Tom's Blog

Friday, February 8, 2013

Photo points

Fifteen years ago, soon after we had begun restoration work, we were advised to start taking photos at fixed locations so as to document changes through the years. I took that advice to heart and Kathie and I have been taking photos ever since.When we started we were using film, but after the digital camera was well established, we switched. This was a great advance because the cost was a lot less, although it made its own problems. Every time I got a new computer (each with a greatly expanded hard disk capacity) I transferred the photos from the previous one. In my current Windows 7 computer there are photos buried from 5 earlier computers. (The earliest images are scans from color prints.) Finding a photo among all those gigabytes is pretty time consuming. (It took me an hour to find one of the photos in this post.)

When I first started doing photo points, I tried to mark the sites, but as the years went by I simplified the system. Now I use sites that are well recognizable, with a characteristic hill, tree, or other structure. The bur oak in the photos here (from the Unit 10 savanna) is easy to spot. The top two photos are from 2009 and the bottom one from 2012.

Unfortunately, I never got any photos of this site when it was full of buckthorn, although I remember it well. In the photo with the fall view the ground would have been choked with buckthorn plants, which would be easy to see because their leaves would still be green. This photo was taken 9 years after this savanna was cleared. Also, every year we control seedlings and root sprouts.

Unit 10 savanna composite, 2009

Unit 10 savanna, 2012
As you might expect, it is difficult to get exactly the same image every time. The reason these three are close is because they were cropped.


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