By: Kirsty

Apr 05 2010

Tags: , , , , , ,

Category: Daily Photos, human constructs


Focal Length:47mm
Shutter:1/0 sec
Camera:Canon EOS-1D Mark II

the killing field

It was impossible to convey my experience of this scene adequately with one photograph. I am posting it anyway. This is a tiny section of a vast area of forest that has been bulldozed, chipped and burnt till it is a wasteland. The purpose? To plant another type of forest, this time pine trees in neat rows – much more convenient. This is on one side of the highway. On the other side is a beautiful, dense, diverse and abundant native forest. A thin veneer of this old growth has been left between the road and the wasteland you see here. There are only a couple of spots where drivers can see the truth.

I don’t generally choose to write about ‘negative’ things. There’s enough of that in the daily news (which, by the way, I avoid). Somehow it seems important to share this. I am sure that the people responsible for clearing the forest feel it is justified. They look at the native forest differently. To them it is unruly, useless, because it can’t be put to human use.

To me it is beautiful, deeply satisfying in its natural balance and complexity. I would even dare to call it sacred. Which would make this sacrilege.

5 comments on “madness”

  1. So sad, Kirsty. Sorry to hear about this destruction of the land.

  2. I had this same feeling when I saw an area shortly after they had gone through and cleared trees. It was a virtual field of stumps. I remember wondering what it would have sounded like could I hear the trees. Now? Just silence and a new retail store. Thanks for posting this.
    Rows of pine trees more convenient? Is this for easier navigating? I don’t understand.

  3. I don’t understand either Leslie. Pines are not native here. I guess it’s easier to harvest neat rows of evenly spaced trees, all the same size, with no undergrowth. I’m not trying to be self-righteous, but I do think we humans tend to keep doing things the same way long after it makes any sense.

  4. It IS SO sad, and an irreversible action. It’s bad enough having natural fires or blight but just destroyed , to be replaced by neat convenient, manageable rows is unbelievable. Here in Abu Dhabi everything is planted and irrigated, with no natural vegetation at all and the first thing that stikes me when I get off the plane in UK is how wonderfully green and RANDOM, and rolling, it all is – trees in unexpected places – trees that have been there for years and years. OK we are lucky to have any greenery at all, but natural growth is so much more…wholesome, comforting, ? It has a life of its own, not dependent on or shaped by us. Too outdated and romantic an attitude ?

  5. Ah Tania, I believe in romance, but even on a practical level I agree it doesn’t make any sense. The forest that was destroyed was so dense and rich with diverse life, a delicately balanced system, beautiful and self-sustaining. We humans seem to spend a lot of time and energy trying to improve on nature. I just wonder if we’re ever going to get that it doesn’t work. Here in Australia there are national parks that are protected from this sort of thing, but in my opinion, nowhere near enough of them.

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