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Bud Out On A Bluebird Day

The idea of capturing a “snapshot” of twigs in their bud-out stage of trees on the Plymouth State University Campus was inspired by Jo Bradford, a photographic artist.  April is a great time to capture the buds on the twigs before the leaves appear. Bradford made a collage of twigs, Cyanotype Photograms, as she calls them, of the same species at two different time periods in their stage of development; she did not record the exact date as far as I know, only the year, Jo Bradford. Before seeing her work, I already had in mind I wanted to use art to raise awareness about the informal arboretum we have on the Plymouth State University campus in Plymouth, New Hampshire.  We have 106 different species of trees catalogued.  My collection of twigs was “harvested” on Wednesday, April 21st, 2021; recording the date is important as my art could be considered a type of citizen science environmental monitoring of climate change. One take away from this collection is that twigs and buds from different trees are all very different.

The species in my collage are a mix of native and non-native, exotic ornamentals: 1) Eastern redbud, 2) Four-winged silver bell, 3) European beech, 4) Service Berry, 5) Amur Maackia, and 6) Maple paperbark.  The simplicity of the prints appeals to me as does the phenology scientific study aspect of the collection. I can collect the same buds from the trees and make prints year after year to determine if bud-out is happening earlier as a sign of climate change. I like having an art project that will extend over many years and that can have scientific value.

Other examples of my prints- cyano or lino, that communicate science through art can be viewed at: https://maryannmcgarry.plymouthcreate.net

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