Rivers to the Sea Exhibit Logo

Rivers to the Sea | 2020 Online Exhibit

Exhibit Coordinators: Wendy Chadbourne and Nanci Worthington

When man first started to colonize the world, one major determinant to where we established our communities was the presence of and access to water. If you look at any modern maps, you can’t help but notice that our major cities are in close proximity to water. This phenomenon is very much the same in the natural world. If you take a hike anywhere here in New England you will find an abundance of biodiversity near sources of water. 

The land is divided by rivers, streams, and creeks, each with its own watershed. A watershed is a land area that drains and channels precipitation back to the sea in a constant cycle. Each of these watersheds is unique – supporting a vast array of ecological systems. These ecological systems support a wide variety of biodiversity which changes as you travel from the upland headwaters of a river all the way to the termination into the sea.

All this biodiversity relies on the precious resource of clean water flowing past without obstructions. The watersheds provide critical life support to the animals and plants living in them, including drinking water, migration routes, nurseries, and irrigation for native plants which provide sources of food and shelter as well as prevent erosion of the land. It is a complex and interconnected web of communities upon which the actions of man can have serious and long-lasting impacts.

The members of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators New England Chapter are celebrating the biodiversity of watersheds in their chosen media, to help bring awareness to the fragile communities which rely on healthy watersheds all through New England. No matter how far you physically live from a body of water, you are having an impact on the watershed that drains into that body of water. The overall health of these fragile communities, and ultimately our own, relies on healthy watershed systems.

Please note you can click on the (Bio) link next to the artist’s name to view their bio page, clicking on the image itself will provide you with a larger view of it in Lightbox, and clicking on the “Click to read more” link will scroll out the complete write up for the illustration.

Thank you for taking the time to visit our online exhibit and be sure to share the link with your friends and family. Feel free to share this page on social media so other people may enjoy this exhibit.

EXHIBIT UPDATE!!! This exhibit will physically be on display from September 20, 2021 through January 6, 2022 at the RISCA Atrium Gallery located at One Capitol Hill, Providence, Rhode Island. Please take the time to visit the exhibit in person and enjoy these beautiful works of art.

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4 entries.
Lucy Gagliardo from Brooktondale,NY wrote on April 25, 2021 at 3:00 pm
Hello, New England Chapter! What a lovely exhibit! so happy our chapters had a joint zoom meeting today, which lead me here!
Mary Anne OMalley from Deephaven, MN wrote on February 10, 2021 at 12:17 pm
I just came across your online exhibit as I was checking the websites of the local chapters.
Thank you for making this exhibit accessible - it is wonderful to see the beautiful work of your member artists and it is so inspiring during these covid days. Thank you so much!
Nancy from Cape Cod wrote on December 19, 2020 at 4:09 pm
I am so impressed by the beautiful artwork by our incredible members! The written description is also very interesting (skunk cabbage creates its own heat?!). Such a shame we can’t have our in person show!
Thanks to all!
Wendy Chadbourne from Lakeville, MA wrote on September 7, 2020 at 12:03 pm
Checking to see that our guestbook is up and running smoothly. Feel free to post an entry if you wish.
Rivers to the Sea Exhibit Entry by Peggy Rambach

Artist: Peggy Rambach (Bio coming soon)
Title: Essex Marsh
Media: Gouache and Watercolor
Species of focus:
Marsh Goldenrod or Seaside Goldenrod
Solidago semperviren

Artists comments about their subject:
“Seaside Goldenrod is native to the Atlantic coast from Canada to Florida… Like other goldenrods, seaside goldenrod hosts a number of insect parasites that lay eggs in the plant’s living stems. As the stem dries in winter, it swells to encase the developing larvae in woody protection. This valuable food source is enormously attractive to overwintering insectivorous birds like downy woodpeckers, which can be observed far from their familiar woodland homes, hammering at the dried goldenrod stems and disturbing the peace behind the dunes, while foraging for a winter meal.”

From “Bloomer” Nov. 2016 New York Times by Dave Taft

Rivers to the Sea Exhibit Entry by Sau Mei Leung

Artist: Sau-Mei Leung (Bio coming soon)
Title: Baltimore Oriole and its hanging nest
Media: Watercolor
Species of focus:
Baltimore Oriole
Icterus galbula

Artists comments about their subject:

Baltimore Oriole can be found in stands of trees along the rivers and in backyards. My husband and I were very lucky to have a Baltimore Oriole in our backyard. Our house is located not far from the Nashua River. We often hear the Baltimore Oriole but rarely see it. But one day it landed on our deck and I was able to take a good look and a good photo. Our friends who live in Chelmsford, MA, also have a Baltimore Oriole in their yard. Every year, the Oriole builds a beautiful hanging woven, socked-like nest and incorporates the blue plastic fibers from a blue tarp our friends kept in their yard. The Baltimore oriole’s nest is built by the female only. It may take up to 15 days to build the nest. Baltimore orioles are important predators of insects, they are especially important in protecting forest trees from insect damage.

Rivers to the Sea Exhibit Entry by Albert Pointe

Artist: Albert Pointe (Bio coming soon)
Title: Cow Moose and Calf Exiting the Androscoggin River
Media: Scratchboard
Species of focus:
Alces alces

Artists comments about their subject:

Cow moose nurture their calves for close to a year, until the approaching birth of a new offspring. They often inhabit areas near wilderness waterways such as the Androscoggin River. They visit marshy wallows adjacent to roads for salt run-off, unavailable elsewhere. As herbivores, they often seek food such as underwater plants and algae. During winter they survive on foliage, bushes, twigs, and bark.

In forests and along river banks they browse on willow, aspen, birch, and maple trees. Their browsing feeding behavior keeps plant life from clogging water bodies and thins out forest undergrowth. Unfortunately, it has taken years since the passage of the 1972 Clean Water Act for rivers like the Androscoggin to recover from the pollution of paper mills and other industries. This recovery will hopefully continue since it is so necessary for the continued survival of so many wildlife species, including moose. This subject species was chosen as one of many dependent on the continued need to clean up water pollution in New England rivers.

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Rivers to the Sea exhibit entry by Melissa Guillet

Artist: Melissa Guillet (Bio)
Title: Zebra clubtail dragonfly
Media: Colored pencil
Species of focus:
Zebra clubtail dragonfly
Stylurus scudderi

Artists comments about their subject:

Clubtail dragonflies (Gomphids) get their name from the flared segments at the end of their abdomen, more noticeable in males. Another distinction is the set apart eyes in green, blue, or grey.  These 2 to 2.5-inch dragonflies also have striped bodies, helping with camouflage, and unspotted wings.

Can you imagine seeing it dart through the cattails or alighting on a lily pad? Perhaps it will find prey sneaking out from under the arrowheads or wapato. They fly early in the dragonfly season and keep low. They prefer well-oxygenated, unpolluted waterways with silt, sand, gravel, or leaf litter the ambush-predator nymphs can bury into.
Zebra Clubtails are endangered in Massachusetts. Besides pollution, habitat loss, even fast watercraft, some Gomphids are also threatened by zebra mussels, an invasive species that eats up plankton and clogs waterways.  Some Gomphid naiads have even had zebra mussels attached to their backs, blocking them from emerging when it’s time to leave the water!

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Rivers to the Sea exhibit entry by Frances Topping

Artist: Frances Topping (Bio)
Title: Come on in the water’s fine… or is it?
Media: Watercolor
Species of focus:
North American River Otter
Lontra canadensis

Artists comments about their subject:
River otters can be found in all the New England states, in most of the watersheds, riverine, marsh, lakes, swamps and coastal situations. These areas provide the water habitat they require for shelter and nursery with an underwater exit. Alternately they sometimes use other creatures’ dens or under rocks or even logs for their shelters.

Fish are their main food source but otters are opportunistic and carnivorous, amphibians, crayfish, snakes, insects and small mammals may all be food at times. Their eyes and noses close out water and sensitive whiskers allow them to search for prey in murky water. Their webbed feet make them strong swimmers. They have few natural enemies; bobcat and coyote can take them but people used to kill them for their thick, warm pelt (hide) or for sport, and because they kill fish, which fisherman wanted for themselves.

Beavers often help provide suitable habitat by ponding water and creating lodges which otters will re-use. As described above, many species are their prey. They provide balance by helping control these various species of prey. Environmental pollution, habitat loss and hunting decimated numbers but river otters are increasing due in part to more sustainable hunting practices, better wetland conservation, and pollution control thereby restoring a more balanced ecosystem.

This large member of the weasel family exhibits the fierce fighting characteristic of the species but also it is very playful, bounding and sliding down snow or mudslides and generally swimming in family groups. They are crepuscular and somewhat secretive. Look for them mostly in the early morning or evening hours to watch such a display. I chose to focus on this species because I wanted to portray the river otter’s playfulness in the water and on land.

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Rivers to the Sea exhibit entry by Jeanette Compton

Artist: Jeanette Compton (Bio)
Title: Eastern Skunk Cabbage
Media: Pen and Ink
Species of focus:
Eastern skunk cabbage
Symplocarpus foetidus

Artists comments about their subject:
Eastern skunk cabbage grows in the wet swampy soil of woodlands, often along streams. Among the first plants to bloom in very early spring, the skunk cabbage is able to generate its own heat, allowing it to push through frozen ground and snow.

During this time deer may eat its leaves, even though the plant contains crystals of a poisonous compound called oxalic acid. Bears may dig and eat the roots. Early emerging insects, including some beneficial wasps, are attracted to the pungent smell of skunk cabbage’s flowers. The leaves of the plant die by late summer and the plant goes dormant until the next spring. Leaves provide food for insects while the plant is alive and after they have begun to wither.

Skunk cabbages have been known to live for many years.  The deep root system of the plant helps provide stability in mucky, swampy areas.  Its roots help with erosion and the permeability of the soil.

I chose the Eastern skunk cabbage because the “otherworldliness” of this plant has always fascinated me.  It was so interesting to draw.

Mary Oliver, in her eponymous poem, Skunk Cabbage, says of the plant, “What blazes the trail is not necessarily pretty.”

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Rivers to the Sea Exhibit Entry by Jeanette Compton

Artist: Jeanette Compton (Bio)
Title: Bog Turtle
Media: Pen and Ink
Species of focus:
Bog Turtle
Glyptemys muhlenbergii

Artists comments about their subject:

One of North America’s smallest turtles, the bog turtle is federally listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. This is due to habitat loss and fragmentation, invasive species encroachment as well as the illegal pet trade, with habitat loss being the primary threat.

In my state of Connecticut, the bog turtle is considered endangered. Only small, isolated populations exist here now. Bog turtles rely on thick tussocks of sedges and grasses and

clumps of sphagnum moss of fens (bog-like wetlands) for nesting, which makes them especially vulnerable to changes in the landscape.

According to US Fish and Wildlife Services, “The small wetlands that support bog turtles perform important infrastructure tasks such as purifying water, recharging underground aquifers, and absorbing floodwaters.

As we continue to make changes in the land, habitats, including those of the bog turtle, suffer greatly.

I may never get to see a bog turtle in the wild, but I hope we do all we can to protect this tiny creature and its habitat.

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Rivers to the Sea Exhibit Entry by Albert Pointe

Artist: Albert Pointe (Bio coming soon)
Title: Pollution Intolerant River Organisms
Media: Ink on Matte Acetate & watercolor on illustration board
Species of focus:
Dobsonfly nymph, Stonefly & Alderfly larvae
Corydalus cornutus, Insecta plecoptera & Sialidae

Artists comments about their subject:

These pollution intolerant organisms are only found in well-oxygenated streams & rivers. They usually live in organic debris that collects on the bottom. When water becomes polluted by certain microorganisms, organic waste, or over abundant amounts of plant nutrients dobsonfly nymphs, stonefly & alderfly larvae die off.

In clean water, they eat smaller invertebrates, detritus, and other organisms and in turn are often eaten by birds, fish (especially trout & bass), frogs & turtles. When they reach maturity they go through substantial body changes such as growing wings and leave the water. Upon becoming adults they stop eating and after mating and fostering future generations, they quickly die off. If they are killed off by pollution it obviously has a detrimental effect on other water organisms and animals. Scientists and local water testing organizations, like the former Pokanoket Watershed Alliance which did routine testing in the Runnins River bordering Massachusetts & Rhode Island, routinely check rivers looking for these three pollution indicator organisms. My interest in these particular species is because I was a volunteer water testing instructor for the aforementioned group.

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Rivers to the Sea exhibit entry by Patricia Cassady

Artist: Patricia Cassady (Bio)
Title: Spring Peeper & Tussock Sedge
Media: Watercolor and ink
Species of focus:
Spring Peeper and Tussock Sedge
Pseudacris crucifer and Carex stricta

Artists comments about their subject:

These species are normally found in forest floodplain edges near the riverine system. Both the Spring Peeper and Tussock Sedge are especially found in vernal pool (temporarily flooded isolated wetland) areas. The Tussock Sedge is a wetland plant species that does well in the floodplain due to the high water table most of the year. The Spring Peeper does well at the forested floodplain edge because the vegetation provides shelter, they can find insects to eat during the night and they can lay their eggs in the vernal pool areas that are free of fish.

Food Sources for the Spring Peeper are small invertebrates such as beetles, ants, flies and spiders. Spring Peepers are a food source for large birds, snakes, and larger frogs.

Other species found in this ecosystem would be predaceous diving beetle, green frog, and mosquitoes. The predaceous diving beetles provide food for the green frogs but they eat the mosquito larvae. Predaceous diving beetles have been known to also eat spring peepers and green frogs sometimes eat spring peepers. If the spring peepers were to disappear that would be one less food source for many other species that visit or live in these riparian wetland areas. There also may be many more insects as the spring peeper wouldn’t be there to eat them.

I chose the spring peeper and tussock sedge to illustrate the relationship of each to the wetland ecosystem and to highlight the scale of the small size of the spring peeper because people usually hear them in the early spring but never can find them.

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Rivers to the Sea exhibit entry by Dorie Petrochko

Artist: Dorie Petrochko (Bio)
Title: Green Heron – Venice Rookery
Media: Oil painting
Species of focus:
Green Heron
Butorides virescens

Artists comments about their subject:

This species is found in quiet marshes and ponds throughout New England. I spotted this Green Heron while hiking on the Larkin Trail, which has a marsh, fed by the Jack’s Brook Watershed in Oxford, CT.

The Green Heron is quite secretive and camouflages well with wetland foliage. It feeds mostly on small fish and amphibians. It may be a food source for coyotes, and even some owls and hawks.

When birds with similar nesting environments and habits disappear, the ecosystem becomes out of balance and predators move in to extirpate the species.

I chose this species to illustrate because I enjoy watching the Green Heron stalk its prey. This species, like many herons, can strike a statuesque pose for hours while stealthily watching for movement in the water. It quickly strikes its prey with razor-like precision. I also love its subtle coloration of blue grays, greens, and magenta which can change significantly depending on the time of day and the lighting.

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Rivers to the Sea Exhibit Entry by Wendy Chadbourne

Artist: Wendy Chadbourne (Bio)
Title: Estuarine Community of the Diamondback Terrapin
Media: Colored pencil and PanPastel on drafting film
Species of focus:
Diamondback Terrapin
Malaclemys terrapin

Artists comments about their subject:

Diamondback terrapins are the only turtles in the United States that exclusively inhabit brackish environments such as estuaries, salt marshes, tidal creeks, coastal bays, and lagoons. They can be found all along the Eastern seaboard from Cape Cod all the way to Corpus Christi, Texas.

Brackish areas where fresh water from rivers and streams mixes with saltwater from the ocean are teeming with an abundance of animals which the terrapin prey on.  A wide variety of animals are on the terrapin’s menu – including periwinkles and other aquatic snails, fiddle crabs, blue crabs, blue mussels and ribbed mussels, clams, marine worms, aquatic insects, and small fish such as mummichogs.

Estuaries provide sheltered nursery areas for terrapin hatchlings to spend their first few years of life hiding in shallow water, mud and mats of dead grasses to avoid predators. Terrapin hatchings can be preyed upon by both terrestrial, aerial and aquatic predators. Their nests, which are dug in the sand, can be raided by raccoons, foxes and skunks. If they manage to hatch, the tiny hatchlings can fall prey to great blue herons, crows, seagulls, large fish, and sharks. Adult terrapins are most in danger when they leave the water to nest on land, as they will cross roads and frequently be hit and killed by cars. Other major threats are illegal collection for the pet trade and drowning in crab pots.

Terrapins play a key role in the estuarine environment as they keep the populations of animals that feed on the salt marsh cordgrass and burrow into the marsh banks in check, therefore protecting the overall health of the estuary.

I chose the diamondback terrapin because it is one of my favorite reptiles, with it’s uniquely white skin with black polka dots and brightly colored carapace and plastron. It was an interesting challenge to include the diamondback terrapin and some typical prey items within a cross-section of the estuarine environment and show how they all relate to one another.

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Rivers to the Sea Exhibit Entry by Carol Schwartz

Artist: Carol Schwartz (Bio coming soon)
Title: Foraging Terns
Media: Gouache
Species of focus:
Common Tern
Sterna hirundo

Artists comments about their subject:

In June and July Common Terns forage for small juvenile fish, including Herring (pictured in the illustration), White Hake, Sand Lance, and Butterfish, at the mouth of the Piscataqua River in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. They swoop and dive in noisy groups but can be seen alone, too. The river provides a more protected environment for juvenile fish to grow and a more concentrated area for the terns to find food for their chicks. The terns return with one fish at a time to their nesting colony on Seavey and White Islands in the Isles of Shoals. It takes them an hour in each direction to make the trip which they do many times a day.

The terns look for fish that are 3˝ to 4˝ long for their chicks. That is the perfect size for their small mouths to swallow. Juvenile butterfish are becoming more abundant in the Gulf of Maine so the terns bring them to their chicks. They are the right length but much wider and difficult for chicks to swallow, which makes them less than ideal. The terns look for the smallest fish, the Herring, and Black-backed Gulls, and Harbor and Grey Seals on neighboring islands look for fish a little larger.

The eggs and chicks are prey for gulls and herons. The terns are fierce protectors of their young. If the terns disappeared, gulls might take over their nesting area and diversity would be lost.

As Artist-In-Residence for the Shoals Marine Laboratory in the summer of 2021, I was paired with the Integrated Ecosystem Research and Management class, studying the ecosystem of terns, seals, and both their prey. I accompanied the class on a boat trip to watch the tern’s foraging in the Piscataqua River and to collect samples of tern prey. We also traveled to the tern colony to watch the terns feeding their chicks. I and others took many photos which I used as a reference for this illustration. In addition, to complete the story, I painted a second illustration of the terns feeding their chicks. Both illustrations were used in the final class presentation and gave a clear and accurate visual interpretation to accompany the charts and graphs.

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Rivers to the Sea exhibit entry by Nancy Minnigerode
Rivers to the Sea exhibit entry by Nancy Minnigerode

Artist: Nancy Minnigerode (Bio coming soon!)
Title: Muskrat
Media: Ink (upper) and watercolor (lower)
Species of focus:
Ondatra zibethicus

Artists comments about their subject:

I have become familiar with muskrats because I have been watching them for many years while walking around the cranberry bogs where I live. Many of the bogs have reverted to a wild condition and provide a perfect muskrat habitat: marshes, banks, and ditches. Muskrats are widely distributed throughout the wetlands of North America

Muskrats are semi-aquatic rodents that play a major role in determining wetland vegetation. They eat one-third of their weight every day; their favorite foods are the cattail and yellow water lily. They will also eat snails, mussels, salamanders, and other small aquatic animals.

They burrow into the banks of rivers and ponds to make their dens and use cattails to make feeding platforms and dens (called push-ups) in marshy areas. Their platforms and dens in turn provide nesting and resting areas for birds.

Muskrats have many predators, including mink, fox, and coyotes. They are also hunted by owls, hawks, and eagles. They are still trapped for their fur and meat. They raise multiple litters of six to eight young, called kits, each season.

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Rivers to the Sea exhibit entry by Mark Lefkowitz

Artist: Mark Lefkowitz (Bio)
Title: Vernal Awakening
Media: Digital painting
Species of focus:
Jefferson salamander
Ambystoma jeffersonianum

Artists comments about their subject:

Jefferson salamanders can be found throughout many riverine watershed areas in New England. Adult salamanders prefer spending much of the year in underground burrows: steep, rocky areas with cover. Their breeding sites are shallow, temporary woodland ponds (also known as vernal pools) with plenty of organic debris for attaching eggs. After the eggs hatch, the larvae remain in the pool until metamorphosis occurs.

Adult Jefferson salamanders feed on insects, slugs, worms, and other small aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates. Salamander larvae are found to consume small zooplankton after hatching and then move onto other organisms such as nematodes, aquatic insect larvae, insects and snails. Both adult and larval stages are a food source for crayfish, giant water bugs, snakes, birds, shrews, frogs, fish, skunks, raccoons and other small mammals.

Salamanders and other amphibians are increasingly being used as indicators of environmental health. Salamanders have also proven to be valuable tools in examining various problems in disciplines such as evolution, ecology, animal behavior, physiology, and genetics.

I chose the Jefferson salamander because I found the shape and coloration of this salamander to be quite beautiful and believed that an image depicting a salamander in a “split-screen” view, showing both the adult and breeding habitats would be both informative and visually interesting.

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Rivers to the Sea exhibit entry by Nanci Worthington

Artist: Nanci Worthington (Bio coming soon!)
Title: Bryophytes
Media: Watercolor and colored pencil
Species of focus:
Mosses, Hornworts and Liverworts

Artists comments about their subject:

Bryophytes are found everywhere, but the ones in this illustration are examples from the rich mesic forest seeps behind our house in the Berkshires. Seeps often indicate where watersheds start, fed by and feeding into tiny tributaries. This seep feeds into the Umpachene River, which feeds into the Konkapot River which feeds into the Housatonic River. None of these looks very impressive at first glance, but they play an extremely important role in water filtration. Water flows through the seeps, getting cleansed as it begins to soak up minerals needed for energy and nutrients amongst other things. These are provided by the leaf and deadwood fall, soil, fungi and other biota such as insects, animals, birds, amphibians and reptiles. Upland riverine communities like these are  pretty stable carbon sinks, reflecting a relatively clean, clear, highly oxygenated, non-polluted native systems.

Bryophytes are basically tiny habitat ecologies that assist larger ones. They are home to biofilm creatures such as algae, diatoms, fungi, bacteria and plankton, all of which are considered the base of the food chain. Bryophytes create microhabitats that act as a shelter from climate and predation for insects who lay eggs and/or spend part of their larval stages. People who fish are familiar with many of these such as mayflies, caddisflies and stoneflies. Some types of beetles, damsel and dragonflies also take advantage of the microhabitat, as do amphibians such as the rarely seen four-toed salamander.  Soil microbes, in particular, appreciate bryophytes’ ability to grow just about anywhere, often being the first growing thing to show up in disturbed areas.

Requiring very little in the way of nutrients, they grow well on rocks and other eroded landscapes, doing multiple jobs at once, as they become coming what are sometimes called early soil colonizers. Able to hold an incredible amount of water, they are seed nurseries for plants and trees. Many critters use them for camouflage, some by growing them on their backs, others by mimicry designs on their backs, others by mimicry designs on their bodies. Many birds and animals use them to line their nests.

Bryophytes tend not to be terribly nutritious, so most animals who eat them in New England are doing so to get water. Fish and other amphibians look like they are eating bryophytes but what they are really eating are the biota that lives in them, such as spiders, ants, mites and worms. Apparently, beetles and caterpillars chew on them, while bugs, aphids and mites suck out their insides. For the rest of their food sourcing, go up the food chain from phyto and zooplankton, to caddis fly, to crayfish, to salmon, to bald eagles, harbour seals, bears and humans!

Curiosity was the main driver behind choosing this species. I have lived in this forested landscape for most of my 62 years. In the past several years, bryophytes have been growing like crazy as our climate has become much wetter.  I looked it up: Massachusetts tends to run an average of 43″ of rain per year, which is quite a bit more than Seattle!

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Rivers to the Sea Exhibit Entry by Albert Pointe

Artist: Albert Pointe (Bio coming soon)
Title: Moon Jelly Stranded on the Shore of the Barrington River
Media: Multimedia
Species of focus:
Moon Jelly
Aurelia aurita

Artists comments about their subject:

The Moon Jelly is composed of more than 90% water & therefore affected by pollution. It is often found in the brackish water where rivers meet the sea as well out in the ocean. Since it lacks self mobility it relies on changing currents to carry it through areas of zooplankton, its major food source.  Abundant numbers of Moon jellies indicate an excessive amount of nutrients in the water which causes algae blooms & a subsequent reduction of certain susceptible species.

Although their translucent bodies protect them from some predators, they are often consumed by various fish, birds, and turtles. Thus, if they were to diminish substantially in numbers or entirely, aquatic species that rely on them for food would suffer as well. They are used for medical,  and other research. I choose this species because, while common, most people know little about them.

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