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.

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Greys

August 23, 2018

BW photograph of an overcast day in Mercer, ME.

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

Having deep distinct blacks and bright white highlights provide the end-point contrast for striking BW photography.  However, the gradations throughout the middle-tone greys are necessary to provide the full range of tones for this medium.  Otherwise, you would have what BW photographers refer to as the “chalk and soot” look.

BW photograph of an old Ford tractor with a front end loader.

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

The black-grey-white transitions, combined with the absence of colour, which is often overworked via the Saturation controls in photo-editing software, provides a sense of purity, a sense of “completeness”, to the imagery.

Take care.

 

BW photograph of the Hurricane Jose's flooding of Bethany Beach.

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

PHOTOGRAPHER NOTE:  The above photograph is from Bethany Beach following a tropical storm.

Yesterday, NPR’s 1A had a discussion about Tangier Island and it is worth a listen.

Climate change does indeed present an unpleasant reality for many.  The notion that a way of life lived for generations may no longer be possible is very difficult to contemplate, let alone actually face.  Years ago, I learned a definition of denial that I came to appreciate:  “Denial provides a sense of security or buffer against an unacceptable reality.”  (Unfortunately, I do not recall the source of the definition.) In that sense, denial is a coping mechanism-an ineffective one in the longer term, but it does take the sting out of the short-term.  However, to continue to deny the existence of climate change and its human basis in the face of scientific evidence, or worse, to support politicians, ideas (which include the questioning of the fundamental scientific processes resulting in the data), and policies that will exacerbate the problem, is a willful refusal to accept things as they are and are becoming.  Meanwhile, fires burn, floods inundate, and droughts bake in the time of now.

It is important that one caller advised Mr. Johnson about his mischaracterization of Tangier Island as the initial population to be relocated.  Here is an article regarding Isle de Jean Charles from two years ago-please also give this a read.

Climate change and the need for mitigation and adaptation cannot rationally be denied regardless of how uncomfortable that may be.

Take care.

Backdated: July 5, 2018

July 15, 2018

BW photograph looking west down Thames Street before sunrise.

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

BW photograph looking from Fells Point toward the Chesapeake Bay at sunrise.

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

BW photograph of the City Pier in Fells Point at sunrise.

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

I have finally gotten back to completing this post, which was begun on July 5.

These photographs were made early on the morning of July 5.  This area had been under high temperature/high humidity conditions that had pushed heat indexes into the triple digits during that week.  As such, when out and about, it was important to stay well-hydrated so as to stave off heat exhaustion and heat stroke.  While temperatures have moderated a bit, we still have August on the way…

BW photograph of a partially full water bottle atop a granite step.

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

BW photograph of a water bottle laying in the gutter.

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

BW photograph of a water bottle laying in the gutter.

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

BW photograph of a partially full water bottle laying at the base of a street light.

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

However, it is also important to properly dispose of the containers for those fluids-especially when single-use containers are employed.  This recent article from National Geographic details the enormity of the problem that plastic presents.  The following is a quote from an earlier National Geographic article:

“The new study, published Wednesday in the peer-reviewed journal Science Advances, is the first global analysis of all plastics ever made—and their fate. Of the 8.3 billion metric tons that has been produced, 6.3 billion metric tons has become plastic waste. Of that, only nine percent has been recycled. The vast majority—79 percent—is accumulating in landfills or sloughing off in the natural environment as litter. Meaning: at some point, much of it ends up in the oceans, the final sink.”

The plastic bottles shown above are four that did not initially make it to a recycling bin on July 4th.  Just as important, two of them still contained a fair amount of water.  On that note, here is some information related to the wasting of water, while this site addresses the worldwide lack of access to improved water sources and the concomitant problems associated with that.

Remember Flint, MI? (And that is not the only city in the U.S. with water issues.)

Take care.

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.

Evidence

January 7, 2018

BW photograph of an icy Morgan Run and some rocks.

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

This is a follow-up to the previous post.

The bomb cyclone that tore up the East Coast over the past couple of days has moved on, but it is still frigid (single digit if not below zero ambient temps with wind chill factors that makes the air much colder) in many areas.   However difficult this has been, and this is not at all to minimize the loss of life and inhospitable conditions (which was the reason for the homeless statistics previously posted) created by the combination of extreme cold, snow, wind, and flooding, it is still a relatively isolated (chronologically speaking), short-term event.

In Alaska, the problem is a bit different.

In addition, all along the perimeter of the United States, residents are dealing with a much more longer-term issue: habitat loss due to sea and flood-level rise as a result of climate change.  Given the current administration’s on-going commitment to the extraction and burning of fossil fuels, this is a very real problem of the now, not the future.

BW photograph of a lone tree against a large rock with layered snow.

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

Given that mitigation is clearly not an option until there is a willful political change in thinking and action (the mid-term elections later this year?), adaptation becomes a “solution”.  However, as the above report (linked under “habitat loss”) indicates, the funding for such large-scale efforts is sorely lacking, particularly for the more fiscally challenged portions of the country.  Even in relatively affluent areas, the drop in real-estate values makes for an economic dis-incentive.

Economics aside, the need for re-location also creates a titanic change in the culture for coastal residents, particularly for those whose livelihood has been linked to the land and water for generations.

BW photograph of a snowy trail leading into the woods at Morgan Run.

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

There are no easy ways to deal with climate change.  Having said that, this is a problem that will only escalate as time moves on and efforts at mitigation are ignored or “rolled-back”.

Take care.

 

 

 

 

Wandering

November 26, 2017

BW photograph of some stores on Front Street in Bath, ME.

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

Wandering is the close relative to walkability.  To “wander”, in my mind, is to move about aimlessly, or, more-to-the-point, to change direction as needed based on what becomes of interest.  A place needs to have walkability in order to feel comfortable when wandering about.  Both of those characteristics are loaded in value judgments-from a sociological perspective, values are used to determine what is right/wrong, good/bad, and/or acceptable/unacceptable.  Someone who appreciates the hustle and bustle of, say, New York City, may be on the right side of those hash marks with regard to the views expressed here.

BW photograph of Front Street in the early morn. Bath, ME.

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

Walkability, and therefore the ability to wander, is based on a fundamental feel for a place-travel photographers often talk about the “spirit of place”.  That feel and spirit is generated by a variety of components; again, one’s values are the key factor here.  While walkability and wandering can be applied to a larger city, or at least certain parts of larger cities, this is much more of a small town experience.  My preference is for a main street (and all the more nostalgic if it is actually Main Street) along which are smaller, independently owned merchandisers among which to shop and eat; more about this is a minute.

BW photograph of a table and chair on the sidewalk in Bath, ME.

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

It helps to have brick sidewalks, although the more ubiquitous concrete will do.  Some trees lining the way make for a pleasant experience.  Being able to move about at a leisurely pace without being trampled by others moving with a purpose is critical.

BW photograph of the side/back of Bath Savings, in Bath, ME.

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

It goes without saying that pedestrians really do need to have the right-of-way without the risk of unpleasant gestures.  Speaking of pedestrians, it definitely adds to the pleasure when passersby acknowledge a greeting and are not buried within technology.

With regard to the shops, there are two types of utmost importance-and, actually, most likely, in this order of priority:  a good coffee shop and a good bookstore-extra satisfaction comes from the availability of used books.  If there were a third type, it would be good restaurants that have selections for healthy vegetarian dining.  That one is somewhat optional as one can always obtain food elsewhere.  The “independently owned” criteria applies greatly to each.  Yes, I do visit Dunkin’ Donuts and Barnes and Noble with a degree of regularity, however, we are talking about walkability and wandering.  I expect and do neither at those establishments.

BW photograph of the riverfront off Commerce Street in Bath, ME.

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

BW photograph of the neighborhood nearby, and the crane, at Bath Iron Works in Bath. ME.

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

BW photograph of the trestles for a bridge over the Kennebec River in Bath, ME.

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

The photographs herein are from Bath, ME-a town that absolutely meets all of the criteria above.  Bath is a place where it is quite comfortable to walk about and wander with a cup of coffee in hand.  Once that part of the day has concluded, the settling down with a good book can follow…

Take care.