06 July 2015
Let me know which you prefer and why. Click on each image to enlarge.
This summer will be noted for its abundance–abundance that emanates from the lush plenty in my small corner of the world. We are not the only place to witness this profusion. Mother Nature has given us a spring and summer of riches: rain and rain and more rain. Especially in the last few weeks almost daily there have been sprinkles, showers or storms. They keep on thriving, just as the landscape are filled with hues of greenery and lots and lots of wild flowers, known in the vernacular as weeds. I cannot recall such an onslaught of wild things. But I do not complain, and simply do my best to control the plethora.
After all, weeds galore are not the worse problems this season can bring. Usually we are in the midst of heat, humidity and little rain that takes serious adjustment physically and psychologically. These spikes in temps and lack of rain also has different effects on the landscape.
With a tip of my garden hat, I’ve hardly had to water my gardens. This scenario is foreign and takes a bit of mental strategy. We’re usually fanning ourselves with thoughts, not watching puddles and flooding.
Abundance can be a trade-off. It can produce narratives of prosperity as well as cautionary tales. Since this weather is not the norm, it’s a constant topic of conversation: the pluses and minuses. Then, what’s new? Weather has been a serious subject for years wherever I turn.
Since I rant about climate change and sustainability, my predilections toward nature are evident. While I’m thrilled that our landscape is an explosion of summer’s best efforts, I abhor the drought on the West Coast and in other areas of our planet, the extreme weather that has become the usual.
I am more than grateful for the Pope’s words (“Laudato Si!”): his platform for the most critical issue that faces our world in the present and future is staggering and brings hope. A recent article in The New York Times titled “Pope Francis’ Call to Action Goes Beyond the Environment” (click here to read) outlines his commitment to the health of our planet and its effects upon humanity. As a world leader this encyclical may very well be the major kick in the proverbial rear for action that is needed. His support is an unexpected gift toward winning the brass ring of the greater good and worldwide involvement in solutions to the effects of climate change.
In the Lens section are examples of this summer’s abundance: a staggering multiplicity of black maple seedpods. This tree is gorgeous; it literally cultivates my attention with its purple-black leaves that are sweetly clustered and topped with scores of seedpods. But its symbolism is multi-faceted.
That tree’s wealth of life is what we all want for nature and human nature. We want a world that honors all creatures, we want a world that honors our dignity, we want a world that works on behalf of the whole, we want a world that is conscious of the greater good.
Abundance is a tricky word. It can be a hell raiser or a gentle reminder. It can incite conversations. Or silence discussions. It causes reflection. And pushes boundaries. Mostly, it provides a place for contemplation of its meaning and ramifications.
Tip of the Week: Unquestionably, artists use their work as representation of their political and social philosophy. Chris Jordan is a photographer who left his life as a corporate lawyer and became a photographer to make aesthetically-pleasing art. But that perspective changed. Jordan turned to large-format prints to demonstrate humanity’s affection and obsession with mass consumption. He also includes environmental issues as part of his current oeuvre. He created, for example, “Roundup” (2015) as a visual symbol to show that “213,000 bees, equal to the number of pounds of toxic chemical pesticides … is applied every twenty minutes to plants and soils around the world. [And] Over 1 billion pounds of pesticides are introduced into the environment in the US each year, and approximately 5.6 billion pounds are used worldwide.” Read more about his work and view his photography here. In 2008 Jordan was an international eco-ambassador for National Geographic Society. I find his art inspirational and purposeful.
View other entries for this week’s challenge:
As always I welcome comments about this post or any part of my blog. My photographs for the mobile photography challenge are taken with an iPhone 6.
If you’d like to join this Mobile Photography Challenge, please click here for details and history of the challenge. If you have any questions, please contact me. Below is a reminder of the monthly schedule with themes for upcoming challenges:
1st Monday: Nature.
2nd Monday: Macro.
3rd Monday: Black and White.
4th Monday Challenger’s Choice (Pick One: Abstraction, Animals, Architecture, Food Photography, Night Photography, Objects, Portraiture, Still Life, Street Photography, and Travel).
5th Monday: Editing and Processing with Various Apps Using Themes from the Fourth Week.