S.A.Harris

Thoughts on Nature, Architecture & Planning

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The honeycomb from our bee removal today. These guys were supported by about 15-20,000 friends of theirs, which are now being safely relocated to a bee yard out in rural Louisiana…glad I was able to find someone to save them instead of just kill them. There were a few casualties, about 3-400 perished in the removal when a block of comb fell to the floor.

This is depressing…maybe we can do something about it.

(Source: fuckyeahenvironmentalism)

After work today, I found this poor guy dead on my back porch. Looks like this male wood burrowing bee finally fulfilled his defender duties.

We often forget that WE ARE NATURE. Nature is not something separate from us. So when we say that we have lost our connection to nature, we’ve lost our connection to ourselves.

Andy Goldsworthy, British environmentalist/artist (via selenemooneffe)

Undeniably true. 

(via asapscience)

This little fella was traversing my parents yard today. This was pretty shocking considering it is over 90 degrees today and there is no standing water for at least half a mile.

Sketchbooks

In preparation for starting graduate school in the fall, I have been trying to narrow down the brand of sketchbooks I want to stock up on. It is a tough decision, considering I hope to use the same brands/styles for 3 years.

I have always been a fan of Moleskine books, especially their pocket-size planners and watercolor books. During the last few months I have become fascinated by their “folio” series books and I am considering the option of a pairing of A4 sized folio sketchbooks and watercolor books. The sketch ones for general pencil/colored pencil sketching (and notes) and the watercolor for ink and watercolor work.

Of course my other choice is Stillman and Birn sketchbooks with either Epsilon or Zeta paper. This solution would allow me to use one type/size for everything…however the page count is a bit lower for a similar size/price. This would mean purchasing a higher quantity. I do love S&B papers though..can not speak highly enough of this company.

Still weighing the options, but I will have to make a decision soon.

UPDATE: AN UNKNOWN OPTION
I came across a company yesterday that produces a sketchbook series for designers which seemed like they were worth a try. The company is Cottonwood Arts. They seem to be supplying the ranks of concept designers, animators and video game art folks. As I am entering a field of design, which is more about communicating ideas through drawing (80% of the time), I thought I should really give them a shot. I ordered 2 sketchbooks from them yesterday, a  D1 (8.25” x 11.5”) and a D3 (5” x 8.25”).

UPDATE: MEDIA CHOICE
I have realized that for my chosen field it will be appropriate to find a sketchbook which works well with pencils and pen primarily with markers and colored pencils as secondary options. As my primary drawing tools will more than likely be my lead holders/mechanical pencils, Copic Multiliners and Neutral Black Sketch Markers, I feel that a lighter weight paper could work, and I am not so worried about using wet media. I will probably keep using Stillman and Birn Zeta series for watercolors since it has worked so far for me….

This is a specimen caught in our master bedroom yesterday morning. It seems that honeybees have started a hive in our wall. We are having someone come and remove them humanely next week. They will be relocated to a more rural locale, intact including the queen. More photos forthcoming once the process starts.

This seems like good advice.

Ishmael - Daniel Quinn (2)

I finished the book this weekend. While I still feel that it is a book that everyone should read, that would be to provoke thought along these lines. While the dialogue is tight, the story is hard to put down and ideas are interesting…..the building of his case (theory?) rests on a semi-solid set of assumptions.

I do see that there is a cultural story being enacted by the “West” which does resemble Quinn’s “Taker Culture,” however, I feel like the way this is presented gives a false depiction of a unified cultural ideal spreading since the time of 4500 BC (1100 BC?) I agree that agriculture in its modern form - IE factory farms and single-species farms - do create ecological damage and other issues….I also know that the idea of personal property has been far more detrimental to the Earth than any garden or farm could ever be.

In short, I am glad that I read it. I think it presented some ideas that were very good, but argued in a flimsy manner in places, often without understanding a field completely or a totality of the web of complexity involved in our culture since early man. I still would recommend that everyone read it though….

PS - yes, I am one of those people whom see no future in infinite expansion/growth, so I may have already been convinced in some ways about some of the things he says - just with better sources, with better evidence and a slightly better understanding of ecology.

Ishmael - Daniel Quinn

For years (at least 8), my friends have been recommending that I read Daniel Quinn’s Ishmael. I always had multiple other books going and could never “find time” to slip it into the stack. This weekend I was at the bookstore and happened to see a copy mixed in with some Buddhist books I was perusing. I figured that I might as well read it now before I get inundated with school texts in a couple months.

So, I read 122 pages in a very short time…this is saying something considering it was a holiday and we spent most of the day exposing our daughter to new things, like a swimming pool and riding in the bike trailer we recently acquired. I could not put this book down until I had to go to bed…

I would say that I have finished the first piece of the story and see where this is going. It is wonderfully written. I believe anyone whom feels like we are (as a culture) doing something wrong, or if you are a fan of writers like Paul Shepard then you need to read this book.

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