Earth Day and the Health of Nature

Columbus day 2019 vacation old barn

This barn has been nearly lost to time and swallowed up by nature.

Give Mother Nature the chance and she will reclaim what is hers. We are seeing it time and again, the world over right now as people are sent home, pollution is slowed and progress stalled.

I read a story last week about sea turtles – 70,000 of them – seen nesting along the beach in eastern India. It’s one of the largest nesting places for this particular species of sea turtle but they didn’t nest here last year. COVID 19 is credited with emptying the beaches and allowing these creatures to nest peacefully and without human interference.

The Canals in Venice are so crystal clear you can actually see fish in them and deer are wandering through city streets in Japan. Bears are thriving in our national parks because we are not there to interfere with their well being.

While we all excitedly click on these stories and share them on social media, I’m sure most people are not prepared to adjust and accommodate the natural world. The canals will again be polluted and wildlife will recede when people resume normal life.

But it doesn’t hurt to dream of what the world might look like if we were more inclined to acknowledge that these creatures have as much right to be here as we have and that clean water and air are in everyone’s best interest.

Today is the fiftieth anniversary of Earth Day. Enjoy this day, friends.

Which Do You Prefer?

I went on a little excursion yesterday morning. Just rolled out of bed, brushed my teeth and grabbed a hat before hitting the road. I wanted to take some pictures of barns and churches and streams down in the valley. It was a short trip through familiar territory.

There was a time that I wanted to make perfect pictures. I tried so hard but it seemed  there was always a utility pole or traffic light in the way. There were always people or a car or my skills simply fell short of capturing the scene that I wanted.

Frustrating doesn’t begin to explain it.

For a lot of years, I focused on the details – a single flower instead of the bouquet, a window instead of the building. And I still do that a lot. I love the details, the simple things in the world around us. Doors as well as details on cars like tail fins and headlights are among my favorites.

But somewhere along the way, I began looking at the big picture and even including those imperfections that I previously found annoying. I think it’s partly a response to the changes I see in the world around me and an odd desire to capture some scenes before they go away. Abandoned buildings like homes, churches and barns often appear on my camera roll. Vintage signage has long been a favorite but now I’m even including old style traffic lights and utility poles. Sometimes this works to my advantage because these extra details add interest to the picture at the same time the picture is preserving the world exactly as it looked on that day and not as a contortion of reality.

Time marches on and the landscape cannot remain unchanged. Brush closes in on unused barns and old style wooden electric poles are replaced with new technology. Trees are cut down and farms become housing developments.

The site where I live was once woodland. Then it was pasture. Now it’s my yard. Who knows? Maybe someday Mother Nature will reclaim this spot as forest.

But I digress.

We’ve reached the interactive portion of today’s post. Here are two pictures I took during my little adventure through the neighborhood yesterday morning.

Tell me in the comments – which do you prefer? The great old barn with the electric pole or the great old barn without it?

barn with no power lines

barn with power lines

Someday I’ll take a photography class and work at getting better. Meanwhile, I’m happy playing and learning as I go!