Nature Photography: Coexistence (No. 44) – Primordial Soup II

16 September 2019


Primordial Soup (Second Try) Photomontage; All Rights Reserved 2019 Sally W. Donatello

Click onto image to enlarge. Let me know your response to this image. Prints are available upon request. 


The cacophony of sound ended the still of the night, awakening me after a few hours sleep.  As the rhythm of the brief shower washed over my thoughts, I had hoped for a soaking rain. It’s been almost two months since we had showers or summer thunderstorms, I mean rain that truly nourishes and nurtures the earth and all its plantings.

Still in the morning the evidence of the night’s surprise shower filled my gardens. It’s as though I had spent time at a spa where mind and body had luxurious attention paid to them. Suddenly the notion of the crumbling world order and my sense of living in a parallel universe disappeared, being replaced by bliss. Even imagining the primordial soup (and what it has become) coerced me to think about a “second chance” mixture.

The Lens section holds my photomontage that represents how I envision the next primordial soup, another opportunity for the planet to learn from this present “iffy” experiment. Because while the current trajectory of humanity and the planet are, in my opinion, not on a viable (Unless dystopia is your hope.) path, I have to ask: Would another experiment do the planet justice?

Still, it is a philosophical conundrum to try and surmise just how we came to be the kind of animal that we are. Sure, science explains the biology, but how do we explain the full spectrum of our behavior?  How do we explain the human animal’s actions and the consequences that are real as much of my country’s current administration ignores the terrifying forecast? How much longer can my country sustain its land mass as the current administration seeks to plunder our lands, water and air?

And so I fill my bird feeders, plant native plantings, watch the birds and animals drink from my pond, and nourish the wildlife right in the middle of my small Mid-Atlantic town, where the wilds things roam. And as I drink my morning tea I salute the red-tailed hawk as it sits upon the lower roof of my home, watching for its next meal.


For those of you that are concerned about monarchs and other pollinators, here is a terrific article (hot off the press) about Tennessee’s successful roadside meadow plantings program. Margaret Renkl, who is a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, wrote in today’s issue, “Tennessee Makes Way for the Monarchs.” Here is a quote:

“Wildflowers once grew in profusion on roadsides everywhere. The shoulder of a highway, from blacktop to tree line, is the perfect setting for flowers that require full sun; it’s a ribbon of meadow that unfolds before the eye for as long as the road goes on. During my childhood in Alabama, every highway and back road was alight with butterfly weed, which belongs to the family of milkweeds. In summer it formed a bright corridor of orange flowers so covered with orange monarch butterflies that from a distance it looked as though the flowers themselves were taking flight and floating on the breeze … Coming home from Alabama this month, I stopped at the Tennessee welcome center in Ardmore, stepped out of my car, and was astonished to discover a newly planted pollinator meadow just down the hill from the welcome center. Up close, the acre-size plot was blooming with asters and liatris and ironweed and two different kinds of goldenrod. The plot was so loud with insects that the roar of highway traffic, only yards away up the little hill, was faint by comparison. While I stood there, dumbfounded, a monarch butterfly floated past. I was too stunned to take its picture.”



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14 Responses to Nature Photography: Coexistence (No. 44) – Primordial Soup II

  1. Tina Schell says:

    Loved the closing article Sally, perhaps there is hope for us yet

  2. The cynic in me thinks a second chance at this wouldn’t go any better than the first. But, as you point out so wondrously in your post and in your collage – just when I begin to lose hope in this entanglement, I read an article or encounter someone like you, determinedly pursuing a kinder coexistence.

    • I understand your cynicism. By immersing myself in nature and breathing in her magic, I breathe in hope and optimism. But it’s still a seesaw existence. I’m hopeful that the youth and their climate strike (I’m attending one today.) will shake reality into the non-believers and those that try to hide the truth.

  3. It’s like an explosion of foliage colours. Just looking at the image gives me so much energy.

  4. Su Leslie says:

    Wow: wonderful montage Sally.

  5. Prior... says:

    The roadside planting project sounds hopeful!
    And your Lens image has an electric feel – and reminded me of glass – and music… hmmmm

  6. pattimoed says:

    Beautiful colors and intricate patterns in your “soup,” Sally. A lovely montage.

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