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.

Advertisements

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.

Winter/Spring 2018

March 26, 2018

BW photograph of a low stone wall at Culp's Hill in Gettysburg, PA.

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

The sun was out, the winds calm, and the temp was relatively warm, so I took a drive around the battlefield in Gettysburg, PA.  While doing so, there were two thoughts that kept bouncing around in my head.

BW photograph of a tree casting a shadow on Cemetary Hill in Gettysburg, PA.

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

The first was that my perception of “winter” has changed.  Before explaining, though, it is useful to remember the difference and relationship between “sensation” and “perception”.  Sensation is the data-the stimuli that the brain converts to impulses for processing.  In this case, the sensations are the calendar date, the recent snow, and the ambient temperatures.  Perception, on the other hand, is the meaning given to the sensory data.  Given that March 20th was the first day of Spring, the perception is that Winter was supposed to be over.  It also seems that climate change has altered the timing of the weather patterns, but not the celestial movement:  that March is now the February of the past in terms of cold and snow.  Indeed, it was painful to watch robins trying to cope with the snow as it was falling a few days ago.  Their biological imperative has also not as yet adjusted.

BW photograph of a tree at Cemetary Hill In Gettysburg, PA.

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

The other thought was the irony of listening to NPR’s coverage of  March For Our Lives while being within the geography of one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War.

We can do much to alter the forward trajectory of both climate change and gun violence depending on the choices we make.

Take care.

13.5″

March 23, 2018

BW photograph of snow the first day of Spring 2018 at Morgan Run.

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

BW photograph of snow the first day of Spring 2018 at Morgan Run.

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

BW photograph of snow on the second day of Spring 2018.

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

The above photographs were made on March 20, 2018.  This was the first day of Spring.

BW photograph of snow on the second day of Spring 2018.

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

This photograph was made on March 21, 2018-the second day of Spring.

BW photograph of snow in trees on the third day of Spring 2018.

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

This final photograph was made on March 22 once the snow had stopped and the sun had returned.  It’s good that Spring has arrived-it would be hard to say what would have happened with the snow totals if it were still winter…

Take care.

(Brief) Road Trip

March 15, 2018

BW photograph of some of the rocks at the entrance to Harpers Ferry.

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

The eastern portion of the U.S. was hit with three nor’easters in a bit under three weeks recently.  New England felt the brunt of most of these, especially the most recent, but the Mid-Atlantic has had colder temperatures, higher winds, and periodic rain/snow showers over the same period.

BW photograph of trees and a lampost at the Harpers Ferry Visitors Center parking lot.

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

So, when there was a bit of a break in those three conditions, it was a good time to squeeze in the facsimile of a road trip.

BW photograph of a barrel a the entrance to the Harpers Ferry Visitors Center.

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

This was certainly no epic, but being on the road for something other than the commute to work provided a nice interlude and a sense of the getting away.

Take care.

 

BW photograph of the snow on pine trees during the second March 2018 nor'easter.

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

What started as rain late yesterday afternoon is now snow, which is quite beautiful given the absence of wind.

Take care.

BW photograph of blurry trees blowing in a nor'easter wind against a cloudy sky.

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

Another nor’easter blew into town this past Friday ravaging the Mid-Atlantic up into New England-the consequences of which proved to be quite severe.  As per The New York Times (the second link), this turned out to be “…the second “bomb cyclone” in two months.”  That this post follows the one preceding is demonstrative of the fickle nature of weather in the Anthropocene Era.

Aside from the opening photograph, the remaining images herein are from the Delaware and Maryland coastal area.

BW photograph of the surf looking out of the door of the Turtle Bay Cafe.

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

Above is the view looking out from the Turtle Bay Café (great coffee, which was especially welcome on a chilly, windy day) toward the ocean in Bethany Beach, DE.  Merchants along the boardwalk there gave conflicting reports with regard to which day’s surf was more intense (Friday or Saturday),  but all agreed that the storm had made an impact.

BW photograph of the roiled surf at Bethany Beach.

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

BW photograph of the roiled surf at Bethany Beach.

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

The surf off Bethany Beach was still roiling, and the wind was still howling on Saturday.

BW photograph of sand washed onto the boardwalk at Bethany Beach.

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

The combination of a full moon, high tide, and the storm led the surf to rise far enough so as to deposit sand on some parts of the boardwalk.

While browsing in Bethany Beach Books, I bought a copy of Diane Ackerman’s The Human Age: The World Shaped by Us, which was published in 2014.  Ms. Ackerman uses short chapters to discuss her point-of-view on the Anthropocene Era.  Several of the chapters deal with climate change as that is one of the hallmark issues of the time in which we live.  It was interesting to be reading her account of SuperStorm Sandy while a nor’easter was pummeling the same areas of the East Coast as did that infamous storm.

BW photograph of the Days Inn sign at Ocean City, MD.

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

BW photograph of the destroyed awning of the Days Inn in Ocean City.

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

BW photograph of the drywall debris from the Days Inn in Ocean City.

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

BW photograph of the drywall debris from the Days Inn in Ocean City.

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

BW photograph of the drywall debris from the Days Inn in Ocean City laying against a bench.

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

The above series of images is from Ocean City, MD, which is seven miles or so south of Bethany Beach.  The debris shown here was from the Days Inn-an exterior stairwell was blown apart and strewn about the boardwalk.

BW photograph of the Ocean City boardwalk looking north.

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

BW photograph of the Ocean City Fishing Pier with the roiling surf.

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

A walk along the entirety of the boardwalk revealed no other obvious major damage-the Fishing Pier appeared to still be intact.

BW photograph of a blown off lid and sand on the boardwalk in Ocean City.

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

BW photograph of a downed water spout and gutter on the boardwalk in Ocean City.

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

The sand and other incidental damage did give evidence to the wind.

BW photograph of a downed "Reserved Parking" sign in Ocean City.

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

It was, however, not clear if the above sign was downed by the wind or some other impact.

BW photograph of the main intersection in Chestertown, MD.

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

By Sunday, the sky had mostly cleared, the sun had come out, and the winds had abated just a bit.  The above photograph was made in Chestertown, MD.

There are still thousands without power in parts of Maryland.  Parts of New York are digging out from feet of snow.  Parts of Massachusetts are cleaning up from flooding.  There is no coming back from the loss of life.  Those same areas of the East Coast are now awaiting the storm referenced in the above links that hammered parts of California and pounded the Mid-West.  It is forecast to be the second nor’easter to occur within a matter of days.

Take care.

Stay safe.