Tuesday, July 19, 2016

In Full Gear!

I've been on the go since my last post! Last week at Kent Lake, Rebecca Williams (from MPR's The Environment Report) and I went out in kayaks to photograph the shadow of American Lotus, my first aquatic plant. I've decided that it's my favorite Michigan plant. It sticks up about a foot and a half out of the water and it's absolutely beautiful. I wish I could have taken a good photo to really do it justice, but I could neither change the aperture nor the zoom once I got my camera into its waterproof case. I did, however, get some good shadow images thanks to Rebecca. She held the white board while interviewing me for a segment on her program. I'm so proud of us both for keeping our kayaks upright and not losing any camera/audio equipment to the water! The story will air late July/early August.


 Photo credit: Rebecca Williams, Michigan Public Radio

I've also been busy photographing the shadows of more endangered/threatened plant species: Michigan monkey flower (Mimulus michiganensis) near Sleeping Bear Dunes, Prairie white-fringed orchid (Platanthera leucophaea) at a Michigan Nature Association sanctuary, and two plants at the Matthaei Botanical Gardens - Hairy wild petunia (Ruellia humilis) and Lake Huron tansy (Tanacetum huronense). Special thanks to Laura Mueller, Katie Grzesiak, and Rachel Maranto for helping to make this possible.

prairie white-fringed orchid

Back at home, I've been processing the invasive plants I collected during my Artist in Residency at MSU's Kellogg Biological Station: Oriental bittersweet, Japanese knotweed, spotted knapweed, purple loosestrife, and narrow-leaf cattail. I've never made paper from these plants before, so it's one big experiment. I'll post an update on the outcome soon.

spotted knapweed