Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Environmental Photographs Highlight 2015

 Themes and Issues during my photo-explorations

At the year’s end, I usually write about the highlights of my travels or adventures.  However for the finality of 2015 and following the Paris Climate Summit, I have been compelled to feature a photo for each month that has an environmental theme. These photos are from scenes that I have come across during my photo-explorations of the past year, from water issues to weather extremes and compromised ecosystems. The following photographs were taken within a 100 mile radius around Walker Lake, Nevada and in the Great Basin Desert.

Clouds form over Mono Lake, California, moving eastward from the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The receding shore line and lack of snow on the mountains for the month of January are indicators of the drought that continues to plague the western U.S.

Late January and early February, a large number of waterfowl were infected with Avian cholera at Walker Lake, Nevada.

The bodies of American Coots lay tangled in tumble weeds that were blown to the water’s edge by the wind.

A dust storm churned up by the strong winds of March on east side of Walker Lake, Nevada.

A desolate location for Lee Hot Springs with a capped off well and volcanic rocks, however the mountains in the background show lack of snowpack after a dry winter on an early spring day in April.

 On a hillside in the Gabbs Valley Range, in May, the top of a purple bottle stands out.  A closer look reveals a piñon pine root that has been growing through the bottle’s neck for no telling how many years.

A hot June morning and cumulonimbus clouds build over the Garfield Flats Range.  I barely made it out of the wash before the clouds produced a F1 Category Tornado that touched down in Hawthorne, Nevada.

With the heat index reaching over the century mark in July at Walker Lake, ecosystems grow out of balance at the water’s edge as numerous damselfly larvae are caught in the huge orb-weaver spider webs that cover most of the shore.

The receding shore at Soda Lake in August, tufa mounds grow along the edge of the water.  Soda Lake was formed inside the collapsed cone of a basaltic maar volcano by irrigation for agriculture which increased the groundwater.

A tunnel by the highway to Yerington, Nevada in September.  Rainfall from fast moving summer monsoons produced flash floods that cut deep washes through the dry desert.

An October photo-trip to the Wild Burro Range at Marietta, Nevada.  The frame of a windsock stands as a reminder of the harsh winds and extreme weather in the Great Basin Desert.

Strong winds in November blow the thin snow pack across the peaks at Mount Grant, Nevada.

A winter storm in December brings in much needed moisture; however it will take so much more to offset the receding north shore at Walker Lake, Nevada.

The year of 2015 has seen interesting weather patterns with a warmer winter and rising heat index for the summer.  When El Niño comes for the winter, I will be ready with my Nikon to record any interesting trends, so follow my blog and check back often for the new posts.

What an exciting and interesting photo-adventure this day has been.  I love it when I am drawn to an area and not knowing what to expect I get treated to new experiences. 

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Photography places me in the moment where I can share that moment in time. It becomes a life story as represented by my interaction with the scene. The happiness and beauty or the sorrow and strife; how I focus leaves a lasting impression that might touch the viewer on a spiritual level.

 "Reflecting Nature's Artistry" 

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