We’ve done this before and many challenge members were surprised as to what an eye opener it is to actually look for and find so much trash in our natural spaces. I for one see a huge difference from the West Coast to the East Coast of the USA and Canada. As much as some countries may look like a dump when it comes to litter in nature, countries like Switzerland make it hard to find litter at all.
Plastic pollution of our oceans seems to take center stage as the media reports clouds of micro plastic particles in the Pacific Ocean. This plastic pollution comes from somewhere, our own shores. We don’t just pollute the Pacific Ocean, we pollute our rivers and lakes as well. As portrayed by the image above, plastic trash is present under many forms.
Not all trash pollutes equally. Glass containers are a menace to people as much as they are to our wildlife and our environment. When glass containers find themselves broken they’re an accident waiting to happen.
This 6 pack holder may seem like harmless pollution. It’s actually a deathtrap for many young animals such as geese, ducks and mammals such as Red Fox kits. The young get these loops around their necks and/or bodies. They usually die of a slow suffocating death as they grow into the plastic ring. Always cut the rings before disposing of similar items.
We all need personal hygiene items but there’s a time and place for them. Many of these items don’t just litter and pollute our green spaces. Some, such as condoms, also represent a health hazard to people and pets.
Fast food containers seem to invade natural habitats. They’re all marked with a responsible message inviting users to dispose of them properly. Luckily they’ve evolved from Styrofoam to cardboard minimizing the impact caused by such litter.
Styrofoam containers are still used for worms and different bait. In fact most of what’s sold for fishing is packed in plastic. Trash from fisherman seem to be scattered along all the rivers I visit in North America
Fishing line may be one the of the most devastating item left by humans along our shores. Animals of all sizes, especially birds suffer greatly. Waterfowl, especially their young get entangled in the line. I’ve even seen a full grown Great Blue Heron entangled in fishing line in a tree. Luckily, wildlife agents were able to rescue it in time. Not an easy task with such a large bird. For those interested I’ve written a small blog on the impact of fishing lines and hooks on Double-crested Cormorants; http://www.trolettiphoto.com/blog/2014/10/Double-crested-Cormorants-and-other-birds-suffer-because-of-our-Trash
From night time parties to picnics, hikers to back packers, it seems there’s always a bad apple willing to leave their mark in some of the most beautiful places on earth. When you spend as much time in nature as I do, you just can’t help but notice the negative impact mankind leaves on our planet. These examples barely skim the surface. These images are but a sample of what individuals like you and I can do to our natural spaces with only a handful of trash
For this challenge try and apply all the techniques we’ve practiced over the year to come up with more than a snapshot, create a striking PHOTOGRAPH that sends a message. Although we usually only ask for a photo, I’d like to see a small paragraph that describes the impact and emotion of your photograph, further adding to the editorial value of this assignment.
- I have a few more examples on my photo gallery: http://www.trolettiphoto.com/litter-in-urban-nature-dechets-nature-urbaine
- A quick search on Flickr will reveal even more: https://www.flickr.com/search/?text=trash%20litter%20nature&sort=relevance&license=1%2C2%2C3%2C4%2C5%2C6
Remember to respect nature and not to disturb any animals or destroy their habitat in any way during your quest for the perfect image. Also take time to familiarize yourself with local wildlife and plants. Some animals can present a danger, especially if protecting their young. Spiders and Snakes, especially hard to see baby snakes can present a great danger due to their venom. It’s always better to keep a safe distance from any wild animal no matter how sweet and innocent it may seem. Animals should not be fed. Feeding animals often encourages them to approach humans, increasing the risk of injury from individuals who may appreciate them less than you might. Most animals in rescue centers get there due to an encounter with humans.
Get acquainted with plants like Poisson Oak and Poisson Ivy or any other dangerous plants in your area. Some plants not only represent a risk of skin irritation but can also kill you if touched or ingested. Learn to identify the dangerous plants in your area.
The sky’s the limit for this week’s challenge. Get out there and show us what Mother Nature has to offer you! Nature and Wildlife photography can be a great family activity
The rules are pretty simple:
- Post one original photograph (Your Image) shot each week per theme posted on this blog to Google+, Facebook, or Flickr (or all three). Tag the photo #photochallenge.org or #photochallenge2015.
- The shot should be a new shot you took for the current weekly theme, not something from your back catalog or someone else’s image.
- The posted image should be a photograph, not a video.
- Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2015 Photo Challenge is fun and easy.
For the active outdoor enthusiast that wants to keep their camera/binoculars at the ready and always secure. Go out and discover!