Thursday, February 23, 2017

Nerdy Birdy Time

Not much adverturing in my life lately, unless you count the downhill ski adventures at Alta. President's Day Weekend was a small exception, as after 3 days in a row of skiing... and the reminder that I'm out of shape... day 3 my legs could really feel it, we headed up north to the hot springs.

Since we were way up there we decided to check out the 'Happy Place' - Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge. We did not get to see much, as the road was closed a few miles off of the highway due to flooding. There are spots along the road with signs say not to cross when flooded, but in all the years I've been visiting the refuge there has never been water anywhere near those spots, though when I first moved to Utah in the '80s the refuge had flooded so badly for so long the visitor center had to be relocated to it's current location. This may be the year where we are finally leaving the drought behind, maybe the Great Salt Lake will begin to fill again but hopefully not so much that the refuge becomes inaccessible to us bird nerds. A local birder/photographer documented the current flooding on his blog it is strange to see places normally high and dry so waterlogged.

But even without getting out the auto loop, we had a nice birdy moment watching a large flock of murmurating blackbirds. It is so fascinating to watch so many birds fly in such a synchronous manner.

Friday, February 03, 2017

Every series has a story...

Inspiration often comes from strange places, you never know what may inspire your artwork, or where it will take you. I've been thinking that I should start keeping better track of the things that inspire some of my creative directions. I think I'll start with my latest new series and technique... The Bullet Project. I love to adventure, explore nature, and find interesting and off beat places. Lucky for me I have a like minded friend and we frequently head off on the road less traveled to see what we can find, do a lot of birding, and photography, and sometimes get creative inspiration

Kelton's graveyard

An adventure this summer took us to the ghost town of Kelton, in the middle of nowhere northwest of the Great Salt Lake. While exploring the area we found ourselves driving down the little dirt road that is is the Transcontinental Railroad National Back Country Byway. As we drove we kept noticing dead rabbits, and wondered how so many rabbits could possibly be get hit by trucks in this very remote, traffic-less location.

A stop at the remnants of an old railroad trestle answered the question. The ground was littered with bullet casings, and we realized the bunnies were not victims of vehicular homicide, but met their end at the hands of yahoos with guns.

An old Transcontinental Railroad Trestle

Bullet trash

We were quite saddened by this, and we decided a challenge was in order. We gathered the bullet casings, and challenged each other to create something beautiful out of something we found ugly; the destruction of wildlife and littering of a beautiful spot.

I call our challenge the Bullet Project, and after much playing and experimentation with various chemical and electro-etching techniques, here are a bunch of my results!