, germinated with the help of the concentrated rainfall, will remain.
The Land Quilt, by Tony Anella & Cara McCulloch, intends to restore part of the barren fairways on the University of New Mexico North Golf Course in Albuquerque. At the conclusion of this inaugural installation, our hope is that the Land Quilt will inspire other citizens to reuse the “patches” to blanket the barren landscapes in their communities. Learn more about the Land Quilt.
Fire Below: A Methane Gas Bubble Triptych by Terry Glendenning. These paintings emerged out of the In A Time of Change Series, based out of Bonanza Creek, AK.
Carbon Exchange by John Hirsch is from his exhibit “And Again 2009-2012” based at Harvard Forest. For more pictures and an artistic statement, click here.
Vanishing Act, watercolor, Mindy Schnell. The school of walleyes fades as the rainbow smelt increase. The rainbow smelt is jeopardizing prized game fish in our north woods lakes. From the North Temperate Lakes Exhibit “Drawing Water.”
Is it possible there is a certain
kind of beauty as large as the trees
that survive the five-hundred-year fire
the fifty-year flood, trees we can’t
comprehend even standing
beside them with outstretched arms
to gauge their span,
a certain kind of beauty
so strong, so deeply concealed
in relationship—black truffle
to red-backed vole to spotted owl
to Douglas fir, bats and gnats,
beetles and moss, flying squirrel
and the high-rise of a snag,
each needing and feeding the other—
a conversation so quiet
the human world can vanish into it.
A beauty moves in such a place
like snowmelt sieving through
the fungal mats that underlie and
interlace the giant firs, tunneling
under streams where cutthroat fry
live a meter deep in gravel,
fluming downstream over rocks
that have a hold on place
lasting longer than most nations,
sluicing under deadfall spanners
that rise and float to let floodwaters pass,
a beauty that fills the space of the forest
with music that can erupt as
varied thrush or warbler, calypso
orchid or stream violet, forest
a conversation not an argument,
a beauty gathering such clarity and force
it breaks the mind’s fearful hold on its
little moment steeping it in a more dense
intelligibility, within which centuries
and distances answer each other
and speak at last with one and the same voice.
—Alison Hawthorne Deming
With lines from Claude Levi-Strauss
(from the H.J. Andrews “Forest Log”)
A still photograph of the modern dance piece, Casting Shadows, based on 25 years of post-fire plant succession data., by the dance troupe Deliquescent Designs (L to R Tamora Satterfield, BNZ scientist Mary Beth Leigh, Karen Voyles and Stephanie Dixon). From Bonanza Creek LTER’s In a Time of Change multimedia performance.