Fall Art Exhibit Celebrates Nature’s Influence on Art

 Artist Dorie Petrochko, pictured left in costume, chats with
fellow artist Frances Topping as other attendees admire the
               many works of art featured in the show.

Highstead’s 2014 Fall Art Exhibit kicked off with a well attended opening Sept. 7, which featured several works of art from the Greater New York Chapter of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators.

The exhibit, titled “Echoes: An Homage to Plants and Animals in Art,” showcased the strong influence of natural flora and fauna on art throughout human history.

Several featured artists participated in an artists’ discussion, describing their pieces to the audience. Artist Dorie Petrochko, whose piece titled “Cypress Vigil” addresses the mass hunting of birds for women’s hats in the 1800s, performed a skit with fellow artist Judy Aronow highlighting the subject of her work.

Rhodora Publishes Highstead Mountain Laurel Study


A new study co-authored by Highstead Ecologist Ed Faison looks at the factors behind a decline in Kalmia latifolia in parts of southern New England. The research was conducted over four years at Highstead and measured the influence of deer browsing, canopy cover, and landscape position on the success of mountain laurel sprouting. The study, titled, “To sprout or not to sprout: Multiple factors determine the vigor of Kalmia latifolia (Ericaceae) in southwestern Connecticut,” was published in the April 2014 issue of the journal Rhodora. David Foster, president of the Highstead board, and Peter Del Tredici, Highstead board member, were co-authors.

Highstead Ecologist Featured in Connecticut Woodlands Magazine

The summer 2014 issue of Connecticut Woodlands magazine features an article by Highstead Ecologist Ed Faison, which details how forests have changed since Connecticut’s settlement three centuries ago. Analyzing witness tree data and pollen from wetland sediments offers insight into the types and abundance of trees present throughout the region’s history.

In addition to looking back in time, the article also looks forward, posing the question of what Connecticut’s forests will look like in the future. As noted in the article, development, carbon dioxide emissions and the amount of forest cover will largely shape the forests of the future.

Frederic Church's romantic rendering of the Southern New England landscape in the 1630s

New Stewardship Science Manual Completed

The Wildlands and Woodlands Stewardship Science: Manual For Long-Term Forest Monitoring was released last month and aims to help groups and individuals who own conserved land monitor their forests.

While most existing forest monitoring programs are designed to be used by trained forestry and ecology professionals, Stewardship Science -- authored by Highstead ecologist, Ed Faison and collaborators from the Harvard Forest, Brandeis University, and the University of Maine -- can be used by landowners, land trusts, conservation commissions, and academic institutions. Long-term monitoring helps participants gain a better understanding of their land and make more informed land-use and management decisions.

Read the full manual here. Find more information about Stewardship Science here and more infomation about Wildlands and Woodlands here.