Embracing Umvelt in Land Trust workshop

Apr 08, 2014
Photo by: Michael Sacca Michael Sacca’s “Snake at Gibson Preserve” captures a Searsmont denizen.

Owls Head — Michael Sacca, professional cinematographer and photographer from Vermont and 2013 Artist-in-Residence for the Georges River Land Trust, will offer a hands-on workshop based on the concept of Umwelt Saturday, May 3. Using universal talents of observation, participants will explore the outdoors at Birch Point State Park from 9:30 a.m. to noon, rain or shine.

Participants are asked to register with the Georges River Land Trust by Tuesday, April 29, for this free event by calling 594-5166 or emailing info@grlt.org. The workshop will be limited to 12 people.

Sacca will lead the group in observations of the animal, insect and plant life with the focus being how we as individuals respond to different aspects of the natural world. The group will delve into our own sensory and emotional responses to the world around us including the idea of what we find beautiful and ugly. This is not a scholarly exploration, but meant to be a light, fun and interesting hands-on discussion about seeing the world through a different lens.

The concept and term known as Umwelt was developed by a German behaviorist named Jakob von Uexküll in the 1930s. He wrote a short volume titled “A Stroll Through the Worlds of Animals and Men: A Picture Book of Invisible Worlds,” which encouraged readers to imagine how animals experience their worlds based on sensory perceptions unique to the organism. A young adult book titled “The View from the Oak” may offer a more enjoyable and readable interpretation of von Uexküll’s book.

In addition to bringing a sketchbook and/or digital camera to record images, participants are asked to wear boots and bring binoculars, and/or a hand lens.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

“Spider at Salt Pond in St. George” (Photo by: Michael Sacca)
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