Wednesday, May 27, 2020

May 27 - Historic Aerial Photos of Garret Mountain

With Spring Migration winding down I found myself looking at some old aerial photos of Garret Mountain.  My initial thoughts were that these photos would clearly show a significant decline in tree cover over the decades...due to development, pollution, climate change etc.
I was surprised to find that the Tree Coverage appears the opposite of what my impression was, that Garret now appears to be more thickly covered in trees than in the past.
Of course making judgements from some old, two-dimensional photos is incomplete at best.

Did older photos accurately capture accurate images ?
Were these older images taken before the Spring Leaf-Out and/or After the Fall ?
Are the new images taken, with curren tbetter optics, when leaves are out ?
Do the new images artificially enhance 'greenery' ?
Even if it appears there is more tree cover, they may not be native trees ?
From the photos you cannot tell what the Tree Understory habitat was / is like ?
Several other questions come to mind, but I'll leave them as thoughts to ponder...

Here's the website for you to draw your own inferences (and to check out any other place you wish to see its changes over the decades)

Here's some images to get the thoughts going.

 Click on the Images to enlarge

1953: appears to show larger open areas, but tough to be certain due to the photo quality

 1966: appears to show tree cover increasing, and this would be before artifical enhancement

2013: Greenery appears on the increase, particulary as one approaches Route 80.
Maybe this photo is enhanced to be more appealing to the eyes ?

Check out the site, have fun, and let me know what you think, either on this blog or via the Garret Mountain Group Me messages