December 30, 2013

Abandoned house with old trees and vines.

Copyright 2013 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Time moves along and we have so many ways to mark that passage:  objects of material culture like clocks and calendars; words like seconds, hours, and days; and concepts such as “miles-per-hour”.  It is easy to find other ways to measure the advance of time, especially in a built environ.  The changes depicted above would have happened inexorably over such a long period that minute differences would have been difficult to measure.  And yet, what must this house have looked like 20 years ago? Who lived there and what happened to them that allowed this house, someone’s home in another time, to fall into disrepair?

Mountainside with fog bank.

Copyright 2013 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

One could argue that time drives our culture.  For example, Amazon is investigating the use of drones for same-day delivery of packages.  How will this level of immediacy impact our desire for more stuff?  It is already fascinating to use an e-reader to order a book and in seconds be swiping the pages.  Will the drones hover for a period of time while the decision is made to keep the item or will we be able to recall the drones for same-day returns as well?

No, it is interesting to think of a world without a human-created measure of time.  The sun would continue to rise and arc across the sky and night would slowly fall giving way the return of the sun (or not, as the day could bring a layer of cloud and fog.  Still it would be lighter and one would have the sense of a new day.)  What would happen to the concept of deadlines and schedules?  What would be the effect on our collective psyche?  What would happen to commerce?

Perhaps we would all slow down a bit.

Take care.



December 24, 2013

Various trees on a snow-covered hillside.

Copyright 2013 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

2013 is about to end and I find myself meditating about trees.  I had written the draft of this post and then realized that it makes sense to be thinking about trees as tomorrow is Christmas-ah the unconscious.  In all honesty, though, tomorrow really did not enter the thought process as this post was planned. The rest of this is neither profound nor much past the obvious-there certainly are better stories about trees and John Sexton’s photographs are far and away superior to these.

Bear's Den pond after rain.

Copyright 2013 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Still, I like to think about trees and what they represent.  There are tall and strong and in many circumstances, remarkably resilient.  In high winds, up to and including the lower grades of hurricanes, they absorb the energy by flexing with the pressure.  A lesson is to be learned from that.

Maple leaf on ground with light frost.

Copyright 2013 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

They are also iconic landmarks for the changing of the seasons, at least here in the East where we (still) have seasons.  These transitions are marked by the disappearance, and subsequent re-emergence, of deciduous trees’ foliage.

Single bare tree on cloudy day.

Copyright 2013 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

And as bare as they are now, in just a few months time, they will be green again.  Until then, we can enjoy the marvelous and intricate shapes that in that time, will be left unseen.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all.

Take care.

Thoughts about Snow and Cold

December 15, 2013

Snow falling

Copyright 2013 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

We have had several snowfalls over the past few days and while each was not that much in terms of depth, the snow was moisture-rich and therefore heavy to move.  Waking up this morning to a bit more snow and a crust of ice was not that pleasant, especially given that my back was still stiff from the last shovel.

Snowy tree

Copyright 2013 Kevin P. Mick Photography.

As I started to move that snow, the HBO series Band of Brothers, which depicts the role that Easy Company of the 101st Airborne played in WWII, imposed itself upon my consciousness: specifically, the episodes covering the Battle of the Bulge, which was fought during the winter of 1944-45 at Bastogne in the Ardennes Forest.  The soldiers fought, slept, and patrolled in snow, sleet, and freezing rain without the benefit of being able to get warm, let alone move inside.  This was also the last major German offensive and so the fighting was fierce. 

Single tree with footprints in snow

Copyright 2013 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Being able to put circumstances into perspective is a useful tool.  I am not having to stand in a foxhole awaiting the next attack.  I am not homeless and have the ability to eat and get warm at will.  Yes, my back hurts and my driveway is long.  I am thankful for both.

Take care.

Another 24 Hours

December 10, 2013

Tree in active snowstorm

Copyright 2013 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Here we are 24 hours later…and it is not supposed to be winter until December 21.  We are to have an additional 4-6″ of snow today and then drop into the single digits tomorrow night.  That is quite cold for the Mid-Atlantic, especially this early in the season.

Of course, everything is relative.  This particular storm really hammered the upper Mid-West and deep in the heart of Texas there were many issues due to the accumulation of ice.

I will try to keep that in mind as I shovel the driveway for the second time in 48 hours.

Take care.


24 Hours

December 9, 2013

House on a sunny day

Copyright 2013 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Saturday, December 7 was bright and sunny in the early morning-much as it was in 1941 and 24 hours later the United States was officially in World War II.

House on a snowy day

Copyright 2013 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Nothing anywhere near that monumental happened here on December 8-after all, only war is like war and it is beyond compare.  However, in 24 hours the weather here took a decided swing to the winter.  The temperature was in the 20s and we ended up with 7.5 inches of snow before the precipitation began to turn.  It is interesting to point out that the forecast called for 1-3″ of snow, and many areas appeared to have received that little.  However, temperature variances in the upper atmosphere led to much higher totals elsewhere.  Such is the difficulty with predicting that which often remains unpredictable (the weather).  Even with the sophistication of today’s technology, you still really would not “know” what the weather is until you put your head out the door and looked.

Icy branches after storm

Copyright 2013 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

In another 24 hours, the precipitation had frozen leaving everything with a crystal sheen of ice.  This part of the forecast was correct.

Weather, of course, often makes dramatic changes in such short periods of time.  Other issues, such as climate change, can only really be evidenced when you string many, many, many 24-hour periods together.  Still another example of dramatic change over time would be the life of Nelson Mandela, who died a few 24 hours ago at the age of 95.   Much can, and should, be read about Mr. Mandela and his life.  After 27 years of 24-hours-a-day in prison, he set about to change a country.  Mike Johnson, a photographer whose blog I read, posted this about Mr. Mandela.  I think Mr. Johnson’s first three paragraphs say what needs to be said about Mr. Mandela and the world in general.

Take care.