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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Toxic Waste: Swim At Your Own Risk.

Never being able to sit pondering the future for too long,(let go,let God), I emerged from my box to take a walk. I wanted more practice managing the new bulk of my camera and to test the Nikon's "Easy Automatic" setting that changes the scene setting as the subject changes. I chose to go take a look at the abandoned heron rookery off the nature path, over the berm and across the street from my front yard. To the left, the path goes straight past the rookery all the way to Keego Harbor and beyond. To the right, there's nothing as eerie to photograph as the rookery. Coming down over the berm, I turned left.

The rookery was home to a flock of giant herons till they trashed the place and moved out. I saw them go. Their giant shadows blocked the sun as they flew West over my deck. The new sign the city put up in front of the old rookery told the story:

"For those who have come before you and were able to witness the nesting season at its peak, they will tell you it was a sight to behold. However, nature is always changing and ever evolving. In 2003, a large ice storm caused extensive damage in the rookery and a great number of nesting trees were lost. Great blue herons are highly sensitive to disturbances of any kind near and in their nesting site and the majority of herons were forced to move elsewhere. There is strength in numbers for herons in a rookery and the decline of nesting sites, combined with fewer herons, led to easier accessibility for a variety of predators like crows, hawks, raccoons and great horned owls.
What would have happened to the rookery if the ice storm had not destroyed so many trees? The rookery would have dissolved in its own time. Great blue herons are capable of "trashing" their own nesting site. Their droppings, combined with uneaten fish parts, increase the nitrogen in the soil to toxic levels and the very trees they are nesting in, die. Eventually, the herons will move on to a "clean" site in order to start a new rookery."

Well, seems like the heron are a lot like us--off to the suburbs we went to escape the grim of the cities and the cities went to ruins. Covered with algae and littered with fallen trees, the pond looks surreal, like a prehistoric cesspool. A sharp contrast to the lake behind my house, this one is SWIM AT YOUR OWN RISK


A BIT OF CULTURE IN THE WILD! I was stopped in my tracks by a hosta in full bloom. The deer ate most of mine this year, but didn't touch this one in their own backyard. Maybe they've moved on too?

These photos came out fair. They still don't seem sharp enough to me. I'm wondering if I should be using the flash to lessen handshake--if handshake is the problem? --Maybe just a couple of photoshoots do not a photographer make? Maybe I should clean my glasses and the screen on this computer?


  1. A friend of mine who takes great photos told me she always counts to 3 then holds her breath.. She says it steadies her shot.. I started doing that and also making sure I've got a firm stance. She said that if you position yourself like a tri-pod it works every time...

  2. I do brace myself. I think I might be pouncing on the shutter button. I'll keep at it, at it, at it, at it......
    If it wasn't so damn hot, I'd like to go shoot the Ann Arbor Art Fair. It's a biggy. Get some unsuspecting people in the shots. Shooting on the go requires speed and a firm grip. Something that takes some work before it comes naturally.

  3. Considering you are still getting used to your new camera, I think you have done a really good job on these photos. You must be so pleased with it.....regards ann.

  4. I do think the photos of this cesspool are interesting, but Ann, are we artists cursed with a perfectionism are rarely totally satisfied. I will continue to practice till I get my focus as sharp as possible--and become more conscientious about cleaning my glasses, lens, view-plate, computer screen so I can make a better judgement.