Sunday, April 24, 2011

Sound Mapping the Morton Arboretum

For this iSite, I did a sound map at the Morton Arboretum.  By closing my eyes, I made a map of every sound I heard.  I was also supposed to see if any of the sounds were related or responsive to one another. 

Sound map by Amy Coffman Phillips
The Morton Arboretum is a beautiful place, but it is a constructed landscape.  Artificial and beautiful.  I tried to find as natural of a place as I could, so I walked down a field and found a natural creek to sit by.  The main thing I heard while I was sitting there listening was the sound of water falling over a rock in the creek and the sounds of people.  Apparently, a lot of people think to welcome spring at the Arb too.  There was a lot of human based activity - cars, bikes, too many airplanes overhead.  The human voices were responsive to one another, but not so much the cars.  I could hear a lot of birds.  Cardinals and a bird I'm pretty sure was a finch.  I also heard rustling of small animals in the leaves. 

When I opened my eyes, I saw a pair of ducks swimming in the creek and building their nest, pair bonded for the mating season.  Frogs in the distance calling out for mates.  Birds likely doing the same thing.  Mating season at the Arb.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Cantilevered Tree

Cantilevered Tree at the Naperville Riverwalk
For today's iSite, I was to test my skills of observation by drawing an object and then trying to draw it again without looking. 

Walking along the Riverwalk in my town, I came across a tree that has grown horizontally off the riverbank. It's roots have grown horizontally and are strong enough to cantilever the tree 30' over the riverbank. The tree is truly an amazing feat of natural engineering. It will fall eventually, but so will everything. For now, it has found a way to survive and stand out from the rest of the trees - gaining access to solar resources that others cannot reach. Life will find a way.

Business as an Ecosystem

Ding Darling Wildlife Preserve, Sanibel Island, Florida

Using Sanibel Island as my test model, I've thought about this question.  
Sanibel Island is a barrier island off the gulf coast of Florida.  Th
e coastal salt marsh ecosystem is formed on the inland side of Sanibel Island and is a water-based ecosystem that has adapted to tidal fluctuations in water levels.  Mangrove trees and oysters form land masses and inter-tidal areas that are the nurseries for the sea and the rookeries for many birds and mammals.  

What can we learn from this ecosystem and how can it influence business practices?