A Wilderness Science and Art Collaboration

Aldo & Leonardo, a partnership between Colorado Art Ranch and the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute, is a project to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act. The project is inspired by the scientific wisdom of Aldo Leopold and the artistic genius of Leonardo da Vinci. Our endeavor is an interdisciplinary collaboration of artists and scientists designed to celebrate the lands, resources and opportunities protected by the Wilderness Act. In 2013, we are hosting one-month residencies in six diverse wilderness areas. Artists will work alongside wildland research scientists and gain firsthand knowledge of the wonders, complexities and challenges of our nation's wildest places. The result will be a body of work that creatively illustrates the value of wild areas and honors the scientific efforts to preserve wilderness for the next fifty years.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Only Thing Constant is Change

By Megan Singleton

In preparation for our AMAZING upcoming opportunity at Monomoy Wildlife Refuge I spent the past weekend in the wilderness of Southern Missouri.  I had a new tent to test out and some interesting books about Monomoy and the Nature of Cape Cod, and I could not think of a better place to read than the rocky banks of what is known as Bear Creek.   Situated in the town of Lowndes,  population 13.

Each year I come to camp at Bear Creek the landscape has shifted, sometimes the difference is slight, other years quite drastic.  Spring flooding moves the land creating unique currents in the creek bends, exposing new rocks and driftwood to be discovered, and unveiling deposits of clay  found under the water.

As I hiked through the woods to get to the rocky bank of the creek I was thinking about the constitution of wilderness, and the first thing I noticed was the amazing diversity among the plants I was trekking through.  I stopped and just within arms reach I could count at least 15 different plants all harmoniously growing  together. Including the invasive but beautiful and  fragrant Honeysuckle. 

So as I sat on the rock bank this weekend sketching and reading about how the sea shapes, re-shapes, and moves barrier islands such as Monomoy  I contemplated in wilderness the only thing constant is change.  Whether it is Bear Creek or a Barrier Island, when nature is left to it’s own cyclical devices and not attempted to be controlled one thing is certain: Change. 

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