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!
Shown here is a portion of a mosaic mural by the Peekskill train station in the public park, Riverfront Green. Standing approximately 5ft high and 6ft wide , titled: An ancient mariner’s map of the Hudson River designed by Haifa for the City of Peekskill. It conveys the wealth of surrounding “wild life” at a time when numerous species of fish also filled the River.
Out of a large red ice box, Chris Letts from the Hudson River Foundation pulls out a cat fish (also known as bull heads) caught on the Hudson River by a fishermen. His young audience sits at picnic tables at Croton Point Park, mouths agape just as the fish is, some let out a gasp of fascination and delight. Mr Letts points to the tail and spreads it out, explaining how the cat fish has a slightly dipped, wide tail which basically is a sign of a slow, strong swimmer. He moves on to the “whiskers” which he mentions are called barbells. They act like sensory tongues outside of the mouth that detect food.
“For protection”, Mr Letts pulls on the dorsal fin on the back, “they have serrated spines they can lock into position”. A child whispers out loud, “Cool…”
An excited student yells out, “I will pay you for the fish so I can take it home so my mom can cook it.” Mr Letts smiles mentioning the fish is for study and not for sale.
Inspired by Picasso and the Age of Iron, Wilfredo Morel has been creating metal sculpture installations throughout the Hudson Valley since 1991. His creations range from semi-abstract images, to representational bronze sculptures and metal wall reliefs. Morel’s sculptures can be viewed at both private and public installations along the Hudson River. His sculptures are created from metals which were at one time used for functional purposes in the communities in which they are discovered, incorporating his love for community and art. Morel’s philosophy is to use art as a “vehicle of hope demonstrating the evolution of purpose in the lives of all things and beings.”
Shad; the largest of New York’s herring and at one time the most important commercial fish in the Hudson River. The Hudson was known as one of the most productive rivers of shad in North America. It’s latin name means “most delicious”. They are anadromous – born in freshwater, but live in the ocean and return to the river of origin to spawn. Today, their numbers are at he lowest point ever.
What I have done for the “Fish Tales” exhibit is to use objects that represent how I see the wetlands and food chains. Capturing childhood, food and parenting through the use of found materials from my past or belonging to me that relate. Toys, kitchen utensils, and the pantry items used, are all a part of who I am as an artist, as a mother and the inner child within.
The DEC's Logo
The Hudson River Estuary logo depicts an Atlantic sturgeon, the Hudson’s largest fish. It highlights the estuary’s critical role as habitat for valuable fish and wildlife and the need to be vigilant in protecting this natural heritage. Through a partnership involving the DEC, the New York State Department of Transportation, the New York State Thruway Authority, and the New York State Bridge Authority, the logo appears on signs where major highways cross tributaries of the estuary. It reminds travelers that these streams are intimately connected to the mainstream, and that the health of the Hudson depends on the health of its watershed.