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ISSUE 6 | 2017

prose • poetry • photography • art

Editors: Pauline Grieb & Conor Makepeace Associate Editors and Layout/Design: Hayley Hanway, Sarah Poulin, & Katrina Wert Faculty Advisor: Rebecca Vidra Staff Advisor: Ann Thurston The printing of eno is generously supported by the Nicholas School Dean's Office, the Office of Development and Alumni Relations, and the Nicholas School Student Council. Duke University Nicholas School of the Environment Durham, NC Printed by Millennium Print Group Morrisville, NC Graphic Visual Solutions Greensboro, NC Printed on recycled paper using renewable energy. Cover photo by: Alex Rudee What is eno? eno is a student publication founded in 2011 that gets its name from the Eno River in North Durham and from the Eno people, natives who occupied the land prior to European settlement. The name reflects our connection to the places we live, work, and play, and more broadly, to the Earth. To that end, we acknowledge the important work of the Eno River Association in preserving the natural and cultural legacies of the Eno River Basin and the thousands of organizations around the world that do similar work. Our Mission: To inspire a respect for our environment by engaging in thoughtful expression through the use of artistic, reflective, and creative forms. This publication is available in electronic format at the website above. However, we believe print is a powerful and evocative medium, and so have chosen to print a limited number of this issue. When you’ve finished reading, please share this magazine with a friend.

Photo by: Tyler Lietz Bilecky

Letter from the editors: This year at the Nicholas School of the Environment came with unique challenges. With an uncertain political climate and many of the hallmark environmental institutions at risk, it is now more important than ever to appreciate the natural beauty that surrounds us every day. eno has embraced this responsibility and grown to reach beyond the limits of the Nicholas School to the members of the entire Duke community and beyond. We at eno are grateful for the opportunity to share with you this unique collection of artistic expression from environmentalists nationwide. We hope this magazine will inspire you to engage with your creative selves and reflect on your connection with nature.


Table of Contents Photography

02 04 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 14 20 21 22 23 26 30 31 34

Tyler Lietz Bilecky Alex Rudee Jill Hamilton Jill Hamilton Rebecca Lauzon Andrea Larson Wout Salenbien Zell McGee Conor Makepeace Donovan Loh Conor Makepeace Beth Browne Aedan Hannon Alex Rudee William Hanley III Katrina Wert Santana Dykas Conor Makepeace


24 25 27 27 27 29 3

Madeleine McMillan Contemplating Flight Phyllis Burns Alexa Eno Linnea Lieth Laura Hamon Hyungbin Jun


Dark Skies Andrew Ognibene

Your Memory is Waterproof Jill Hamilton

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing   Zell McGee

The Wren in May  Steve Cushman

05 07 11 12

Juncos  Steve Cushman


Downy Woodpecker  Steve Cushman

The Stars Are My Friends  Aedan Hannon

12 19

Untitled  Gabrielle Benitez



Attempt at Conversation Gabrielle Benitez

Untitled Madeleine McMillan



Like Carolina Mary Hennessey

Windfall Jennie Boyd Bull


The Deer Betty Jamerson Reed

Blackberry Song Gabrielle Benitez

30 34

Featured Artist Interview


Photo by Alex Rudee

Binbin Li


Dark Skies Andrew Ognibene The way the Grand Canyon is tossed around in conversation, you would think that we’ve all been to Flagstaff or Sedona. Last night, I spent a few hours planning how to take her
 to the outer rings of the desert. Where sand lifts and feeds the yellow flowers, where we can step out into a wild night and see the world as it was. Is that what Flagstaff is like? __________________________ I made a diorama in third-grade. I poked out a bunch of stars from a cellophane ceiling. I let the light come in and I dreamed of how pretty it was for the character
 in the box. __________________________ In the afternoon, we can grab all the clichés in the world and lob them over the guard rail, face-first down into the red clay, skidding over cactus flowers. Later, and lighter, we pull our magnifying glasses from the pack and hunt the skies for glass beads. There is one rose in the hand of lilies— There is one formless ghost in the field— There is one door open in the heavens— I have captured the beast once, the hole in the night,
 the fire in the cave casting shadows on the wall. (Again, again, I want it again.) Maybe love is just what you give: all my heart wants is to
 give this to another, to her. 5


Photo by Jill Hamilton eno eno



Your Memory is Waterproof Jill Hamilton

“Sepan sus límites,” the deckhand said once more,

Perched precariously on the side of a small boat, we peered through our masksinto the water below, unsure and excited by what was to come. As the deckhand called us each by name, stumbling apologetically overpronunciations with his thick accent, we stepped into the sea.

warning us, a group of 10 undergraduate students, to know our limits. We were all freshly certified scuba divers, most of us young and fearless – and when something goes wrong below the surface of the sea, situations quickly divide themselves into luck and death.

Bobbing for a moment on the choppy surface, I pressed my thumb firmly against the air release valve of my buoyancy vest, slowly kicking my fins to control my descent. Slipping away from the comfortable world above, we drifted downwards toward Cozumel’s Palancar Reef, far beyond any depth I had previously achieved.

We had just landed in the tropical paradise of Cozumel, Mexico, the location of our weeklong coral reef biology course. We found ourselves, a mere hour after arrival, dressed in damp neoprene, heavy oxygen tanks pulling on our shoulders and humid air clinging to our faces.



Photo by: Jill Hamilton

10 feet below the ocean’s surface is a stressful zone. The current from crashing waves tugs at your body, and the sunlight can be intense and disorienting. Sinking to 20 feet, your ears squeal and pop and slight vertigo often hits. At 30 feet, motion slows and the sound of the boat’s motor disappears. By 40 feet, you no longer have to consciously equalize your body to the increasing pressure. At 60 feet, you begin to focus on the fluidity of your breathing, and, by 70 feet, your mind slips away entirely from the world above.

“Your mind slips away entirely from the world above.”

Dipping into deeper waters, 80 and 90 feet greet you with the stillness and distinct solace that make diving an addicting and potentially dangerous sport. The only sounds are your breaths escaping from your regulator, slow and patient as if to not disrupt the serene environment. When you stop kicking, you are motionless. As you slowly descend, you enter a world that - in many places - is less explored than the face of the moon.

Photo by: Rebecca Lauzon

the enormity and shocking fragility of reef ecosystems, and, as in many of life’s defining moments, I felt small. Slowly, as you progress as a scuba diver, you’ll learn to embrace this solitude, crave the hour-long increments of time spent swimming alongside others but existing with only your thoughts. You’ll begin to treasure the fragile and complex world around you, the power of your memory, and the ability to fully embrace a moment in time.

You spot an angelfish, a vibrant fire coral, small eels in a bed of sea grass, and you suddenly want to shout, to grin, to laugh—you long to somehow share the wonders you are experiencing with others. But you quickly realize that you cannot verbalize your excitement, nor record it for the future. You have no camera, no notebook, no phone to take pictures. You realize, awestruck and perplexed, that you face the unnatural task of recording memories with only your mind.

I returned home with 20 logged dives, a sunburnt face, and a slight improvement in my rusty Spanish. But beyond that, I returned with a breath of (compressed) fresh air that I often forgot to take. In the age of shared experiences in which photographs, videos, and statuses document our every move, it is rare and beautiful to hold a memory that is purely your own. Solitude is a learned, and remarkable, thing.

I spent the next six days swimming through vast coral archways, gazing mesmerized at the glow of bioluminescent plankton and listening to the quiet crunching of parrotfish methodically removing algae from corals. I basked in eno


Photo by Andrea Larson

“No water, no life. No blue, no green.” ~Sylvia Earle, Duke University Alum

Photo by Wout Salenbien


Photoessay by: Zell McGee A chaotic chorus of open-mouthed self-interest greets the barn swallow parent bringing an insect to its chicks. After the feeding, silence, then the heads retract into the nest. If only they would open their mouths again, I could get my photograph, entitled, “Hark! The herald angels sing,” for a Christmas card. I watch the feeding routine repeated. Peculiarly, the heads come up and mouths open just before the parent arrives. How do the chicks know the parent is coming? I have a hunch (in my laboratory we call it a hypothesis). Before the parent arrives again I focus my camera on the front lip of the nest, adjust for proper exposure, then I make the sound of the parent’s wings (“Frrrrrr”); up come the heads, open go the mouths. I take the photograph. It will work well as a “Hark! The Herald angels sing” Christmas card. Then guilt floods me for scamming those poor little creatures; but, amazing grace, the parent arrives with another insect in time to save me from my tiny accusers.



Juncos Poetry by: Steve Cushman

It snowed for two days and each hour we tossed out a handful of bird seed they came, so many birds, against the white sheet of our backyard. A junco, so small and grey, hopped to the back door, opened and closed his beak. When I opened the door, he didn’t fly away but stayed there as if to say thanks and I said you’re welcome. Two days later the snow was gone, the juncos too. Foolish to miss a bird, but there it is, I do.

The Wren in May The wren is tiny and brown and perfect perched on the bush outside my bay window he calls and calls, the flutter of his throat, he drops from sight for a minute returns wet, his hair on end, shakes it off and when he repeats this I realize he is taking a bath in my cat’s shallow water bowl and again he is there, up on the branch, three feet from me, his curved beak, his hair, wet and on end, looks perfect and for a few moments I love this bird more than I love anything else in the world. He reminds me of someone, some time and it’s only later in bed with my wife asleep beside me, that I do remembera Thursday, thirty years ago, my ten year old son is stepping out of the shower his hair pointing this way and that, his eyelids dripping water and his face perfect and smiling as he accepts the towel I offer him.

Downy Woodpecker Outside my kitchen window on the suet feeder the downy woodpecker settles in, works his way through the peanut butter cake for three solid minutes looks back at me once, watching him from behind the glass, only a foot or two away, as if deciding whether or not he needs to fly away. Thankfully, he does not, but stays, eats it all as I’d hoped he would.

Photo by: Conor Makepeace eno


Donovan Loh

“You can take a lot of good shots, but if you want to call it a piece of work, you need to embed a lot of thoughts and story behind it.”

FEATURED ARTIST: Binbin Li Packs a Camera for Science

“Ocean on Fire” 1 AM in Antarctica

eno sat down with Binbin Li, a Ph.D student at Duke University, to learn how she uses art to communicate her work in species conservation and management of protected areas in China.

Q: How did you get interested in merging photography and science?

That photo was taken not long before Mother’s Day, so I sent it to my mom and said, “It’s me.” I think if you can connect to something, then you enjoy those photos more than the others.

At first, before I really got into conservation, a lot of people tried to persuade me not to do it, and said girls cannot be competent in field work. Thankfully, Peter Raven, who is a professor, told me to talk to different people, and he encouraged me to continue this work. I saw my first and only wild panda in my whole life, and I had my camera, but it wasn’t a good one. I took some shots and was like, “Oh that’s so cool!” because I got to experience this wildlife. After that, I said, “Oh! There’s a lot of good things I can show to other people.” Q: Favorite photo you’ve ever taken? There’s one I really love, although the light is not ideal. It’s a mom and a cub skywalker. They were both hanging on the trees, and the cub was grabbing the mom and drinking the milk. They have this interesting eye contact, and it seems like the mom is saying, “Just enjoy your time,” and it was a sweet moment.

“Bond” Skywalker Hoolock Gibbons. Recognized as new species in 2017. 15


Q: What kind of equipment do you use?

Q: What role does art have in the environmental field?

I have a lot of lenses. The things I use most are the telephoto lens and the wide angle lens.

I think a lot of people care about nature, but they don’t necessarily want to read about the science. If you have a good story and support it with a lot of visuals - photos or videos - then it’s easier to reach a wider audience.

Q: Craziest experience you’ve had doing photography in the field? I tried to take a photo of a takin, the national animal of Nepal. That was one of my first experiences taking photos of wildlife. I was wearing some bright colors - red - and I needed to move a little bit to get comfortable. I tried to stand up and sit again, and that startled the takin. It charged me, and we were only about 50 meters away from it. Everyone was like, “Run! Run!” and then that takin just turned and went out to the slope. It’s a really beautiful animal, but after that I knew I shouldn’t get too close. I think the only thing you need to do [in those situations] is run faster than one of your friends.

“A lot of people care about nature, but they don’t necessarily want to read about the science.” Q: Who inspires you? I met this photographer visiting Antarctica, and she inspired me a lot. Her name is Camille Seaman, and her photos were discovered by National Geographic. Her work is mostly renowned for polar regions, like icebergs, and she’s an activist for climate change and also for Standing Rock right now. She said you need to be really patient to wait for the right moment and actually know about the species or know about the landscape and just connect with that. That’s really important for photographers.

“Takin in the snow” Wanglang National Nature Reserve, Sichuan, China. Takins are a threatened species and a subgroup of goat and sheep.

“Summer Blizzard” Tibetan Gazelles. Sanjiangyuan National Nature Reserve, Qinghai province, China.

“Happy Greeting” Chinstrap penguin in Half Moon Bay, Antarctica. eno


“I want to motivate people to act and to change.”

“Penguins under the sky” A Gentoo penguin colony. Q: What do you want people to take away from your work? I want to motivate people to act and to change. I don’t want to just expose the problems to them and make them depressed. I want them to be hopeful that they can change something. You can buy different products, change behaviors, and select certain commercial products. We try to use the market to change the way people produce things and demand less. That’s the most important part - providing solutions so people know where to go.

“Protector” Park ranger, Serengeti National Park. 17

“Crossing the river” Endangered Golden snub-nosed monkeys - the most protected primates in China.

“Tender Soul” Mom and baby elephant in Tanzania. eno

“Future Hope” Sanjiangyuan, Tibetan plateau. An isolated place where the people protect and care for the vast wilderness and plentiful wildlife as part of their religion and culture.

“Everything is connected.” Q: What do you want people to understand most about using art to communicate science? Everything is connected. People may think that science is different from photography and different than movies and different than anything, but there is a lot of similarity and connection. Whether you are writing a paper, writing a blog, or trying to show some photos, the most important thing is the story behind it. Photos by Binbin Li.



The Stars Are My Friends Aedan Hannon Darkness is but a confidant with arms open Glowing orb how you shine With fireflies set in stone Scattered through the sky Time is still Pines invisible but for the breath of the Earth Tranquility Serenity In thought questions arise Existence, emotion, affection, sorrow Memories remain abundant Softly whispering Of hopes, dreams, fears Figure no longer visible As man becomes the gravel underfoot The branch overhead The creek flowing by Connected with everything One with the land Escaped from reality Awe again comes a faithful acquaintance Individuality and scale lost To become part of space To become part of seconds Forever etched among brethren unseen Forever etched in soul Forever etched in the absence of light



Photo by: Conor Makepeace

Gabrielle Benitez If the sea listens when the moon calls for the tide shouldn’t we do the same?



Photo by Beth Browne

Attempt at Conversation Gabrielle Benitez I want to talk about beauty (the beauty of this world) about the way its colors burn into my eyes like overexposed photos: rich turquoise and purple the ridiculous vibrancy of the caribbean sea blue so saturated, yet with open arms, it still welcomes the scorched sky swallows the sun whole. I want to talk about the pain of knowing such beauty. it hurts in the way that truth hurts that clarity pierces that what is most precious to us makes the thought of its loss too much to bear. I want you to know it so that one day you will understand me when I talk about how dearly I wish just as the ocean does it, with a cat-stretch: back arching, toes curling I wish to fling myself open: to the sky & the stars & the weight of the world (will you ever understand me?)

Photo by Aedan Hannon



Photos by Alex Rudee 23


Artwork and Writing by Madeleine McMillan My sharp intake of breath punctuates the silence. There it is. A wild tiger. He is magnificent. With no apparent concern for our five-jeep caravan, he emerges from the brush. Excited wildlife tourists from all over the world clamor for their cameras as he lazily inserts himself between our vehicles. He strolls nonchalantly down the dusty path, approaching within two car lengths of where I sit in awe. We follow behind as closely as we dare. He swivels his head and freezes, ears cocked at the clicking of a camera shutter. We freeze with him. Then, deciding it was nothing, he relaxes and continues sauntering down the path. His powerful muscles ripple in the already sweltering April morning air, their ebbs and flows captivate us. But then, he decides he has given us tourists enough of a show. He slips silently into the tall grass, melting from sight. His striped coat a perfect camouflage. He is gone... ...but this moment will never leave me. This moment was more than watching a tiger follow our vehicles. This moment was more than taking pretty pictures for later. It was a culmination of four years of work spent dedicated to educating students, faculty, and anyone else who would listen, on the risk of extinction that tigers face. It was four years of fundraising, organizing, and advocating for my university mascot’s wild counterpart. I have been passionately working to protect these animals for years and watching tigers in the jungle of India’s Ranthambore National Park truly cemented my passion for protecting endangered species. They belong in their natural habitats. They belong to the wild. eno


Contemplating Flight Artwork by Phyllis Burns



Like Carolina

Like Carolin

Mary Hennessey The last tomato plant persists in heaped and flawless blossom. A hard frost expected tonight. We ignore the newspapers. Read each other’s faces over coffee. A kimono silk slung over the low branch of Maggie’s pecan tree— the night ahead long, clear, cadenced. Moon hunted and haunted, we plant a blue hydrangea. We speak summer. Photo by William Hanley III

Filibuster the light.


Linnea Lieth

Alexa Eno

Pen and Ink by Laura Hamon 27




Windfall Jennie Boyd Bull In the chill evening light, I harvest the windfall, unlikely treasure to put by for winter. I glean the pears, excise the wounds, store them to cook with oatmeal on winter mornings.

Two old trees stand tall in the yard, leafless branches heavy with pear. Green mottled windfall litter the grass below, hiding their russet wounds, the feast of beetles.

Bowls, baskets, bags of speckled fruit dominate the kitchen— sweet abundance to be shared, relished, buttered, preserved. Wounded fruit, the gift of aging trees.

I hear the soft thump of falling fruit. Neighbor Sarah and the Internet inform me that pears are ripe when still hard but easily plucked. With this cold snap, now is the time.

Watercolor and Oil Pastel by Hyungbin Jun 29


Photo by Katrina Wert

The Deer

I summoned my family. Come. Share the sight.

Betty Jamerson Reed

Tiptoe. Eye each animal, blending with the high grass,

Moments imbedded in memory

yet silhouetted in muted camouflage

mesh with our being.

against orchard foliage.

Early morning, a glance

Then, a sudden silent shift

through the kitchen window

raised an inner alarm,


and they were gone, leaving awe

seven intricately small deer,

at nature’s beings

like shadows,

seeking to survive,

grazing beneath apple trees,

impelling us to safeguard our souls.

into view.



Photos by Santana Dykas 31




Photo by: Conor Makepeace

Blackberry Song Gabrielle Benitez Listened to Blackberry Song and dreamed of tart purple staining my lips, the tips of my fingers, in the ocean of summer. Tastes like afterglow & sweet honeysuckle stolen off the vine in those days when we were young & our parents weren’t paying attention. Back then I’d dip my toes in the splashes of sunlight on cool concrete, and dream of a day when (perhaps) I’d be just as golden.


• The Literary Arts Magazine Celebrating the Environment •

Eno Issue 6: 2017  

The 6th edition of eno Magazine, the literary art magazine celebrating the environment at Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environme...