Reflection 259: Engagement

April 26, 2012

Copyright © 2012 by Steve Perrin

Known locally as “fire rings,” the barbecue grills in Thompson Island Picnic Area in Acadia National Park are falling into the tide. At least five of them are. Documenting sea-level rise in Frenchman Bay, I’ve been photographing those rings since 2006.

Along with doing estuary research, writing a book on consciousness, taking pictures, making presentations, keeping up with my blog, learning HTML so I could put up a Website, helping “Occupy” my part of Maine, going to Quaker events, and keeping up with both my partner and the news—along with those activities I’ve been busy monitoring sea-level rise in local waters. Such are the multiple loops of engagement I maintain in keeping with my conscious life so I feel like myself.

Since sea level is hard to determine, I monitor worst-case scenarios during storms near full- or new-moon high tides, including the aftermath of such tides along sandy shores. I photograph bank erosion, undercut turf, uprooted trees, extreme waves, and concrete pads bearing fire rings toward the shore. I’ve been keeping track of seven rings on their pads, now down to three as the National Park Service rescues them at the last minute, leaving the pads to break up on the beach.

Here are a few photos of rings number 2 and 4 taken over the years, and three of a shoreline spruce tree. That’s what sea-level rise looks like in Bar Harbor, Maine.

Ring-2_12-20-2006_blog ring-2_4-17-2007_blogring-2_12-25-2007 ring-2_04-12-2012_blogtree_12-20-2006_blog tree_5-12-2008_blog tree_2-26-2010_blog ring-4_4-17-2007_blogring-4_11-25-2007_blog ring-4_04-12-2012_blog In places, the bank has receded two-and-a-half feet in the few years I’ve been monitoring shoreline erosion—some five-and-a-half years. Storm winds, waves, ice, high tides, and now sea-level rise are taking their toll. Why else am I conscious but to keep watch of such events. I thought you might want to know.

Ever vigilant, I remain y’r friend, –Steve

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