Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day Urban Skywatch

Today marked Earth Day 2009. Last year I took a number of photos to reflect the theme of the day and posted them here on my Flickr page. April 2008 was warmer than this month as my forsythia was already blooming. Today we had drizzle, snow flurries and cold winds so I did not spend a lot of time outdoors.

On the eve of Earth Day, we had a beautiful sunset as there was a short break in the clouds that have filled our skies all week. I drove northward along the west edge of the city and followed the hydro towers that spread out from a nearby hydro station. A new throughfare has been built here and acres of land have been cleared for new subdivisions and businesses. Urban sprawl is so unattractive with row upon row of identical houses crowded onto small lots.

An abandoned farm destined for "development" lay beneath a pink and blue sky, the boarded up windows of the old homestead glowing eerily in the light of the setting sun. How many new houses will fit on this hill?

The sun illuminated wires, light standards and rooftops as the colours of the sunset changed quickly. I pulled into a nearby strip mall and parked beside garbage dumpsters in the rear to take these pictures. The man made structures were insignificant compared to the grandeur of the sky.

At one point, a pair of sundogs was seen on either side of the sun. Ice crystals in the atmosphere refracted the light creating the phenomenon seen most often on very cold winter days. (I have outlined the sun dogs in this picture if you are unable to see them here)

Cities rise and the natural landscape is paved over, rerouted and subdued. Man controls the power coursing through wires and grids, but his efforts are child-like compared to the power and beauty of the sun and the atmosphere.

Does the earth need to be saved by mankind?

Or is it mankind who needs to be saved from destroying himself?

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  1. So true.We are so insignificant in the whole scope of the world.The beauty of the skies which you have shown cannot compare with man's small plans.

  2. Very thoughtful post, Ruth.

  3. Beautiful skies.

    Does the Earth need to be saved From humankind?

  4. the abandoned farm pic is beautiful - better keep this one in your file, if they're going to put some new houses on that hill!

  5. Never thought power towers can look so good. Glas it is hydro and not burning fossil fuel.

    You are right, we should all spread the message to love our Earth.

  6. Earth day should be everyday. I always think that in 30 years there will be less people and all those houses they are building .. for who? Such destruction to the land for no other reason but greed. I too like the abandoned house picture makes me think of pioneer days.

    I never heard of a sundog. They are very spectular. I must now watch for them. There you go again teaching me something new. I love sunset skies...they are quite amazing to look at.

  7. Great variety of shots Ruth, the first one is definately my favourite.

    Have a great weekend.
    Regina In Pictures

  8. I like your urban views. Finding the sky in urban settings is a great way to remember who da boss!

  9. insightful and thought provoking post...
    i am in awe of nature each and every day and appreciative of what we have been blessed with...
    more of us should think along those lines.

  10. I like the way you think. And, as always, your sky photos are gorgeous.

  11. Very thoughtful and the imagery just stunning.

  12. Wonderful and thought-provoking post, Ruth. I really like it.

  13. I also like the abandoned farm pic. There is something lonely and yet beautiful in it.
    Food for thought, indeed.
    Happy Earth Day.

  14. Ruth,

    The sunset is beautiful. The photo of the abandoned farmhouse with the sun illuminating the boarded up windows is awesome.

    Take care, my friend. We are to have a beautiful weekend. I'm going to see if I can get out and enjoy it a little.

  15. I must be antisocial or something, but the rural thrd one appeals to me most.

  16. This is a beautiful combination of Earth Day and Skywatch Friday, Ruth.
    Although your pictures are beautiful shots, your questions are justly. I think both questions should be answered with a big YES ...
    Have a good weekend!

  17. Oh Ruth you images are bitter sweet to view! That lonely farmhouse ready for demolition breaks my heart! Urban sprawl is taking over everywhere..You ask two very important thought provoking questions.I would like to think that we can each do our part to save and respect mother Earth.

  18. Gorgeous photos! I love the beautiful skys and I love the old farmhouse on the hill. How sad to think they will tear it down to crowd in so many boring houses! I hate to think of the wildlife that will be displaced by it all. Very thoughtful post!


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