What We Eat Affects Our Planet

As the world has become more affluent, more people eat evermore meat. This is not only bad for our cardio-vascular health and cruel to animals raised in factory farms (that produce more greenhouses gases than all forms of fossil fuel-driven transportation combined), it increases the likelihood of producing new strains of bacteria and viruses, some of which result in epidemics and pandemics.

Zoonotic https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/17/magazine/animal-disease-covid.html?referringSource=articleShare

Maine’s Rocky Coast

Originally posted 10/1/2014: Occasionally I revisit past posts that I find particularly interesting.


What would a photo trip to Maine’s coast be without including a focus on its rocks? You’ve seen these in numerous photos where they look great from a distance, but I decided to literally focus on them up close. This is also an exercise in capturing form and texture, which is quite useful for developing a “photographic eye.”

Like our own bodies, our planet undergoes constant change. What appears as a permanent Earth is only temporary. According to a placard installed in Two Lights State Park by Maine’s Bureau of Parks and Lands, there is an interesting  story associated with these rocks. They are about 440 million years old. They formed:

. . . when sand and mud eroded off the continent and into the bottom of an ancient sea. Over time, the sediments hardened into layers of the sedimentary rocks called sandstone and shale.

As if in a giant vise, that ocean basin was being gradually squeezed between the ancient edge of North America and a micro-continent geologists call Avalon. As Avalon advanced toward North America, those sedentary rocks were folded, faulted, and subjected to a prolonged period of pressure and heat. This process changed the sandstone and shale into light brown quartz and dark gray phyllite, the metamorphic rocks that we see today.

About 400 million years ago, Avalon finally collided with North America. This collision destroyed the ancient ocean, lifted these rocks, and formed the northern Appalachian Mountains, which were several miles high [author’s note: much like portions of the Rockies today]. This was a geologically active time of massive earthquakes and erupting volcanoes. Within the next 150 million years all the Earth’s continents merged into one giant landmass called Pangea (“All Earth”).

Then about 200 million years ago, Pangea began to break apart. Great fissures spewed forth molten rock, and earthquakes shook the landmass as it broke up along fault lines into the continents of North America , Eurasia, and Africa.

Of course, change is not over, yet. The earth will continue to undergo dramatic change for the next 5 billion years, until our sun becomes a red giant.

You can see how the rocks have folded back on to themselves in the following photo as a result of being pushed up to the shore.

Folded rock
Folded rock
IMG_5304
Snails anchored in the rocks
Resting
Resting

Nooks and crannies in the rocks provide homes to snails and resting places for gulls.Watching the boats go by

The rocks also work for humans.

As I said previously, the rocks continue to be reshaped by erosion caused by the sea, sun, and air. The three full-size photos, below, offer a close-up view of these effects, that just fascinate my eye. I suspect the cracks which appear so geometrical are the results of alternating heating and cooling that caused breaks at the rocks’ fissures.

IMG_5334 IMG_5317Here, it almost looks as though someone cut the rock with a saw.

IMG_5344Stepping back for the “big picture” is even more interesting as the crags in the rock invite the viewer to scan down the scene.IMG_5351Just as mollusks find the rocks a good place to live, so do some of the moss and lichens, below.

IMG_5354As I travel around looking for some good foliage scenes during the next two weeks it’s becoming evident that these will not be as dramatic as the classic Vermont and New Hampshire scenes. Maine, particularly along the coast, has far more conifers and Oak tress (the latter going mostly from green to brown) so the concentration of color will be more dispersed. Even so, Maine’s colors are beginning to pop, the Maples up first manifesting their bright reds.

Lots to do yet!

-From Portland and the mid-coast

Casco Bay Fog

Spring Point Ledge & Lighthouse

Coastal fog makes for great photographs. Sometimes it covers a large geographical area. Other times it’s very isolated. This was one of those days. Behind me and to my left it was clear with a blue sky. It’s all dependent on temperature and relative humidity. When the two meet at the dew point, fog forms (well, sometimes).

Here, I used a 10 stop neutral density filter with a 50 second exposure @ f/13 using 120 Ilford 100 film.

You can view some of my other work at my on-line gallery.

Silky Fluid Meets Rigid Rocks

Peaks Island, ME (Google Earth photo)

The waves beat against the unyielding rocks. Yet, given enough time, the water wins.

Maine’s coastal rocks are the result of plate tectonics and glaciation. They formed from layers of underground silt subjected to heat and pressure. When the North Atlantic plate rammed the North American plate these rocks were pushed to the surface. Glaciers then added their finishing touches.

Long Island, from Wharf Cove, Peaks Island

Learning to develop with Lightroom 3.4

Here is my first post from 2011. Things have come a long way since then. We are now in Lightroom Classic version 6 which is now packed with ever more features–only some of which I use. There is less trial and error on my part. Since I now do a lot of black and white, I make basic adjustments in Lightroom, then import the image into Silver Efex Pro 3 for conversion to black and white and final editing.

I don’t know about  those of you who are new to digital photography, but I find that just learning to use photo software isn’t enough to get the best possible images.  Although I know how to manipulate most of the software menus, I end up making a lot of adjustments through trial and error, which takes more time than I want to spend with less than ideal results.

So, last night I began a Lightroom class. As the late W. Edward Deming (a continuous quality expert) would put it, I’m addressing the weakest point in my image production process. For those who don’t know, Lightroom is an Adobe product that integrates with their Photoshop line.  However, Lightroom is designed more for organizing and developing photos according to a more intuitive workflow process, whereas Photoshop focuses more on special effects. Lightroom also has the advantage of not making any destructive changes to your raw or compressed files.

Here’s to better images!

Introducing: The Cranefly

I found this fellow perched on the outside of my sliding glass door this

morning. I thought it was a male mosquito since they are much larger than their female counterparts (the ones that bite us). However, a search in Bug Finder revealed it to be the cranefly. You can read more about it on Insect Identification.

You gotta love those googly eyes!

Bug Light Park at Portland Harbor

I went to South Portland yesterday with my medium format film camera to

ND 10X Filter
ND 10X filter: blurred people figures on left

photograph with my 10X neutral density filter, allowing only  1/10th of the light through. This enables long exposures giving you that smooth water and sky effect, when conditions are right. People can walk right across your view and they don’t register on the film. Cool!

Here are a couple of my shots. You can see more of my waterscapes at my online gallery.

 

The End of the Mass-produced, Industrial Era?

Let me begin by thanking those of you who follow my blog. I started it nine years ago with my late wife, Susan. Back then our focus was birds, particularly those whose populations are in decline. The idea was, and still is, to present attractive photos of the natural environment to remind people of what we are losing. More recently, I’ve expanded my focus with human-made structures so viewers can consider how these might impact our environment.

You will also see a new layout for my blog. Do send me comments about your likes and dislikes so I can consider any changes.


via The End of the Mass-produced, Industrial Era?

Read my, The End of the Mass-produced, Industrial Era? about the interrelationship between the coronavirus pandemic and climate change, first, and then click the link, above. I hope you will forward this link to others. Then view the just released documentary, Endgame 2050, available on Amazon Prime. You can also view it on YouTube.  There, everything I and others have discussed about climate change and the time remaining to address this crisis (about 10 years, maybe less) are nicely illustrated. One caution, the film is very disturbing.

It will come as a surprise to many that if we all ate vegan it would not only be good for limiting cruelty to animals, keeping our arteries clear, and reducing our cancer risk; it would also be good for the biosphere. You can find an article discussing the health risks of meat production in the New York Times Magazine.

I look forward to receiving any comments.

 

An Afternoon with the Peonies (and one bug)

Peonies not yet ready

I went back to Gilsland farm with friends (socially distancing, of course) to visit the peonies which had just recently come into bloom. You can see how they’re lined up in rows, prior to blooming, in the photo to the left. Their colors were quite spectacular, as you can see. I took these with my macro lens. My friend, Dave, spotted what I later identified as a Banded Longhorn Beetle that was taking in the peonies, also. These guys are not particularly destructive.

And just as a reminder, your experience will be much better if you view these images on a large computer screen or smart TV, being sure to click on any image to enlarge.