… To Preserve This Beautiful Planet …

Late February, 2015

~

“I begin with nature today, which gives us so much, including the amazing opportunities for photography. Hence it must be our duty to preserve this beautiful  planet, in whatever small way we can in our own capacity.

This is the best gift we can give to our coming generations.”

Suyash Chopra

This morning, while looking at a series of photos Suyash recently published in black and white, I found this beautiful thought.  I resonate with Suyash’s understanding of photography as a sacred act, as a way to “preserve this beautiful planet, in whatever small way we can.”

~

April, 2014

April, 2014

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Gardening allows me a very immediate and hands on opportunity to preserve the tiny bit of our planet’s ecosystem within our garden.  Planting for wildlife habitat, protecting the soil, increasing diversity, and using sustainable, organic practices all help to make this tiny garden lush, beautiful, and life sustaining for many species- including ourselves.

~

Female Tiger Swallowtail on Lantana.  Lantana is the most visited plant in our garden by both butterflies and hummingbirds.

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But this is only a first effort.  Writing about it and sharing its beauty with others through photographs; nurturing friendships with other gardeners and building community, allows this harmonic to resonate around the planet. I am keenly interested in gardens from Portland Oregon and Conway Massachusetts to Queensland Australia; Greenville, South Carolina and Charlotte, North Carolina to Brussells, England, Puerto Rico and New Zealand.  Through reading about other gardener’s efforts, and seeing photos of their gardens in progress, I absorb their ideas, their passion, and their ecology.

~

October, 2014

October, 2014

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Suyash invites us to enlarge the context of how we think about our own photography.  Reflecting on his words,  I’m reminded of photos, published nearly a century ago, documenting glaciers in our national parks.  Seeing those photos again, alongside current photos of the same topography, documents the profound changes to our planet in a tiny span of geologic time.

~

September, 2010

Oregon coast, September, 2010

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Comparing my own photos taken on west coast beaches in 2010 with those taken this past fall demonstrates, with sickening clarity, the terrible loss of life along our coast.  Tidal pools filled to overflowing with starfish, sea urchins, mollusks and small fish in 2010 sit nearly empty today.

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September 2014

Oregon coast, September 2014

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While mussels and barnacles still thrive along these beaches, the starfish and sea urchins are nearly gone and the sea anemones reduced.  Our planet’s ocean harbors trash and toxic chemicals, petroleum, radioactivity, and acidity which turn great expanses of living ocean into watery desert.

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September 2014

September 2014

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Preserving the beauty of our quickly changing planet through our photographs, to share with later generations, somehow elevates photography from hobby to historic trust.  I had not really thought of my own photographs in quite this way until reading Suyash’s words today.

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August 2014 Virginia

Virginia, August 2014

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These photographs I take each day, recording our own garden and the changing of seasons in our greater community, serve a larger purpose.  They not only entertain, they document.  They share not only beauty, but also an aesthetic of beauty and vibrant organic life so important to our own well being.

~

College Creek, Virginia, August 2014

College Creek, Virginia, August 2014

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As more of our planet sleeps under pavement and architecture, living soil buried beneath concrete and asphalt; those areas left to grow and support life shrink with each passing day.

Even in our own community we watch trees felled and marshes filled as developers try to turn a profit with new homes and commerce.  Where do animals go once their habitats are destroyed?  Who digs and moves the native plants?  The answers are all too clear, and too poignant to frame with words.

~

August 28, 2014 turtles 061

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And so the photos we take today, the photos our parents and grandparents took decades ago; serve to document the beauty of nature which remains.

~

August 22, 2014 Parkway 031

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And perhaps they will inspire someone to value and nurture organic, life filled beauty in their own tiny bit of the planet.  Perhaps they will spark a memory of when mankind truly did inhabit ‘the garden.’

~

August 19, 2014 lavender 019~

“The more clearly we can focus our attention

on the wonders and realities of the universe about us,

the less taste we shall have for destruction.”
.

Rachel Carson

~

November 18, 2014 moss 029

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“The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn”
.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Woodland Gnome 2015

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About woodlandgnome

Lifelong teacher and gardener.

12 responses to “… To Preserve This Beautiful Planet …

  1. This is a beautiful and inspiring post, WG. Your photos are all lovely, and I was saddened by the difference in your photos of the Oregon coast.

    I hope you’ve been out enjoying this gorgeous day. I found flowers blooming while I was out on my walk this afternoon. The Persian Speedwell along the road is blooming and the first of our crocuses finally popped up and spread their petals. If spring hasn’t already arrived, it will be here soon. The birds seem to know this too. Those who migrate in the spring are getting restless.

    • Robin, it warms my heart to hear you are finding wildflowers and other signs of spring 😉 Are you having some warmer weather this week, too? Sunday was just glorious in central Virgina. I was on the road yesterday and had a lovely drive and beautiful time, slugging off the wool coat and enjoying the sun 😉 Giant hugs, WG

  2. Thanks so much for sharing this very thought-provoking post. It’s interesting and inspiring and sad at the same time.

    • Thank you for your kind words. Each of us has in our own power to be a force for positive change. I’m always inspired by Rachel Carson and her work to save the birds. Although the attack on the environment is international in scope, we can still find small ways to preserve what we can, and draw attention to the important issues. As they say, ” Think globally, act locally.” Thank you for visiting Forest Garden 😉 Best wishes, WG

  3. This is such an inspiring post. And I agree with you that photography has immense power to transcend from mere ‘hobby to historic trust’. Its upto us to explore it and use it as a powerful tool. And you did that exactly in your post. You have documented the changing face of this earth by bringing out the issues of how marine life has changed over years, in a negative way, through your beautiful photos. Hope to see more documentation through your photos. I wish more people can leverage this power of photos in bringing positive change in our Mother Earth. All the Best 🙂 🙂

    Thank you WG for your appreciation and kindness. I feel humbled and more energized to write better posts through my words and photos. Have a great day!!!

  4. Reblogged this on Eliza Waters and commented:
    A beautifully written post by a dear friend that expresses what is in my heart as well.

  5. Love all you pictures!! Beautiful warmer weather today with beautiful blue skies!! Wish Spring would hurry up and get here!! Enjoy your weekend!!

    • Thank you, Michael. Today it at last feels as though spring may be possible 😉 We went out this afternoon and got some wonderful photos of birds. There is still ice and snow lurking in the shady spots and were it was piled up, but we have sunshine and much warmer temps. Best wishes, WG

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