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Riled Up is a journal of science, the environment, exploration, new technology, and related commentary.  Contributors include scientists, explorers, engineers, and others who provide perspectives and context not typically offered in general news circulation.  For interested readers, additional resources are included.

The Conservation Alliance

A Year of Birds
Hugh Bollinger

A Year of Birds

Birds of Praise (credit: Teresa Jordan)

Author and artist Teresa Jordan didn't intend to create a body-of-work on birds but it happened anyway. Growing up on a ranch in Wyoming, she became aware of the sounds and visuals surrounding that Western landscape. Teresa was also surrounded by books. An interest in learning, acquired while a young student in a one-room schoolhouse, carried her from rural Wyoming to Yale University where degrees in writing and art were acquired. She returned to the West and has been publishing books for nearly four decades since and teaching nonfiction writing.

Teresa 'retired' with her husband to the rock landscapes of southern Utah where she re-focused her energies on the visual arts and a practice of being mindful. During the pandemic, the artist began to draw one subject each day. It began with a bird in the garden and evolved to become a sketchbook of a different birds over the ensuing year. The birds ranged from crows, cranes, and egrets to falcons, chickens, and flamingos as well as now extinct species and birds-of-fancy drawn from her imagination. The collected visual catalog is a feast of diversity and beauty.


                                    Dancing cranes                            (credit: Teresa Jordan)                               Flicker

The 'year of birds' is now completed. The artist reflects on what she learned from this singular practice and what the birds taught her in a video on the project. Titled, Birds of Praise drawn from a term coined by the Irish poet and theologian Pádraig Ó Tuama representing a prayer's amen. Selections from the artist's year-long efforts at envisioning beautiful creatures is now an exhibition, Birds of Praise. It is a well selected showcase for these sickly times. WHB

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