Gallery event: The Carolina Parakeet and Relatives


Next Wednesday, August 29, the North Carolina Collection Gallery will host two experts from the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences to talk about the Carolina Parakeet. The program is associated with the Gallery exhibit, “The Carolina Parakeet in Art: Images from the Powell Collection.” Details on the event are as follows:

The Carolina Paraket and Relatives: A Look at Some Natural, Un-natural, and Cultural Histories

How much do we know about the Carolina Parakeet? Very little, as it turns out. John Gerwin and Brian O’Shea of the NC Museum of Natural Sciences will describe what is known and not known about this extinct bird, and talk about some of the early explorers who had personal experiences with the Parakeet. They will also share some natural history highlights of related species and conservation stories of select, endangered parrots in the U.S. and abroad.

5:15 p.m.: Reception and viewing of exhibit, North Carolina Collection Gallery

5:45 p.m.: Program, Pleasants Family Assembly Room, Wilson Library

‘Flames licking up tall trunks was striking and beautiful’

“For some of Sherman’s men, like Daniel Oakey, scenes of burning forests verged on the sublime. Describing the army’s advance into ‘the wild regions of North Carolina,’ he wrote,

” ‘The resin pits were on fire, and great columns of black smoke rose high into the air, spreading and mingling together in gray clouds, and suggesting the roof and pillars of a vast temple. All traces of habitation were left behind, as we marched into the grand forest with its beautiful carpet of pine-needles….

” ‘As night came on, we found that the resinous sap in the cavities cut in the trees to receive it had been lighted by “bummers” in our advance. The effect of these peculiar watch-fires on every side, several feet above the ground, with flames licking their way up the tall trunks, was…  striking and beautiful.’

“Despite the scene’s allure, however, Oakey concluded that the ‘wanton’ destruction was ‘sad to see’….”

— From “War Upon the Land: Military Strategy and the Transformation of Southern Landscapes During the American Civil War” by Lisa M. Brady (2012)