Hand print from a different time.

The handprint was just there.

As with most good pictures, the image found me. I didn’t find it. Actually, the all seeing dog walked back here and as I went in after her, I looked behind the tree. There it was. The handprint. It’s nothing odd. It’s paint. It’s weird that it was done behind the tree and away from the path that most people walk upon. It was probably done by a building painter.

I have no idea how long it’s been there since I didn’t know that it existed before yesterday.

The rocks. After seeing them it dawned on me why I am so concerned about the weather around this place. We all worry about the weather and water in Southeastern Louisiana. It’s just inside of us. The rocks are positioned in the way that you see them in order to help water drain and not create a flood. That’s the man made part of the location.

If you look at a map, we are surrounded by water. Unlike many places in the country, we aren’t worried about a lack of water. We are worried about too much water. We dig canals. We build levees. We construct massive drainage ditches. And, sometimes it feels like we don’t care.

We don’t care enough to inspect any of these water containing or draining devices. Hurricane Katrina didn’t have to flood 80% of the city if only the levees had been inspected properly.

We get flooded by rain “events” because the drainage ditches aren’t inspected and cleared on a regular basis. A year ago a drainage ditch was finally inspected. A Katrina car was found partially blocking water flow. That meant that  ditch hadn’t been inspected in at least 14 years. Last week, another one was inspected. Guess what? Another Katrina car was found impeding water flow.

We never learn.

The city wants us to clear the sewer drains in front of our houses so that water can flow through them during a storm. That’s fine. Most of us do it without being told. Along comes Mardi Gras, and the clean up crews dispose of 500 tons of beads and trash.

We never learn.

When will we learn?

That’s the question.

Published by Ray Laskowitz

I am a visual storyteller. I've been making pictures for some 40 years. I travel the world in search of the right image. in the right light at the right time. You can reach me by phone at 505.280.4686, or by email at or For a quick look at my work please go to

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