April has been a very busy month. The trees broke out in a riot of blossoms that had local folks scramblng in amazement and bowing in gratitude after our several years of drought. During the previous winter months I had been working on a series of six paintings titled "Pollinators, Pollen and Plants" that depict the bodies of bees and butterflies at very close range, i.e. as seen through scanning electron microscopes. The paintings were created under a grant from the Haines & Friends Fund (see The Daily Tidings), then reproduced on a waterproof substrate called Sintra with inks that are "UV cooked" so as not to fade in the sunlight. These reproductions were framed and installed in the orchard at The Farm at SOU (Southern Oregon University), then wrapped up in paper and black plastic just in time to be unveiled on Arbor Day (April 22) and celebrated on Earth Day (April 23).
On Arbor Day itself, we were visited by light rain and a group of fourth graders and their teachers from a nearby elementary school, notebooks titled "Science" in hand, who helped perform the unveiling.
I hear that the bees in the apiary are pleased to find themselves honored by the paintings. In a few more years, all the saplings on either side of the panels will become a mature orchard, providing fruit and shade and home to more pollinators.
In my next blog will, I will show all six paintings up close.