Earth Day 2018

April 22, 2018

BW photograph of a strongly lit house.

Copyright 2018 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Today is Earth Day.  Coincidentally, it is also a nice, spring day.  The preceding sentence was included as we have run the weather gamut over the past few weeks.  On the day when the above photograph was made, the temperature eventually reached 87 degrees.  That seemed to be a bit too much heat coming too soon, especially after days when the temperatures maxed-out in the 40s and 50s.

BW photograph looking up the Hog Rock Trail on a foggy morn.

Copyright 2018 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

The following day presented entirely different conditions, as displayed above and below:

BW photograph of trees enveloped in fog.

Copyright 2018 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

BW photograph of Morgan Run after a heavy rain-four rocks provide some framing for the water.

Copyright 2018 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

The much cooler temperatures brought on the fog and an eventual torrent of rain and wind.  Morgan Run once again overran its banks.

A couple of weekends ago was spent in Ithaca, New York…

BW photograph of trees laying beside the Buttermilk Falls Rim Trail after a snowfall.

Copyright 2018 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

where the morning temps were about 22 degrees-that adequately preserved the snow that had fallen the day before.

BW photograph of a crushed Nestle water bottle in a parking lot.

Copyright 2018 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

The theme of this year’s Earth Day is to call an end to plastic pollution-more can be read about that here, and doing so is an important initiative.  Indeed, a drive through the mountains of Pennsylvania yesterday showed many out collecting trash along the roadways.  At the same time, Earth Day is also an auspicious day in which to be reminded of the need to keep a focus on the larger issue of climate change, which is actually the reason for the weather-related photographs in this post.  Indeed, last year set a record for weather-related losses as per this report from NOAA.  Yes, reducing one’s individual impact on the environ is a benefit and is to be encouraged.  Taking the time to collect the detritus left by others is certainly helpful.  However, the intersection of politics, pollution, and climate change can not be ignored and are addressed in this article about the E.P.A. under Scott Pruitt.

One day is not enough.

Take care.

 

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Hard Rain

April 16, 2018

BW photograph of Morgan Run after a heavy rain looking straight upstream.

Copyright 2018 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

The storm that battered the Mid-West with snow hammered the Mid-Atlantic with a great deal of rain last night.

BW photograph of Morgan Run after a heavy rain-four rocks provide some framing for the water.

Copyright 2018 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

One thing about the weather and living on the East Coast:  if you listen to weather forecasts and the West is getting some action…

BW photograph of Morgan Run after a heavy rain with a prominent rock in the foreground.

Copyright 2018 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

often waiting a day or so brings the pattern home.

Take care.

Black Ice

April 10, 2018

BW photograph of a parking lot during a snowfall.

Copyright 2018 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

This is an intriguing article regarding an encounter with black ice-it is a highly recommended read.  The author combines the personal narrative with a bit of science to explain both aspects of the experience.  For more about the flexibility of time perception, this is also highly recommended.

Part of what made this such a good read was having done so after completing a multiple hundred mile drive in a blowing snow.  While no ice was encountered, black or otherwise, it certainly added a bit context to the article.  In addition, many years ago when driving in an ice storm, my truck kept going straight while the road veered left at the bottom of a steep hill.  Off the road we went into a gully completing what became known as “the muddy hole incident”.  Fortunately, no one was injured.

Oh, there was a snow squall this morning as well.

Take care.

Flow

April 4, 2018

BW photograph of water flowing over two rocks.

Copyright 2018 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Practitioners of meditation are encouraged to enter a state of calm by focusing on the slow inhalation/exhalation cycle of breathing when being still.  Focusing on one’s steps is a way of achieving the same effect when walking.  In either case, especially when new to the practice or when in times of chaos, it can be difficult to keep the world’s clutter at bay.  When thoughts arise, and they most certainly do, one method to cope with this neurological noise is to allow them to come and go, to flow if you will, as water does over and between the rocks in a stream.

BW photograph of Big Hunting Creek. with post-winter flow.

Copyright 2018 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

In turbulent times, that is often much easier said than done.  Sometimes there are many, many thoughts that can come in a sequence, which tends to interrupt the zen one desires.  On other occasions, it may be one persistent thought that keeps a steady buzz.

Practice and effort, though, brings rewards when the sense of calm is achieved.

It also helps to visit places like those imaged here.  A pleasant state of stillness is possible by closing the eyes, allowing the muscles to relax, the breathing to slow, and just listening to the water run.

Take care.

Which?

April 2, 2018

BW photograph-is it water or clouds?

Copyright 2018 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

One of the issues with abstract photography is determining exactly what is being viewed.

Is the above a photograph of wispy clouds in the sky or the ripples of water in a running stream?

Does it matter?

Take care.

Flattened: A Metaphor

March 29, 2018

 

BW photograph of a crushed Nestle water bottle in a parking lot.

Copyright 2018 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Bw photograph of a crushed Coca Cola can laying beside a road.

Copyright 2018 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

BW photograph of a crushed plastic bottle beside a road.

Copyright 2018 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

This is what happens when a larger, much more powerful, robust force meets a smaller, much more malleable, and relatively fragile object.

In the Anthropocene Era, there are many examples of the human/other species interaction that results in a hard time for the other species.

In a 2015 National Geographic interview, Elizabeth Kolbert discusses those outcomes.  She also acknowledges the adaptability of the human species while at the same time making the argument that it is best to not push these limits further.  Reading on, is it not interesting that the question about human survivability in a changing environment arises?  That is a key point and question.

BW photograph of a damaged guardrail after a crash.

Copyright 2018 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

From playing football for many years, one lesson I learned was that there was/is always someone bigger, faster, and more powerful than you.  Play long enough and it is only a matter of time until you encounter such a situation.

BW photograph of a broken headlight and bottle amid leaves beside a road.

Copyright 2018 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Yes, there are techniques that can be employed to counter those disadvantages, but there is a clear limit at which technique does not matter-you are going to get tossed about.  The human lifestyle has altered the natural environment in such a way that many species have not the time to make adjustments-hence the Sixth Extinction.  Ironically, and appropriately, John McPhee’s The Control of Nature discusses several attempts that humans have made with wrangling Mother Nature to conform with the human will.  That does not always turn out so well for humans.

Cormac McCarthy has written about a different form of adaptation.

Take care.

Interaction

March 27, 2018

BW photograph of a wall with a diagonal downspout in contrasty light.

Copyright 2018 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

There are several locations that I photograph repeatedly-this wall is one of them.

Part of the reasoning for this is accessibility, but the overriding factor has to do with the character of the structure (the brickwork, windows, and diagonal downspout) and the ambient light as it interacts with those elements.

Walls impart a sense of permanence and stability (as any follower of current geopolitics understands, they also most certainly serve as a means of separation and enclosure).  The light, however, is anything but.  For example, the shadows are quite well-defined, and they are offset by bright highlights.  This combination is created by a very strong, very direct, light source-the sun was bright and the sky clear on the day the photograph was made.   The current conditions are exactly the opposite-the sky is uniformly overcast as it is moving on toward rain.  Therefore, if this wall were to be photographed at the moment this is being written, the distinct film noir look seen here would be missing.

I very much prefer this type of lighting for this type of subject.

Take care.