Friday, May 11, 2012


Old Iron (old jetty fixture)

I’ve spent a good portion of the last month down on the Upper Texas Gulf Coast for bird migration season. While most of my attention and effort has beeni in photographing feathered things, the Gulf Coast is a fantastic place for the detritus of human civilizationii, both that which washes up on shore, and that which is left thereiii. These are some shots of decay and discard from a visit to Bolivar Peninsula and High Island.

Kingdom of the
One-eyed Man
Kingdom of the One-Eyed Man


Out of the
Park (B&W)
Out of the Park



Sailing the
Seas (B&W)
Sailing the Seas

Party's Over




i Often futilely so…

ii And I’m, not just talking about Florida….hey-oh! Kidding, Florida, but you did kind of have that coming.

iii A lot of the upper gulf coast isn’t coast as much as it is a dense couple miles of marsh that gives the appearance of ground, but is something less. This vast marshy landscape is almost completely flat and relatively devoid of any human habitation. That is not, however, to say that it is devoid of human impact. As rich as this area is in things like ecosystem diversity and topographic….lackness?, it is (or was) equally rich in oil. The scabbered remains of thousands of wells, and all the attending infrastructure scars even the most remote pieces of the landscape. While these shots are mostly beach trash, there is an astounding physical record of our maiming of the landscape down here, simply because there’s not much use for the marshy coastal land, so whatever we build stays and decays there instead of being scraped away by the scouring wheels of progress in more developed areas. Old oil platform roads, levies, etc abound. There are several large National Wildlife Refuges in the area, most of them with old oil infrastructure throughout. Traveling through the area is like going among the inscrutable remains of an elder civilization, with crumbling metal monoliths and ancient paths giving little clue to their original purpose. It makes for an odd juxtapositions…feral places with no other human structure for miles will suddenly yield up unexplainable juggernauts of iron and stone.

1 comment:

Joel said...

Beautiful, but sad.