27 January 2013

The shape of the Earth

Galen Rowell once wrote that he liked to take pictures to treeless landscapes because the absence of vegetation allowed him to see the shapes of the Earth.
Although I would love to totally agree with him, I have to refrain my enthusiasm when I think about Madeira.
The forest fires that seem to become a Summer a habit since three years ago are allowing us to see the island's geological shape. That's a fact.
But at what cost? Desertification?
I guess his opinion is valid to the desert planes and high mountain massifs of the world. Actually it's valid to every region in the planet where the forest cover was never a part in the natural equation. At least during the most recent geological Era.
But in my island this does not hold true. Since its origins, Madeira was always a luxurious place, rich in water and vegetation.
Then in come the people and, as Lee Marvin wisely sang in "Paint Your Wagon",  gum it up good.
So... do I like to see my island's natural shapes? Yeah. But sometimes I miss her trees.
The shape of the Earth, as seen from the mouth of a tunnel, in the Levada do Folhadal, near the Encumeada Pass.
Picture taken with Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 and cheap Panasonic Lumix 14-42mm kit lens. Post-processing in Adob Photoshop Lightroom, ver. 4.1.