Sunday, May 20, 2012

Photo of the Week #55 – The Angry Atlantic, Outer Banks, North Carolina

The power of Nature is always awesome. All at once it can be terrifying, beautiful, inspiring and spiritual. When Nature rears up and throws a tantrum we call the havoc it wreaks on us a natural disaster. I would guess man’s attempt to combat, prepare and defend him or herself from these events equates to “anger management.” The amazing thing is that Nature isn’t angry, it’s not really throwing a tantrum and natural disasters are what we make them because Nature is simply being Nature and creating a natural event and balancing everything on Earth.

This photo is of a very angry Atlantic Ocean in January of 2002. I was staying in a condo on the beach for a couple weeks respite and shot this photo from my balcony as this Nor’easter smashed the North Carolina coast on the Outer Banks. The Outer Banks are a group of barrier islands along most of the North Carolina shoreline. At the closest, they are probably less then a mile or so from the mainland. At their furthest they may be 15 or 20 miles from the mainland or so it appears on a map.

We term it a natural disaster when a storm like this or a hurricane like Isabel or Irene come through and radically change the topography or the beaches and the land. However, that’s only because we have improved this landmass. If there were no human presence there, it would simply be Nature taking its natural course. In an earlier Photo of the Week I showed a picture of how the beach had been dramatically changed after this storm. A few miles further south from this location there were several beach houses that had been built on tall pilings. A couple of these houses had been blown off their pilings and were lying on their side on the beach. In other cases the sand under the houses was washed away leaving the septic tanks and drain fields exposed and the staircases leading to the decks or entry door 10 to 12 feet in the air. And, of course these were called natural disasters. I tend to think it was Nature sneezing and mankind just happened to be in the way.

This photo was one of the first digital photos I had ever taken. I bought a very simple, inexpensive digital-camera, it didn’t even have a zoom lens. But, even this simple, primitive digital-camera had me convinced that I had to make the transition to digital from 35mm, which I did over the next year or two.

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