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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Birds, Water, trees, walking

This is a great time of year to photograph the birds. The little Carolina Chickadee above is nesting in a box up against the driveway side of my house. Earlier in the season, the chickadees and other birds fly off when they hear or see me. At first I couldn't figure out why she would stay put, for the most part, fussing at me but not leaving while I snapped a bunch of pictures.
Once I walked to the other side of the tree the little chickadee flew into the nesting box and I realized she was waiting me out. I have nesting boxes on 3 sides of my house and there are advantages and disadvantages to the ones on the driveway side. The disadvantage is the little bird and her babies, when they come, have to tolerate me walking up and down, and driving up and down, the driveway. They seem to get used to me this time of year or maybe they have too much to do to bother with flying farther away from me like they do during less busy seasons.I am enjoying the contrast in the neighborhood trees this time of year. Some in full flower, some barely starting to bud, some leafing out. I'm curious what will happen with some of the brand new subdivisions. I hate the practice of cutting down old forests and trees on old farms to put in new subdivisions. I'm not even talking now about the issue of development as much as the issue of how it's done, in some cases. I know it's easier when putting in roads and new houses on lots to cut everything down and then put in new landscapes. It's a shame that more of the old growth isn't saved but to an extent I came to realize that ugly lots did turn into lovely landscapes with fast growing trees and sometimes including interesting gardens. However, with the drought my area has suffered a new issue has come up. Without irrigation, the newer subdivision will probably remain barren, at least that's what they look like now.
Established landscapes and trees may suffer some losses but so far we have had enough sporadic rain to keep them going. However, the new lots that were stripped of all their trees to make it easy to put in houses and landscape from scratch look sad. I feel very fortunate in terms of my situation. I have eased away from irrigating for many years now and what I have is adapted and tough. I do collect rain water but most of my plants are on their own and have done pretty well. I learned after the fact that March 22 was World Water day. I found A.'s blog through photohunters and she discussed World Water Day on this post. She mentioned a new film about the women in Ethiopia who collect water each day. She has links in the post to WaterAid and to clips from the film you may want to check out. It certainly puts into perspective issues surrounding water and the lack thereof. A. had a link to the U.K site for WaterAid and from there I found the international WaterAid site. On the international wateraid site you can click on an individual country's site. I was sorry I didn't check all this out sooner because the American History Museum was having a webcast on women and water called the Heaviest Load on World Water Day. According to the site - The panelists will be Yassine Fall, Netsanet Mengistu and Lydia Zigomo, all of whom have extensive experience in championing women's rights in the developing world. I am glad that I found out about this even though I was too late to hear the webcast. It is such an important issue to think about. I was reminded of the burden unsafe water and sanitation place on women in many parts of the world, since they are the ones collecting it from great distances. I saw a documentary on PBS about this issue many years ago but like so many things, it had not been at the front of my mind until I was reminded of the issues.
I feel a little weird about how I went from minor suburban concerns in my part of the U.S. to the heroic efforts which it takes on a daily basis for women in other parts of the world to collect water for their family. It is what it is. I have the luxury of fairly moderate worries although continued drought conditions anywhere eventually create big problems. With changing climates and extended droughts, if municipalities don't take action to conserve water where I live they may find themselves unable to support the influx of people that have moved to the area. I'm glad that we have finally instituted permanent restrictions on certain type of water use in my city rather than the bandaid approach that has been taken in the past.One reason I'm writing about World Water Day, even though it was several days ago is that it's like International Earth Day (which I'm a week late mentioning), Earth Hour which is coming up this Saturday, or any other event to call attention to enormous challenges. It's not about a specific day so much as it's about awareness and daily efforts. It's easy to feel overwhelmed and like it doesn't matter what we do but I have to believe that these cumulative efforts will help in some small way. Speaking of small steps. I walked to the grocery store today which was only 2 miles round trip so not a big deal at all. It merely meant I was walking past office buildings instead of walking in my neighborhood or on a trail.I feel tasteless mentioning my walk to the grocery store after mentioning what women in Ethiopia and other countries go through in order to provide water for their families. However, it's counterproductive to feel guilt over things outside my control. I recently read a title somewhere that said think globally and act globally which I liked. I believe it was in connection with cooperation towards offsetting global climate change. I believe in supporting world organizations that are oriented towards the world as a whole. I also believe that it's also necessary for us as individuals to make those small changes in our every day life, and for me trying to, in part, get exercise by walking instead of driving to the grocery store is one of those changes.
I didn't expect to take many photographs or see much of interest walking on the side walk of a busy street which took me to the store, but with a turn of the head I spotted all sorts of surprises. The pansies above surrounded by fallen blossoms, from the trees, which looked like snow from a distance, were shot in front of an office building I passed on the way to the store. I felt like quite the lucky woman walking past such pleasant sites. If I had driven by, I wouldn't have noticed them as they are set back from the road. This brings me up to getting exercise for 17 of the past 19 days.

11 comments:

Mar said...

Beautiful photographs and great post, Carver! I liked the think globally and act globally too!!
(keeping my comments short...)
Have a beautiful day and a nice walk again!

Carver said...

Thanks Mar I appreciate that. Take care of your hands! I hope you can get that taken care of soon. I've been thinking about you.

the donG said...

thanks to this post. you reminded me of Earth Hour this Saturday.

starnitesky said...

Some beautiful photographs here and a very thought provoking post.

Carver said...

Hi "the dong", I'm glad you are interested in earth hour.

Hi Startinestky, Thanks for you kind words and for visiting.

AscenderRisesAbove said...

you have the lovliest photos; they are so clear and perfectly still. are you using a tripod these days? i found one that wraps around items to take photos on the go (tree limbs, fences etc) but it is such a hassle to carry with me.

ascenderrisesabove.com/wordpress

Carver said...

Thanks Ascender, I appreciate that. I admire your photography so your comment means a great deal. I don't have a tripod for my digital camera. I have an old tripod for my old 35 mm camera but I don't think it will work with the camera I use now and it's huge. I am planning on getting one at some point. I also want to get the converter and much stronger telephoto lens which is an option to add on to my digital camera but it will cost almost as much as the camera its self so I'm holding off.

The Author said...

What a beautifuls shots! I love all of it!

Carver said...

Thanks "the Author" I appreciate that.

A. said...

A great post Carver, and thanks for the links to my small efforts in the same direction, and for your visits too.

Carver said...

Thanks A. I appreciate that. I have learned a lot from your posts and am glad to have discovered your blog through PH.