Frigid

January 21, 2019

BW photograph of a cemetary with a disused silo in the background.

Copyright 2019 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Temperatures in the single digits at night and daytime lows below zero with the windchill factor applied have made for a frigid few days.

BW photograph of an old outhouse against a background of trees.

Copyright 2019 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

It was quite useful to have had a warmer alternative to this particular facility…

Take care.

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Time Passing

January 4, 2019

BW photograph of the Sands Motel and its marquee.

Copyright 2019 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

The Sands Motel was in business from 1948 until 2018-that is quite a run.  It is now being demolished and is to be rebuilt and updated.

As per the info from that second link, it must not have aged gracefully.  Indeed, a brief review of feedback indicates that it was in need of renewal.  So it would seem to be of almost anything of that vintage, especially one subject to a fair amount of wear and tear from weather and occupation-the marque seems indicative of that.  Still, it makes one wonder how many people stayed at the Sands over that 70 year history.

BW photograph of a door at the being demolished Sands Motel.

Copyright 2019 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

From where did they come?  How long did they stay?  What did they do while here?

BW photograph of the lower level of the being demolished Sands Motel.

Copyright 2019 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

What must have happened in these rooms over the years?  Were the visitors happy or sad to leave?

BW photograph showing the bucket of the crane this is being used to demolish the Sands Motel.

Copyright 2019 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

While the physical structure is soon to be no longer there, those that did spend time at the Sands Motel will have their memories of the experience.  That is unless they, too, have deteriorated…age will do that.

Take care.

Seasons

December 20, 2018

BW photograph of grasses flattened by floodwaters and then covered with frost.

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

California has long had what is referred to as “Fire Season”.  Unfortunately, that season is occupying more and more months of the year.

Locally, we appear to be developing the opposite problem-a “Flash Flood Season”.  Increasingly, rains are heavier and more frequent.  It seems that each time a weather system develops and is forecast, it is accompanied by a flash flood watch/warning.  Indeed, this morning on NPR, the Capital Weather Gang reported that the current storm on the way has resulted in the 25th time that designation has been applied this year.  The local waterways then reflect whether or not it comes to fruition.

As per the pattern, the last heavy rain caused a rise in water levels-this was then followed by a drop in the overnight temperature.  Together, this created the wonderfully graphic mix of flood-flattened grasses that were covered with early morning frost as seen above.

While such conditions provide pleasing opportunities for photographers, it is, of course, important to remember the destructive nature of such flooding.  This is a reminder of one such recent event.

Take care.

Ponder

December 3, 2018

BW photograph of highways from a hotel window.

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

Distance changes perspective-stillness provides the opportunity to ponder.

When looking out and down from a hotel window, the ground appears as a Legoscape.  Given that this is a view from only five stories elevated, the cars and such are not so miniaturized so as to be toy-like, but are enough smaller to be that.  Such a view, especially when stilled by a photograph, gives one time to observe.  For example, the uniformity of the vehicles.  Not much style or colour difference (allowing for this being a B&W photo) is there?  The circularity of the on/off ramp suggests what Nietzsche refers to as the “eternal recurrence” (playing out the same situations again and again and again…).  The construction equipment, though, argues a different scenario-something is being changed.  The pile of pipes indicates that what is being altered will most likely be buried out of sight.  If so, then the landscape will ultimately appear as if unaltered, which may then, in fact, remind of that infinite repeat.  Lastly, this is what a 50 degree, foggy, early December evening looks like here.  Perhaps it is better to be inside than out on the road.

Take care.

Beauty

October 13, 2018

BW photograph of hay rolls in Antietam.

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

That which is considered beautiful is subjective and very much a culturally defined term.

BW photograph of Burnside Bridge at Antietam.

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

A cool, crisp October morning with a bright sun rising in the east provided some measure of that criteria.

BW photograph of the Dunkerd Church at Antietam.

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

It was a beautiful morning for a walk.

That well over 20,000 men were either killed, wounded, or went missing here in 1862 defies the imagination and stands in very stark contrast to the feel of this place on this particular day and time.  The battle at Antietam was the “single bloodiest day” in United States history.

Gen. Robert E. Lee has been quoted in multiple sources as having said “It is well for war to be so terrible, lest we grow fond of it.”  Indeed.  And yet, the Civil War in the U.S. continued until 1864; then there was WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq (twice) and Afghanistan-the latter is ongoing.  These are just some of the overt wars for the U.S.-although there has been no declaration of war since WWII.  That list does not include the covert activities nor the ones for which we supply one side against the other as in Yemen, for example.  We provide Saudi Arabia with arms and support in what amounts to a proxy war with Iran.  The violence of the Civil Rights Movement and the riots of 1967 and 1968 are not included, yet were bloody in their own right.  Globally, we could discuss the fighting in many other places (Myanmar) or the threat of such elsewhere (Bosnia and Herzegovina).  One does not have to reach the point of taking up arms to be destructive.  Think about the belief systems and public policies that support racism and destroy the environment, to name two, both here and around the world.

It is so very helpful to get outside and see and feel and smell and touch the beauty that exists.  It is also important to remember how fleeting that can be unless there is a shared recognition that short-term gain for some cannot be a substitute for longer-term deprivation, exploitation, and outright elimination of another.

Take care.

Water

October 5, 2018

BW photograph of Morgan Run with blurred water due to slow shutter speed.

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

Running water is a favourite subject for landscape photographers.  A relatively slow shutter speed is often used to create the smoothed out effect seen above and in the two photographs immediately below.  While this is an aesthetic choice, a slow shutter speed (measured in full seconds) is often a necessity when photographing in low light and using a relatively small aperture (f/8 for example) for depth-of-field.

BW photograph a small waterfall at Morgan Run.

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

BW photograph of Morgan Run with blurred water due to slow shutter speed.

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

BW photograph of Morgan Run with somewhat sharper water due to faster shutter speed.

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

This is the same scene as the photo immediately above, except a  faster shutter speed was used.  As such, the water takes on much more of an “edgy” quality, which perhaps gives a better sense of what power it can possess.  As an aside, this is the reason water, when imaged by sports photographers, has been “frozen”-the high shutter speed needed to stop the motion of a kayaker in a set of rapids also stops the motion of the water.

BW photograph of debris from flooding at Morgan Run.

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

The past months have been extremely wet (it stormed again last night and sprinkled just a bit this morning) and Morgan Run has, on a few occasions, rampaged over its banks.  The above and following photographs document several piles of debris that have wedged against the trees along those banks.  Some of this debris was 20-30 feet beyond the usual water line under non-flood conditions.

BW photograph of tree trunk debris at Morgan Run after flooding.

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

BW photograph of debris among trees at Morgan Run after flooding.

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

BW photograph of a down tree, stripped of bark, after flooding at MR.

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

There is a fury within that water can unleash-even a normally (relatively) small bit of water such as Morgan Run can move large objects when flooded.  Looking at these piles led me to think about the earthquake and accompanying tsunami that recently hit Indonesia.  Even with hearing/reading the reports, such an event is still unimaginable.  The death toll is currently 1500 plus and expectations are that this number will rise as workers continue to search the enormity of destruction-the number of people swept out to sea remains unknown.  While those who have survived must now face the physical task of rebuilding their lives and communities, the remains from such a catastrophic event are not always visible.  The psychological trauma visited upon those can persist.

Reminders always remain.  For example, in 2011, an earthquake/tsunami destroyed the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan.  Radiation most certainly can be measured, but not by using the naked eye; therefore, continued monitoring and testing is required.  While that area continues the process of recovery, fisherman, whose livelihoods have been impacted since the event, are concerned about a plan to dump treated water from the plant in the ocean.

Take care.

 

Rain (Continued)

September 13, 2018

BW photograph of Morgan Run after Gordon's floods but before the arrival of Florence.

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

The title is both literal and figurative.

Rain has been the main subject over the past few posts.  Even though “Rocks” documents a hike that took place on an 80+ degree humid morning, the main emphasis was the impact of the rain in this region.  Over the past few days, the remnants of Tropical Storm Gordon has dumped a copious amount of rain.  The above photograph is of Morgan Run from this past Tuesday morning, and depicts a vastly lower water level than existed this past Sunday morning-it was still raining hard then.  Mostly cloudy and misty conditions have prevailed since, with smaller periods of heavy rain.

Given that the water level had fallen, what was left to document was the result of the flooding.

BW photograph of the erosion debris onthe walkway at Morgan Run after a recent deluge.

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

This is the debris that had either been washed down the walkway from the parking lot or had been deposited by the current during the most recent flooding at Morgan Run.  For a bit of perspective, the fishing platform in the background was under water on Sunday.

BW photograph of a leaning Sycamore tree's roots that have been exposed due to flooding.

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

BW photograph of a row of Sycamore roots exposed by flood waters.

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

The photographs above show the exposed roots of several large Sycamore trees.

BW photograph of a pine tree's roots exposed by flooding at Morgan Run.

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

These belong to a pine tree nearby.

The high water mark from the weekend was well above the location of these trees-in other words, they were partially under water over the weekend.  Morgan Run has over-topped its banks several times this year, which has resulted in the soil being washed away.  It goes without saying that this is a cumulative effect-Morgan Run has flooded many times in the years that I have been visiting the area.

BW photograph of broken logs wedged against Sycamore roots after a flood.

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

When the water does rise, Morgan Run can flow at a pretty good clip, so the degree of erosion is not surprising.  Logs banging into the tree trunks are an additional stress.

BW photograph of rocks amid some exposed roots after a flood.

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

In many areas, the soil has been replaced by loose rocks and stones.  As such, there is a lesser amount of firm ground to hold the trees in place.

BW photograph of a maple leaf in mud marked by the water's current.

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

The Mid-Atlantic has been inundated by rain and the ground is saturated.  Hurricane Florence is now forecast to make landfall late Friday into early Saturday.  This area is on the outer reach of the current trajectory (the Carolinas), but she will certainly drop more rain here as the storm progresses.  In fact, while Florence has lost some wind speed, the main concern is the historic amount of rain and subsequent flooding that is expected.  Indeed, the adjective “biblical” has been used to characterize that aspect of the storm.  Florence is expected to stall over the Carolinas in much the same manner as Hurricane Harvey did over Houston just over a year ago.  Harvey’s rainfall set a record-will Florence top that?  It does bear repeating that we continue to see the escalating impact of climate change on the formation and impact of such storms.

Meanwhile, Olivia is battering Hawaii and out in the Atlantic, Isaac, Helene, and Joyce are spinning.

Across the Atlantic, parts of Europe are experiencing the opposite effects of climate change.

Climate change is clearly a global issue that manifest itself in a variety of ways-most of which are extremely detrimental to flora, fauna, and the built environ.  It really is a problem that many in power and those who vote for such perspectives fail to recognize this.

Take care.