2D > The Carolinian Herbal (2016-present)

Brown-headed Nuthatch and Common Vetch
Brown-headed Nuthatch and Common Vetch
archival print on cotton sateen

(Brown-headed Nuthatch photo by Will Stuart.)

When I pair plant and animal species, I choose them not by
their linear connect, but by the network of interconnections
in their ecosystem; a good example is this image. The
brown-headed nuthatch used to be common in the
Southeast, but we’ve lost a lot of that population because
of loss of long leaf pine forest. One of the amazing things
about a mature long leaf pine is that the undergrowth of it is really rich: there is a huge diversity of plants and animals
that rely on these pine forests to live, including several
varieties of legumes. Legumes are powerhouses of food
sources, and of soil enrichment. So I paired the nuthatch
with vetch, which is a weed we find all around: like the
nuthatch, unless you’re looking for it, you’d probably miss
it, and yet both play complex roles in their ecosystem.