New Year, New Hope

When I started my photography journey many, many years ago my hero was W. Eugene Smith, a brilliant documentary photographer who photographed entirely in black and white. Smith was on assignment overseas for Life magazine during World War II and he was brutally frank in what he photographed. His war photography had a deep effect on him and his career almost came to an end when he was wounded by shell fragments. It took him two years to recover both physically and mentally – very dark times. In 1946 he picked up his camera and one of his first photographs was of his two young children walking towards the light through a dark tunnel of trees. He called it “The Walk to Paradise Garden”. The result was enough to rekindle his photographic career.

I think for a lot of us these past two years have been a dark time but I also think there is a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. I wish all my followers a Safe, Hopeful and Healthy 2022.

Homage to W. Eugene Smith – 1970

Drying Out

In the past couple of days we have had close to 8 inches of rain. Very uncomfortable for deer and people!
Fortunately the sun came out today and this young doe took some time out to dry out.

The Flora and Fauna Project

Back in the mid 1970’s when we bought our acreage it was covered in second growth forest. We built our house and then started clearing small areas for gardens. I was working as a gardener at the time, mostly for seniors, and my clients would give me plants that I had divided or removed. Our family would also give us plants to help us establish the garden. It became a habit with my wife Sharron to make an index card record of each plant. She would document what the plant was, where it came from, where we planted it, what care it needed and what beneficial uses it might have. With the advent of more affordable digital photography I started taking photos of the plants. As time went on we started compiling the information together and printing it.

At some point we started looking farther afield and started documenting ALL the plants on the property and that stretched into all the wildlife, birds and bugs.

We have managed to put together a good collection of entries but we are aware of how much it still out there! Haven’t even started on the lichens, fungi and mushrooms yet though I have hundreds of photos still on my computer. Fortunately Sharron has taken up photography in the past few years so we have been able to speed up the process somewhat though admittedly we can’t foresee it being done in our lifetime.

Tree Lungwort (Lobaria pulmonaria) – 2 photos

This is an interesting looking and feeling lichen that we find on only one or two trees in our forest. One popular location is on a very large broadleaf maple. We find lots of the lichen on the ground after a strong wind. Like most lichens, Tree Lungwort is sensitive to air pollution and so whenever you find lichen it is an indication of good air quality.  

Topside

As is common with herbal lore, plants resembling body parts were often used as a herbal remedy for that particular area. Because of its resemblance to the interior of a lung, Tree Lungwort got its common name. Medically it has been used for lung disease, asthma, incontinence, eczema and various other maladies. Also used in tanning, dying and brewing.

Underside

Storm Damage

Well, we survived our very loud and powerful windstorm a couple of nights ago. We could hear trees falling in the distance and lots of branches landing on our roof. We walked the property today and found one very large cedar had toppled.

I had been watching this tree as it had been damaged many years ago and it had multiple trunks coming
off the main trunk. It was quite unbalanced and a split was developing up the trunk so it was
destined to fall sooner rather than later.

As with many red cedar, this tree suffered carpenter ant or termite damage in its heartwood. This weakens the tree.

Unfortunately there won’t be much wood for me to salvage for milling but lots of kindling!