Ebenezer Swamp Ecological Preserve Dragonfly - Montevallo, Alabama
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member xptwo
N 33° 10.051 W 086° 48.642
16S E 517650 N 3669874
Quick Description: This dragonfly sculpture was created by a student at the University of Montevallo for the university's Ebenezer Swamp Ecological Preserve.
Location: Alabama, United States
Date Posted: 2/15/2012 6:19:57 PM
Waymark Code: WMDQQ6
Published By: Groundspeak Charter Member carleenp
Views: 5

Long Description:
As one walks down the boardwalk into the preserve, there is more to admire than just the creations of nature. Included along one side is a sculpture of a dragonfly made up of all sorts of metal parts that have been welded together. This dragonfly is the creation of Kirsten Bowman, a fine arts student at Montevallo. Here is her story from an email received in February, 2011:

"My name is Kirsten Bowman, and I'm from Harpersville, Al. I'm currently an undergraduate student at the University of Montevallo, in my third year of pursuing a BFA in Drawing and Sculpture. I expect to graduate December 2013, and will continue at Montevallo to receive a masters in education. The dragonfly took 6 months to make under the supervision and assistance of Prof. Ted Metz. It was unveiled on Founders' Day of October 2010. The sculpture was my first experience with welding metal, which is a trade that many of my family members excel at. My grandfather was especially excited and gave me free rein to anything I could use on his land (he collected and restored cars). I spent many summers at my grandparents' house and loved listening to his stories, even more-so his advice about welding and metal fabrication. He bragged to everyone he talked to about his little granddaughter who could weld. When I began the project in June 2010, my grandfather became ill and had many close calls during the fabrication of the sculpture and unfortunately was never able to see the final piece. It was made in his honor and now is dedicated in his memory. Pieces of my grandfather make up the dragonfly, and it is very exciting to hear about people who connect with it."

Here is the story of the preserve from the university's web page (http://www.montevallo.edu/biology/ebenezerswamp.shtm)

"The University of Montevallo's Ebenezer Swamp Ecological Preserve is located on Spring Creek, approximately 6 miles northeast of the University. Ebenezer swamp consists of sixty acres of wooded wetlands and is home to numerous species of fungi, plants, and animals. The forest is dominated for the most part by Tupelo Gum (Nyssa aquatica), with occasional Red Maple (Acer rubrum), Loblolly Pine (Pinus taeda), Sweet Bay (Magnolia virginiana), Tulip Tree (Liriodendron tulipifera), and Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis).

The dominant animal life form is the Beaver (Castor canadensis); water impounded behind several beaver dams along Spring Creek has a pronounced effect on the ecology of the preserve. Other animal inhabitants include the American Woodcock (Philohela minor), Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo), Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodia), Timber Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus), Water Moccasin (Aghistrodon piscivorus), Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix), Raccoon (Procyon lotor), Opossum (Didelphis marsupialis virginiana), and various species of freshwater clams.

The preserve is also home to numerous herbaceous plant species, including three species of orchids (Platanthera flava, Ponthieva racemosa and Tipularia discolor) and a rare species of cone-flower (Rudbeckia auriculata). Ebenezer Swamp is used for teaching and research purposes. Ongoing research projects include water quality testing and surveys of vegetation and macroinvertebrate diversity. Ebenezer Swamp was generously donated to the University of Montevallo by Mrs. Mildred Orr of Montevallo."

Besides our image of the sculpture, there is a photo of the artist and some others looking at the sculpture when it was dedicated in October, 2010. Pictured are Kirsten Bowman, Jimbo Smith, Professor Ted Metz and Rosalie Holcombe. You can see more at the press release at (visit link)
Type of insect: dragonfly

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