As I travel each day I always look for wild spots within built up areas…somehow, it’s reassuring to see that man has not completely conquered nature as it should be within the constantly evolving landscape.
I started looking for such locales some 13 years ago when one day as I was driving home from work, I saw land where blackberries, huckleberries, fruit trees, farm fields – areas that supported bee populations, agricultural industries and places where people could walk within the calming of the forest, being bulldozed, the rich earth carted off like spoils of war, and the foundations for vast warehouses being erected. It was truly depressing. This area was a triangle between the Valley Freeway and the East Valley highway near Summer, WA and when the bulldozing began, it was obvious where the priorities lay…warehouses over bees and other agricultural endeavors.
As I think back, I realized that since 2001 I have been searching for nature’s tenacity to overcome the obstacles thrown in her way. And, whenever I find such life in urban or citified areas, it brings me comfort.
It began one night while wandering around an industrial area in Seattle taking photos for a night photography class. This was back in the film days and our assignment was to find interesting scenes and capture the image while at the same time, ensuring that you factored in reciprocity failure to ensure accurate color from the image. As I was strolling along side a warehouse, tripod and camera in hand, I suddenly came across this single fireweed plant growing from a crack in the sidewalk (the mottled background is the warehouse wall). I took the image and when I showed the final print to the instructor, his only comment was, while a good shot, it was not what the assignment was. I was dumbfounded at his statement while simultaneously realizing that he didn’t have the same vision as I. The more important aspect was that this single plant was the seed to my search for the wild in urban or city areas. (Click to enlarge)
Also, if you like honey, you should try raw fireweed honey (once you’re there, scroll down a bit till you see Fireweed) – its one of my favorites as it has a spicy taste to it (at least to me). As fireweed is primarily a northwest plant (also in Canada) it may be difficult to find.
Today’s Daily Photo is of a wild area sandwiched next to a small business / apartment complex on the right and local shops on the left.
The Wild (Nikon Df, 24-85 Nikon lens [at 24mm], AutoIso 100, f11 @ 1/30) – click to enlarge