Thank the honeybees with flowers!

Rowse_Bloggers

Thank the honeybees with flowers!


Honeybees make the yummiest, scrummiest natural fuel on the planet. To say thanks to the bees, Rowse are planting thousands of bee-friendly flowers. But they want you to get involved!Write a thank you note to the bees on their Facebook page, and they’ll plant a flower just for you, with your very own message on it. And they’ll send you a photo so you can see!That means there’ll be thousands of flowers all throughout England’s community gardens, with thank you notes to the bees from their fans.
Over the next couple of weeks they’ll be zipping all over the place, hand-writing notes, tending soil, planting flowers and snapping every one so we can send you your own photo. Then they’ll send all the flowers to community gardens. Rowse think it’s a lovely way to thank the bees for their hard work.

So come along and write a thank you note on their Facebook page!

They (and the bees) would be most grateful if you’d tell your bee-loving friends about our bee-autiful idea too. So spread the buzz!

Art for the Love of Sark

Sark

Art for the Love of Sark: Taking place in the Channel Islands, UK

Bees in Art artists Bruce Pearson and Anna Kirk Smith are taking part in an Artists for Nature project: Art for the love of Sark. The project named 'Art for the Love of Sark' will involve the artists recording all aspects of island life from its rich and unspoilt natural history to the human aspect. The artists will come from all parts of the world, from Russia and the USA to Germany, the Netherlands and the UK, and among them the award-winning President of the Society of Wildlife Artists, Harriet Mead. A full list of the participating artists can be seen at The Land Gallery News Page.

Sark: Artists for Nature: Jubilee Project

ANF

CHANNEL ISLAND OF SARK TO HOST
JUBILEE PROJECT
ARTISTS FOR NATURE FOUNDATION'S


The international non-profit organisation Artists for Nature Foundation, ANF founded in 1990 in The Netherlands, have chosen the beautiful and unique, car-free Channel Island of Sark as the location for their fifteenth project. The ANF are a unique organisation who draw the attention of policy-formulators and decision-makers to the natural world by enabling groups of influential and talented artists to capture the spirit of endangered landscapes and species in their natural habitat through art.

Since the summer of 2009, Sarkee and artist Rosanne Guille (a graduate of the Royal College of Art) has been working with the ANF, planning and fundraising for a project which will bring 15 of these “Artists for Nature' to paint, draw and sculpt in Sark for ten days from 4th May 2011.

The project named 'Art for the Love of Sark' will involve the artists recording all aspects of island life from its rich and unspoilt natural history to the human aspect. The artists will come from all parts of the world, from Russia and the USA to Germany, the Netherlands and the UK, and among them the award-winning President of the Society of Wildlife Artists, Harriet Mead. A full list of the participating artists can be seen at www.sarkpaintings.com under 'current projects blog'.

During the artists visit, from the 3rd day on, there will be daily showings of their work to the public and some of the artists will work with the children of Sark school encouraging their own interest in art and nature. As with other ANF projects around the world, it is hoped that there will be sufficient funding for a project book to be published, and a film and travelling exhibition to raise awareness of what a special and unique, though fragile island Sark still is.

Donations from the residents and businesses of Sark and Guernsey have enabled the first artists visit in May to go ahead. The artists will be staying at Stocks Hotel where rooms have been kindly donated for their stay. What better way of celebrating nature than through the eyes of some of the world's most talented contemporary artists.

Nature Blog Network

Let it Bee: Musical comedy made in 48 hours for the "48 Go Green 2011


Let it Bee
http://vimeo.com/20329503
"Musical comedy made in 48 hours for the "48 Go Green 2011"
Vote for this film and help us get to the Cannes Film Festival
11-17th of march 2011 voting deadline :
48gogreen.com/ signup_free"
Involves Jérôme DupontChristina BatmanPeter HudsonGigi Ledron and Tim Bentley.

Nature Blog Network

Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo: Jessica Oreck: Myriapod Productions

Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo

Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo: Jessica Oreck: Myriapod Productions


In this guest post, filmmaker Jessica Oreck answers a few questions about her documentary Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo. The film, which delves into the ineffable mystery of Japan's age-old love affair with insects, is currently playing in theaters around the world and will air on PBS's Independent Lens series in the U.S. in May 2011.

Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo Trailer from Myriapod Productions on Vimeo.




Where did the idea to make Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo come from?

I was helping out in a classroom where a guest speaker, a young Japanese woman, was talking about different elements of Japanese culture. She mentioned, in passing, that people in Japan love insects. I have loved insects since I was a little girl, so my interest was immediately piqued. I studied filmmaking, biology, and ecology in university, and I knew I wanted to make films about ethnobiology (the way human cultures interact with the natural world), so this was the perfect film with which to start.

Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo

I raced to start my research but there was nothing about this phenomenon in English. Reluctantly, I set the idea aside. But only two days later, my sister is sitting in an airport in Baltimore, and she and the young man sitting next to her strike up a conversation. He is a bicultural Japanese American entomologist who travels around the US giving talks about Japanese love of insects. Um, providence? During our first phone call I told Akito Kawahara that I wanted to make this movie. He said something along the lines of, “Cool. We can stay at my parents house and I’ll introduce you to all of my beetle collecting friends.” It wasn’t quite as easy as that makes it sound, but it really feels like the stars aligned for this particular project.

Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo

How did you produce this film, and what are some of the challenges you overcame in the process?

Thanks to Akito, most of our subjects were chosen far in advance. We were also a really small crew: myself (recording sound), my boyfriend, Sean Price Williams, as camera, and then my best friend Maiko Endo as translator. So the actual production was, well, a blast. But determining the structure of the narrative, that was a bit more complicated. I knew I didn’t want main characters – I was more interested in the movements of social masses. I also had no intention of a formal narrative arc. I had a mystery, and I wanted to solve it, but I wasn’t going to force it into the conventions of a ‘story.’ I wanted to move backwards through time, uncovering clues that would point to how this cultural phenomenon came into being. I started with that idea and eventually the form of a filmic spiral shaped itself in my head – one that would move three-dimensionally around the subject (insects in Japanese culture through time), while allowing the periphery (history, philosophy, religion) to inform the framing.
I did extensive research before traveling to Japan – I drafted a 20-page essay containing pieces of Japanese history and philosophy that I wanted to include in the film. As the editing process progressed I continued to refine the ‘essay,’ skimming off outer details. That shortened essay (at three and a half pages) was translated into Japanese and became the voice over. Between editing the footage and writing and editing the narration, it was a very organic process. Everything just seemed to fall into place.

In general, what kind of relationship do Japanese kids have with the insect world, and how does this compare with the relationship most American kids have?

A Japanese child’s relation to insects isn’t that different from an American’s child connection – if you catch them young enough. Most young children don’t have an innate fear of bugs (from my experience watching thousands of them pass through the butterfly vivarium at the American Museum of Natural History). It isn’t until they see the dad flinch or the mom scream that they learn disgust or fear. What’s different with Japanese children is that they are encouraged to explore the insect world.

Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo

They keep them as pets, their dads take them on insect collecting trips, and they travel halfway across the country to watch the fireflies emerge at dusk. Of course I am really generalizing – but the phenomenon is generally quite widespread. I think that an individual’s understanding of the natural world is still mostly directly absorbed through the behavior of the people he or she admires, and that that is one of the reasons why this connection to insects continues to thrive in Japanese culture.

Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo


Did the people you met think it was odd that you, an American filmmaker, were so interested in this particular aspect of Japanese culture?

Everyone seemed happy to have us, though they were often confused by why we were making this film. We got a lot of, “What? They don’t sell beetles in America?”

What can this film teach Westerners about Japanese culture and values? What do you hope will really resonate with your viewers?

Those are big questions. What I have learned from Japanese culture that I think about most often is the concept of mono no aware. Essentially, mono no aware is the appreciation of beauty that is transient. For instance, to the Japanese, cherry blossoms are the most beautiful when they are falling. But mono no aware has implications outside of this definition. It isn’t necessarily limited to beauty – it is also about focusing on each moment as it passes. It sounds hackneyed to say “appreciate the moment,” but making Beetle Queen has helped me do that (at least more often than I used to).

I hope this is something viewers take away from the film as well, but I don’t want to limit the potential influences it could have. I have seen many diverse reactions. Plenty of people have been surprised by the loss of their fear, or by newfound knowledge, or a novel appreciation of beauty in unanticipated facets of their lives. But my favorite story is of a World War II veteran who approached me after a screening of Beetle Queen. He said something to the effect of, “For fifty years I have thought of the Japanese as my enemy. And in the past hour and a half, you have changed that.”

Nature Blog Network




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