Late September 2014

September 29, 2014

 

BW photograph of a tree and fence at sunrise.

Copyright 2014 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

There has been a decided chill in the air over the past few mornings-a sure sign that fall has arrived and that even cooler (colder) temperatures will be coming.  And they will be coming.

BW photograph of a church steeple, trees, and clouds.

Copyright 2014 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

But not yet.

To wit:  I was on the periphery of a conversation in which someone was explaining how the thought of winter made it impossible to enjoy the fall.  While that sentiment is certainly understandable, especially after last winter, focusing that far into the future also seems to prevent any appreciation of the crisp beauty of the now.

Take care.

Drought

September 25, 2014

Rainy morning at the college.

Copyright 2014 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

It started raining last night and with that came coastal flood watches in Maryland.

Meanwhile, on the opposite coast, the drought in California continues to generate a lot of national and international press coverage:  The October issue of National Geographic magazine has an article.  The September 29 issue of The New Yorker has a photo essay.  Last month, The Guardian published a photo essay of the impact of the drought.  Just doing a search for “2014 California Drought” will bring innumerable articles.

This is newsworthy for many reasons, including:  the impact on the United States’ food supply; the current (and previous and yet-to-come) wildfires; the economic impact on farmers and farm workers; and the link to climate change.

Meanwhile, the countries in the Sahel region of Africa, along with many humanitarian organizations, have been  attempting to cope with such conditions for a much longer time, as summarized in this report/plan from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and this 2012 report from the World Food Program (WFP).

Regarding climate change, earlier this week the United Nations convened the Climate Summit in New York City, which is a prelude to the UNCCC meeting in Paris in 2015.  It is during that latter meeting when negotiations will be held with regard to the plan for reduction/adaptation/mitigation in relation to climate change.  The conditions in California and the Sahel are just two examples of the issues facing world leaders-issues that continue to worsen the longer that talk and delay substitutes for substantive action.  The Guardian posted this interactive carbon map that highlights the many and varied problems exacerbated by global climate change-it is worth a look and a few clicks.

It is also past time for a world-wide response.

Take care.

 

Fog

September 21, 2014

Sun rising over gas station on a foggy morning.

Copyright 2014 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Fog is a wonderful atmospheric with which to work.

BW photo of a lone horse standing in a field on a foggy morning.

Copyright 2014 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

The fine water droplets create a soft, ethereal  canvas that drapes over the landscape inducing a sense of serenity and calm.

Old fence and lock fading into the foggy morning.

Copyright 2014 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Fog also greatly reduces the amount of perceived detail-particularly the further into the scene you gaze.  Therein lies the danger.  For example, this morning while driving I came upon several bicyclists who were riding without lights and it was difficult to see them until coming closer-the fog simply shrouded them from view.

This same phenomena occurs with war as well.  Erroll Morris created a documentary entitled, appropriately, The Fog of War and it is worth a watch, especially in these times.  The movie is based on interviews with Mr. Robert S.  McNamara, who was one of the principle architects of the United States’ war with Viet Nam.  Mr. McNamara discusses the complexities of war and the complications that arise whence that course of action is taken.  Mr. Morris and Mr. McNamara provide a decidedly less artistic application of fog, all-the-while amplifying the sense of distortion it creates.

If the choice is made to watch The Fog of War, make it a double-feature by pairing it with The Unknown Known, another Erroll Morris documentary with Mr. Donald Rumsfeld as the subject.  Mr. Rumsfeld was the principle architect of the U.S. war with Iraq.

It is worth noting that walking about in the wet grass and feeling the dampness of the air on the skin is a much more pleasant experience.

Take care.

Foundations Part II

September 13, 2014

Tree trunk breaking through wood fence.

Copyright 2014 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Occasionally, if not frequently, there are forces that develop and grow in such a way so as to overwhelm the existing structures-be they physical or social.

At that point one must certainly evaluate the situation and determine the cost/benefit ratio of potential interventions.

The more complex the issue, the more complex those calculations become.

Take care.

Foundations

September 9, 2014

Broken foundation at Morgan Run.

Copyright 2014 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Given all that is happening in the world, it is useful to think about the foundations upon which civilized societies exist.  When doing so, one very quickly comes to recognize just how much of human interaction rests on matters of perspective.  Consider this line:  “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”  That quote comes from the Declaration of Independence and  is one of the fundamental principles upon which the United States was created.

Thomas Jefferson, one of our founding fathers and principle author of that document, was a slave-owner.

This apparent contradiction is discussed in this short segment of Race: The Power of an Illusion, which was created by California Newsreel.  The entire documentary is worth a watch as much of the content serves to illustrate the early foundations of many current, seemingly, intractable problems.

Take care.

 

Ship

September 9, 2014

BW photo Ship docked at Domino Sugar plant.

Copyright 2014 Kevin p. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

A photograph to ponder in terms of all that it could represent.

Take care.