Portraits in Nature

Portraits In Nature
In the City of Trees, the beauty in nature that is sought by photographers and quiet inspiration found in paintings, is often that which is unruly – a loose diversity of overgrown tangle and hidden habitat. William Land Park in Sacramento is dear to many people, and, in my family, 6 generations (past and present) have enjoyed family picnics, and walks.

People used to go to parks to be with nature, to be with each other, and for quiet, to see beautiful exotic plantings and gardens, enjoy a multitude of reasons for photography, walk with pets, or enjoy baseball, golf, and picnics.

Well the quiet is gone…. Land Park has become an Industrialized Zone.

I do give credit to Volunteers both independent and the groups that care for the nature and beauty that is Land Park! Thank you, Thank you, THANK YOU!

The Lady Banks Rose Arbor, William Land Park

April 2020

I’ve watched hundreds of people of all ethnic groups with families photograph their life events, graduation, marriage, and family portraits – wearing elegant attire, and they come to photograph newborns, a grandchild’s portrait under the surrounding drape of these beautiful white and yellow roses – which in their vine nature, for years provided a winter refuge for many hundreds of birds!

One of my CONCERNS as stated in the Public Comments I submitted by email to the City of Sacramento, is habitat loss (shelter, food or foraging, and breeding and raising young).

Listed as 4) the concern is that the timing of habitat loss affecting seasonal survival of resident or migrating avian species, and the time required for sufficient habitat recovery, requires consideration to avoid the impacts of scheduled work imposed by the recent pace of over-mechanization. As shown in these photos, the whole arbor was stripped bare – during partial repairs seen at left of center below. (1940 WPA Rock Garden and Lady Banks Rose Arbor), at William Land Park, near Fairytale Town.

December 2020

I have one picture from March 28, 2022  

The first week of April 2022, the regrowth of the Lady Banks Rose at the 1940 WPA rock pillar arbor (a hanging rose garden refuge for birds through the years) suffered an untimely cutback.

The thornless vines – long vines, with trailing roses of Rosa banksiae in blooming cascades, were pruned. The vines of these thornless roses, could have been woven through the wooden arbor very easily.  They were cut back to the main stem just before the onset of winter two years ago in December 2020 – and  I’ve no idea where all the birds went. The Rosa banksiae were/are just now coming back.

The photos below depict the Rosa banksiae, in the Spring – March 14, 2020 and previous Autumn – October of 2019 – when the Lady Banks’s rose served as a bird refuge. The first Lady banks rose came to America from Scotland, as a cutting in 1887. it is one of only a few naturally occurring thornless roses.

In days of yore – the substructure of branched thornless vines provided a
refuge for daily songbird populations.

March 2020
October 2019

The sounds of nature, birdsongs, have been greatly diminished.

I have put together this Blog Page as an observation:


Pizza Parks And Mandolins

A Look At Sacramento’s Land Park In Spring 2022 Documenting:

The Loss of Redwood Trees at William Land Park,

Glyphosate Herbicide Overuse and Overspray,

WPA Rock Garden Rose Arbor Habitat Loss,


The following short film clips pretty well depict my concerns, while this Blog page explains those concerns in detail, and as Public Comments submitted to the City of Sacramento. Tom DiFiore

William Land Park Springtime and Herbicides

The application of copious amounts of glyphosate herbicide anywhere at Land Park should cease. It’s a risk to public safety at the very least – and pets and wildlife. Sprayed vegetation remains wet for 20 minutes to a half hour in Spring, on a cool morning and pets may be at risk if they touch or eat plants that are still wet with spray from products containing glyphosate. Animals exposed to products with glyphosate may drool, vomit, have diarrhea, lose their appetite, or seem sleepy.

April 6, 2022 Just one of hundreds of trees in William Land Park sprayed and over-sprayed with glyphosate.


Recognize Glyphosate Overspray

I have begun to wonder how much acreage is made up of these glyphosate dead zones at the base of hundreds of trees at Land Park, and along the curbs. We often hear how glyphosate degrades in soils quickly, or dissipates in water, well, it’s not really that simple. When glyphosate degrades, the metabolite it leaves behind is called AMPA – but unlike glyphosate, AMPA has been classified as persistent in soils, with a typical half-life of 151 days, but varying from 76 to 240 days depending on field conditions” with known long-term impacts to plants and wildlife.


William Land Park Airborne Pollutants, and Dust Storms 

The photos that begin this 4 1/2 minute video were taken October 9, 2020., while the video clips that make up the bulk of the film, were recorded 19 days later. I don’t always get out to Land Park, but two dust storms in October?

Sacramento, Land Park, Redwood Herbicide – A one minute video, that perhaps adds perspective to the CONCERN: Why Are Land Park’s Majestic Redwoods Dying?


How Much Herbicide Is Enough?

This 36 second video clip begs to ask, how much is enough? 

The square footage of herbicide sprayed soil surface area around trees and along curbs and roadways is growing, widening as can be seen in the videos and photos on this blog.

While showing both the volume and the amount of time required for the application of glyphosate based herbicide to even one side, or half of the ground area around the base of one tree, more questions arise:

Why so much? Why at all? How many trees total? 

Tom DiFiore

…I also bake!

Pizza crust
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