Honored to be among the 22 artists whose works were juried into this important exhibition at ArtServe spotlights our changing environment caused by human destruction.
My piece "Disappearing Hemlock" was photographed during my Artist in Residency at Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I was so taken with the golden sun rays passing through the forest mixing with the warm scents of fall, allspice, cinnamon, and lemon. Later I learned that this beauty belies the massive destruction all around. Forests throughout the Smokies are undergoing a major ecological shift due to the die-off of millions of hemlocks caused by the hemlock woolly adelgid. This nonnative forest insect pest is believed to have come to the United States in the early 1900s from Japan, transported over by humans.
First discovered in the park in 2002, humans continue to spread the insects through firewood. Forestry experts say their loss will affect everything from stream temperatures to forest composition. Although hemlocks can live up to 600 years, a woolly adelgid can kill a tree in just three to 10 years.
24" x 36" on metal
This is the first I've heard of HWA infestation of Hemlocks. I just checked: The NY DEP has programs in place to combat the HWA with natural predators and insecticides. The hemlock is a major species of tree here in the Catskills. The trees were massively logged out around tanneries (Prattsville, Tannersville & other locations) here in the 19th century, but the young ones that were left are mature now. I'll keep my eye out when I go out on the trails. I did do the Hemlock Trail at the Mountain Top Arboretum a few days ago, a mile and back in the snow & ice. :)
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Intuitive Soul Photographer of nature, wildlife and people. Be inspired!