Archive | September 2016

Getting artsy with Snapshot Wisconsin

Thanks to all who helped classify photos for Season 2 of Snapshot Wisconsin! The season is now complete, with 39,885 photo triggers retired in 61 days. If you’re looking for ways to avoid the between-season blues while we prep for Season 3, how about getting in touch with your inner artist or poet? Read on for inspiration…


From its beginning, the Snapshot Wisconsin project was conceived as a way to benefit wildlife management and advance science, while encouraging the general public to become more engaged with the natural world. Its connections to art, on the other hand, were not readily apparent, but we’ve been overjoyed that these connections have arisen naturally. Two recent examples:

Example One.  Snapshot Wisconsin scientist Jen Stenglein was recently invited to talk at the James Watrous Gallery, surrounded by Valerie Mangion’s paintings inspired by trail camera images from her Wisconsin farm. Mangion says she hopes that “the animals featured in Night Vision come across as the individuals they are, not as stand-ins for, or as symbols of, an entire species or the attributes we humans assign to them.” Check out more info on Valerie and see some of her paintings from her Night Vision exhibit here.

Valerie Mangion at the opening of “Night Vision” in July. Photo: Wisconsin Academy of Arts, Letters and Sciences.

Valerie Mangion at the opening of “Night Vision” in July. Photo: Wisconsin Academy of Arts, Letters and Sciences.

Wildlife researchers often think of the animals in trail camera photos as data points that, when taken together, reveal trends and patterns of general populations. It is incredibly refreshing and important to realize another perspective, that each individual animal has a personality that is deserving of a painting, poem or song. This is something many of our Zooniverse volunteers understand intuitively, but has taken awhile for the researchers to catch on!

It is totally normal to bring a tree to an art gallery to demonstrate trail camera usage, right? Photo: Wisconsin Academy of Arts, Letters and Sciences.

It is totally normal to bring a tree stump to an art gallery to demonstrate trail camera setup, right? Photo: Wisconsin Academy of Arts, Letters and Sciences.

Example Two. Maine-based nature aficionada and Zooniverse volunteer extraordinaire gardenmaeve wrote a lovely poem inspired by a Snapshot Wisconsin image of a deer at daybreak (Subject #299116), and has graciously agreed to share. Thank you gardenmaeve!

Sunrise Doe
Awake in the wee hours, now rosy with sunrise,
She gulps earthy breaths of the sweet Jackson air.
Replete with cold twig tips, with old stems, with new greens,
She lingers in sunrise. The morning is fair.
With scarcely seen mist rising faster than sunrise
She mouths every scent like a well-savored cud.
A crow calls up morning, then hushes in dawn-lift
Brief peace for the doe as she seeks tender buds.
© gardenmaeve

Do you have a poem to share, inspired by nature or a particular Snapshot Wisconsin image? Share it in the poetry thread!

Deer at sunrise

Animal Selfies!

Surprised  Doe – Jackson County, WI
Selfies are ubiquitous across social media and now the animals of Snapshot Wisconsin are getting in on the action.  Even though our trail cameras don’t make noise when they are triggered a lot of animals seem to become aware of the cameras.  These pics are usually pretty amusing when we come across them.  They also make good examples to use in social media posts so if you see a selfie when you are classifying please use #selfie when sharing it on the talk board.  Below are some more examples from trail cameras deployed in the elk camera grids.  We also have a Pinterest Board for Snapshot Wisconsin.  We plan to update the board seasonally so if you find a good picture tag it with the appropriate season when posting it to the talk boards so that it can be easily found to post to Pinterest.

Stealthy Raccoon – Clam Lake, WI


Antler bumps – Jackson County, WI


What are you looking at?  Turkey – Ashland County, WI


Fawn – Clam Lake, WI


Fly By Selfie – Tree Swallow – Jackson County, WI


Spring time buck – Jackson County, WI


Summer time selfie – Fawn, Jackson County, WI


Elk Calf Selfie – Sawyer County, WI


Doe Selfie – Jackson County, WI


Wolf Selfie – Sawyer County, WI