I probably would have chosen to be a photojournalist had I been able to conceive of doing such a thing when I was younger. It is kind of what I do now, but I couldn't earn a living in photojournalism at this stage of my life.
Still, my brain works by stories and connections. I live where there are rural traditions and four seasons and a rich natural environment. There is always something changing that literally catches my eye.
But sometimes the wrong kind of change can happen.
In the spirit of how we each need to stand up for a saner world, I am sharing my photo of one of the 470 disappeared mountains in Appalachia, flattened due to the devastating practice of mountaintop removal mining.
I took this from the front seat of a four-seater airplane, leaving from the Hazard, Kentucky, airport. (Being a photographer has benefits: I got to sit up front!) In the back seat were my friends, writers Ed McClanahan and Mary Ann Taylor-Hall who helped prop open the window so my image could be clearer. I should have taken even more such photos, but I knew that ace news photographer David Stephenson had been taking some as well that day. However, it later turned out his images were entirely the property of his newspaper. The best site for learning more about MTR is here; take a moment to look at their multi-media selections. Very cool stuff about something tragic, ugly, and selfishly short-sighted.
This is not a pretty picture, in both senses. Well executed perhaps but not pretty. (Doesn't sell either well either, partly because who wants to be reminded that this is happening.)
The second photo, hanging fern, is from our woods, taken a few days ago, an image to celebrate the richness and diversity of the forests in eastern Kentucky and West Virginia, in the Appalachian mountains, a region that is itself a national treasure.
Thanks for reading...and for, in return, reducing your other electricity usage, to help save a mountain. Ann