Friday, June 8, 2012
Grass Pink Orchid
In my last post, I mentioned that I was going out to a special place for the afternoon. It's the time of year when the orchids bloom and a tour was being done to show them off. This place is a State Nature Preserve and is highly protected because of it's fragile nature and many threatened and endangered species. It is open to the public, as it should be. There is an extensive boardwalk network covering just over a mile that leads visitors through all the different micro-environments of the "Bog". Visitors are REQUIRED to stay on the boardwalk to protect the various species, some of which date back to the ice ages. The trouble is, that some people just cannot help themselves and will venture off the boardwalk to get a closer look at some of the more interesting species, ie: rare orchids in bloom.
The paths are very noticeable, which I'm sure encourages more people to venture where they shouldn't. The damage is not as noticeable, but it is done. Plants are trampled. Some rare. Some possibly endangered. When I went back out on a week night to make this image, the paths were even more extensive. The worst part was that it was clear that some of the orchids had been taken. They won't last but a day or two and the plants will not grow without their perfect environment. So they are lost forever. What these people are doing is not only illegal but also immoral.
As a nature photographer, I feel a responsibility to the land, plants and animals I photograph. I photograph them to preserve them in my images. Most people who take photographs do the same thing and SHOULD feel that same responsibility. These wonderful plants, animals and places help give us the joy of practicing our craft. Of expressing ourselves in this art form. We owe it to them to help preserve their homes and environments.
It has been said to "take only pictures and leave only footprints." Well, even footprints are unacceptable in some places. Please don't be one of, THOSE, people.