Wandering off

By EcoShutterBug2


This is not from the James Bond movie.

I call the image “Skyfall” (1) because mostly I see a waterfall streaming downwards. At first I couldn’t even see the tree trunk reaching away from me, even though I had been lying on the ground at its base to take the photograph. Rather my eye went to the streaming points of light that evoked visions of New Zealand mountain streams cascading down mossed rock faces and feelings of a cleansing freshness. It’s a welcome reverie in a one-hectare patch of Rhododendron forest in the middle on New Zealand’s 7th largest city. The light streams are generated by the ICM from a mix of Rhododendron flowers and cloud glimpses through canopy tree gaps.

The ecological story here is just one part of the linkage that was emphasised in yesterday’s “Mountains to the sea” Blip. The trees battle it out for their share of the light streaming from the sky. Precious shafts of energy make it through to nourish understory plants (and photographers lying on the forest floor).  Those understory plants and associated critters are the key to regenerating the forest and recycling its nutrients. And if you prefer to see the waterfall, it’s the water of life falling from the sky.

Light or dark, wet or dry? Whichever your imagination prioritises, you are seeing a life force connecting land and sky.

There is one other crucial ecological flow that is all but invisible here – the carbon dioxide that is being absorbed from the air and incorporated (‘sequestered’) into the trees’ biomass. It is a crucial pathway to regulate the composition of the atmosphere and stabilise our climate. The shafts of light make this flow possible because light’s energy drives photosynthesis, which in turn binds the carbon, so indirectly the white threads are streams of carbon?

“Skyfall (2)” and “Skyfall (3)” in the Extra Photos gallery evoke similar thoughts about connectivity and flow, but through much simpler and stronger forms in the ICM. How much form is best in which contexts?

Together the three Skyfall images make up the 11th, 12th and 13th photographs in the “Tunnel vision” series.

Sign in or get an account to comment.