The Days Before

June 29, 2018

BW photograph of a rail fence and stone wall on Culp's Hill.

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

BW photograph of a rail fence and stone wall on Culp's Hill.

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

BW photograph of a rail fence and stone wall on Culp's Hill.

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

BW photograph of a sunlit tree on Culp's Hill.

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

BW photograph of cows grazing in Gettysburg on a sunny morning.

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

The above photographs were made at Culp’s Hill, which is part of the battlefield at Gettysburg.  The fighting in this area began on July 1 and continued until July 3, 1863.

I usually visit the battlefield at some point during the anniversary.  This year, I went a little early as the forecast is calling for conditions much like those when the battle was actually fought:  sunny, hot, and humid.  Fortunately, the time to be there was a choice, and one that was easily made.  The soldiers most certainly did not have that option in 1863.

On this morning, it was sunny, but relatively cool, and quite comfortable.  It was as serene a walk as one could want.

Take care.

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Plastic Proliferation

June 27, 2018

BW photograph of caution tape laying on the grass.

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

The June 2018 issue of National Geographic contained a provocative question on its cover:  “Planet or Plastic?”

BW photograph of a plastice tea bottle laying amid some leaves.

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

The main article began with these words:  “We made it.  We depend on it. We’re drowning in it.”

BW photograph of a straw and lid laying in the grass.

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

The portraits included in this post are simply examples of what we leave behind on our travels.

BW photograph of a plastic cup laying in a gutter.

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

The article in the magazine details the consequences of a dependency on plastic, which include the dangers to the various biologicals who encounter the substance-humans are not exempt.

BW photograph of a broken plastic bottle laying on top of the dirt.

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

 

BW photograph of a mostly full plastic soda bottle laying in a gutter.

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

 

BW photograph of a mostly full plastic water bottle laying amid some plants.

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

 

BW photograph of several trash/recycling bins.

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

Reduce, reduce, reduce…and find other alternatives.

Take care.

Separation

June 21, 2018

BW photograph of a No Trespassing sign laying on the ground.

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

Over the past few days, the separation of children from their parents/families at the U.S. border is an issue that has been widely covered and discussed.  The latest controversy also (again) brings to the fore the legacy of U.S. immigration policy.  Significantly, the implementation of detention and deportation policies appear to often hinge on keys words contained in or absent from previous legislation.  For example, former Assistant Attorney Leon Fresco points out the importance of the word “unaccompanied” being excluded from the Flores case, which was decided in 1996.  (The meaning of words and their contextual significance is the basis for the Symbolic Interactionism theory in Sociology.)

With regard to Sociology, one of the significant agents of socialization (those institutions charged with the transmission of culture from one generation to the next) is media.  How one thinks and/or feels about this separation, and immigration in general, is influenced by the sources of information to which one pays attention.  This report from NPR discusses the differing manner by which the current immigration issue is being framed by various news outlets.  What is being highlighted here is that difference-the same story is being explained/analyzed by competing belief systems.  That which is held to be “true” or “fake news” is most likely influenced by confirmation bias-the tendency to select and judge the credibility of sources based on those that contain information supporting pre-existing views.  Quite simply, we tend to agree with those sources that present information consistent with our views.

In a separate report, NPR addressed the potential implications of the stress-induced trauma that occurs under such conditions.  Given the age of the children, the plasticity of the brain during those developmental stages, and the magnitude of the emotional and biochemical response from being forcibly separated from one’s family, this is an issue of concern.  One would do well to put aside political views and attend to this as a humanitarian issue.  Indeed, the U.N. has called such separations illegal, and the living former first ladies have also condemned the action.

Two bills to address immigration are scheduled for a House vote later today-both would legislate the keeping of families together.  (The president finally did utilize his formerly denied executive power to do the same.  That, however, does not ameliorate the issue.)  Given the deep political divides regarding immigration, it is doubtful that either of these bills will pass.  Therefore, the immigration impasse, one based on the implementation of zero tolerance, will, in all likelihood, continue.

That we are a nation of immigrants appears to be considered irrelevant.

Take care.

BW photograph of Morgan Run just after a rain.

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

it was the worst of times…”  While that is part of an extremely impressive beginning to A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, it has now become quite the cliché.  Nonetheless, it was apropos for this particular day at Morgan Run.

BW photograph of a rock with water flowing around it.

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

A bit of a Spring rain had just ended leaving the water with a gentle flow…

BW photograph of a poplar leaf laying atop a rock.

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

while the light was nice and soft as a result of the still overcast skies.  More rain was yet to come.

As such, the sights and sounds provided by nature were all that one could want.

BW photograph of a crushed plastic bottle.

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

BW photograph of two plastic bottles laying among some leaves.

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

BW photograph of a flipflop laying among leaves.

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

At the same time, the human imprint was also quite evident.  That is, unfortunately, most often the case-especially now that the weather has warmed and more people are accessing the area.

Take care.

 

 

Fallen

June 9, 2018

BW photograph of a fallen, broken, tree.

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

Over the past few months, and especially recently, many images of deadfall and the result of the interaction between weather and trees have been posted and discussed.  The one above is in keeping with those themes.  As this is being written, the sky is darkening as the latest round of thunderstorms is building.

Photographically, diagonal lines can draw the viewer’s attention.  While vertical and horizontal lines imply stability, diagonal lines induce a bit of tension in a scene.  The tension in this particular photograph, though, has already been released as the tree has fallen.   Still, there remains a bit of drama as the tree is neither vertical nor completely horizontal.

The existential question remains:  did it make a sound when it fell?

Take care.