Erosion

May 31, 2017

BW photograph of the water running at Morgan Run.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

It has continued to be a wet spring thus far in this part of the world in 2017-this is Morgan Run moving along.

BW photograph of the pattern made in small pebbles by storm run-off.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

The above photograph shows the run-off pattern formed when heavy amounts of rain gush from Morgan Run’s parking area downhill toward the Run proper.

BW photograph of tree roots exposed by erosion.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Over the years, such flooding has eroded the banks along Morgan Run leaving tree roots exposed.

BW photograph of tree roots exposed by erosion.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Their serpentine patterns and tonal/textural qualities are intriguing.

BW photograph of a larger rock resting on an exposed tree root after a storm.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

And they occasionally become a resting spot for other objects pushed along by the torrent.

BW photograph of roots, grasses, and water running at Morgan Run after a storm.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

The above is a wider shot-the tree roots are to the lower left.  The grasses are an indication of the former high-water mark from the most recent storms.

BW photograph of a downed tree at Morgan Run.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Ultimately, once enough of the soil has washed away, the tree roots have nothing left with which to hold-this particular tree fell some time ago.

As some of the above photographs were being made, Cyclone Mora  was hitting  Bangladesh.  As with the previous post about the 2017 Hurricane Season and the flooding that occurred in Sri Lanka, extreme weather often takes a much larger toll on those living in least-developed countries, which have neither the infrastructure nor the resources to adequately cope with the destruction.  The 2015 Paris Climate Accord was finally positioned to actually move the bar in terms of reducing global greenhouse gas emissions and further the adaptation/mitigation needed to address a warming planet-President Obama supported this plan.

However, the current president continues to mull over whether or not the United States’ will keep the commitment it made to the world.

Take care.

Memorial Day 2017

May 29, 2017

BW photograph of a United States flag hanging outside a shop for Memorial Day.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

BW photograph of a United States flag attached to a Jeep.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Today is Memorial Day.

Whatever the politics, and it is impossible to separate the politics from war-Clausewitz wrote “War is the continuation of politics by other means,” it is important to remember those who have served.

Take care.

2017 Hurricane Season

May 28, 2017

BW photograph of storm clouds between a stand of various trees.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

NOAA issued a press release about their 2017 Hurricane Season (June 1-November 30, 2017) Outlook.  This is a useful read as it describes the variables involved in creating such a report, the probability of the identified events, and the range of storms anticipated-this is a compact graphic of the relevant numbers.  Reading the first link in its entirety is recommended as a means of understanding the greater complexity involved in such an endeavor.  Weather, and hurricanes in particular, are predictable only in their unpredictability.

While the Atlantic Hurricane Season is awaiting its start, this occurred on the other side of the world.

It is always important to remember that it does not take a hurricane-force storm to wreak havoc and take lives-they just tend to get the names and the attention.

Take care.

Rolling Thunder

May 26, 2017

BW photograph of storm clouds between a stand of trees.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

The cloud system pictured here was part of a thunderstorm that produced a (mostly) gentle rain as it moved about the area.

BW photograph of storm clouds between a stand of trees.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

It was interesting to listen to the thunder and watch the lighting both gain and lose intensity as the storm rambled through. In fact, locally, the decibel of the thunder and brilliance of the lightning were of inverse proportion to the rain that fell-that may not have been the case elsewhere.

BW photograph of storm clouds.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

While it certainly is a descriptor for this particular storm, the phrase “Rolling Thunder” is associated with at least two important socio-cultural events of the 20th century:  the first was the initiation and escalation of bombing during the Vietnam War in the early-mid 1960s; the second was Bob Dylan’s “Rolling Thunder Revue”, which was a series of concerts performed in the mid-1970s.  Mr. Dylan’s use of that name has an interesting history of its own…

Take care.

Summer 2017

May 18, 2017

BW photograph of a twisted and broken sapling in the woods.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

It was 84 degrees this morning at 10:00 a.m.  By 1:00 p.m., it was 94 degrees.  That is supposed to change this weekend as cooler weather and possible thunderstorms are forecast for the area.

Meanwhile, the Mid-West continues to be hammered as described in this discussion.  That source indicates we are coming off the wettest April in the past 60 years and provides an overview of the weather expectations for Summer 2017.  Please be sure to listen a few minutes into the discussion for meteorologist Angela Fritz to explain the relationship between weather and climate change-particularly as it relates to the development of extreme weather.

The discussion of FEMA is just as important.

Take care.

Stability

May 16, 2017

BW photograph of blurred water running among dark rocks.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Many variations of the above composition have been posted here over the years.  In fact, I was photographing this scene long before blogs and digital capture existed.  This is a spot I visit often as it is readily accessible and yet can feel quite far away.

“Variations” is an important point as the photographs are not ever quite the same.  The rocks most certainly do provide an anchor, stability, if you will, to the images.  Yet, it is clear that they have been transformed by decades of running water as the texture and the stratified grooves evidence the wear-and-tear incurred.  What will they be like years from now?  I hope to see.

The water?  It is never the same in this particular spot-the changes occur nanosecond by nanosecond.  The water levels rise and fall depending on the weather and climate.  The force and sound are based on volume-sometimes it is a trickle, other times a torrent.  In any case, it is constantly on the move.

Together, the rocks and the water create many contrasts-light vs. dark; solid vs. fluid; stability vs. change.  The rocks offer a reliable presence-they persevere.  A specific measure of water was already long gone and replaced before the next click of the shutter-a process that was unending on this day.  All else being equal, there should be many years yet to photograph the rocks.  The water will remain mercurial.  Of course, nature is not equal.  It is possible to imagine the erosion that will inexorably, ultimately, lead to the demise of the rocks.  Or a big enough storm will flood the area and wash away this scene.  Climate change may dry-out the water.

As such, this image is also a metaphor for the times in which we live.  Can you think of anything else that could benefit from some stability?

Take care.

Simplicity

May 15, 2017

BW photograph of a leaf with water droplets laying upon a rock.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

The beauty in simplicity…

Take care.

Spring Colour

May 14, 2017

Colour photograph of a decaying log in front of lichen covered rocks and some bright green leaves.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

This is the photograph on which I was working when the rain began to fall as explained in the previous post.  I do not like to mix BW and colour photographs in the same entry, and this one really did need to be presented in colour.

Take care.

Run-off

May 14, 2017

BW photograph of rain clouds over Thurmont from the Hog Rock Overlook.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

We have had quite a bit of rain over the past few days.

BW photograph of the water runoff on the Hog Rock Trail.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

So much so, that even though the rain had (mostly) stopped by yesterday afternoon, it was still running-off the slope on the Hog Rock Trail in Thurmont, MD.

BW photograph of leaf debris from rain runoff.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

There was plenty of evidence of a greater run-off from earlier in the weekend.  In fact, the wind came up and it began to rain just a bit as I was making some other photographs.

BW photograph of sunlight highlighting leaves against a darker, wooded background.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Once that sprinkle cleared, the sun came out and began to dry and warm the day-the transition from overcast to rain to sunlight was pure bliss.  It was good to be outside…

Take care.

Trees

May 9, 2017

BW photograph of three trees and some clouds.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

A tree is being removed in the neighborhood-the loud buzzing of chain saws began early this morning.  It happens to be the tree to the far left in this photograph, which is also in the preceding post.  That means the two photographs from that earlier blog, the image above (which was made yesterday) and the moon shadow (which made at 3:00 a.m. or so this morning), are no longer possible.

BW photograph of a fallen tree that has been segmented as it fell across a road.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

The other trees included in this post were brought down following weather events-the one above was subsequently segmented as it had fallen across a road.  I remember the storm that knocked it down because I was on that road the following day and had to turn around as the tree had bisected the road.

BW photograph looking up into the trunk of a fallen tree.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

This one fell into a field and was therefore left to its own demise.

In the above two cases, there is evidence of the role disease played in the felling of the trees.  It also appears that disease played a role in the removal of the one in the neighborhood.  This 2015 article references and discusses the number of human-removed trees dropped each year on a global basis-15 billion.  As per the report, this amounts to a loss of 46% of trees since humans evolved.

Trees absorb carbon dioxide and are thus an important resource in the removal of that greenhouse gas.  Once a tree is downed, it is no longer able to participate in that process.  If the tree is subsequently burned, not only is more CO2 created, the amount of CO2 the tree has stored over its lifetime is also released into the atmosphere.  Globally, forests are cut, a process called deforestation, for building supplies and to clear land for agriculture and other forms of subsistence living, as well as for heat and cooking.  When the forests are cleared for the raising of cattle, another climate change issue emerges:  cattle release methane, another greenhouse gas that is actually much more potent than CO2.

And thus becomes the dilemma.  If a tree is diseased, especially one in a neighborhood, it presents a risk to the built structures-better to remove it systematically then to wait until it falls, right? (I had to make this decision a few years ago when a large, large Norway Maple in my yard became diseased and appeared to be a threat to mine and my neighbor’s houses.)  However, what of the trees that are cleared to build those neighborhoods to begin with?  The issue of global poverty is quite real-while the rate of extreme poverty is decreasing, it still reflects 10.7% of the world’s population (as of 2013) according to the World Bank.  How to address this?  Also, there is the point being made here about the interaction of deforestation and poverty.  The cattle/methane issue speaks specifically to diet.  As long as there is a reliance on beef for consumption, the pressure brought to bear to grow and feed the animals increases-this requires land to raise the animals as well as the feed.  What to do?

Here is one answer.  Note, though, the net loss of trees discussed in that article.

It is important to consider others.

Take care.