Where the Sidewalk Meets the Road – The Earth Bleeds Orange

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“Where the Sidewalk Meets the Road” – Mulberry Street – Wilkinsburg, PA – Acid Mine Drainage discharging from the buried foundation of a now demolished building…

Western Pennsylvania shows the scars of one-hundred years of industry… Some are obvious… Abandoned steel mills… Communities left in ruins… Others are not so obvious…

Coal mining was a massive industry in this state… A direct result of a lack of environmental restrictions within the commonwealth was a lack of remediation obligations after the venture was completed… Spent mines were filled with the byproducts of coal processing… Iron pyrite happened to make up a large percentage of this waste… When the abandoned mines eventually flooded… The water mixed with the iron and rusted… Add oxygen and you now have sulphuric acid…

Sulphuric acid… Bleeding from the earth… Where the land will allow it is often hidden by the very people we expect to protect us… But in urban areas where land is at a premium… There is no hiding it… And sadly… There is no money to remediate it… It just continuously flows out of the ground and down the street side… Eventually running through a small hole drilled in the side of the storm sewer… And right down into Nine Mile Run… Which flows into the Monongahela River… Which becomes the Ohio River… And then the Mississippi River… And ultimately the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean…

Among the many colors the earth bleeds… One of the most destructive… And also the most common… Happens to be orange…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

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A Plant A Day Till Spring – Day 16 – Forget-Me-Not

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“Through the Cracks” – Spring 2013 – Private Garden – Wilkinsburg, PA

“A Plant a Day till Spring” will highlight one plant a day, starting on the winter solstice (December 21, 2013)… And ending on the vernal equinox (March 20, 2014)… If all goes to plan I will be starting with old Snowdrop photos from 2013… And ending with new photos of Snowdrops in 2014…

Commonly called “forget-me-nots”… Myosotis is a genus of flowering plants in the family Borgainaceae… One of the first seeds I can ever remember planting was forget-me-nots…

There are approximately 200 species in the genus… They bloom in spring. Leaves are alternate… Forget-me-nots prefer moist habitats and where they are not native… They have escaped to wetlands and riverbanks. They can tolerate partial sun and shade.

Forget-me-nots may be annual or perennial plants… The pods attach to clothing when brushed against and eventually fall off leaving the small seed within the pod to germinate elsewhere. Seeds can be collected by putting a piece of paper under the stems and shaking them… The seed pods and some seeds will fall out…

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“Forget-Me-Not in the Rape Room” – Spring 2013 – Jeannette Street – Wilkinsburg, PA

In a German legend, God named all the plants when a tiny unnamed one cried out… “Forget-me-not, O Lord!” God replied, “That shall be your name”… Another legend tells when the Creator thought he had finished giving the flowers their colors… He heard one whisper “Forget me not!” There was nothing left but a very small amount of blue… But the forget-me-not was delighted to wear such a light blue shade.

Henry IV adopted the flower as his symbol during his exile in 1398… And retained the symbol upon his return to England the following year…

Freemasons began using the flower as a symbol not to forget the poor and desperate… Many other German charities were also using it at this time… In later years by a handful of Masons… It was a means of recognition in place of the square and compass design…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

New To writing and never had to site sources before… These “Plant a Day Till Spring” posts are simply intended to kill time until spring… My source is Wikipedia.org… The photography is all my own… And I am adding my own information… But much of this is just related from the web…

This website and all of the information presented within is provided free by the author… Me… It is my sole opinion and is not representative of anyone other than myself… Although this website is free… I sell prints of my photography here – www.society6.com/chriscondello – or you can contact me directly with questions at – c.condello@hotmail.com – Although it isn’t a requirement… It helps…

Remember to tip… My Bitcoin digital wallet address is – 1JsKwa3vYgy4LZjNk4YmPEHFJNjPt2wDJj

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Natural Obsession

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“Stuffed and Stacked” – Sculpture – Created 4/7/2013 – © chriscondello 2013 – Frick Park, PA

Bare limbs crisscross against a baby blue sky…
Waving to me on the ground…
The wind through the trees… A cool spring breeze…
Filling my mind with the sound…

Like leaves blowing on the silent forest floor…
Ebb and flow like the ocean waters go…
Clearing the bluffs and filling the cracks…
Silently covering my carefully chosen tracks…

When suddenly I’m feeling electric…
Not alone here… Not the only eclectic…
Surrounded by nature… She keeps me alive…
Teaching me to live, love and ultimately thrive…

The trees’ keep me in the presence of god…
But occasionally one must fall…
Everything falls… But the strong get back up…
Healing the results of the ecologically corrupt…

Hidden in the forest I tend to feel peace…
Create my art in a naturally made place…
Away from your eyes… Far from your space…
Created for a photo… I leave no trace…

peace – chriscondello

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Practical Permaculture – Tripping Out on Ecology

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Ecology is the scientific study of the relationships that living organisms have with each other and with their environment. People, animals, trees and plants are all examples of systems, or regularly interacting group of things. Groups that interact together in an ecological system are called eco-systems, examples include forests, fields, swamps and deserts.

A common misunderstanding or misbelief is that we are over and above our eco-system, when if fact we are part of or equal to the system. When you think about it, we really can’t control very many aspects of the system. So much emphasis is placed on competition in the eco-system, I think people fail to realize the key to understanding a system is cooperation.

An eco-system is a transference of energy from one place to another, the total energy in a system is called “embodied energy” or “emergy”… In manufactured items, this would include all the energy involved in manufacturing, packaging and shipping. The sun is not the only energy available, the moon has a gravitational pull that shapes and moves our tides, the earths core also creates geo-thermal energy… All of these energies in essence are considered solar.

These natural systems tend to be repetitive, problems often arise when these natural rhythms are disturbed. Energy from the sun is absorbed and translated into a plant… The plant is then consumed by humans or animals… Animals crap out that plant material which is ultimately consumed again by the plants… This system then repeats creating one big energy flow…

In a young eco-system a large portion of the energy goes into growth, and a small portion goes into maintaining the system. In an older eco-system a small amount of energy goes into growth, and a large part goes into maintenance. A young system is rapidly trying to establish and develop a system, think of the edge of a forest. An older eco-system has established itself, therefore new growth is not as important as sustaining what exists.

When you get into high energy growth, you get competition. In humans, high instability leads to a higher male birth rate, when living conditions improve you will have more females… This was mapped in humans only… Not plants or animals… Though interestingly enough, all competition or all cooperation does not work either.

Permaculture systems typically require a lot of energy during initial construction, as time goes on they require less outside energy. In a functioning forest system, energy is cycled as many times as possible. Conventional modern agriculture is the exact opposite, as energy is depleted from the system it is replaced through mechanical means. Elimination of our trees and native plants will only increase the amount of mechanical work we will one day have to do…

Every eco-system goes through stages in order to build a strong food web, this food web can often take thousands of years to create… Yet we can somehow destroy the damn things in a mere few hours. We need to spend a lot less energy destroying these systems, and a whole lot more on saving and fixing the ones we have left.

If we destroy the eco-systems that we do want, they will be replaced with the ones we don’t want…

peace – chriscondello

 
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