Wednesday, May 5, 2010
This mural is 10 feet wide and 7 feet tall, and was created digitally, for the Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center (ARNWR, Sudbury, MA). The mural is scheduled to be implemented in July, 2010, with the Center's Grand Opening October 17, 2010.
This mural may look strangely dark, but there is a purpose: as visitors come into the Night Alcove, an audio recording is playing of night sounds in ARNWR. As the audio rolls through different sounds and describes the area and its inhabitants, spotlights will highlight the different animals which are otherwise hidden within the mural. The room is dark and there is a blue light on the mural, helping to simulate a night time scene.
As visitors come in they will hear audio of coyotes howling in the distance. The recording points this out and then the spot will shine on the coyote mom. You see her eyes shine (actually the tapetum, a part of the retina), as well as a glimpse of her pups.
Barred Owls are quite common here and yet like most owls, nearly impossible to see. More likely is to hear their call, "Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you-all?" They will call in the daytime as well as at night, and you might see one hunting before dark.