Impermanence/Permanence?

February 28, 2016

BW photograph of Big Hunting Creek after snowmelt

Copyright 2016 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Buddhist monks practice a concept called “impermanence,” which essentially means that all things are time-limited.  For example, running water is never the same from one instant to the next.

BW photograph of a tree trunk that is decaying

Copyright 2016 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Organic beings most certainly succumb to this reality.

BW photograph of a thrown away Minute Maid juice bottle lying in a pile of sticks

Copyright 2016 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

However, all bets are off with regard to the application of impermanence to synthetic objects.

BW photograph of a thrown away plastic iced tea bottle beside a decaying log

Copyright 2016 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

There are varying estimates for the longevity of plastic, but it does not decay as does organic material-it becomes more and more brittle and then breaks into smaller and smaller pieces.  The log in the above photograph will be long gone before the same can be said for the plastic bottle.

Reduce and reuse, but certainly do not just throw away or leave behind-more than diamonds last “forever”.

Take care.

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Impact

February 21, 2016

BW photograph of a large snowbank of piled snow in a parking lot

Copyright 2016 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

A little while back, we had approximately 30 inches of snow in one storm.  Once that became manageable (to the degree that it did), another few inches fell in a separate squall.  That, in turn, was followed by single digit temperatures.  A day or so later, we had rain, which turned to ice, and then back to rain before moving on.

BW photograph of a bent guardrail aloing a highway

Copyright 2016 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Along the highways in this area are long ribbons of guard rail that have been crumpled as a result of the efforts to clear the roads from that original dump.

BW photograph of a rubbled parking lot due to freezing weather

Copyright 2016 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

The snow melt and rain were captured by the many and varied cracks and crevices.  Once the temperatures fell well below freezing, the expanding ice turned some asphalt to rubble.

Yesterday, when these photographs were made, the temperature was 63 degrees.

Snow is in the forecast for Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Fiji is cleaning up from the initial battering of  Typhoon Winston, which was characterized by 184 mph winds.

This report from NPR provides an interesting look at the current weather patterns.

All of this is quite an impact.

Take care.

 

Interactions

February 10, 2016

BW photograph of some snow melting into ice

Copyright 2016 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

The contrast between light and dark and the interaction between the two.

BW photograph of a small patch of white snow melting into blacker sediment

Copyright 2016 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Here we have a bit of snow melting into a patch of (much) darker sediment.  Given that the darker material absorbs heat, and therefore becomes warmer, the snow at the edge will melt much faster.  That, in turn, creates more uncovered sediment with subsequently more area to absorb heat-thus the snow will melt at a quicker pace.  In addition, as the snow ages, it, too, becomes darker and will speed up its own demise.  This particular event is taking place in my driveway.

That same dynamic that is playing out on a monumentally bigger scale in Greenland and other glaciated areas.  As the planet warms and the glaciers melt, more open water is exposed.  The darker water then absorbs more heat, which hastens the melting of the glaciers.  A few years ago, Glaciologist Dr. Jason Box theorized that any darker sediments deposited on the surface of the ice creates a similar effect, as discussed in this article.  (For more information about this work, please visit The Dark Snow Project.) While it is important to remember that a theory is a plausible explanation for something observed-a theory is not a fact.  Still, Dr. Box’s “unified theory” is compelling.  Indeed, Dr. Sarah Doherty furthers the discussion and brings it to the United States.

For those who live in areas where there is snow, you will be able to gather your own anecdotal evidence of this effect.

Take care.