On Your Shore


Green is like.

There is something that I’ve mentioned is the past. I’m repeating myself. Some of you replied that it didn’t matter because nature changes in subtle ways. Some of you were wrong. After I made this picture I happened to scroll through my Storyteller archive. Guess what?

Not only did I find a a very similar picture, but I found the exact shooting sequence. This is almost picture for picture. Whew!

I have no idea what it means.

Or, do I?

I haven’t been able to make very many pictures this month. I made a few images, but not anything that I really like.

I’m trying to figure out way.

I know that I am bored with the scenes and subject matter. I feel a little trapped by the virus. I’m not comfortable going to places where other people go.

I suppose that I also see an end to my photographic career. That’s a really hard issue. At best, it means I move on. At worst, it’s very depressing. I don’t feel sad. I feel sort of stuck.

Maybe when we have a vaccine, I might feel more comfortable among people not in my pod.

How do y’all feel?

The picture. Remember, I have practice with this subject and with the scene. So making it a second time was no big deal. See it, keep the flair to a minimum, push the button. That’s it. Do that, and there is minimal post production.

Stay safe. Stay mighty, Wear your mask. Wash your hands. Keep your distance.

Oh yeah, the title is borrowed from Enya.

Above Ground


Every green.

Starting the month with something a little peaceful.

I have a suspicion that things are going to get much worse before they get better. So, we start with a peaceful picture.

Things are going to get worse at every level.

Locally, many of the schools opened today. They are woefully unprepared. There is a very good possibility that the virus is going to explode in the next couple of weeks.

This will happen across the nation as schools begin to reopen.

There was a story on NPR about a school district in Georgia whose school board told the teachers to limit classroom size to 25% of normal. Then, they said not to do that while the principal was talking to the teachers about the new limitation. Their final statement was that as many teachers who wanted to, could teach remotely, from home. So many teachers chose that option that there were only enough in classroom teachers to teach 10% of the students.

Do you ever get the idea that the leaders are just flat out terrible? I get it. This is new to everybody. The administrators had since March to work on this. They had the time to formulate plan a, b, c, and d. They had the time to acquire new equipment. They had he time to test it, teach, and refine.

In Louisiana, we also have Hurricane Laura evacuees. Some will stay in crowded shelters with almost no way to protect themselves from the virus. Some came here to stay in hotels that have no business because of the pandemic. I predict those hotels will have their own mini-pandemic.

That’s not all.

The country seems to be at war with itself. You know the details. The moron in The White House is egging it on. He’s so desperate to win in November that his only option appears to cast himself as a law and order president. The would be great if…

He wasn’t egging on violence.

And,

If pretty much the entire administration had not broken as many laws as they could get away with.

This is only going to get worse as we get closer to election day.

Did I mention that the United States Post Office problems were further exacerbated by this administration? Talk about voter suppression.

This country need an entire house cleaning. You know, like the one you do in spring when you throw out boxes of stuff you no longer use so you stored them?

That’s my take from my basement room.

Wait? What?

There are no basements in New Orleans.

The picture

I made another picture of a group of ferns. It was backlighted slightly to create a nice highlight in the middle. I decided to add something to it. I found that bare tree image that I’ve posted in the past. I layered them. I blended them. I enhanced the color and contrast.

That’s what I did.

Stay safe. Stay mighty. Enjoy every sandwich.

One more thing.

The new and improved Block system was at its worst today. At first, it wouldn’t properly open the page after I added a new block. It created black spaces where type, the picture and the sidebar information should be. Sometimes, they were squares. Sometime, angles. Once I managed to get it working it gave me problems editing text. I wanted to edit a word, it put a box around the paragraph contain the word and wanted to delete the whole thing.

Aaaaaarrrrrggggghhhhh.

Where Time Stands Still


Summertime green

Soon.

Soon, this wonderful deep green will change. We are in the wettest month of summer. It will stay green. In a few weeks, there will be more heat and less rain. By mid-August much of the green will fade into a sort of dull gray-green. You know what comes next.

The lifecycle never changes.

The wheel keeps turning. It may slow down for a bit. It may speed up for a little while. But, it is relentless. I have to wonder in this pandemic era will something change that shouldn’t. Will the brakes be put on the wheel? Will the lifecycle really speed up?

Or.

Will mother nature move at her constant speed, always seeking stasis? Will she provide us with something to hold onto, like a rock in a fast moving river. I believe so. If not, we have been completely cast adrift.

We’ll see.

The Picture

I suppose that’s why I turned to nature the minute the month flipped over in the calendar. Even though mother nature can be rough as she seeks stasis, she can be incredibly comforting. Like this one, many of the pictures that I published in July are green. A color of rebirth. Of rejuvenation. Of hope.

We live in a time that’s going to require a grinding ethos to make it through to the other side. So, rebirth found in nature is a little fuel so that we can carry on.

Hope. That’s what the little sprout in all those ferns me to me. I hope you see that too.

Stay safe. Stay mighty. Wear your mask. Wash your hands. Keep your distance. Enjoy all the general tso’s chicken.

Redemption


Everything grows here.

Once, long ago, I asked one of my neighbors how to grow tomatoes in the New Orleans climate.

The guy was an old Creole man. He was old enough to speak French as a mother tongue. He looked at me and said, “Just plant it and leave it alone. Everything grows here.”

He was right.

Aside from pruning the plants a little, staking them when they grew, and keeping the tomato worms away, I did nothing. I didn’t even water them.

We live in a natural hot house. Plenty of water in the form of rain gave them life. The constant humidity helped grow them to be large and full.

The next year, I added jalapenos and basil. I gave away boxes of peppers and tomatoes. The basil grew from one of those little potted plants that you buy at the grocery store into a four foot bush.

That brings me to the subject of the picture.

The tree is a live oak. There are moss and ferns. Two kinds of ferns. The ones growing on the ground are just called ferns. I think. The ones on the tree are called redemption ferns. They thrive on live oaks, but do not draw anything from them.

We live in a region that was swamp land. There are a few ridges that are solid ground or rock, but for most of us, we live on reclaimed swamp. Live oaks grew in the swamp. Some of the them may be older than the arrival of human beings. They are certainly older then the arrival of westerners.

People like me respect their age and do everything we can to protect them. I went so far as to tell a developer to build around a tree. He was from here. He listened.

I’d make the picture a separate component of the post, but you already know about the subject. What more can I tell you, but push the button?

Stay safe, Mask up. Keep your distance. Enjoy every hot dog.

One more thing. In America, try very hard not to blow anything up. Happy Independence Day.

Changeless


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.

One Of Those Posts


Into the darkness.

This is one of those posts. One of those posts when the picture has very little to do with the writing. When the picture is more-or-less there to catch your eye. It’s a summertime picture, made after a rain storm so the greens are sparkling. I helped it by darkening the shadows and adding a vignette.

That’s about all.

Today, I want to talk about children. Children kept in cages. Screaming children, Crying children. Terrified children. Children who are apparently being used as bargaining chips by the subhuman who runs my country. The subhuman whose defenders tell lies, lies and more lies. The subhuman whose actions with the children have been condemned by the four living first ladies. By just about every church body including the subhuman’s normal supporters. By those on the left. By those on the right. Even by Ted Cruz, for whom I have no use.

Still they persist. They blame everybody but themselves for putting children in cages. For separating children from their mamas. And, from their papas. They don’t even have a system for reuniting children with their families.

Yet, they persist. The subhuman screams on twitter. His minions can’t get the story straight. What have we done?

To my friends from other places, please let me say that this is not my country. This is not my America. These are not my leaders. My country is open. We are tough, but we are fair. We are not cruel. We try to do the right thing. We are kind.

To those who say that the children’s parents are breaking a law, just shut up. You have no idea what these people have gone through. They are coming to The United States not just for a better life, but for a safe life. One in which they can survive. Until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes, I’ll say it again, shut up. Oh, and you can stop following Storyteller.

One more thing. Children are sacred to me. Protect them. Care for them. Hold them. Love them. The minute you cross the line to abuse, you are dead to me. The subhuman and his administration crossed the line.

Do I sound angry? Very angry?

Good.