Tag Archives: nature

A Giant Naturally Occurring Ice Circle Appears Briefly in a Washington River 

All photographs © Kaylyn Messer.

This weekend, word spread via Facebook that a large circle of ice was spinning in small river just outside of Seattle. After seeing a quick video of it in her feed, photographer Kaylyn Messer jumped in her car and was fortunate to witness the incredible sight of this gargantuan ice disc as it spun in the current of the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River.

“The ice circle was pretty captivating,” Messer shared with Colossal. “You can hear the sound of the river flowing continuously. Sounds from the ice periodically interjected with very small sharp cracks and groans. Overall, it was a quiet experience to stand along the river watching the ice circle rotate.”

Ice circles are a fairly rare phenomenon that occur mostly in North America and Scandinavia in slow moving rivers during the winter. The discs are formed when a large piece of ice breaks off in the river creating an effect called ‘rotational shear’ where the current slowly grinds away at the free-floating chunk until its smoothed into a perfect circle.

Messer shares more photos and videos of the ice disc on her blog.

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Close-Up Portraits of Birds Shot in a Photographer’s Backyard 

After noticing the birds in Michigan were far different than those in her native Germany, Lisa M. Ca., an amateur photographer, began photographing them with her DSLR. In an attempt to find more creative ways to capture the variety of species that flew through her backyard, Lisa purchased the Bird Photo Booth 2.0. The device uses a motion detector to snap its shutter, capturing birds with a macro lens at ten images per second. After selecting her favorite images of the mourning doves, blue jays, and cardinals that feed from the Photo Booth’s attached seed bowl, Lisa touches up the images in Photoshop. You can follow more of her backyard photography on her Tumblr. (via Bored Panda)

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Hyperrealistic Depictions of Fish Merged With Their Coral Environments by Lisa Ericson 

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Artist, illustrator, and designer Lisa Ericson (previously) paints hyperrealistic images of imaginary animals, hybrids that intertwine species. Previously focused on a body of work that merged mice and butterflies, Ericson’s newest series focuses on the creatures below, painting bright fish against matte black backgrounds. The vibrant works highlight a variety of coral integrated into fins and tails of scaly animals, as well as showcasing the groups of fish that have decided to make these tails their home.

Ericson’s work is currently in a two-person exhibition titled Supernature at Antler Gallery in Portland, OR which runs through December 22. You can view more of her in-process and completed animal paintings on her Instagram and Facebook.

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A School of Blue Silversides Swim Through Mangroves in the Coral Reefs off Cuba 

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Photo by David Doubilet and Jennifer Hayes, courtesy National Geographic.

Photographers David Doubilet and Jennifer Hayes who together specialize in underwater photography, were recently on assignment for National Geographic in Cuba when they captured this amazing school of blue silversides. The thousands of finger-sized fish are swimming through mangroves (small trees that are able to grow in salt water) but the photographer’s ingenious perspective makes them appear to swim through the air. The image was one of several selected for National Geographic’s Best Photos of 2016.

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New Surreal Wildlife Paintings by Tiffany Bozic 

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Self-taught artist Tiffany Bozic (previously) paints nature in a way that is both direct and obscure, producing animals with the precision of a tightly rendered nature illustration, while simultaneously escaping the form’s limitations. Her subject matter typically revolves around forest creatures and their environment, while occasionally including creatures and plants such as amoeba-like jellyfish, creepy insects, and exotic flowers. These diverse sects of the natural world combine in ways that are not natural at all—a deer’s soft hair appearing as moss in one work while a skunk gallantly balances on top of a hovering botanical bouquet in another.

Bozic is represented by Joshua Liner Gallery in NYC where she has an upcoming solo exhibition next fall. You can see more of her work on her Instagram and buy select prints from her website.

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Rebirth: Artist Manabu Ikeda Unveils a Monumental Pen & Ink Drawing Nearly 3.5 Years in the Making 

Rebirth, 2016. Pen & ink, 13 x 10' (300 x 100cm). Courtesy the Chazen Museum of Art.

Rebirth, 2016. Pen & ink, 13 x 10′ (300 x 100cm). Courtesy the Chazen Museum of Art.

The 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan was one of the most devastating environmental events of our time, with its overall impact rippling across the globe for years to come. But just as stated in Newton’s third law—for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction—so too did the people of Japan respond to the magnitude of the destruction in an effort to rebuild their country anew as captured in this staggering new artwork by Manabu Ikeda titled Rebirth. Starting in July of 2013, Ikeda toiled away on the 13 x 10 foot piece for 10 hours a day inside a basement studio at the Chazen Museum of Art in Madison, Wisconsin. He finished work just last week.

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Manabu Ikeda at work.

A video posted by Colossal (@colossal) on

At its core, Rebirth depicts a tree rising from the debris of the tsunami as enormous waves crash nearby, but a closer inspection reveals thousands of tiny details, the individual stories of anonymous people, plants, and animals as they fight for survival and try to return their world to a semblance of order. Ikeda says that in his work he seeks to replicate the beautiful chaos of life that rarely fits a simple linear narrative. Instead, everything crashes together and interacts in unknown and unexpected ways, an idea that applies directly to his process as he often doesn’t know what each day will bring as he works inch by inch on the near endless canvas before him.

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Rebirth, detail.

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Rebirth, detail.

While Ikeda sketches broad details in pencil on the canvas beforehand, he primarily works with pen and acrylic ink using various forms of cross-hatching and brushwork to fill areas so dense with details, the true nature of the artwork isn’t revealed until staring at it from only a few inches away. Mountains of vehicles, gnarled tree branches, and train tracks sit tangled at the base of a tree, and flower blooms comprised of umbrellas and emergency tents fill the sky above. Everywhere a collision of humankind and nature, for better or worse.

“My goal is to faithfully express my view of the world in my composition, but I don’t intentionally depict detailed images,” he tells the Chazen. “Because I see details when I observe things, rather than the whole, I find pen and ink to be the best tools to express how I see them.”

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Rebirth, detail.

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Rebirth, detail.

Rebirth, detail.

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Rebirth in progress.

Rebirth in progress.

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Rebirth in progress.

Ikeda’s time spent in Madison wasn’t without its own adversity. The artist dislocated a shoulder in a downhill skiing accident which rendered his dominant hand temporarily useless. Unable to stop work for very long, Ikeda began practicing with his other hand and after 3-4 practice drawings continued work on Rebirth unfazed.

Rebirth will be on view only briefly at the Chazen Museum of Art through December 11, 2016. If you’re anywhere near the midwest, this is well worth a trip and I strongly encourage you to stop by. You can explore it for over 30 minutes and still not see everything. You can also read more about it on Wisconsin Life.

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Manabu Ikeda at work, still from Clayton Adams.

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Manabu Ikeda at work, still from Clayton Adams.

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Ikeda Manabu’s first attempt at drawing with his non-dominant hand after a skiing accident.

Film and stills courtesy Clayton Adams.

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