For Earth Day 2019 I thought to publish a photograph that shows us what we have, and what we could easily lose. I think this is a day where we can be allowed a short ‘soap box speech’.
The photograph was taken where a delicate balance is working, but can be so easily tipped over.
Clear and flowing water, both fresh and tidal, are needed for this ecosystem to exist. Charleston, South Carolina, is one of the fastest growing places in the US…and it’s a straight shot from here. This would not be the first land to be lost to uncontrolled development.
Roseate Spoonbills, like the ones above, are actually benefiting from climate changes. They have lost habitat all through Florida, but these marshes here are warm enough now for tropical birds. A bright spot if the marshes are protected.
As for these Alligators, well no housing areas are going to allow dinosaurs to wander around. The water, and housing would doom them.
Last is the hundred small shore birds dotting the background here. All subtropical, and none would do well feeding in parking lots.
Now the good news, this photograph is from a huge protected area, for the foreseeable future they are safe. But it could never exist without knowing it’s needs and help.
Funding and government support is going in the total wrong direction now. Off shore oil drilling was approved here. No one wants it, but no one asked either.
Getting these images is a lot harder when the color is gone. Texture and contrast take over and in this environment that can be ‘patchwork busy’.
I started with what I think was the most difficult photograph. Every shade you can think of is here. I think the thing saving this image is the large mix of species. Doesn’t hurt there is a little action happening.
Above is all contrast. White Wood Stork becomes the focal point.
Besides being an Alligator the texture of the skin pushes the subject out from the water. Be nice if the water was flat but it’s a swamp.
Like the Wood Stork photograph above this is light on dark. Being a young Spoonbill helped since they are lighter in color. The splashing water showed better than I thought it might.
And the final shot, a marsh landscape. Personally I think black and white landscape images are almost always boring. The three elements of ‘front, middle, and back’ are typically flat or really heavy contrast to make some definition.
In a marsh landscape like this it’s easier.
The front, small shore birds, darkened ripples of water.
The middle, so many big Alligators it’s like a used car lot.
The back, shades and texture from the reeds, mud, misc. stuff. All that gives some depth.
Articles like this, and black and white, make me think different and keep things interesting.
Oh yeah, these are really all black and white, Monochrome Marsh just sounded better.