the hurricane ike debris project

Most people who are unfamiliar with Houston (or Texas, for that matter) are always surprised to learn that the city is really very green:  rather than covered in cacti and tumbleweeds as Texas is often portrayed by Hollywood, Houston is actually quite forested, with many of its older neighbourhoods hidden under canopies of huge oaks, pecans and evergreens.  As a result, neighbourhoods like the Heights, Memorial, West University and others took quite a hit when Hurricane Ike came to town.

I was remarking to a friend this weekend that given the number of huge trees that were downed in our neighbourhood and others like it, I'm rather stunned that I don't know more people who lost their homes as a result of the storm.  As you drive through the streets of some of the older neighbourhoods, there are huge mounds of debris -- heaps of branches and large tree trunks -- all lining the curbs, decaying with each day that passes.  Every day, I've been staring at the impressive accumulation outside our house, watching ruefully as passers-by have begun tossing their own litter into the huge pile, and worrying about our dying lawn underneath.

Then suddenly I realized that up close, this mountain of debris might actually be quite beautiful.

So I grabbed my camera and my macro lens, and started climbing all over the refuse and shooting away.  (I'm sure my neighbours must have thought I'd finally lost my ever-loving mind.)  The result is The Hurricane Ike Debris Project, my attempt at finding some beauty in the chaos that resulted from the storm.

I'm pretty pleased with the results.  I hope you enjoy them, too.