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April 2014 Newsletter


Dear Friends,

Meet Belle our Beautiful Beaver! Melanie Furr, Education Director at AAS, was able to capture these wonderful images at dusk one day last week.

Belle is living in the bank of the pond at our building. It is possible to stop by the pond overlook near our driveway just when it is getting dark and catch a glimpse of her. Belle and her family members figure predominantly into our future water enhancement plans as we think about working with beavers instead of trapping them. How could you trap such a sweet face? Stay tuned for more beaver information!

Also, we have just installed a new wildlife camera as part of our current "Five Star Grant". The camera is capturing unbelieveable images such as otter fishing at the pond and blue heron bathing. CLICK HERE to view these very recent images. Stay tuned for more beaver and wildlife information!



Joel Conison Photography Exhibit

"Portraits of Songbirds"
March 3-May 31


This series is a continuation of the "Birds in Portrait" series except more local. Whether you live in the country, suburbia, or an  urban neighborhood, songbirds are present. We might take them for granted because they seem plentiful. Unfortunately that is not the case. Songbirds are under great stress, especially migrating birds. As with many animals their habitat is shrinking and these wonderful creatures are decreasing in many cases.

The dichotomy of changing the context of how we perceive these birds affords the viewer the chance to view them in a different way. Neutral  backgrounds allow the color, pattern and feather to be appreciated without conflict. Each portrait is then additionally treated with background lightening and darkening as if in a  studio situation. The profile orientation enables one to see each bird and the similarity of body shapes is a reminder of the songbird family, but without direct eye contact. Though the birds may be somewhat different sizes, all of them fill the frame in the same way to emphasize a common concern.

Joel Conison lives and works in Atlanta Georgia. His work has been exhibited at The McDonough Museum of Art, Rhonda Schaller Studios in NYC, Southeast Regional Exhibition, The Print Center 74th International Exhibition, as well as other local & regional venues.

"Simplicity is what I strive for when making images. Showing only what is needed and eliminating the rest. Generally, I am interested in isolating tones or colors, intentionally not creating a full toned or multi-colored image. Formal issues are always a concern. How line, form, tone and space work, and work together. Negative space becomes important also. At times scale and proportion become flexible. Without scale or proportion a questioning of the objects reality is introduced, thus its representational qualities become insufficiently factual, or abstract. I am not interested in the pictorial nature of things photographed but trying to move the representation to the suggestive."


Plan Now for Summer Camp

Summer Camp 2014 

The first week of Summer Camp is already half full! Sign up now for a place for your child in our wonderful Eco-Explorers Day Camp!

Session 1
"Living on the Land"
June 2-6, 9am-12pm
Ages 4-7 recommended
Cost $175

Session 2
"Nature Immersion"

June 30-July 2, 9am-2pm
(half day available upon request)
Ages 5-8 recommended
Cost $175

Call Maura for more information: 412-398-1101


Our dear friend and supporter Helen Branch passed away this week. Helen will always be remembered at Blue Heron for the many contributions she made on our behalf.

(Helen Morris Branch 1927-2014) 

The bright cheerful daffodils at the Pinecrest entrance were planted by Helen and always remind me of her sweetness and the joy she brought into the world. She will be missed.


Nancy Jones - Executive Director
Blue Heron Nature Preserve

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