SILENCES SPEAK VOLUMES by Tom Horton
It’s a classic June morning in the Dorchester marshes: hawks on the hunt, ospreys fishing and dragonflies mating as daylight nears its peak of almost 15 hours on the summer solstice June 21.
Changes in elevation in the landscape, almost imperceptible to the eye, express a lush mosaic of grasses and shrubs, each responding to its tolerance for more or less saltwater on the tidal floods. From wren to sparrow to swallow, from blackbird to rail, a symphony of birdsong further enriches the scene.
But it’s the notes missing today that occupy ecologist David Curson. They are silences that shout alarms about these marshes’ future in an era of climate change and sea level rise.
Dave Harp, photographer extraordinaire, added cinematography to his repertoire of skills before embarking on Beautiful Swimmers Revisited in 2015. For the new film, High Tide in Dorchester, he’s taking his talents to new heights, literally, as a drone operator.
Dave was certified by the FAA as a remote pilot for small, unmanned aircraft after passing the exam in March. To qualify, Dave survived a nine hour course over three Saturdays taught by Dave Manion of Chesapeake Sport Pilot at the Bay Bridge airport.
With the drone, the team can show the beauty, fragility and devastation of Dorchester County with a bird’s eye view.
High Tide in Dorchester is made possible by grants and contributions. As of August 10, we have raised $107,000 toward our $175,000 goal. Every dollar helps defray costs of making a film that captures hearts and minds through its visual beauty, poetic narrative, and invaluable information. Please show your concern for the people, wildlife, and land affected by sea level rise and erosion by supporting this film and a dynamic outreach campaign.
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