Walking with My Camera: Sun, Rocks and Big Knife Creek–Gratitude for Water

Here in Western Montana, Big Knife Creek flows from mountains, through beaver ponds and forests. Most days I pause on my walk to see how the varying water levels shape the water flow over the rocks after it crosses an irrigation ditch before it continues to the Jocko River. In this series of photographs I was drawn to how the rocks, sun and movement of the water effected the color of the ripples.

In Montana we are privileged to have relatively clean water though Environment Montana is testing 50 waters across the state for microplastics this summer and so far 90% of the water tested positive for plastic fibers, filaments and film. It is going to take many different actions to stop plastic pollution and its impact on water. Recently I wrote an article (Part 1 and Part 2) with Jeremy Drake for Missoula Current looking at some of the plastic problems and solutions. Two organizations I find particularly helpful to understanding the issues with plastic are #breakfreefromplastic and Global Alliance for Incineration Alternatives. Plastic is in water everywhere on the planet. Water is life and water is sacred. Let’s all do what we can to protect it.

Spending time photographing water helps me be aware that it is alive with everything it has experienced, moving through air, earth, water, fire and through every life on our blue planet–moving through bodies of whales, humans, lions, bears, chipmunks, monkeys, flowers, giant Redwoods, tiny frogs…cycling around and around–carrying human made chemicals and materials along the way. What is vibrant and life giving is intertwined with our toxic emissions and is shared through all of us. May we act with gratitude for the gift of water and know that we are not separate.

“A drop of water, if it could write out its own history, would explain the universe to us.” – Lucy Larcom (1892) “The Unseen Friend”