Defending the Ugly Plants

Posted: March 29, 2017 in Uncategorized
A macro friend mentioned this to me.
Sometimes I think I go to far when it comes to photographing wildflowers. I’m always afraid I’m going to kneel on one while shooting…so here I am a hunched over being careful not to step on any ones near by. So I always try to find one that is not surrounded by other ones…but sometimes my big feet just don’t listen.
I think all flower photographers think like this while out in the field shooting wildflowers.
What I find interesting about this thought process is photographers are upset if they step on a flower, but don’t seem to care about all the other plant life growing in the field around the flowers that they step on. Do the plants that we step on without flowers have any less value than the ones with the pretty flowers.
It’s like hunting, people will feel sorry for the cute furry animal that gets shot, but say nothing of a ugly slimy smelly fish that gets yanked by its lip from the water while fishing. Same with spiders or say a rat, people think nothing of crushing a creepy spider or putting out poison to kill a rat, but they wouldn’t want that cuddly rabbit in their back yard crushed.
Flowers fall into that pretty category that we feel bad about if stepped on. I’m always careful, but if it happens I guess I don’t feel any worse then I do if I happen to step on a plant without a flower on it.
Pretty people get treated different then unattractive people. Unattractive people tend to get picked on and have fewer friends, and everyone wants to be friends with the pretty people.
Obviously plants that are pretty and ugly are going to get stepped on as soon as we leave the pavement, and that is part of our interaction with nature. Plants are very hardy and can handle a few foot prints. In one local park there is a hill full of all kinds of wildflowers, and in the Fall the park system brings in a bush hog to mow down all the wildflowers and plant life so that the kids can use this hill in the winter for sledding. Each spring the flowers and plant life come back healthy and beautiful, so if the plants can handle a bush hog massacring them, I’m sure they can handle a few foot prints just fine.
Of course there are some plants that are more fragile to the foot of humans, and in most cases the park systems are aware of those plants and have warnings to stay on the trails.

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  1. Bruce says:

    Mike, I enjoy many of your posts on macro photography, but this is such a great one that I couldn’t resist commenting on it. This is such a great message. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! Bruce

  2. Richard Grubola says:

    Nice bit of nature philosophy and ethics

  3. Cheryl says:

    There is beauty in all of nature, and macro helps us see it.

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