This past weekend R.A.R.E. spent some time with Sarah from the D.E.P. (Department of Environmental Protection) at the ArtsWestchester gallery. She generously gave up her time to host a cool workshop on Saturday.
We participated in having our 11 inch live eel friend pose for us while Sarah talked about Hudson River eels. A young visitor nick named our fish friend, “Slippery”.
Something new I learned about eels; though they may travel 1500 miles one way from the Sargasso Sea to their N.Y. home it turns out they are not the greatest travelers in terms of mileage compared to others. Mainly because they like the Hudson River too much and choose to grow and live here before it’s time to make the journey back!
These two environmental scientists are both heroes of the week for the work they do in studying one of our well travelled Hudson River neighbor: the Eel! A little information about the eel (and I may have mentioned this before but I find it so fascinating); they spawn in the Sargasso Sea where the Bermuda Triangle is located and swim to our estuaries to live. The species is in decline and no one is exactly sure why.
About the eel project: teams of scientists, students, and community volunteers collect the glass eels using net and trap devices on several Hudson River tributaries each spring. The juvenile fish are counted, weighed, and released alive, and other environmental data is recorded. For more information: http://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/49580.html
*Next week, Saturday August 4th Sarah will be presenting at the ArtsWestchester gallery in White Plains from 1pm – 3pm. She just may be bringing one of our long slippery friends!
The blue crab’s Latin name, Callinectes sapidus, means “beautiful savory swimmer”. The blue crab is one of the largest crustaceans. It has five pairs of legs. The first pair are claws modified for eating and defense and the last pair are modified for use as swimming paddles.
Blue crabs overwinter in high salinity waters near the mouths of major freshwater inputs and bays. As water temperature warms and salinity increases, crabs move upstream into freshwater to mate. After mating occurs, female crabs return to higher salinity waters to release their eggs. The Hudson River has a robust blue crab population
Take a wild snapshot on a guided tour at Constitution Marsh with Eric Lind. Constitution Marsh is a 270-acre tidal marsh located opposite West Point. The marsh is home to more than 100 bird species, over 40 fish and countless other creatures. The marsh developed approximately 5,000 years ago.
Address: 127 Warren’s Landing Rd., Garrison, NY 10524. Website: http://www. constitutionmarsh.org/
Eric is responsible for all aspects of planning, developing, operating and managing Constitution Marsh. Prior to this position, Eric was the Assistant Manager and Education Director at the sanctuary, where he has worked since 1993. A life-long resident of the Hudson River Valley, he has a deep personal connection to the Hudson River and its wild inhabitants. Eric is an accomplished wildlife photographer and his work frequently decorates Audubon New York publications.
In spring, the local male stickleback can be seen building a nest made of twigs, plant debris and mucus. Once complete, he flashes his bright red belly and vibrates his blue-green tail in hopes of attracting a female. To complete the dance he presents to her his home-made nest. If interested she may enter to lay her eggs. This process may occur more then once with other females. Her role complete, she is chased out by the male who swims through the nest to fertilize the eggs. He then stands guard, occasionally fanning the oxygen filled water with his fins. When hatched, for the first few days of their lives, the father defends them. He goes as far as gathering the little wanderers in his mouth and spits them back into their nursery until they are ready to be off on their own.
*sketch by Borren Hui
Passionate, enthusiastic, talented and intelligent are the first words that come to mind at my first meeting with the young artist. Isr’a’s love for the environment and creativity will be exhibited in Fish Tales Around Westchester. She has generously given her time, efforts and positive energy to build “special show pieces”. In honoring this “gift” R.A.R.E. has adopted Isr’a as our first R.A.R.E. Young Artist and recognized her with an honorarium. We are proud and thrilled to have her on board our team and look forward to exhibiting her artistic abilities next week!
Thank you Isr’a, for strengthening the show and for your participation.
We’ve lost track of what day it is at this point and our aches and pains are numb. Installation has been slow going and we have encountered a lot of challenges and set backs that were unexpected. Along side our Fish Tale artists we continue to shape and mold the show, our hard hats on, our paint brushes in one hand, a hammer in the other and a weary smile. We are well on our way to the “Best Fish show in Town”. See you there!
The absolute beauty of this project is that it reacquainted me with an old friend. I’ve lived within a few miles of the Hudson my entire life. It’s always been there whether or not I took any notice of it. Not until I spent time away did I realize how greatly I was tied to it, how much I’d taken it for granted. There is more to life on a river than commerce and industry. It is healing, regenerative, and flowing. Each step through this project—as the process directed me to all things foreign, all things alien—I found that I was discovering the Hudson anew. What is the Hudson without the precious devils heads? What is the Hudson without the people who live along it? How does one affect the other and what is given in return? Can man really change life, or does life take over with man’s altered states?