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