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Lily Pad Cove

Lily Pad Cove
Photo Information
Copyright: Bob Harrison (BobH) Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 40 W: 8 N: 192] (650)
Genre: Plants
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-10-04
Categories: Water Plants
Camera: Canon PowerShot S5 IS
Exposure: f/7.1, 1/60 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Reflections [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2009-05-03 19:30
Viewed: 6450
Points: 12
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This image is the sixth in my current series. It was shot on the same lake several hundred meters away from the previous post, again from my canoe. Despite my previous mention of frogs, the earlier locations were not really frog habitat. In contrast, this shot was taken just a few meters from a small pond where I chased fist sized bullfrogs when I was a child.

The trees look isolated because they are located on a several meter wide gravelly sand bar partly enclosing a cove. Behind the bar is the open lake, with views of "Loon Island" (one of my much earlier posts and the area where the earlier pictures in this series were shot). Just out of the image on the left is my childhood frog pond. This view from inside the cove includes a small sampling of its abundant lily pads, but none of the area's abundant wildlife.

Herons, egrets, and turtles are often seen in this cove or the nearby river shallows. Beavers have lived for decades on tributary streams a few km away. Osprey fish the lake, its feeder river, and this cove, resting often in the tall white pines such as on Loon Island. Unearthly loon songs on summer nights raise goosebumps on humans all around the lake. Grebes and those same loons also fish the lake and raise their young in secluded spots along the mostly forested shore. Most significantly, the bald eagle population in the region has rebounded from zero in the mid-1970s and now includes dozens of nesting pairs within 20 km of the lake.

When viewed from a canoe, the cove (behind and left of this POV) seems to have a distinct shoreline, but I personally have never explored any of it beyond the sandbar. The reason is quite simple- the area just beyond that immediate shore has always been known as "Hell Bottom Swamp", including on the authoritative US Geologic Survey topographic maps of the region. The implications of this name are clear and I was never tempted to test its validity.

But I mention it now because about 3 decades ago, Hell Bottom Swamp was the site of a locally important victory of nature over humanity. This victory was celebrated by many local humans, especially summer and year-round residents of the lake. Why? Because the humans who were defeated by nature did not live in the area, but had bought land which they wanted to develop for their personal profit, increasing by 20-fold or more the human population around the lake. This would have abruptly destroyed or greatly endangered thousands of hectares of prime wildlife habitat.

The story of their defeat is worth telling because to some degree, it is a universal story of the relationship between nature and the humans seeking to subdue it. So why the defeat? One simple word- hubris. Their plan required a road across Hell Bottom Swamp to a large chunk of their land which was otherwise only accessible by boat (or by a bridge that was closed to them because its owners disliked the planned development). The developers were confident they would be able to build this road by laying a narrow gravel causeway across 100 meters of swamp. I don't know the exact details, but I wish I could have been there to observe. They apparently watched many truckloads of gravel disappear into the bubbling water without any sign of a solid bottom. At some point they decided to stop, presumably conceding that Hell Bottom Swamp was appropriately named.

Nature's win in round one of this battle was a boon to the local wildlife and to the humans seeking peaceful coexistence with nature. However, round two in this battle is ongoing and not yet decided. The greatest offense now is the logging by clear-cutting of some of the area which had been targeted for development decades ago. Humans bent on destruction of nature for their own short term gain are very difficult to stop, even in a place like Maine, which generally has stringent environmental protections.

The next image in this series will illustrate one aspect of nature's patient vigilance in the battle against encroachment by humans. Any humans on the side of nature in such battles will succeed only by being equally vigilant (and much less patient).

Thanks for looking and reading. Hope you enjoyed the picture and my natural morality tale. I also hope you will take its message to heart and work toward preservation of the natural environment in your corner of the earth.

tech notes-
slight cropping, one step PS sharpening, moderately increased brightness & contrast, slight adjustment of shadow/highlight balance, no color modification

eng55, kirsty has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To foozi: thanksBobH 1 05-11 07:27
To papajoehermit: your archives?BobH 4 05-11 04:54
To andykirkland: different POVBobH 3 05-05 12:04
To kirsty: a crackerBobH 1 05-05 05:45
To LordPotty: idyllicBobH 1 05-05 05:43
To eng55: reflectionsBobH 1 05-04 02:51
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Critiques [Translate]

very beautiful foto and colors
but the story is very big

  • Great 
  • eng55 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1256 W: 42 N: 1976] (5892)
  • [2009-05-03 23:53]
  • [+]

Hi Bob,
Very beautiful landscape.I liked colors,framing,reflections on water and composition a lot.Have a great week!
Thanks for posting..

Hi Bob,
The word 'Idyllic' springs to mind.
This reminds me very much of a country estate I stayed on in England.
Any moment I expect to see a punt glide by with a chap in a straw boater and a lady in a white muslin dress.
The only thing missing is the Weeping Willows.
Very nice scene indeed.

Hi Bob this is the first time i have looked at your photographs this a absolute cracker i love the colours and the wonderful reflections,you have caught the moment a lovely photo.
best wishes Malc

I wish the image was taken at a location over from the lilly pads. They are nice, and could have filled the frame form the side. As the shot sits the reflection is lost in the lilly pads. The sky appears to be blown out. A better us of thirds would have made a much more excellent shot.

Bob, I don't understand the "andykirland" critique of this photo. There are so many things that "could" be done differently to any photograph, but then one has to be there to understand the defining moment. Wonderful photo that I will certainly add to my BobH archives.

JoeGoff, Louisville, KY

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2009-05-11 6:21]
  • [+]

Hi Bob,
this is a real beauty. Nature gives everything we could look for. Now you composed them very well. The vantage point you choose is really eaxcellent. To depict the pretty leaves and the lovely sky, at the same instant putting the lily right at the spot where it breaks the beauty and challenges the reflected water.
Wekl thought and well composed art in beautiful graphic form.


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