Spring

May 18, 2020

BW photograph of azalea blooms.

Copyright 2020 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Despite all of the badness, it is helpful to recognize that it is springtime…that flowers are blooming, grass is being cut, and birds are singing.  Parks are open or opening, and, as long as folks continue to practice safe distancing, wear masks, and follow whatever other restrictions are in place, being out is good for the soul.

Notice I did not mention that Tropical Storm Arthur is moving up the coast-the first named storm of the 2020 Hurricane Season…which does not officially begin until June 1.

Trying to stay positive…

Be safe and well.

Finale

April 18, 2020

BW photograph of a tulip in shedding its petals.

Copyright 2020 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Be safe and well.

Follow-Up

April 13, 2020

BW photograph of the interior structure of a tulip.

2020 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

This is the same tulip from the previous post.  Being in the warmer indoors allowed the flower to fully open.  I will also photograph it once it, too, begins to fade.

This is another metaphor.  With regard to news, it is helpful to follow a story throughout to its natural conclusion.  Too often, once the splash of the headlines fade, the story is forgotten.  With regard to virology, once the pandemic ends, interest in the bug responsible (mostly) evaporates-at least for the general public, politicians, and pharmaceutical companies.  Such appears to be the case with coronaviruses-SARS and MERS preceded COVID-19.  The New Yorker published this, which provides a more detailed history of how such viruses work and the efforts to develop treatment protocols to address them.  The final paragraph of the article, a quote from Dr. David Ho, encapsulates the point.

Please be safe and well.

Spring Holidays

April 12, 2020

BW photograph of a single tulip.

Copyright 2020 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

For those who celebrate the major holidays of Spring (Easter, Passover, Ramadan, Holi, etc.), this year has been unlike what most have experienced in their lifetimes.  The need for social distancing and crowd reduction has greatly impacted the types of communal sharing typical of such holidays.  It is possible to use technology, such as Zoom, to connect, but do be aware of “Zoombombing“.

Zoom is one tool that has allowed for much academic and other types of work to continue.  While social deviance theories would provide explanations for the need that some feel to disrupt this particular coping mechanism, they do not excuse such behaviour.

Please be safe and well.

 

Project

April 8, 2020

BW photograph of a past prime daffodil.

Copyright 2020 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Awhile back I had planned to work on a series of flower/vegetable portraits-this was long before COVID-19 mandated being mostly housebound.  The need to shelter-in-place provided the additional inspiration needed to get that project into production.

Sometimes these photographs have been used as metaphors for the (much) larger issues at hand.  In others, they stand for what they are.  Such is the case here.  In general, I tend to prefer flowers that are past their prime.  Their wilts, droops, and folds provide much more character, much more of a “I have been there” feel, than do their fresh, dynamic counterparts.  Weary, but still here.

Perhaps this is a metaphor after all…

Be safe and well.

 

Wilted

February 2, 2020

BW photograph of a bouquet of wilted mums.

Copyright 2020 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Followers of the impeachment trial will have no doubt drawn their conclusions about the process and desired verdict.  Fortunately, the recent House and Senate proceedings have been aired live so that folks could watch/listen as they were occurring.  This is especially critical given the polarization of opinion and the spin that gets placed on info by partisan outlets.  Social media bears the brunt of this, but broadcast networks are certainly not immune.  As such, one must take great care to be cognizant of implicit and confirmation bias as to the drawing of conclusions.

BW photograph of a bouquet of wilted daisies.

Copyright 2020 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

This is the third impeachment of a U.S. president in our history.  That we have reached a point wherein the Senate has actively engaged in defending the president instead of working as a co-equal part of government to provide oversight, investigate, and judge as designated is of great concern.  The Senate is, in effect, abdicating its power to the embellishment of the executive branch.  This was not the intention of the framers of the Constitution.  They were particularly concerned with the interference of a foreign power in our elections.  Said interference is a central point in this impeachment.

Regardless of one’s political persuasion, the profound emphasis on the achievement and maintenance of power rather than adherence to the principles of democracy as espoused in the Constitution is a dangerous place in which to be.  It would be important to read that document (the Constitution) so as to have a foundation for understanding the points being made and those being obfuscated during these and related proceedings.

UPDATE:  The above paragraphs were written before the Senate voted to not call any witnesses or hear additional testimony from said witnesses.  This is in contradiction to polls which have indicated the majority of Americans wanted additional witnesses to be called.  It appears that a Senate vote to convict/acquit will occur on Wednesday, with the latter being the most likely outcome.  Given that additional information related to the articles of impeachment continues to be uncovered, the decision on Wednesday will not be the end of this issue.  No matter what, there is an election in November.

The current issue of The New Yorker also contains this article, which is very much worth a read.  I found it interesting/amusing that Ms. Lepore used “withering” in the article-I choose “wilted” here, a choice made before reading that piece.  Both appear to be an accurate descriptor.

Take care.

Harmony

December 12, 2019

BW photograph of a mum.

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

There is nothing that humans create, from the Sydney Opera House, to the bass line for “Baba O’Riley”, to a Pink Floyd audio/visual show, that compares to the elegant harmony produced by nature.

BW photograph of a 3-pronged pine needle caught in the bark of a pine tree.

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

Humans, though, do most certainly have the ability to upset that harmony, which is reflected in the decline/destruction of species population and habitats throughout the world-this and this are examples.

Nature does have the remarkable ability to adapt and rejuvenate-witness the Exclusion Zone surrounding Chernobyl.  It did take a powerful lot of human intervention to mediate the result of the meltdown-efforts that would not have been needed were it not for the arrogance of those (and the system) that precipitated the explosion.  For details about that, please read this and watch this.

Yes, as Neil Young sang, and this is a paraphrase, “we have Mother Nature on the run”…only now it is almost fifty years hence since he wrote “After the Gold Rush”.

Yet, there are ways to restore that balance, that harmony.  We just have to have the wisdom, the will, and the political fortitude to make it so.

Take care.

BW photograph of California poppies.

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

Last month, Governor Jerry Brown officially declared that the five-year drought in California was over.

BW photograph of a billboard in Los Angeles saying "Loving Water Means Saving Water".

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

The question now becomes how much these efforts to conserve water will remain going forward.  California’s experience over the last half-decade provides hard lessons well-learned in the age of climate change-lessons that would be well-applied locally, nationally, and globally.  Of course, one definition of learning is “Any relatively permanent change in behaviour brought through experience” (Lahey 194). The operative words there are “relatively permanent change”.  Arguably, not much will have been gained if folks return to previous patterns of water use and consumption.

Time will tell what learning has actually taken place.

Take care.

Colour

February 24, 2015

A daisy.

Copyright 2015 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

When it is bleak and so very cold, it is useful to find some bright, warm colour.

Hope this helps…

Take care.

P.S. Yes, this is the colour version of the flower used in an earlier post.

The Culture of February 14th

February 13, 2015

BW photograph of an orange and yellow daisy.

Copyright 2015 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Tomorrow is February 14 (unless you are in a part of the world where it is already the 14th).  In the United States, February 14 is celebrated as Valentine’s Day.  As it turns out, this day has a very interesting history, as reported by NPR.

Many mark this day with a gift of roses to those who are considered special-the photograph above is decidedly not a rose.  However, given the symbolism involved in the giving of roses, it is not surprising that the cost of roses for Valentine’s Day is often markedly higher than other days of the year, as discussed here.  While one would probably do well to not try to put a price on love, that is essentially what appears to happen.  From a purely economic perspective, such pricing makes sense as this is an opportunity for various retailers, not to mention the countries from whom the roses originate, to capitalize on the emotion of the day.  Florists, of course, are not the only companies to benefit from such a holiday:  greeting card companies, candy manufacturers, and restaurants also provide products that can be used to demonstrate one’s affection.

Discussing Valentine’s Day in business terms does seem to remove some of the lustre from the day.  However, it is just as important to note that for many, Valentine’s Day can be a time of loneliness, sadness, and depression, which are decidedly unpleasant emotions for one to feel.  It is certainly hoped that if such feelings occur, one can find a way to take care of oneself so as to make it through the day and beyond.  Community organizations, places of worship, and mental health centers may be able to provide immediate and longer term assistance.  Sometimes taking a walk helps.

In Finland, February 14 is celebrated as National Friendship Day.  Hearing that on NPR this morning provided a different perspective and is one that seems a bit more inclusive.  I like that.

Take care.