By utilizing the I10 Framework, I was able to identify that my microcosm or f/64 window into the world would be the .33 acre piece of land that we own in Connecticut. So what exactly are my plans? Well, I have decided to commit to my “Walden” experiment for at least the next year. For the artistic part of my experiment, I will see if I can create a body work that is inspired by the narrow focus of just our little parcel of land. These new works may include poems, sculptures and perhaps other forms of artistic expression that I cannot even imagine right now. A simple step that I have already taken is that of establishing an Instagram account where I am posting photos taken on or from our property. Click on the Instagram emoji to see what has already been posted.
The stewardship aspect of my year of exploration will begin with the process of identifying the various small ecosystems exist on our property, which range from dry, full sun areas to shaded riparian buffer areas at the edge of the lake. Part of this process will include documenting existing beneficial and invasive plants. My goal is to remove invasive plants and replace them with plants that are native, organically grown and that will support and expand local insect and wildlife populations. Last fall, I began saving seeds from the milkweed plants on our property and this spring I hope to successfully germinate 3 varieties of milkweed. These seedlings will be added to our property and shared with others. I hope to increase the number of plants that I successfully collect seed from over the course of this year.
I have also started participating in a citizen scientist project that involves measuring precipitation. CoCoRaHS is an acronym for the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network. CoCoRaHS is a unique, non-profit, community-based network of volunteers of all ages and backgrounds working together to measure and map precipitation (rain, hail and snow). By using low-cost measurement tools, stressing training and education, and utilizing an interactive Web-site, their aim is to provide the highest quality data for natural resource, education and research applications. The data collected will help provide important information about changing weather patterns. Currently, volunteers exist in all fifty states. If you would like to learn more about CoCoRaHS and perhaps even become a volunteer, click their logo.