Fragments: Bonneville Dam

These paintings represent various pieces of the environment at Bonneville Dam. In my exploration I have looked at this place from different perspectives, both literal and figurative. It is a complex and diverse ecosystem full of examples of human intervention. 

 Taylor's Checkerspot Butterfly, detail, oil over acrylic,

Taylor's Checkerspot Butterfly, detail, oil over acrylic,

  Endangered native Columbia River Gorge species. 

http://orbic.pdx.edu/documents/2013-rte-book.pdf

 Blue Green Algae, oil over acrylic

Blue Green Algae, oil over acrylic

Can sometimes be toxic to humans and animals. Proliferates in warm, stagnant waters. Occurs along shores of the Columbia River in summer. 

 Aerial Marker Ball No. 1, oil over acrylic

Aerial Marker Ball No. 1, oil over acrylic

These balls hover over the Columbia River, transecting the sky on either side of the dam to warn aircraft of the power lines. 

 Lichen and Moss, oil over acrylic  

Lichen and Moss, oil over acrylic  

Plentiful lichen and moss are indicators of the air quality in the environment. 

 Garlic Mustard, oil over acrylic  

Garlic Mustard, oil over acrylic  

Garlic mustard is one of the most invasive weeds in the Columbia Gorge region. It not only overwhelms native wild flowers, small trees and plants, it also poisons the soil for other plants. (Worst weeds of the gorge, Cape Horn Conservancy)

 Lamprey Eel Up Close

Lamprey Eel Up Close

Population in decline, native fish in Columbia River. This fish is also important to tribes along the river.

http://www.fws.gov/oregonfwo/articles.cfm?id=149489457

 Spill Way

Spill Way

The spill way creates a churning volume of water. The dam itself keeps many fish from moving up River, even with fish ladders. The deepening in places has dramatically changed the ecosystem for fish. 

http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2014/06/salmon_munching_sea_lions_at_b.html

 European Starling Wing

European Starling Wing

Invasive bird that, though tough and intelligent, is a threat to native bird populations. Starlings lay their eggs in the nests of other birds and when they hatch, the larger starling chick eats more than its share and causes the other chicks to starve. 

 Rubber in the river, oil over acrylic  

Rubber in the river, oil over acrylic  

 Prohibition  

Prohibition  

 Columbia River Red Legged Frog

Columbia River Red Legged Frog

Endangered

 Lupine  

Lupine  

Native Northwest wildflower  

 Good Fella

Good Fella

Beneficial insect, ladybug

 Balsam Root

Balsam Root

Native Northwest wdflower

 Blanket

Blanket

Paved roads surround the dam, allowing humans access by vehicle.  Paved surfaces also increase heat and don't allow water to percolate. Paving also causes toxic substances to run into watersheds after rain.

http://blogs.ei.columbia.edu/2010/07/13/no-more-pavement-the-problem-of-impervious-surfaces/

 The deep

The deep

The Columbia River is a diverse and complex ecosystem, full of microscopic life and harmful chemicals. It is one of the most polluted rivers in the US.

 Sockeye Survival

Sockeye Survival

Sockeye Salmon are suffering from warming water temperatures. Diseases flourish in warm water. 

 Pacific Tree Frog

Pacific Tree Frog

Endangered: http://wdfw.wa.gov/living/frogs.html

 Buffet

Buffet

Sea lions travel up River to feast on the bounty of salmon trying to reach their spawning grounds.  

 Osprey

Osprey

Many birds of prey nest along the river. 

 Power

Power

The Bonneville Dam produces apx 5 billion kwh of electricity for the region and California. 

 Douglas Fir

Douglas Fir

Some species are native, a common sight in the gorge region and home to many species of animals and insects. 

 Aerial Ball 2

Aerial Ball 2

 Lines

Lines