A Tree Needs a Bird


This sculpture is made of Belgium Black Marble and Sivec on Carrara Marble and on Granite base. It measures 22 x 17 x 11 inches inches.

From the Artist:

The Clark’s nutcracker and the whitebark pine are two high-altitude species in the western mountain ranges that rely on each other for survival. “A Tree Needs A Bird” was inspired by the cooperative relationship between these two dissimilar organisms for mutual benefit of both.

The Clark nutcracker is named for William Clark, who discovered this bird on his trek through North America with Meriwether Lewis in the early 1800’s. This unique mountain bird spends most of its life cracking open whitebark pine cones with their long beaks. The Clark nutcracker will store some in their tongue pouches to bury them in the rocky soil. They cache over 33,000 seeds in a single season and remember where each seed is stored due to their superior corvid memories. Some of those seeds are left uneaten and grow into whitebark pine trees. This tree clearly needs this bird! Fascinating!

Unfortunately, this delicate balance has been disrupted due to climate change. The winters are no longer cold enough even in the highest peaks to kill the pine bark beetle that has been decimating the whitebark pine population. Moreover, natural burning used to control another killer called white pine fungus has been interrupted by humans preventing fires. Luckily, the Whitebark Pine Ecosystem Foundation is a group of volunteers in the US and Canada who grow and plant fungus-resistant whitebark pine seedlings. We all need trees and this tree needs us!

Belgium Black Marble is one of the hardest marbles on the planet! It is very brittle due to high carbon content and therefor chips easily. This stone will dull steel and diamond tools in days or weeks, so I had to cut very slowly even with diamond blades and burrs. The color and consistency of the stone is dark and deep. Nothing shines like Belgium Black! After seven months of consistent work “A Tree Needs a Bird” is completed!

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