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FRED FIRST: Time On Earth – The Motion Our Tools Can Help Us See

Today, two visual gems I wanted you to see.


For those of you who think winter is gray and sleeping or any still-life is really still:

If you grew up when I did, the marvel of time-lapse photography on Disney’s Wonderful World of Nature got your attention. Remember?

It captured mine and never let go. Nature was in motion! The idea that seemingly inert things around me could twine and pirouette like dancers, blossom before my eyes or shrivel like the Wicked Witch of the West—this was astounding to a ten-year-old!

Lenses of one kind or another became a part of my time on Earth—tools that have changed my view of nature and life. Microscopes. Telescopes. Cameras of all kinds that make us see differently.

But watch: MOVEMENT even in Winter!

Snow and Ice Seizes Barren Landscapes in an Entrancing Timelapse Filmed Across Five Winters Collosal

I won’t ruin this 4 minute visual treat for you by front-loading it with more of my seasonal musings. Suffice it to say that the world is an even more amazing place when viewed through a lens that compresses time in Nature-Space. This short video took five winters to compile. Go to full screen and turn up audio.

What went through your heart-and-mind while you watched? I’d like to know.

And now, consider RIVERS AND TIME

Lidar-Derived Aerial Maps Reveal the Dramatic Meandering Changes in River Banks Over Millennia | Dan Coe

Dan Coe’s Website and Much More Lidar Imagery

This one—also from Collosal—grabbed my attention because the first image you will see at the link shows my most Personal River in a way I had not seen it before. (These are still images, not video.) The history of meanders is also a lens that sees the story of a river.

When I was in PT school south of Birmingham (1987-1989) we lived a few hundred yards from the Cahaba River near the 280 bridge. A neighbor gave me use of his canoe. The Cahaba became MY river for that very difficult two years, and I’m glad Dan Coe’s Lidar brought those memories back to me.

The Cahaba: A River of Riches | Science| Smithsonian Magazine

The screenshot below is “about meanders” and how they form—a stand-in for the images from the link above. I was too hasty to ask for permission to use the shot in first image that shows “my river.”

– Fred First is an author, naturalist, photographer watching Nature under siege since the first Earth Day. Cautiously hopeful. Writing to think it through. Thanks for joining me. Subscribe to My Substack HERE

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