A Harbor Under Stress, in My Collage for LMAC #129

in Let's Make a Collage2 months ago

shaka 129m.png

My collage this week for LMAC collage contest #129 (although I don't enter the contest) represents an intersection of art and science. Is that not often the case? I find it is for me, because science is life and art is one of the best parts of life.

The template photo offered by @shaka was a kind of palette, cut from life.

ibRJOL5 - Imgur2.png

Usually, when I look at one of these templates, I focus on a small part and expand that. This time I had a more holistic reaction.

osprey in the nest.png

The picture above shows an osprey (I believe) in a nest it has built on top of a light pole. I captured this shot yesterday as I strolled on Bar Beach, which is located on the shore of Hempstead Town Park, New York.

Oil Docks, Glenwood Landing, Opposite Bar Beach
Oil_docks_Glenwood_Landing_fr_Bar_Beach_jeh jim henderson public.jpg
Image credit: Jim Henderson. Public Domain.

According to the Global Partner's (company that runs the oil dock featured above) website: "Global’s Glenwood Terminal is a barge-supplied gasoline and distillate terminal conveniently located on the North Shore of Long Island, approximately 30 miles from New York City".

Here is a picture I snapped yesterday from Bar Beach shores. I'm not sure if it is the same rig. Certainly looks the same, to this unschooled eye.

bar beach picture of rig.png

Here is a picture of what appears to be a barge, parked within swimming distance (for a strong swimmer) of the shore.


In case you are wondering as you read this: NO. I never swam at this beach, or even wet my feet.

Let's go back to my osprey. I'm guessing it's an osprey because there have been headlines in the last few years about the reappearance of the osprey on Long Island. The decline in osprey population was due originally to DDT in the environment. According to one source I consulted (Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health): "Reduced productivity, eggshell thinning, and high DDE concentrations in eggs were the signs associated with declining osprey populations in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s".

The returning birds today are nesting in some unlikely places. The light pole is one of the better places. Utility poles, electrical transformers and electrical wires don't work out as well. The local utility company has teams out relocating the nests to man-made perches.

I believe I saw one of those perches recently but didn't realize what I was looking at. I found the perch interesting and snapped a picture. Looks like the nest in the picture below is no longer used by the birds.

osprey platform.png

This picture was snapped at a local pond that feeds into Little Neck Bay, a neighbor of Hempstead Bay. Both bays feed into Long Island Sound.

Three Neighboring Bays: Hempstead, Manhasset and Little Neck
Hempstead,_Manhasset,_and_Little_Neck_bays Dicklyon.jpg
Credit: Dicklyon. CC 4.0 license.

The Legacy of Pollution in Hempstead Harbor

In 1986 the New York Times published an article: Legacy of Waste Haunts a Harbor. A biologist, Josephine Becker, stated at that time: "Hempstead Harbor is probably one of the most polluted harbors on the North Shore." In the same article, Harbormaster Capt. George Foggan stated, "''They pillaged this land. We have reached a crossroads where we must determine which is more important, profit or people".

Glenwood Electrical Generating Station, East Shore 1936
Glenwood_Generating_Station_1936  Long Island Lighting Company.png
Credit: Long Island Lighting Company. Public domain.

More recently, community leaders have organized to save the Harbor from noxious development. One of these organizations, Coalition to Save Hempstead Harbor, is trying to prevent over development of the Harbor coastline. So far, this organization has helped to prevent the construction of an incinerator on a closed landfill. At the moment it is trying to stop more residential construction along the coast.

One of the ongoing programs of the coalition is a water monitoring program, to identify contaminants. Another is to control and limit stormwater runoff, which represents a significant source of pollution not only for Hempstead Bay, but ultimately Long Island Sound.

The runoff carries with it contaminants from lawn fertilizers, weed killers, and even pet waste. According to the website Save the Sound, the runoff,

...is one of the largest sources of pollution in Long Island Sound. Excess nitrogen and phosphorus ...contribute to depleted oxygen levels that smother aquatic life, while bacteria contaminate water... Additionally, many stormwater and sewer systems are combined, causing...untreated sewage into Long Island Sound.

Green Roof, California Academy of Sciences
green roof CaliforniaAcademyofSciences public.jpg
Adamsofen at English Wikipedia. Public domain.

One way to address stormwater runoff is to promote green infrastructure. This includes "building rain gardens and bioswales, pervious pavements, and green roofs".

Hempstead Harbor, Bar Beach, and the Osprey

My collage, and this blog, were precipitated by the obvious contradiction between the Osprey nest and the oil rig visible from the nest's vantage point. What were they thinking when they polluted the harbor, when they abused the gifts nature bestowed on my community? Maybe wiser heads will prevail in the future.

A parting picture of my Osprey:
osprey in nest2.png

Making My Collage

As always, I must thank my colleagues in LMAC who contributed to the LMAC Image Gallery, LIL.

With these three items, you have the very heart of my collage
buddha and birds for blog.png

Other elements used were first of all from @shaka's photo:
Two small people barely visible. I placed these over in the left corner on a patch of ground. This patch of ground was also taken from @shaka's photo. Also some trees to border the ground and place in other parts of the collage. I needed the people to support the message of my collage.

Then I used a skyline picture of Manhattan (NY) that I had taken one day recently. This may end up in LIL, if I can get the quality of the photo better. In the foreground is the picture of a pond, which I recently contributed to LIL:
pond and skyline for blog.png

I went to pixabay and borrowed a cliff from Bluestones, an oil rig from Michelle_Riponi, a tanker from Capt-M, and a pollution-filled sky from SD Pictures.

In creating the collage, I manipulated the elements, used paint brushes in GIMP to highlight and change colors of elements. At one stage I used Lunapic (very gently) to soften the appearance. Paint and Paint 3D were also helpful.

This is a little more realistic than most of my collages, but sometimes life does intrude.

@shaka, LIL, LMAC and the LMAC Team

I am sometimes amazed at what @shaka has created here: an opportunity for people to participate in the Hive community and an invitation to create. The LIL library is an outgrowth of his vision. Of course Lily, our librarian/bot owes her personality and facility to our master coder/developer, @quantumg. And, the community would sputter without the attention of our bilingual moderator/curator @mballesteros.

I invite everyone who reads this blog to join in our contest. when the next round (#130!) begins on Thursday.

I've put a few reference sources at the end of the blog for anyone who wants to read more about the ecological issues discussed in this blog.

Long Island News: https://www.longisland.com/news/03-03-22/conservationists-osprey-population-on-li-on-the-rebound.html

Aplic.org: https://www.aplic.org/Nests

New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/1986/02/09/nyregion/legacy-of-waste-haunts-harbor.html

L. I: Herald: https://www.liherald.com/stories/coalition-to-save-hempstead-harbor-holding-fundraiser,129213

Coalition to Save Hempstead Harbor: https://coalitiontosavehempsteadharbor.org/wp-content/uploads/2017-Water-Quality-Report-for-Hempstead-Harbor.pdf

Save the Sound.org: https://www.savethesound.org/what-we-do/ecological-restoration/green-infrastructure/

Osprey Nest Cam: https://hempsteadny.gov/357/Osprey-Nest-Cam

Long Island Sound Study:https://longislandsoundstudy.net/2012/10/hempstead-harbor/

The Island360.com: https://theisland360.com/opinions-100/earth-matters-reclaim-hempstead-harbor/

Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21170810/

Port Washington Library:


This is an interesting collage. You started from a nice landscape to shed light on pollution. But why the Buddah?


Hello @lemouth,
Thanks for the comment. I'm glad you like the landscape. It almost reflects what I saw that day at the beach.

I need the Buddha. And the birds. Buddhism is associated with nature conservation. Buddha, and the birds, represent balance: a concern for nature, an appeal to the heart in contrast to everything that is going on in the rest of the picture. Buddha is the voice for all of us, a rational perspective on the mindless destruction of the environment.

The Buddha and the birds are my favorite part 🌈🌲

Hope you are completely recovered and enjoying the warm weather with your family.

Ohh I see. I didn't think about this connection (maybe it was too obvious), but it of course fully makes sense. Thanks for coming back to me and for this reminder.

Hope you are completely recovered and enjoying the warm weather with your family.

I am still suffering from an intense fatigue, no matter how little I do. Except this, I am (somewhat) fine. Thanks for asking. I hope everything is fine on your side!

I am still suffering from an intense fatigue, no matter how little I do


Give yourself time to mend. This virus takes a toll, but you will heal. Take very good care of yourself, @lemouth.

We are well here--so far.

I will! That's certain (at least I will do anything I can to heal) :)

Harbor under stress has a chaotic feeling because the perspective shows red and pinkish buildings with a smoky background which adds anxiety in the environment.

But, the Buddha statue and birds surrounding him balances the metaphor of consternation and slows down the decay of atmosphere.

It is indeed a picturesque depiction of stress.

Hello @emaxisonline,

Thank you for the visit and the comment. This does reflect my sense when I made the picture. I am more a writer than an artist. Rule in writing is there needs to be balance. No character is all bad or all good. Life is complex.

I am pleased (and impressed) you saw that in my collage.

I contemplated posting an up-close shot of the nest. That poor bird made use of everything in the environment--not just twigs and branches, but garbage found on the beach. Strips of yellow plastic. I thought that plastic was a great commentary.

Good luck tonight in the runoff :)

You are right about the plastic which is a nuisance and a biggest threat to any living being including humans, According to Oceanblueproject around 1 million birds die every year due to plastic ingestion.

Worst is that we humans use tons of plastic for food and water storage. There is a possibility that tiny contaminants of plastic may attach to edible stuff.

Humans must think of how regular utility stuff can bring catastrophe to our earth's ecosystem.

Wish you a wonderful Friday. See ya.

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