Hello All,

Our discussion on photography in class tonight introduced me to a new photographer/conservationist: Carlton Ward, (I attached his website incase you are interested).  Carlton is a modern photographer, conservationist, and farmer.  His work focuses on preserving the natural world and attracting people to the ideas of conserving our surroundings.

The photograph was taken in a National Park in Flordia by Carlton Ward. I agree with what Carlton is doing with his work and wish more photographers took after his ambitious heart.  Carlton has created The Nature Conservancy and is work is based on the conservation of the wetlands, everglades,  and water resources not only in Florida, but in 30 countries and all 50 states.  Carlton has exceeded his limitations and societies limitations by adding more acres to The Nature Conservancy and jointly working with The Everglades Headwaters National Wildlife Refuge and Conservation.

The photograph above speaks in volumes to me. I have never been to the everglades, or deep into Florida, but from the image, I must go.  The wetlands house thousands of rare species of plants and animals that I have only seen in books or on TV.  The idea of documenting these places for conservation and attraction to these places is a brilliant idea and needs more documentation.  As Americans, we want to be able to show our children and our grandchildren these images of how things use to be. Yet, if we continue at this rate of destruction and pollution, these images may be the only thing left we have to show future generations.  The idea of documenting these places just to show future generations of how things used to be is a great example of why we need conservationists like Ward to help spike the awareness of the decline in attention to these areas.  In America, and other countries we are doing a lot towards the conservation of our planet and our environment.  Yet, I believe it is important for people to be focused on the parts of the world that need to be conserved and saved from pollution and other environmental matters.  Conservationists and photographers like Ward are doing all of the right things to help with this movement and it makes me very proud and excited to be studying photography and to know I could somehow help one day.  The image above is a place I want to visit one day, to be in nature, wilderness, and be surrounded by rare species of animals and plants.  I would love to see endangered animals and plants that might not be here 20 years from now.  It is sad to me that these are the measures we have to take to get the attention from the media and the people, but it is needed.  The attention is needed indefinitely due to the downward spiral of the environment.  I am thankful for Ward and his attributions to the National Parks and wilderness. I am thankful that America still has areas that are preserved and are not exposed to the public. Hopefully more people will pay attention to areas needing conservation and do something about it, like Carlton Ward.

Natural Progression

Hello all,

As I was trying to come up with some ideas for the blogs, a topic came about while I was grilling out with my boyfriend (I know it’s too cold to grill out, but I wanted some burgers!) As the grill was heating up, the topic of what coal consisted of came about.  After our discussion I looked up the ingredients to coal and how it is/was made.  Coal consists of remains of vegetation from over 400 million years ago.  Since the vegetation contained energy from the sun and was decomposed, it produced carbon which is the main ingredient for coal. Here is a link to learn more about the whole process: COAL.  Then I remembered the series by Thomas Cole (Coal and Cole, ironic huh?) and the idea of natural progression.   I looked through my notes and wanted more information on the topic.  It was very interesting to me when I “googled” natural progression and I found very few resources.  The meaning of Natural progression can be defined as the action(s) of natural forces or the history of events in nature.  It is odd to me that there are few resources with such a natural phenomenon that occurs naturally and without the help of humans.  The Earth is 4.45 billion years old and has naturally progressed to where it is today.  Thomas Cole’s, The Inevitable, shows us through a series of how the Earth with survive and thrive without human existence.

The Earth has seen so much and encountered so much through its journey, really, really long journey at that.  Our planet has withstood so much abuse and change in its lifetime.  Just thinking about all that the Earth has seen, produced, and encountered makes me thankful to live on such a place. I’ve never really been thankful for the Earth, but after realizing its preciousness and stability, I really am grateful.  The Earth can come back from an ice age, meteors, and so many other natural disasters.  It is clear to see that the Earth is so very strong and will continue to be strong.  It is also clear to see that the Earth has no need for our existence.  Just as dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures once lived and died, humans could do the same without any detriment to the Earth.  Cole’s series is a great example of this theory.  Cole’s series takes us through the development of humans on Earth, the so thought “take over” of humans, and the collapse of the human race.  And in the final painting, it is clear to see that Earth and nature are taking back what belongs to them.  The Earth will always be dominant and gain back what belongs to it.  My theory is that Cole’s series is a warning to humans.  A warning that should give us all shivers and remorse.  As so many past species has died out, we could do the same, and nature would take back over.  Instead of humans, “taking over” the Earth, and harvesting it for our own selfish needs, humans could work together to give back to the Earth.  Yes, there are many services, volunteer groups, and organization designed just to do that.  And yes, we have set aside land to preserve and to help mother nature.  But nature and the Earth can take it all away just as fast as it has done in the past to previous species.  The human race really has no idea how special and crucial the Earth is for our existence.  Just as I said earlier, I really had never given any “thanks” or thought to how much the Earth is important to not only me, but to every living soul on the planet.  Cole’s warning is a very real topic to me since the whole “2012” speculation of the Earth ending.  And as the “due date” of the speculation draws nearer, this painting is even more meaningful to me.  It makes sense to me that after 4.45 billion years of abuse and neglect by humans, that the Earth and nature could take it all back and thrive just as nothing had ever happened. The idea of the Earth “starting over” has never seemed so real to me.  I am not saying that I am on the whole bandwagon of “2012”, but after this discussion and contemplation, it seems very real and reasonable.  The idea of us becoming parts of coal and future species or races using it to grill out their hamburgers is just mind blowing! Although I would be very grateful to not cook someone’s hamburger, it is very weird yet interesting to think about.  The Earth is again, so complex and strong. I still cannot grasp all that it has seen and gone through.  I realize that I am describing the Earth as a living thing, but that is exactly what it is, a living thing.  All living things die and then other organisms gain from that loss.  Which is exactly what it could do to our species, kill us off and reuse us, no questions asked.  I have come full circle with the coal topic and connected it to life on Earth and the ending of Earth,  and am pretty proud of myself for making the connection, who would of thought? Thanks to Thomas Cole, I am more aware of the “living thing” we live on and more grateful for all of its triumphs and failures.   I hope my blog allows more people to think about the place we walk on everyday, throw trash on, and pollute everyday. I hope my blog allows people to contemplate ways we can help our fellow living space and contribute to the universe.  Let’s try to keep ourselves from becoming coal and keep on keepin’ on.


Until next time,




Hello All,   …


Hello All,

   I have contemplated heavily the past 3 weeks about what I would write about in my introductory post. I have never been to a National Park, so that rules out that in a post. I have never traveled anywhere out of the country, again, that post is out the door, but I do have something that might be of some worth to my blog.  I do have a love for the “wilderness” and all that it stands for.  I enjoy a good hike, run in a park, and occasional camping in the woods, as long as it involves making smores.  As a kid, I loved playing all day in the woods, discovering trees and rivers bigger than anything I had ever seen, and coming home with ticks and bug bites, which Mom was not a big fan of.  Yet, all of those things really do not come close to the true meaning of nature, but they are the closest activities that our society will maintain the idea of.  

   A few semesters ago I ordered a movie off Netflix called Into The Wild.  I had heard many references to the movie and decided to give it a try.  To my surprise, the movie was inspirational, moving, and captivating.  The movie is also based on a true story, which I could hardly wrap my brain around.  After watching the movie I had a whole new respect for “wilderness” and “free spirited” people.  The idea of “wilderness” relieving you of social, economical, and cognitive obligations.  The idea of “wilderness” allowing you to become who you think you are or who you should be.  The idea that “wilderness” can take it all away any way that it wants were all realizations I had after viewing the movie.  Each time I am sitting in class, a reference to the movie comes to mind.  Into The Wild, for me, gave me a true sense of the meaning of “wilderness”.  In the last class, we expressed what the word “wilderness” means from many different perspectives.  The word “wilderness”, I feel, is expressed in so many ways in the movie Into The Wild.  The movie also expresses how vulnerable and susceptible we are to the “wilderness” due to our (when I say our I mean our society) misconstrued view of the word.  The whole Materialistic vs Naturalistic definitely comes to mind when I think of this movie and when I think or our society.  The meaning of the word “wilderness” has changed so much and will continue to change as time progresses.  Into The Wild really put the true meaning of the word into perspective for me.  I would suggest the movie to anyone contemplating moving away because of life’s obligations and I would especially suggest the movie to anyone who takes this course. I won’t explain the movie, because I feel I might write another post on the movie and it’s meaning, but I will leave you with a video