Nature Notes ~ Spring 2023
We're All Connected!
Recently I was gifted with a wonderful message from Rosemarie who visits the Adirondack Mountains every summer. Rosemarie had received a card from a student at Paul Smith's College with a note thanking them for a donation she and her family made. On the front of the card was Home for Red Spruce, and on the back was a narrative about the image and my inspiration for the series of seven paintings. I had exhibited these originals at the College's new Visitor Interpretive Center (VIC) a few years ago and they created notecards of the images.
The series brings attention to the species most affected by acid deposition in the northeast U.S and southeast Canada, which comes from air pollution in big midwestern cities like Chicago and Detroit that rises and travels on air currents. Then in the form of rain, snow, and fog, this pollution impacts the plants and animals of the boreal forest. Through my art, I wanted to raise awareness and encourage dedicated conservation efforts for this special place, home to some of the largest tracts of protected forest in the world.
Rosemarie wrote in her message, "I like your idea of having a snowflake as the shadow of a young spruce, and that the snowflake is made from limbs without needles. The message is serious, yet you conveyed it with creativity and beauty. We love the VIC and visit during our summer week in Paul Smiths. Our small donation resulted in the gift of your artwork and a lovely note from a student. My compliments and appreciation to you, Rebecca!" My thanks to you, Rosemarie. Your note inspires me!
Also each painting has a somewhat hidden element that is the main subject of another painting in the series to show how everything in nature is connected. In the red spruce image above, there is a small Bicknell's thrush looking towards a brighter future, perched on the upper left of the snowflake. (Click on images to enlarge.)
Another example of this connectivity is in Home for Mayfly. The outline of a loon spreading its wings is highlighted in the ice sheet near the bottom right of the image. These seven original paintings are now part of the art collection at the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake, NY and my hope is they will continue to educate visitors about the effects of air pollution and raise awareness for conserving the boreal forest.
Rosemarie's note was such a bright light of encouragement! Hopefully I'll have a chance to meet her in person someday when we're both visiting the Adirondacks. And to all my nature loving friends, if you ever have a chance to visit northern New York, you'll want to put the VIC at Paul Smith's College at the top of your list. You can camp, hike, and paddle in the spring, summer and fall, then cross county ski and snowshoe in the winter. It's so peaceful there that you may never want to leave. Click here to learn more and plan your next adventure!
What a coincidence that Home for Red Spruce was the lead image I shared in the winter edition of Nature Notes. Just like in my art, Rosemarie's message reminds me of how we're all connected!
With so much love for nature,
BYOB! Bring your own bags! Here in Colorado, stores are now charging customers 10 - 50 cents or more for every single-use plastic bag they take. You know those bags, the ones that are very thin, but hold a fair amount of stuff. This new charge will encourage shoppers to bring their own reusable bags to the grocery store and other retailers.
This will not only reduce greenhouse gases going into the environment when single-use bags are manufactured, but it will also reduce the number of bags thrown in the trash or littered that end up in natural areas. Plus the fee that stores charge for single-use bags will help fund recycling and sustainability efforts. Very cool! Way to go Colorado!
Still Plenty of Spring...Snow
Here's to spring! And still plenty of snow on the trail!
Word has it from the U.S. Drought Monitor Report that Colorado has had a good amount of snow this winter. I'm so grateful! Enough snow in fact, that meteorologists are saying this winter has been a "substantial improvement" over the previous few years. The healthy mountain snowpack will not only benefit nature and people here in the high country and Denver metro area, but also everyone in downstream states too. This is great news! Keep the precipitation coming in whatever form, rain or snow!
Annual Earth Day Drawing!
I'll be drawing a new name this coming Earth Day on April 22 for a free print of the winner's choice! Everyone who receives the seasonal email for Nature Notes or has signed up on my website is entered for the annual drawing. Please pass this along to friends and family who may be interested too. I'll announce this year's winner in the summer edition of Nature Notes!
Happy Spring to You!
Have you started seeing signs of spring?
Please leave a comment below! I'd love to hear from you!
With love and appreciation for the natural world, I'm inspired to share how plants and animals are connected to one another, to their ecosystem homes, and to people around the world. I bring into visual form the concept of biodiversity and the unity of all life. I hope my art helps you feel your own special connection to the land, the water, and all precious life on Earth. In our connection, lies hope. ~ Rebecca