Walking with My Camera: Leaves and Plastic-Finding Beauty and Action

It has been awhile since I’ve posted. I took this photograph of Grey Wolf peak, part of Mission Range, on September 30 while out walking near my home in Northwest Montana. That storm brought about six inches of snow to our place, not much compared to Browning where they had four feet of snow. Today as I am writing it is raining and from my window I can see new snow in the mountains.

This fall many of the leaves didn’t have much time for color because of the early low temperatures. In some cases the leaf color transitions skipped the golds and reds and went from green to grays and browns. Wandering by Big Knife Creek over the last month I have again been drawn to photographing the remains of leaves. All the design features of the life-making technology of leaves are so intriguing to me especially when in relationship to the added layer of water.

While I was photographing leaves I found and picked up several pieces of plastic, something I do on every walk. Plastic is now everywhere in the world including microplastic particles in the deepest part of the ocean and in the mountains.

I manage a Facebook page with the awkward name Working Toward Plastic Free in Montana . The page is really about our need to stop plastic pollution. It will take many different strategies to do it. The Montana based Facebook page is an opportunity to respectfully share ideas, actions, thoughts and resources for plastic reduction, design for reuse and refill, recycling and elimination. I invite you to join the page if you are interested (even if you are not from Montana. If you don’t know any people connected to the page it is helpful if you can give me a few words about why you want to join the page). We must design every product we create, to be sustainable and environmentally safe for the whole life cycle of the product. We need took at any proposed solutions to plastic pollution through the lens of Zero Waste and make the best choices we can to minimize “discharges to land, water, or air that threaten the environment or human health” across the plastic life cycle.”

Every day lives on our blue planet experience suffering and the news brings us so many stories of how we humans are causing harm. To have the energy and resilience to take what ever small or large actions we can to make the world a safer and healthier place for all life we need to cultivate kindness and notice, respect and share the beauty of the natural world that gives us life.

May you find ways to recharge and bring your strength to the work that is calling you. Our love for the world is our greatest resource.