Eventually, nature seeks and gets stasis.

It’s nature’s way.

One of you commented something along the lines of nature has a way of overcoming whatever humans do. Nature seeks stasis. Nature is patient. Nature always wins in the end. Nature doesn’t care.

I wasn’t sure where  I was going with this, then it came to me. Human beings are a speck in nature’s eye. As we move to further harm the planet, the temperature will increase, the waters will rise, and people will go hungry. I’m sure as people go hungry and get desperate we’ll start killing each other. Finally, nature will have had enough. She’ll say, “basta!” and fling us off the planet like a dog shakes water off of her back. (Basta is Italian for enough.)

We’ll all be gone. Nature will go about her business. The earth will heal. And, it will once again be the healthy blue marble you can see from space.

This picture is an illustration of the start of the process. I made it in an odd corner of the 9th Ward. The neighborhood was flooded during the levee breaks following the storm. Some people were able to move back and repair their homes. Others could not. Apparently, the folks who own this place are either waiting for help or just gave up.

Have you ever seen what happened to an abandoned building?

The roots of plants begin to seek purchase. They find cracks and crevasses. At first, it’s nothing. Rip them down and the building is fine. Don’t, and that’s the first step. Eventually the entire plant will find its way inside. It’ll be both inside and out. Wood will start to split. Plaster will begin to fall. The floorboards will begin to collapse. Eventually, the house will cave in upon itself. There will be nothing left but a pile of rotting wood. And, leftover pipes and other bits of metal, assuming scavengers don’t get to them first. What’s left will disappear under heavy growth.

This house will be gone.

That doesn’t happen quickly. It usually takes from 10 to 20 years. Nature is patient. Nature picked her place carefully this time. It’s hot. It’s humid. There is heavy rainfall. There is constant moisture.

Oh, did I mention creatures? Unless we take countermeasures, Formosa Termites are happy to eat their fill of houses like this one.

Think about it. Think about this happening on a grand scale all around the globe. Mankind will be gone. Maybe other animals will make their return. The planet will be quiet and undisturbed by humans.

Mother Earth is probably better off without us.


So green.

I’m sort of running out of pictures.

That’s mostly because I’m living my other life for the next week or so. No worries. I have plenty of pictures stashed away that you haven’t seen. For that matter, they are pictures that I’ve sort of forgotten about.

Pictures like this one, a nice bucolic meadow picture. Pretty, isn’t it?

Or, not.

This is the Lower 9th Ward, maybe ten years after Hurricane Katrina broke the levees and flooded what was once a vibrant community.

Sure, some people have returned. Some people rebuilt on their own. Some people returned to buy and live in Brad Pitt’s Make-It-Right homes. That’s the very corporate foundation that is being sued because many of the homes are falling apart. It appears that the all-star architects who designed them had no clue about our extreme weather. Mr. Pitt tried to decouple himself from the lawsuit, but the judge basically said that he couldn’t have it both ways.

That’s not the point of this picture. I’ve long said the people shouldn’t live here. The area is so far below sea level that cracks and potholes in the streets, leak. Apparently, nature agrees with me. Most of the land has returned to what it once was. Even wild animals have returned. I’ve seen feral pigs, snakes and turtles. A friend of mine said that he saw an alligator.

This picture is an example of nature seeking stasis.

Once, on this bit of property there were at least two or three houses. If you return to it in winter when everything is dead or dormant, you can see the foundations, water pipes, and the most spooky thing, porches to nowhere. Oh, and renegade toilets.

I’m thinking that when I get back, I should go back to the scene of the crime. I used to go about four times a year to chart the progress. I haven’t been back in a long while. I’ll add that to my list.


Deep in the garden.

Very Green.

When everything is in the last phases of autumn where you live, you can count on me to make it better. I can show you how we in the subtropical south see things. Trust me. I’m not laughing at anybody. I’d rather have some real cold weather. I know. Be careful what you wish for. You might just get it.

A young artist friend of mine travelled to Michigan with her long time boyfriend. They are staying with his family. She saw snow for the first time. Ever. She’s a Louisiana lady. She was so delighted. She made me smile.

Oh. I’m back at the ageist wars. There is some guy who calls himself Father Monk. He wrote this long screed (Do we still use that word?) condemning Boomers on Facebook. He exempted some of us. If we protested during the Vietnam War we were good. If we lived our lives in certain ways of which he approved, we were exempted.

How funny.

Like we need his approval. I couldn’t help myself. I replied, closing with my new hashtag, #OKKid. He didn’t like that.

Oh well.

After I did that, I blocked him and everybody who came after him to attack me. These folks forget that we are old, we likely hurt in some way which makes us grouchy, and we have a lot of experience.We learned something in “our” war. Guerrilla tactics work.

Seriously. This is just fun for me. I’m not sure about them

Doesn’t matter.


Droplets.

First, the rains came. Thunder too. The mixing of two weather systems.

When we ventured outside, man, it was cold. And, windy. The dog who sees things wanted no part if it. She knows a few words. One of them is walk. She hears that and waits by the leashes. Another is home. She hears that and heads straight for home. This morning we went out. She did her business, as they say. She stepped away from that, I asked, “walk?” She stood there. So, I asked, “home?” She headed right back through the gates.

Just as well.

I knew the weather would turn cold. Well, coldish. I didn’t think I would feel that cold. I rarely do. I did. If we had continued on I would have been freezing by the end of the walk.

It’s always something.

A few days ago I was complaining about the unseasonable heat. Now, I’m complaining about the cold. No, not really. I was just surprised this morning.

The picture. We’ve had rain for parts of three days. We also live in a semi-tropical swamp. That means that while many of you are living with dead things, our plants don’t go dormant. In fact, some continue to grow if the weather never drops below freezing for more than a few days.

I know. I know. Green in the autumn. It’s maddening to some of you.

I just saw the picture while we were walking. I thought, “ah ha, that’ll get them.” So I pressed the button.


My view of nature.

Art.

Art seems to be mostly about the viewer. I can put out all of myself into a picture. Unless it strikes you in a way that touches your own experience my work could be meaningless. To you. That doesn’t mean that I should stop or change how I see, to please somebody else. That’s creative death. A better approach is to just keep going, to change as I evolve. That’s what this picture is about. It’s my art. It was made while I was out walking. It was somewhat accidental. But, when I was looking at it, it appeared to be anything but accidental. I spoke to my vision. My intent.

They say that you “can’t see the forest for the trees.” I say that you can. And, that they move if you want them to move.

The image was accidental because I was in a hurry and didn’t let the shutter finish while I was moving.

Anyway.

To me this is a painted photograph except that I barely did anything in post production. All the heavy work of making a photograph look as it does was done in camera. Or, in this case, in smartphone.

Have a happy day.


It’s all green to me.

It’s a funny thing.

We think of monochrome as being black and white, or something sepia or in some shades of gray. Nature taught me something different. Monochrome can be any color as long as there aren’t contrasting colors. This picture is green and faded shades of green which became yellow. It’s also a monochromatic image.

This picture is also about fall. Autumn. The changing of natural seasons. It’s true that the weather is still hot. According to the predictive charts that I read, we should start cooling off tomorrow. A little. That trend should continue through at least next week, when temperatures stay in the mid to high eighties. Then summer’s heat should slowly fade away. And, we can open our windows for the first time since late April.

We live in air conditioned world.

When I look at old pictures of New Orleans I have two thoughts.

There was no air conditioning back then. Not until sometime in the 1950s. How did people do it? For sure, many people built houses to account for the heat. Raised Caribbean styled houses let air pass underneath which does provide some relief. High roofs also helped.

People dressed well. Men wore suits. Wool suits, until lighter weight fabrics came to be. Sheesh, if I have to be dressed nicely, I wear a seersucker suit. Even that’s too hot for me in summer. And, women. Oh gosh. It must have been very uncomfortable for them at anytime of year in New Orleans.

Two more thoughts for this fine Friday morning.

Air conditioning. Most newer models don’t send weird chemicals into the atmosphere, but they do generate heat. This can’t be good for the planet.

In case you are wondering, my seersucker suit is purple and white, which makes it look lavender from a distance. It is a three piece suit. Trousers, jacket and — get this — shorts.

Don’t laugh.

Gentlemen need to stay cool in the summer.

 


A little pink flower hidden on a bed of green.

A tiny little thing.

It was hidden in plain sight. So small that I had to look twice and break my cardinal rule of photography. I had to move some of the greenery around to photograph the flower. I try never to move or change anything when I make these kinds of semi-nature pictures. I had no choice. If I wanted to make the flower’s picture, I had to be able to see all of it.

There.

Honesty. Full disclosure.

It’s a very peaceful picture. After another week of political craziness, more lies and memorial sadness, I think we could all use a picture that’s a little quiet. Besides, it’s Sunday in the U.S. It’s a Sunday kind of picture.

Because it’s Sunday, I’m going to be quiet.

Have a great day.

 

 

 

 


The depth of green.

As green as it could be.

I wasn’t sure about this picture when I saw it. Then I saw nature’s perfect symmetry . I made sure to frame the picture as carefully as possible. This is the result. For sure, I tinkered a little bit in postproduction, mostly so you can see what I felt.

This is the hottest couple of days of the summer. A weekend when nobody wants to go outside.

I am going to try to photograph a second line. The YMO Benevolent Society and Social Club is walking on Sunday. It’s a huge parade, with six divisions. That means six individual units, each with their own brass bands. This BS&SC is the oldest club in the city. This is their 130th year. In an effort to deal with the oppressive heat and humidity, the second line starts at 5pm. I’m not sure that really helps. I was outside yesterday at that time, it was hot as hell.

We’ll see about me going. A few years back I was minutes from heat stroke. I don’t take this kind of weather lightly. Even though it might not seem very physical, it is. We — the photographers — walk with the parade. As I’ve said in the past, it’s like being in a rugby scrum. The parade route is about four miles long.

Yes. It’s Autumn. Everything in nature is changing. But, not the heat.


The other version.

Perspectives.

It’s all about perspectives. Or, optics as it is currently called. You’ve seen the horizontal version of this scene. Now, you get the vertical one. This scene isn’t quite as mysterious as the original.  The view is a little closer. It emphasizes the trees.

Perspective is important in life.

Yesterday I commented on series of tweets that seemed to me like they were parroting oil company propaganda. The woman doing the tweeting made a case of it, saying that I among a couple of other commenters, were attacking her because she is a woman.

Huh?

I wasn’t attacking. I was commenting. And, it doesn’t matter to me what sex she is, I’d still call her or him out on the one sidedness of the tweets. She’s starting to believe her own press. That’s fatal. I didn’t reply. I doubt that I will. Even though we live in the same city — well, I do anyway — it’s just not that important. Besides, what I really wanted to say is “Welcome to the NFL, snowflake.”

For those of you who don’t live in the US, the NFL is a professional football league, which isn’t to be confused with soccer or even rugby. When a rookie whines about being hit too hard, a veteran will say, “Welcome to the NFL.”

Mostly, what I’ve been doing these days is just getting rid of self-important over-inflated egos. If this seems like a rant, I suppose it is. There is just too much uninformed chatter everywhere these days. I’d say that I wish it would go away, but the genie ain’t going back in that bottle.  At least, social influencers are being ripped out by their fake roots.

Oh. Did I just say all that?

My oh my.

Maybe I just need a break.