Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Mermaids & Thyme, A Mandala

 A mermaid & thyme mandala.  Soon to be NFT.

Nature Art, A Mermaid & Thyme Mandala by Kevin Songer

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Bioacoustics, Moorhen Morning in the Swamp

Pre-sunrise audio when the birds, waterfowl, alligators and frogs are waking to a light but audible drizzle. Birds include kingfisher's shrill call, herons, moorhen's eerie notes, owls, red winged blackbirds, starlings, cormorants and more.
The recorder is placed interior to a large evergreen wax myrtle shrub growing along the bank.

Interestingly the wake up process is paced.

You will hear the moorhens and other birds take flight across the pond during the thirty minute plus audio. The moorhens are the stars of the audio with their far ranging vocals (especially when they join in vocal unison as in five and a half minutes into the clip).

Twenty five and a half minutes into the video an alligator attempts a grab at one of the birds, causing a noticeable ruckus.

This audio clip is a portion of the overnight recording session along the pond's edge.

Audio capture and sharing is part of my nature-based healing therapy for my ailments and working with the audio art aspect has really expanded my appreciation of nature's complex multi-dimensionality. The visual arts have always been important to me yet I find my combining both audio and visual with a focus on each individually, has allowed me to see nature in ways I could not have previously imagined. Today nature sounds actually paint visual art in my mind. Before I sometimes just ignored the cries, calls and sounds. Now, instead of hearing a high shrill I hear and see the kingfishers as they dart speedily across the surface.
Enjoy the NFT image too, the neo-realistic Moorhen art piece featured as the audio cover.

Sony PCM in a waterproof bag with mini stereo microphones protected by good windshields.

I am so happy to be able to experience audio art along with my native plant and ecosystem art. Nature sounds are an exciting door to enter through and explore the mysteries of the cosmos.

This recording was completed with my recorder placed inside a shoreline wax myrtle (Morella cerifera). Wax myrtle is an excellent place to record nature sounds from within as the canopy and branch architecture create amazing sound wave resonance. The waxy leaves also help shield the recorder and microphones from the rain and weather while hiding the unit too. Though this audio is all about a freshwater marsh pond waking in the wee morning hours, it speaks volumes about the wax myrtle bush in which the recorder did its overnight work. What I am beginning to see as I continue my journey into nature audio is that the cosmos around me in nature are actually much more dimensionally complex than two or three dimensions.

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Bioacoustics, American Bullfrog Mating Calls

Audio of two American Bullfrogs, male and female, calling to each other just after sunset.  The male bullfrog apparently is doing most of the calling and the female occasionally answers.

Short five minute audio set in a shallow waterlily pond with gently trickling, flowing water.

My personal takeaway from the recording is the sense of 'patience' on the part of the frogs.  Their calls are measured and paused but strong and clear when made.

Sony PCM recorder with Clippy 272 microphones.

Friday, March 26, 2021

Bioacoustics, Nuthatch (Sitta spp.) Nest Feeding Time

This bird bioacoustics video is about Nuthatch, Sitta spp., feeding time in the nest. As with other newly hatched birds, the nuthatch babies are quiet until they recognize a parent, usually by the parent's call.

Here both parents are actively foraging for food and returning to the nest every minute or two, even though a storm is approaching, to feed their young. You will recognize the parent's call as they enter the nest cavity then hear the high pitch hunger squeal of the newborns.

I find it interesting that the baby nuthatches are instinctively quiet until they recognize their parent's call, and/or the shadow of the parent entering the next cavity although a response to a shadow could also be fatal as a shadow could be a predator too.

Lom MikroUsi microphones with a Sony PCM M10 and a waterproof drop bag. Microphones placed in the nest perimeter, away from babies but in the area of the parent bird's activity - hence the 'bumps'.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Dwarf Dandelion and the Lady Beetles

 Mandala fun with the native wildflower Dwarf Dandelion, Krigia virginica and native lady beetles.

Available as an unique high resolution NFT or print on aluminum plate. 16" diameter.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Florida Green Roofs and Insulation Value

 Do Florida Green Roofs provide insulation or not?  Good question.  There are several different perspectives on the topic.

One current belief is that green roofs may moderate roof temperature fluctuations, leveling out daily swings with respect to heat and cold.

Some of the data we have accumulated points to green roof soil media acting as a heat sink unless the soil is completely covered with shade from plants.

We've compiled data over the last year on how an Extensive Vegetated Roof absorbed and released solar energy (heat) over a twenty four hour cycle.

The roof under study is not insulated.  It has a tongue and groove pine deck with asphalt roll paper and asphalt shingles.  The interior was non-temperature (no heat or HVAC) controlled during the study periods.

The temperature measuring points were the exposed roof tongue and groove decking surfaces and consisted of multiple point averages.  Readings were taken with an EXTECH IR AN200 Unit.

The following illustrations depict a trend we've seen over and over.

The extensive vegetated roof systems absorb solar heat slower than asphalt roofing.  The extensive vegetated roof systems also retain the heat longer and then release the absorbed solar heat slower than asphalt roofing.

The linear trendlines for the temperature curves tell an important story also.  The ambient air temperature and the decking under the non-insulated asphalt shingle roof temperature possess more significant vertical trendline movements.

The temperature swings of the decking under the green roof are much more linear - showing a narrower range in temperature swings.

The data shown here is representative of spring, summer, autumn and winter with summer and winter having the more pronounced curves.

Importantly, we believe extensive green roofs, such as the one we are studying in this case, moderate temperature swings.

The data also points to the fact that green roofs serve as a heat sink, slowly absorbing solar heat during the daylight hours then slowly releasing the heat during the evening dark periods.

During the winter, green roofs may help by moderating cold temperatures at night by releasing heat back into the structure.  However if insulation separated the green roof from the structure then little or no heat would be recaptured unless a heat capture coil or other mechanism existed.

The inverse holds true for the summer.  During the day the green roof would moderate the solar heat gain to the structure by intercepting the solar radiation and absorbing it.  However at night, the green roof would radiate heat back into the structure, slowing the cooling process.

Again, if the roofs are insulated from the green roofs then there is no real benefit from a linear trendline perspective of sink and release.

We believe maybe this data points to the need for a method of harvesting the solar heat captured in the green roof during the day.  Potential capture processes could include water or silicon filled coils or tubes interwoven into the vegetated roof or other similar mechanical systems.

Harvesting the absorbed heat would allow for a more managed use of the solar heat resource.

We do believe that the notion of green roofs working to cool buildings should be more appropriately described as a moderating effect of absorption and slow release of solar heat.

Check out the range bars on the temperature curve chart to the left.

The green roof decking temperature has a much narrower temperature range.

Data points to the fact that green roofs absorb heat and quite a bit of it.

We always welcome your comments - feel free to email us anytime here.

Green roofs offer the potential to collect and harvest solar energy.  They may not be the cooling system we sometimes represent them to be.

Monday, March 22, 2021

Wind, Rain and Approaching Thundershower, Audio Recording Interior to a Native Azalea

 Approaching early morning thunderstorm provided an opportunity to set up recorder under a native azalea (Rhododendron spp.).

Audio available here. 

The native azalea's leaf cover is minimal, so audio from wind, rain and thunder would be significant.

Unlike the Southern Magnolia rainstorm, the native azalea does not offer much cover from the storm.

Sounds of weather events vary when recorded under different plant canopies and offer insights to how ecosystems integrate and how wildlife may respond accordingly.

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Dune Daisy, Lady Beetles and the Bee

 Dune daisy (Helianthus debilis), Native Lady Beetles and a honey bee.

Nature Art. Dune Daisy, Lady Beetles and the Bee by Kevon Songer, #NFTs

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Nature Neorealism, Big Eyed Gulf Fritillary Larvae Lunching on Dune Daisy

 Helianthus debilis (Dune daisy) is a great native wildflower for landscaping, soil stabilization, pollinator attraction and for larval host purposes.

Nature Art NFTs, Gulf Frit Larvae Lunching on Dune Daisy

Here is my 24" x 24" neorealistic Gulf Fritillary larvae art featuring a lunching on Dune Daisy's cucumber leaf shaped greenery.

Friday, March 19, 2021

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Midnight Frog Calls, Sawgrass Fringe in Wax Myrtle Thicket

Following up on my previous pre-midnight frog call recording adjacent a brackish sawgrass dominated shoreline with saltbush and wax myrtle thickets up from the water's edge, here is an hour audio clip from shortly after midnight to just after 1 AM.  

I found a couple of observations to be of interest, including;

  • the frogs seemed to be consistently louder and more vocal this night just after midnight,
  • their vocalizations occurred in regular two to three minute interval rising and falling crescendos,
  • and a number of different species were participating in the chorus.
The wax myrtle thicket provided a unique platform to record ambiance from within.  Sony recorder, LOM MikroUsi microphones, windbubbles and waterproof drop bag.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Frogs and Cypress Knees

 A little fun with tree and bull frogs debating over Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum) knee territory....20" x 24"

Tree and Bull Frog debating over cypress knee territory. Nature Art by Kevin Songer

Monday, March 15, 2021

Bioacoustics, Lagoon Winds Blow Through Shorelilne Wax Myrtle, Morella cerifera

 I posted an audio/video of lagoon night frog calls yesterday. This clip is actually the first part (late afternoon) of the frog calls clip.

I set up the recorder to capture the sound of shoreline winds blowing through the wax myrtle thicket. Wax myrtle, Morella cerifera, is one of my all time favorite native plants, providing food, fiber, habitat and medicine to animals and humans alike. On this audio you will hear the late afternoon steady coastal breeze rustling through the fragrant wax myrtle leaves.

Twenty three minutes into the recording the winds become more varied and frogs begin to call as do doves. For a varied listening experience move the video/audio indicator to half way through the timeline.

Here is the link if the YouTube video/audio does not function: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awez30KTDy0

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Bioacoustics, Frog Pond Night Calls, Brackish Lagoon, Florida Gulf Coast

 I was recently fortunate to have recorded a marvelous night of early spring frog calls along the edge of a sawgrass (Cladium spp.), saltbush (Baccharis halimifolia) and wax myrtle (Morella cerifera) lined brackish tidal ecosystem.

I'd originally set the recorder and microphones up to capture the experience of a brisk breeze blowing through a beautiful thicket of evergreen wax myrtle leaves.  

If for some reason the above YouTube link does not work, here is a link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQDpqWlSimA

 The salty gusts played the wax myrtle leaves with orchestral precision, making fine nature's melody around my ears.  The ebb and flow of wind whoosh caught my attention enough to make me think an overnight recording would prove worth the effort.

What I did not expect was what happened soon after sunset when the winds quickly settled down and the night air came alive with a night-long concert of frog calls.

I'll discuss in another post the variety of calls heard over the progressing hours of the new moon dark night into the wee hours of the morning.  This night there were calls of the Southern Leopard Frog, Green Tree Frog, Bronze Frog, Pig Frog and many more.

Honestly,  there are many times when I'd rather listen to nature's music than any human music band.

My small recording combo included a camo water resistant bag, an older Sony PCM M10 recorder, LOM mikroUsi PIP microphones, and wind bubbles.  The drop bag unit was hung over a wax myrtle branch about four feet off the ground with the microphones positioned in a quasi diurnal placement.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Bioacoustics, Plant and Human Perspectives of Bee Audio and Vibrations

 Two different bioacoustic perspectives are shared in this post.  The first is a short audio clip of bees buzzing around springtime Ilex opaca holly flowers captured with omni stereo microphones, or what us humans might hear if we stood close enough and still enough.  

The second video is made using a set of piezo microphones attached directly to the American holly flowers so as to capture the vibrations experienced by the native plant when bees fly into their open blooms, roughly foraging for nectar and pollen.

The piezo microphones in the second video are constructed with alligator clips fastened directly to the piezo disk.  This contact microphone arrangement allows for us to experience the vibrations flowing through the flowers into the plant stems.  These vibrations are more consistent with what the holly is experiencing than the first video shared above where soundwaves travelling through the are are captured by the recorder.  I always find it interesting to put myself in the place of the native plants with respect to life experiences.

Learning to examine nature from perspectives other than those normal avenues I am used to has helped me see a much more encompassing and larger picture of the world we live in.  This in turn keeps my mind 'flexible' and open to learning.

Field recording too helps heal my constant health challenges including PTSD and stress.  Field recording gets me out in nature where I breath in fresh air, get exercise and absorb vitamin D.

Both of these recordings were made with a Sony PCM.  The microphones were a pair of DIY piezo disks and then a set of Clippy 272s.  Windshields were not used on the piezos but were used on the Clippys.

It is always good to examine even the most routine of life events from other's perspectives.  Finally, nature art is amazing.

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Nature NFTs, Banded Water Snake, Sundew, Blue Eyed Grass and Xyris

 Bogs and wetlands are wonderful artistic works by Gaia, full of colors, textures, scents and life.

Nature Art and NFT, Banded Water Snake, Sundew, Xyris, Blue Eyed Grass & Sabatia

Our Geese Love to Vocalize! Florida Permaculture

 Our permaculture geese love to vocalize!!!

Alligator Springs Afternoon

 40" x 10" glicée on aluminum, neo-realistic vector, Alligator Springs lazy afternoon.

Alligator Springs Afternoon by Kevin Songer, #NFT #natureart

Bioacoustics, Rainy Morning Blue Jay Squabble

 Two minute clip of Blue Jays, Cyanocitta cristata, fussing over foraging territory with other birds and squirrels.

Sony recorder, Lom Mikro Usi, Windbubbles & a dry bag. 

Saturday, March 6, 2021

Life and the Mangrove Estuary, Nature Art by Kevin Songer

 Although I started this work five years ago I refine and add to it most times when I return to the art.  This is because of my ever evolving world view and because each day I learn more and more of the ways of nature.

Life  Beginnings in the Mangrove Swamps

The work features the bed of sea water and mangrove leaves which themselves represent an ecosystem unmatched in life biodiversity, one even home to the snapping shrimp.  The snapping shrimp though such a small creature, is one of the loudest life forms found in the ocean.

This art piece also features symbols of human thoughts about life, those from different cultures throughout the world and time. Nature Art therapy has provide an invaluable benefit to my healing from aortic dissection and kidney cancer.

This image is also one of my first few NFTs I am uploading to Rarible.

So much to see and think about in nature.

Friday, March 5, 2021

Dune Gopher Tortoise, Railroad Vines and Beach Wildflowers

 Sketch of one of my favorite dune reptiles, the Gopher Tortoise, Gopherus polyphemus.

Dune Gopher Tortoise and Railroad Vine

Working with nature, native plants and wildlife has healed many of my aortic dissection problems.  Nature art and art therapy focused on native plants and wildlife is such a great healing modality.

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Native Plant Art, Nature Art Therapy & Red Mulberry, Morus rubra

Mulberry is an outstanding native landscape plant, contributing benefit to birds, wildlife and humans alike.

Nature Art, Kevin Songer

Here is part of a torch and black gum pallet work I did featuring red mulberry along with the Eyes of Providence and more.  I see the Eyes of Providence representing all the songbirds waiting for Morus to fruit their so sweet and delicious berries.

Art therapy has become such a powerful healing tool in my health management repertoire.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Bioacoustics, Under Southern Magnolia During a Rainstorm

 Under the Southern Magnolia, Magnolia grandiflora rain drops quietly to the brown carpet of large leaves.

Above, as towering cathedral arches, branches reach out then bow downward forming a magnificent shelter from the weather.

I find the rain audio is much gentler, more soft under the magnolia than below the Yaupon holly, Ilex vomitoria I recorded beneath the other day.

Enjoy 45 minutes of a soft rain while imagining you are resting under the evergreen giant.

Sony PCM M10, Clippy 272 stereo mics & wind bubbles.

Wildflower Diversity, Gaillardia pulchella lbgqt

 Gaillardia pulchella lbgqt Gaillardia is of the most diverse of native wildflowers and I've seen so many colors, forms, shapes and sizes.

Diversity in Wildflowers, Gaillardia pulchella

Diversity in Wildflowers, Gaillardia pulchella

Here is an original Gaillardia linocut press with rainbow colors added. Will be framing soon as acrylic pigment dries. 4" x 4" Cranfield black ink press on archival paper with acrylic pigment added. Yellow & Green background represent blended totality of sun and earth.

Monday, March 1, 2021

Bioacoustics, A Brisk Wind and Spanish Moss, Tillandsia usneoides

Tillandsia usneoides is also known as Spanish Moss and is found frequently here across Florida and the South.

I placed a stereo set of Piezo microphones inside the moss during a brisk (4 or 5 m/s) wind to record vibrations of the moss rustling in the wind.

The friction or rubbing noises may be from vibrations created by the Spanish moss rubbing against the tree branches in the wind.

Seemingly, the wind audio also creates a doppler effect that the piezo mic picks up.

Native Plant Art, Block Print Archival Ink Behavior

Interesting note about Cranfield block print / linocut ink.

Native Plant Art, Gold Monotype and Black Linocut Combination

An archival quality linocut ink dries upon interaction with paper but does not dry very quickly, if at all when applied to another pigment surface. Here I did a two part artwork of the Florida native plant, saw palmetto, Serenoa repens, where the first ink layer (gold) was applied directly to the paper.

Archival Block Print Ink Dries Best When Applied to Paper

The gold ink was absorbed into the fibers and did set. The black ink however was applied over the gold, monotype layer and did not interact with the fibers. Nine months later I went to frame the piece and the black ink smudged the mat. None of this info is very dramatic, just random info on ink and drying. However, one can add a drying fluid or, as I usually do, just apply a fixative spray after a month or so of air drying.