Many thousands of wild plant and animal species live in the Anacostia River watershed, right in the heart of the Washington DC metro region, including Prince George’s and Montgomery counties in Maryland. Meet some of this urban wildlife in this video made for the Anacostia Project as featured by contributor Krista Schlyer.
-By Dennis Martens, the Netherlands: I live and work in a mainly concrete environment, in the harbour city of Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Green areas are unfortunately scarce, small and isolated. But still, finding and catching critters has turned out to be very well possible. I used to be mainly focused on birds, but the ‘Meet Your Neighbours’ project has really opened up my eyes to the smaller wildlife around every corner. Initially I thought I would have to use the whole city as a working area to get a nice variety of species that I could show the world, but during the first six months in which I have been using the field studio technique I’ve actually stayed within a circle of 250 meters around our house! The area includes some ditches, shrubs and a piece of the Rotterdam ring (highway). True bugs and butterflies apparently do not seem to mind cars speeding through their neighborhood at 130 km/hr. At least it appears so.
The other day a secretary at the office came running and screaming out of the ladies bathroom. She’d ran into a ‘Mega-bug’ and was ready to squash it! It turned out to be a western conifer seed bug. At the end of the day I took it home, photographed it ‘MYN-style’ and released it in our garden (a more leafy setting than the office). The next day I showed the pictures to the secretary and the rest of my colleagues. They were actually surprised by the beauty of this scary, hairy monster. In fact, I have good hopes that they will not squash another critter like this in the future. It’s just a minor example of what the field studio does. It actually makes hairy monsters look “cute” (to quote the secretary).
Now the radius of 250 meters can gradually be extended.