Among my favorite December phenomena are the “Year in Photo” pieces that begin to crop up in the feedreader as 12/31 draws near. This morning’s browsing revealed not only a link to the Wall Street Journal’s wonderful “Photos of the Year” contest, but an equally wonderful “Behind the Images” piece exposing the stories behind a few of the most memorable snaps.
Unsurprisingly, the statue of Our Lady of Breezy Point caught my eye:
As they approached Breezy Point, they saw thick black smoke billowing in the sky from the damage up ahead. As they walked through destroyed streets and flooded front yards, they passed residents and families, some in tears, some with young children clinging to what few possessions they could carry. One man told Philip while he was clearing his yard, “I’ve lived here all my life, 68 years. I’ve seen storms, the worst of them, but this I could never imagine.”
When Philip and Natalie arrived at the scene of the fire, homes were leveled as far as the eye could see. They saw a father and son using buckets to dump water on smoldering wood and twisted steel — all that remained of their home. Philip thought to himself, “New York is my home and these are my fellow New Yorkers. The storm was over, but a long road to recovery has only begun.”
I could spend hours on the contest site. I’m planning to do that very thing later tonight, in fact, as I have a business appointment that I am anxious to miss. If you’ve only got time for one category, though, make it “Nature.” (The solar flare image released by NASA in late January must be seen to be believed.)