The Meadow

The Meadow 2008 - ongoing
Inkjet prints 18 x12"

Note: This project is a poetic documentation of the 
meadow I look upon each day; I have also included it,  
as the first part of a 4 part series, in a project begun
in 2010 entitled the Hydrofracking Suite

My wife and I live on the edge of a beautiful meadow not far from Canandaigua Lake, one of the Finger Lakes of NY State .  I love watching the daily and seasonal changes of light, color and atmosphere that transform the meadow, sky and the tapering woods behind it.  There are two ponds in the meadow: they not only reflect the light of the heavens; they are like eyes . . . constantly watching us humans and our various forms of folly.  They see how we throw dog feces into the meadow and spray pesticides all over our lawns which contaminate the meadow, the ponds and eventually the Lake.  And now the gas and oil industry, in what appears to be collusion with the NY DEC , is trying to get permission from State government to hydrofrack in our area to get at the natural gas deep in our shale, gas which we don't need and ultimately will be liquified (at great additional expense to the environment) and then sent to Asia at a much higher profit to the industry than can be gotten in the states (we have too much in stock already) and at very high costs on many levels to local NY State tax payers and our communities. 

Hydrofracking is an aggressively devastating, polluting assault upon the environment, and the people and wildlife and farm animals who are impacted by it.  Hydrofracking contaminates the fresh water used in the drilling process (1-8 million gallons per well) and surrounding ground water - and the Finger Lakes area has some of the purest fresh water in the world in the form of aquifers, watersheds, lakes, streams, rivers, etc.  Why in the world would NY State seriously want to destroy all this precious water for a limited amount of natural gas that must be obtained by such a dangerously process, that has such huge environmental and health impacts?  

We have seen in other states what damages it does to individuals, communities and their environments.  Hydrofracking would surely destroy the NY state tourism industry associated with the lakes, fishing, organic farming, the wine industry.


I took most of the photographs you'll see here from the back of our house looking North and South-West.  I began this body of work when my wife and I first moved into the area in the summer of 2008.  Though I continue to make Meadow photographs whenever I am moved to do so, I experience at times a feeling of impending fear and longing.  Behind all the beauty which lay before me there are the persistent thoughts:  "Will this meadow soon become an industrial waste land?"  "Will my air and water and land become contaminated with health-threatening pollution?"  "Will the value of my property drop so low I won't be able to sell it if I need to escape the potential future nightmare of hydrofracking?"  "Should I stay and fight, or run before it's too late?"

On December 17, 2014, under tremendous pressure from environmentalists, scientists, doctors, economists, etc.,  Gov. Cuomo announced that he would Ban hydrofracking in NY State.   On June 29, 2015, the Ban was made official with a Findings Statement  http://www.dec.ny.gov/press/102337.html  that declared hydrofracking dangerous to environment, human and animal health.  

In the meantime he and his DEC has allowed toxic fracking waste to be brought into NY State dumps, he has allowed gas and oil infrastructure to expand within the state with an eye to exporting gas and oil overseas, and he has allowed the gas and oil industry to store toxic gas and oil products on the shores of Seneca Lake, a source of drinking water for over 100,000 people.  It is so obviously outrageous, given the findings statement that came out June 29, 2015 which finalized the ban on fracking in NY State.  Though the State finally admits they know how bad fracking is for the environment and the health of people, animals, the real threat of fracking is alive and kicking in the State.


When I make photographs, I try to see past my fears and anger and frustrations and acknowledge what might be called the sacred in the land.  The land is alive, with it's own consciousness not so unlike our own, it seems to me.  May these photographs, and the entire four-part Hydrofracking Suiteserve as something like a protecting prayer against the potential devastating horrors that hydrofracking could bring to our area and the rest of NY State.  [Note: I have written more about ritual and the sacred in the  introductory text to Part IV of the Hydrofracking Suite]

Sustainable energy alternatives are the only real solution for the long terms survival of our planet.  Global Warming is exacerbated by fossil fuel productions like hydrofracking and coal mining, and our use of fossil fuels.  May the beauty and well being of our Natural World prevail despite our human folly. 


Through this body of photographs I am paying homage to the great French poet, Francis Ponge, who takes the side of things in his poetry, especially the things of the natural world.  His book The Making of the Pre'  (Le Pre = The Meadow) has been an important influence upon this project.  For Ponge Le Pre . . . everything - in the meadow and in this world - is intelligent, filled with some inexplicable, silent awareness that is watching us, continually.


Click on images one, twice, to get a closer look.
There are two parts to this project:
The North Meadow 
The South-West Meadow

*   Part I    *

The North Meadow

 North Meadow #1  Spring 

North Meadow #2  Fall

North Meadow #3  Winter

North Meadow #4  Fog

North Meadow #5

North Meadow #6  Rainbow

North Meadow #7

North Meadow #8  V Flight of Birds

North Meadow #9  Iced Pond

 North Meadow #10

 North Meadow #11  Early morning snow

 North Meadow #12

 North Meadow #13

 North Meadow #14

 North Meadow #15

 North Meadow #16  Snow dusted meadow

 North Meadow #17

 North Meadow #18  Snow covered pond at dusk

North Meadow #19

 North Meadow #20  Mist rising from the pond

 North Meadow #21  Iced pond and streak of fog

 North Meadow #22 

  North Meadow #23

  North Meadow #24

  North Meadow #25

  North Meadow #26

 North Meadow #27

 North Meadow #28

 North Meadow #29

*   Part II    *

The South-West Meadow

  South-West Meadow #1

South-West Meadow #2

South-West Meadow #3  Streak of fog

South-West Meadow #4

South-West Meadow #5

South-West Meadow #6  Conference of the birds

South-West Meadow #7  Cloud form

South-West Meadow #8

South-West Meadow #9

South-West Meadow #10  Moon fall

South-West Meadow #11

South-West Meadow #12

South-West Meadow #13  Light rays

South-West Meadow #14

South-West Meadow #15

South-West Meadow #16  Frozen pond, late fall

South-West Meadow #17

South-West Meadow #18

South-West Meadow #19

South-West Meadow #20

South-West Meadow #21

South-West Meadow #22  Rain  in the  sunsetting west

South-West Meadow #23

South-West Meadow #24

South-West Meadow #25

South-West Meadow #26

South-West Meadow #27

South-West Meadow #28

South-West Meadow #29

South-West Meadow #30

South-West Meadow #31

South-West Meadow #32

South-West Meadow #33

South-West Meadow #34

South-West Meadow #35

South-West Meadow #36

South-West Meadow #37

South-West Meadow #38

South-West Meadow #39

__________________________________ __________________________________

This is an ongoing project.
Additional images will be added 
from time to time.  Please check back.

Websites and Individuals to follow regarding Hydrofracking:

New Yorkers Against Fracking
Walter Hang, Toxics Targeting  click here  
Sandra Steingraber  click here
James Northrup  click here
Dr. Robert Howarth, Global Warming  click here
Tony Ingraffea  click here
Deborah Rogers, financial spin on hydrofracking  click here
Dr. Jannette Barth, economist  click here
Josh Fox, filmmaker & activist click here

Other important links: visit my website NoToHydrofracking:


The Meadow is part I of a four-part project entitled The Hydrofracking Suite.

Other related Photography Projects:

Welcome Page  to The Departing Landscape website which includes the complete hyperlinked listing of my online photography projects dating back to the 1960's, my resume, contact information, and more.