Posted in Absurd, animal art works, Art, art and environment, birds and birding, creativity, ecosytem, environmental art, nature photography, Ohio River, public art, recycled art, Styrofoam, tagged Art, artist at exit 0, Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest, birding, birds, blogging, Falls of the Ohio, found materials, nature, photography, plastic, polystyrene, recycled art, Styrofoam, vultures, warblers, willow trees on June 2, 2012 |
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Since my last visit to the Falls of the Ohio State Park the willow fuzz has peaked. Cottony drifts have gathered in places that offer some protection from even the slightest breeze. The way the light shines on this gossamer surface is magical! Before venturing into today’s avian adventure…a personal blogging milestone announcement as this is officially post number 300! I hear the champagne corks popping already. I had little in the way of expectations when I started this Riverblog, but I have been happy with this medium for describing my project. In the beginning, I wasn’t sure if blogging would hold my interest, but it has. I have also enjoyed the wide community that is out there and I thank everyone that has stopped by or left a comment. As regular visitors know…I’m a big bird watching fan and I enjoy the many challenges that this hobby presents me. A once in a lifetime experience can begin with a quick flash of the wings that may last just seconds. It causes me to be acutely present in the moment. Venturing down to the river I see the resident flock of Black Vultures has returned for another season. I photographed this wary pair looking for dead fish or anything else edible.
The foreground in this image is willow fluff covering the sand. I find the two vulture species that hang out at the Falls to be really interesting birds and I have posted on them many times before. There are more furtive species out here as well and I had the good luck to stumble upon a small mixed flock of warbler species. Among this group were several Magnolia Warblers and I have a few images of them. I love their coloring with their black streaks on their bright yellow breasts. Magnolia Warbler is a misnomer since they don’t seem to favor that tree in my experience. I found these warblers to be very tolerant of my presence and I was able to follow them as they moved from one willow tree to another in their search for small insects.
Warblers are tiny always on the go creatures and their many species are a highlight of the spring migration. Many of the warbler species I see are passing through our area to points mostly north of here. I came across another seldom seen bird that I hope you will enjoy. It’s called the Brown-winged Robin and it too is traveling through the heartland. I have a series of this bird too beginning with a specimen I found wading through the willow fuzz. Is this pre-nesting behavior?
Here are a few more shots of this rare bird in the environment at the Falls of the Ohio. The brown wings are diagnostic as is the bright red beak.
There are many more bird species both real and imagined that I look forward to presenting in future posts! I hope to continue to share with you the great variety of life that I find in this relatively small place as it reveals itself to me. One other announcement for folks in my immediate area. I will be presenting my project at the Pecha Kucha event at the Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest in Clermont, Kentucky the evening of June 5. This will be an outdoor event and coincides with the transit of Venus occurring on that night. Essentially, this slide show presentation form I believe began in architectural circles and speakers have 20 slides at 20 seconds a piece to present a topic. It goes by fast so you need to be pithy which can be a challenge! If you are interested in more information just click on my Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest link in my blogroll. I hope to see some of you out there and thanks again to all who have checked out the Artist at Exit 0 Riverblog over the years! Now for more willow fuzz!
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Posted in Absurd, Art, art and environment, creativity, environmental art, public art, recycled art, sculpture, tagged Art, art in progress, artist at exit 0, Falls of the Ohio, found materials sculpture, nature, photography, polystyrene, public art, recycled art, Styrofoam on February 27, 2012 |
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On an absolutely beautiful day I recorded these images of my latest found materials sculpture made at the Falls of the Ohio. The morning started briskly, but warmed up enough that I felt comfortable taking my jacket off! Around here, we were wondering if winter would ever arrive and now that it’s late February…we are beginning to have our doubts. Without question, this has been the warmest winter I can recall around here. At first, I had the park to myself and I began my day scrounging the river bank for materials. After a couple of hours, I had enough river polished polystyrene assembled at one area that my latest outdoor studio was born. As long as the river doesn’t swamp this spot anytime soon…I should have enough materials to keep me busy for a while. Here is my first image of my latest Falls of the Ohio atelier.
It’s mostly Styrofoam chunks in various sizes, but you can see other stuff as well. I found an interesting sign written in black marker that looks to be quoting the price of various scrap metals. The sign is so crudely made that I wondered if some backyard entrepreneur was collecting aluminum and copper for later resale to a salvage yard? That makes it a true sign of the times as metal of all varieties becomes increasingly valuable. I also have a section of fire hose I salvaged. It’s canvas-covered rubber and it’s just the right kind of thing that one of my stone carving friends could use. When a particularly heavy piece of stone is moved, pieces of fire hose are used to protect both the stone and the ropes from abrasion as the stone is lifted by crane. I found an especially long length of fire hose after the big driftwood fire of the early summer. That fire must have caught the fire fighters by surprise because I can’t imagine why such a large length of perfectly good hose would be cut and abandoned? I also found a Styrofoam life ring and various odds and ends I may use when I make my own brand of sculpture. The following are images that show the progression of this day’s figure as it came into being. First, I started with a large section of lightweight material that I heard one old-timer call fiberglass? I’m not sure that it’s made of that, but it definitely is not polystyrene. I hammered some legs into it with a board and set it upright. I’ll let a few of the photos speak for themselves as the figure comes together.
The head is made of various found plastic fragments. The head crest is composed of a half of a frisbee and the hard bristles of a large push broom. The ears are the bottoms of aluminum cans which suggest ear spools. Here is a detail of the head.
He’s a handsome guy in a Mayan sort of way isn’t he? After assembly, I reposed the figure at different places near my studio and ran into some new friends. This is Annie and James who were at the Falls enjoying a little photography of their own. They had seen my work out here before and now they have a name and face to go with the artist.
After a nice visit with the couple, I reposed my piece to face the river and took these parting images while soaking up all the fresh air and light.
I’ll be curious to see how this figure survives until my next visit. Should he disappear…I’m not too worried. I have more materials at my outdoor studio and more arriving daily including a couple of huge Styrofoam chunks too heavy to move! Here’s one photo of what must have been a section of a boat dock. See you next time around from the Falls of the Ohio.
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