March 2014 Newsletter
Welcome spring! After a cold, snowy Atlanta winter, early signs of spring green are a welcome sight! We have lots going on this month to celebrate, so come out of hibernation and visit the Preserve for a class, art opening or volunteer event!
Joel Conison Photography Exhibit
"Portraits of Songbirds"
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."
Knit For Nature
Fran and Judy have signed on to knit for nature and you can too! Call the office to find out how you can be part of this community art project and bring awareness to trees and the animals that depend on them.
Atlanta Audubon and The Preserve are reaching out to all of you who knit and crochet to create pieces to make a sweater for our dogwood tree at the Preserve. We hope this fun way of drawing attention to our tree will advertise the benefits of supporting habitat for trees and birds in an urban place. Can you knit 1-4 small pieces to be donated for this project? You can drop off your pieces at the Preserve or attend a piecing day when the sweater is assembled (date to be announced).
Also, there is interest in having knit in days at the Preserve during the week when you can join like minded folks, meet new friends and share a cup of Audubon coffee. Interested? Call Nancy at Blue Heron, 404-345-1008.
Butterfly Conservation In Our Backyard
Tucked away behind the office of the Blue Heron Nature Preserve is a simple little garden that is making a big contribution to butterfly conservation. As the natural habitat of butterflies is being altered and drastically reduced, gardens are needed to provide butterflies the resources they need throughout their annual cycle of reproduction and migration. Blue Heronís Butterfly Garden provides a selection of native plants that meets the needs and preferences of these beautiful insects.
Recently, Blue Heronís butterfly garden was certified as a Monarch Waystation by "Monarch Watch", a conservation program of The University of Kansas. Each fall hundreds of millions of monarchs migrate from the United States and Canada to overwintering areas in Mexico and California. This monarch migration is considered one of the world's greatest natural wonders. Blue Heron is proud to help assure the continuation of the monarch migration in North America. As a Monarch Waystation the garden must provide milkweed, other nectar plants, and shelter. For more information about this conservation effort visit www.monarchWatch.org.
There are many readily available plants which attract butterflies. Some of Blue Heronís favorites include blanket flower, joe pye weed, verbena, purple coneflowers, bee balm, rudbekia, zinnias, and of course milkweed. Consider adding some to your garden and join Blue Heron Nature Preserve in supporting butterfly conservation.
If you are interested in helping plant and maintain the BH Butterfly Garden or donating native plants to the garden, contact BH volunteer Betsy Lane @ 404-368-2155.
Are you handy with tools? Could you volunteer some time to make some minor repairs at the Preserve? We have an urgent need to have two boards replaced in our boardwalk on the Woodland loop trail.
Please call the office if you can help out:
Spring brings new life. A great example of this are the two eagles raising their young eaglet in a nest at Berry College. Thanks to the magic of cameras you can have a ringside seat to this party. Go online to berry.edu/eaglecam and enjoy!
From all of us at Blue Heron Nature Preserve!