Elements Photo-blog Celebrates One Year Anniversary
Friday May 17 2011
Recording a Year Hamilton Waterfront and surrounding area / Hyper-local-Journalism . “Picture’s really do tell a better story than the written word.”
Doug Worrall Photography One Year Young
Last Year, after a ten year absence from Film photography, I made the leap into the digital age. The learng curve for myself, has been just that, A curve all the way through my grey matter,
down my skinny arms to my finger that releases the shutter to record a little piece of time. Owning a Computer for only four years also made this process more demanding, add more “Memory”,Hmmm, to me PC or the Brain.
The collection below is mostly from October of last year, after I began shooting in Camera Raw, to the present.
I counted the days I was able to travel around Harbourfront trail and park, Cootes Paradise, Grindstone Creek, The Royal Botanical Gardens, and the surrounding area.
Traveling approximately 95% was riding my ebike heading out the door at 5AM, hiking, biking, busing-it to each area. If I miss a day due to weather, image processing is the job that has to be done,
I have the whole year to divide into sections for people, boats, wildlife, Scenery, events etc……………………………………..
For a grand total of Two Hundred and Ninety five days out of 365. . Having four seasons sure does help in the range of photography techniques available to use.
” If you wish to make an impact for ONE YEAR, plant corn; if you wish to make an impact for a Generation, plant a tree; if you wish to make an impact for Eternity, educate a child” Einstein
THE YEAR IN IMAGES
Happy One Year Pics4twitts and DW Photography
Simply look with perceptive eyes at the world about you, and trust to your own reactions and convictions, Ask Yourself.
“Does this subject move me to feel, think and dream? Can I visualize a print-my own personal statment of what I feel and want to convey-from the subject before me.?
The importance of Birds is not just contained in their visible and valuable components of biodiversity ! Their importance lies in the fact that they are representatives of Ecological Health. And, Birds inspire an Ecological Approach to Conservation. The operative word here it “TO.” Bird Conservation is a field in the Science of Conservation in Biology related to threatened birds. From a socio-economic perspective, birds and their migrations have motivated incredible international co-operation, which for waterfowl has translated into millions of $ in wetland habitat conservation efforts across the continent. Birds link us to the natural world every day – even in the most urban settings. Birds keep our ecosystems running smoothly by controlling rodents and insect pests, scavenging wastes and pollinating plants. The truth is that healthy bird populations suggest healthy habitats for all species. Of the 431 species of Canadian Breeding Birds, 9% are Waterfowl, 18% are Waterbirds, and 10% are Shorebirds. Currently one in eight of the world’s birds are threatened with global extinction, and of the 431 bird species that regularly breed in Canada, 60 are classified as at risk. In waterfowl, there are 35 species of ducks, geese and swans that spend at least part of each year in Canada.
The recruitment and morality rates of waterfowl vary in response to weather, climate, habitat loss, competition for resources, environmental contamination and other factors, and these factors also pertain to other species. However, waterfowl differ from most other bird populations in being subject to mortality from hunting. The Institute for Wetland and Waterfowl Research (WWR) is the scientific research arm of Ducks Unlimited Canada. Some species of sea-ducks, continue to experience long-term declines. But, in contrast, Snow Geese have become so abundant that they may endanger other wild life through their effects on habitat. April is a great time to look for migrating shorebirds, which can be seen on shallow wetlands, like Cootes Paradise Wetland (formerly Dundas Marsh). Given that Waterfowl cover only 9% of Canada’s 431 Breeding Birds, efforts for waterfowl conservation are expanding to include all birds. The North American Bird conservation Initiative is about this expansion.
In the early 1900s, North American birds were at risk from unregulated hunting pressures and marketing. The response to this was the 1916 Migratory Bird Treaties between Canada and U.S., and in 1936 between U.S. and Mexico. In the 1980s (30 years ago) Waterfowl populations declined so drastically due to habitat loss (drought) in Western Canada, that an international response was initiated to protect wetland and upland habitats – critical for Waterfowl populations and survival. This resulted in the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP). The present status of many Waterfowl species is very good, with populations at or near the international goals agreed to under the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP). Part of the success of (NAWMP) continues to be facilitated by legislation in the U.S. that enables millions of U.S. $ into Canada (to be matched) for wetland associated upland conservation.
Based on the history of co-operation, conservationists from Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, along with the North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation worked together to develop the response – the North American Bird Conservation Initiative (NABCI). the (NABCI) vision is populations and habitats of North America’s birds protected, restored and enhanced through co-ordinated efforts at international, national, regional and local levels, guided by sound science and effective management. The (NABCI) goal is to deliver the full spectrum of Bird Conservation through regionally based, biologically driven, landscape-oriented partnerships. The Canadian (NABCI) Model includes: NAWMP (Wetlands, Waterfowl), Partners In Flight (Uplands, Landbirds), Shorebird Plan (WHSRN sites, Shorebirds), Wings over Water (Waterbirds) for an integrated action plan and joint venture delivery system in a co-ordinated approach to Bird Conservation. This developed formed 67 Bird Conservation Regions (BCR) across the continent. Canada’s BCRs tend to be larger than the others, and orient themselves on an east-west basis, crossing many jurisdictions. For example, Ontario’s Boreal Forest BCR 8 has the highest breeding landbirds at one billion; and the Non-Boreal Forest BCR 12 has 40 million breeding birds using this landscape.
So how does NABCI work at BCR level ? Basically, it determines biological and strategic priorities and population goals for species – waterfowl, landbirds, shorebirds, waterbirds. Bill Lamond said abut the Hamilton Fall Bird Count taken on the last day in the count window (Nov. 7th, 2,010) that “it produced at total of 126 species the lowest total since 2,00 when 125 species were recorded…I was expecting a fairly high species total in the range of 140+ species as there had not been any intense cold weather to push lingering birds out.” Although the results were disappointing, but there were great highlights, like the Purple Sandpiper spotted on the rocks at Fifty Point, Grimsby on Lake Ontario. And, the Semipalmated Sandpiper was documented in 2,010 at Dundas Marsh (Cootes Paradise), Windermere Basin in Hamilton Harbourfront, the Red Hill Expressway and QEW Stormwater Pond, and Campbellville Road. and Millboroug Line. The Common Loon, one was spotted off LaSalle Marina, seven off Sioux Lookout Park, six at Shoracres, 5 at Burloak Park, and one at Bronte Harbour. There were two nests of Red-necked Grebes at Bronte Harbour with eggs, and 13 Red-necked Grebes at Spencer Smith Park in Burlington. The Green Heron was spotted at the Windermere Basin in Hamilton Harbour and a pair were at a nest at the Millgrove Loam Pits.
“You have to believe in happiness, Or happiness never comes…, Ah, that’s the reason a bird can sing – On his darkest day he believes in Spring.” by Douglas Mallock
Source: North American Bird Conservation Initiative by Brigitte Collins, Eastern Habitat Joint venture Canadian Wildlife Service Ontario Region; April Birding; Nature Canada; Environment Canada; the Wood Duck
“The Monarch Butterflies that winter in Mexico, exemplify a finely balanced ecological integration between species and environment. But the practice of logging at crucial elevations is potentially catastrophic. the Oyamel forest habitat that Monarchs require to survive the winter is increasingly rare. When forced to cluster either higher or lower along the mountainside, ” their fate is sealed.”
“Life is the emergent property of ecosystems, ” says John Theberge, professor of ecology and conservation biology at University of Waterloo’s Faculty of Environmental Studies, and he has recently retired. By moving up the biological hierarchy from populations to ecosystems, which are “orders of magnitude” are more complex than individuals and populations. He views that “ecosystems act like super organisms” is a contentious statement. A properly functioning ecosystem is characterized by harmonious interaction. A ” dynamic but ever-changing equilibrium” is observable in every type of ecosystem, from low-productivity Sonora Desert to Indonesia’s high-productivity Tropical Forest. We need to stop interfering and allow natural selection to operate. “Ecosystems worldwide are grieving – Biodiversity is decreasing.” Nature is being rapidly destroyed, often out of ignorance rather than malice. The challenge is to save this natural world…most of all the evolution of future species. Just consider the beautiful Monarch Butterfly a vulnerable and most emblematic species. The Monarch Butterflies that winter in Mexico, exemplify a finely balanced ecological integration between species and environment. But the practice of logging at crucial elevations is potentially catastrophic. the Oyamel forest habitat that Monarchs require to survive the winter is increasingly rare. When forced to cluster either higher or lower along the mountainside, ” their fate is sealed.”
A book entitled “The Ptarmigan’s Dilemma: An Exploration into How Life Organizes and Supports Itself ” investigates how life has managed to persist on earth for almost four billion years. This book outlines the processes that produce order in nature and underlie the persistence of life in all of its diversity. One vivid example is earth’s earliest life-form, Cyanobacteria, a.k.a. Blue-green Algae, which first appeared when the planet had sufficiently cooled. Alive and well today, Cyanobacteria’s continued presence is a demonstration of the planet’s capacity to “self-regulate”. Another example is the concept of Epigenetic which deals with “the ability of a characteristic to be passed on to subsequent generations.” Offspring inherit from their parents a “biochemical soup,” which can be affected by stress and other environmental factors. Epigenetics make the argument that genes can be active or inactive, becoming active if triggered by the environment. So, unless they are “unzipped” they remain inactive. One example of epigenetics is the Ruffed Grouse because the bird was known to lack a gall bladder. At the University of Alaska, epigenetics found the gene for gall bladder development was activated by an environmental trigger – the Ruffed Grouse rich fatty diet. Studies like these have led to an interest in epigenetics and is being driven by attempts to apply genetic research to finding a cure for cancer and other diseases in humans.
Yet, Epigenetics cannot fully account for the Wood Duck’s brilliant plumage. The Wood Duck lives in Silver Maple swamp, in New Dundee in southern Ontario. Such beauty and symmetry could not be attributed to chance. Here was natural selection at work, specifically a subset of natural selection known as sexual selection. Whereas natural selection deals with traits and leads to survival, sexual selection concerns traits that lead to reproduction. The criteria by which female Wood Ducks choose a mate imposed selective pressures on males to acquire their dazzling plumage. Such complex changes would have happened incrementally. Another factor, “order of free,” also placed a role. The term refers to the physical order underlying all phenomena. Now, let’s look at populations instead of individuals in the world of nature. Here, a pair of American Robins occupying a 40-hectare subdivision could theoretically produce 74,000 Robins within 10 years. Although reproductive activity is a geometric progression, inescapable pressures limit growth and prevent populations from attaining their biological potential. Predation, starvation, disease and social stress serve to regulate populations. So, look around at Hamilton Harbourfront and Cootes Paradise Wetland, look at the various ecosystems of the plants and animals that inhabit this waterfront paradise. One pertinent question remains about saving the ecosystem – Can nature stand to be ripped from its fabric ? Little things do matter on our part of preserving our ecosystem – pick up garbage so birds and animals will not be poisoned, remove discarded fish hooks that swans may be trapped on and birds swallow them thinking they are food. No matter what your small part is in preserving our ecosystem at Hamilton Harbourfront and Cootes Paradise is, it does make a difference !
The world, though made, is yet being made…This is still the morning of creation – by John Muir
Source: The Wood Duck, The Ptarmigan’s Dilemma: An Exploration into How Life Organizes and Supports Itself, Thinking Big About Ecosystems, Evolution and Life.
“As Site coorinator we have been featuring Migrating Waterfowl in the Southwesten Ontario Watershed. Today Saturday April 2 2011, I had another opportunity to photograph The Horned Greb while in Cootes paradise . Below are two images that have been enlarged, therfore the poor quality. I hope you enjoy the images and the article.. ” Doug Worrall