This week's collage came to me quite naturally. As soon as I saw the tree in the center of @shaka's template photo I knew that would be the central focus of my collage. Here is the template for LMAC #164. (I do not compete in the contest.)
I had been to a farm on Sunday and a little girl was splashing in a puddle. I asked the parents if I could take pictures. There was such joy in her play that I knew she would make it into my collage. The stream and everything else followed from that inspiration.
Every week I learn something new when I make a collage. I take my cue from the collage and ask a question. This week, the question was, what role do rocks play in a stream's health? As a result of asking this question, a new word came into my vocabulary: embeddedness.
Low embeddedness is good for a stream. This refers to the amount of rocks and gravel that are visible in the water. If most of the rocks and gravel have sunk to the bottom and are embedded, then the stream is less healthy.
Stream Created by Sediment Runoff From Strip Mine
Credit: U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. Public domain. This stream is actually in violation of Ohio law. Good luck to the aquatic bugs or anything else that wants to live here.
A healthy stream is host to aquatic bugs. These bugs are an important part of the food chain.
Caddisflies, for example, spin webs that reach from one rock to another. The webs catch food that is drifting by. Without rocks--no web, no caddisflies. Look at the caddisfly building an underwater web in the following Vimeo video (published by the Stroud Water Research Center).
Just as the caddisfly catches insects in its web, other animals feed on the caddisfly. The adult may make a meal for "Trout, birds, lizards, frogs, spiders, dragonflies...". Caddisfly larvae may be consumed by fish and eels.
If there are few visible stones and layers in a stream, and it is mostly mud and sediment at the bottom, then aquatic bugs have nowhere to live. The bugs live between the rocks and even on the rocks.
Tintagel Stream in Rocky Valley, Cornwall, UK
Attribution: Tintagel: stream in Rocky Valley by Martin Bodman. Used under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license. This looks like a really healthy stream. There is evidence of a sequence of pools, fast-flowing areas (riffles), runs and rapids. According to Texas Aquatic Science, a "riffle-run-pool-run-riffle sequence" is conducive to flourishing aquatic life.
It was a pleasure to farm the LIL library for the images I used in my collage. Not only was it easy to find useful material, but the great number of unique images in LIL also fueled my imagination.
One contributor, @mballesteros could not be accommodated by the Peakd beneficiary designation (limit of 8) so I will be forwarding the 2% to her when this post pays out.
Here is a list of my LIL contributors, with a picture of the image the supplied. Thank you, all!
My own photo (Not from LIL)
My own photo (Not from LIL)
Girl in the brook
Process I added the stream first, then rocks, flowers and a turtles (in the water and on the rocks). For a while there were frogs, but they didn't work out. The little girl was modified by using a Sketch filter on Lunapic. The cyclist was modified also with that filter. The birds were colored in individually, as were the polka dots on the little girl's coat, and the pants on the cyclist.
I used plants from the template to decorate the rocks, and decorated the plants from the template with flowers. The black and brown steers (in the background) were an afterthought. I thought they might appear naturally in a distant meadow. The template photo was beautiful to start with, so I had great material to get me going :)
I used Paint 3D for extraction. Gimp for sizing and coloring. Paint for cutting and arranging.
Here was one of the first steps
The progress wasn't smooth, but it was steady because I knew where I was going (stream, little girl, birds). Here is an intermediate step
This was great fun. I say that every week, but I think any reader can see how relaxing this must have been for me to put together.
Making collages is a creative exercise and a learning experience. This week I learned about streams, and embeddedness! Please check out our winners from last week's contest, just published today. Tomorrow a new template will be published. Make a collage and join in the fun.
You can see that LIL, the LMAC Image Library, was an essential part of my collage creating process this week. Everyone on Hive can contribute to the library and everyone can borrow from the library. Learn about the procedure here.
I wish all my readers peace and health.