Friday, September 25, 2015

Here is my Excitement:

North wall, Skagit Valley College Gallery; photo: Ellen Michael

South wall, Skagit Valley College; photo: Ellen Michael

This show at Skagit Valley College is currently up now through October 30, 2015.  
I am happy to be there.  

Poster for the show;
photo:  Ellen Michael

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Life of a bird.

'Indicator Species Series:  Whooping Cranes' post earrings,
1.5" diameter, sterling silver, paper, ink, watercolor, colored
pencil, mica;  Kathleen Faulkner

Whooping cranes are the tallest North American birds.  They're named after their sound, they can live up to 30 years and they are endangered.
Because of unregulated hunting and loss of habitat, at one time, there were as few as 21.  Now, thanks to conservation efforts, there is a limited recovery:  around 437 as of 2011.

Whooping cranes are an indicator species of wetland health.  

“Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children's children. Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches or its romance.”
― Theodore Roosevelt

Sunday, September 13, 2015

It's a what?

'Indicator Species Series: Mussels'  2.5" diameter, sterling
silver, paper, colored pencil, mica;  Kathleen Faulkner

'An indicator species is any biological species that defines a trait or characteristic of the environment.  For an example, a species may delineate an ecoregion or indicate an environmental condition such as a disease outbreak, pollution, species competition or climate change.  Indicator species can be among the most sensitive species in a region, and sometimes act as an early warning to monitoring biologists.'  

Here is a short list:

Mussels, clams and oysters are susceptible to toxins, pollutants and minute changes in environmental conditions.
Mosses often indicate acid soil.
The northern spotted owl indicates old growth forests.
Lichens are indicators of low air pollution.
Tubificid worms are indicators of sewage seepage. (does Victoria, Canada have an abundance of these?)
Adult frogs and toads absorb through their skin and are indicators of water pollution.
Salmon are an indicator species for wetland ecosystems
Non-Alaskan grizzly bears are indicators of mountain ecosystems, measuring the health and diversity of the ecosystem.
In the pacific northwest, the environmental health of estuaries is monitored by the indicator species of eel grass.  
Kelp is a foundation species and can be used as an indicator of other species occurring in the environment.

Maybe this is something you'll give a little thought to as you go about your day.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Did you know?

'Indicator Species Series: Illuminated Kelp'
18 - 20" chain, 2 - 2.5" diameter discs
Neckpiece, sterling silver, paper, gouache,
watercolor, glass lenses;  Kathleen Faulkner