1.) Find at least two definitions of landscape and cite the source:
According to McGarigal (2012), a landscape is a heterogeneous areamade up of a cluster of interacting ecosystems and is repeated insimilar fashion throughout. Another definition of landscape is thatof yourdictionary.com (2016), which states that landscape comprisesthe features of a givenland area, especially when the land has beenimproved by carefully designed planting and arrangement. In art andphotography, landscape could also mean a picture or a paintingofnaturally occurring landforms.
2. In the space provided give your comprehensive definition of"landscape". What does it include? What does it notinclude?
Inmy view, the word landscape encompasses numerous things. Forstarters, it precludes natural landforms such as mountains, rivers,lakes and wetlands. The word may also imply human made structuressuch as bridges, skyscrapers, and religious buildings. For somethingto qualify as a landscape, it should be prominent at the glance ofit. Small objects in an area that are not visible at a glance do notconstitute landscape. In addition, landscape does not refer toanimals or birds by extension.
3.What personal experiences contribute to your landscape definition?For example, camping as child in the backwoods.:
Growing up in Beijing had a great impact on my definition oflandscape. The city is devoid of natural landscapes such as riversand lakes. The most prevalent landscapes are bridges, skyscrapers,and religious buildings. Naturally- occurring landscapes are oftenfound in the outskirts of the city. Visiting the landscapes on theoutskirts of the city made me appreciate nature. Before then, I usedto marvel at the architectural landscapes within the city because Ialways thought how marvelous they looked. However, when I venturedinto the countryside at the age of 12, I began to marvel at naturallandscapes as well.
4. Identify a small scale landscape, what interests you about it?
The Cedar swamp in Young State Park in Michigan is an example of asmall landscape that caught my attention. It was my first trip tonature when I first came to the USA. The serenity of the swamp wassimply breathtaking. The water in the swamp was cool with littlechipping of crickets at different corners of the landscape. The sitewas especially attractive because I have never had the opportunity toexplore the wetlands of China owing to the fact that they are locatedthousands of miles away from Beijing. I call the swamp small scalebecause I could see the entire boundaries of the landscape with mybare eyes.
5. Identify a large scale landscape, what interests you about it?
I large landscape that interests me is Lake Mead. The landscape isinteresting because it supplies water to millions of homesteads inThe USA. The lake draws its water from the phenomenal Colorado Riverthat cuts through several states in the USA before entering Mexico. Iconsider this landscape large because a viewer at one end cannot seethe land at the opposite side of the lake. In order to move from oneside to the opposite border, a boat is mandatory.
6. Identify a historical landscape, what interests you about it?
The Great Wall of China is a historical landscape of significantimportance to the Chinese people. The marks the civilization ofEastern societies and their attempt to rule over each other.The wallstretches over thousands of miles but each yard that it coversrepresents the same thing- Chinese civilization. What interests memost about this wall is the amount of resources injected towards itsconstruction to enable it survive all these centuries.
7.Identify a modern landscape, what interests you about it?
The glass bridge of China is a modern landscape that interests me.The bridge stretches over a mountain gorge in Shiniuzhai Geopark inHunan, central China. The floor of the bridge that covers 900 milesat an average of 400 feet above the ground has a floor made oftransparent glass. I find this modern landscape interesting becauseit gives visitor the thrill of walking at horrifying heights betweentwo mountain cliffs. The design of the bridge interests me the most.The architectures used completely transparent glass to enable thevisitor see the bottom of the gorge that is hundreds of feet belowhim. Whilst the glass is transparent, it is also strong enough towithstand the weight of several human beings.
8. What landscapes have you visited that you found interesting andwhy were they interesting?
While in high school, I made a trip to Victoria Falls in Zambia,Southern Africa. The landscape was simply breathtaking. I could seewater falling from hundreds of meters above the ground. The largemass of water that was falling at the same time covered a width ofabout one mile. The sound, the mist, and the breeze are whatinterested me most about the landscape. The pounding sound of thetons of water falling over the hard rock surface can be heard from acamp that is about 20 miles away. The water vapor that is created inthe process is visible from about 20 miles away from the landscape.From a distance, the moisture make the area to appear as though ithas dense cloud over it. The waterfall also creates a distinctclimate within the vicinity of the landscape.
9. Please list three hobbies/interests identify what types oflandscapes are associated with these:
This hobby exposes me to landscapes such as pavements, roads, andrecreational parks. Sometimes I cycle deep into the countryside whereI get to encounter woods, dirt roads, and farms.
Hikinghas been my interest ever since I was in elementary school. The mostcommon type of landscape that is associated with hiking is the woods.Quite often, people who like to hike usually go deep into the woodswhere they set up camp and light campfires. Mountains and hills arealso common landscapes for people with hiking interests. Some hikersprefer to climb mountains and hills in search of adventure or toenjoy the scene of nature.
Themost common architectural landscape that is associated with thishobby is swimming pools. Pools can range from small to Olympic size,private or public. Swimming is also associated with lakes. Althoughnot all lakes are safe or clean for swimming, some do make goodlandscapes to exercise this hobby. Ocean beaches are also associatedwith swimming. During the summer, I usually visit the beach to enjoyswimming, the sun and rolling in the sand.
10. Identify three potential landscape analysis project sites? Foreach, discuss its location, the degree of accessibility, potentialdata sources (primary and secondary)
Potential site one is the Taihang Mountain of the Northern Mountainranges of China. My mother has travelled to the mountain and sheoften tells me how amazing it is to hike on the mountain. Although Ihave never had the courage to go up a mountain, I have decided thatthis will be my first experiment. When I go back to my home country,Taihang Mountain will be the first natural landscape that I willvisit. The mountain is about 50 miles away from my home in Beijinghence easily accessible by bus. My primary source of informationregarding this landscape will be visiting the site. As for thesecondary source, I will speak to my mother to give me full detailsof the mountain.
Potential site number two is the Mackinac Bridge in Michigan. Thelandscape is a landmark in the state of Michigan and it would be apleasure to see it. The location is accessible since it is within adriving distance from my residence. My primary source of data will bemy friend who has visited the site on several occasions. She saysthat she usually crosses the bridge every time we close school forthe holidays. Since she has grown within that area, I feel that it ismore appropriate to rely on her as my primary source of data. Mysecondary source of data will be internet source. I plan to do myresearch on the government website of the state of Michigan, andnumerous travel and photography websites.
Potential site number 3 will be the cliffs that border Lake Superiorin Michigan. The height is a real thriller for adventure lovers likeme. The location is easily accessible since it is within the state ofMichigan. My primary source of data will be through visiting thelocation. As for my secondary source of information, I will consultwith colleagues who have visited it, and do more research on websitesthat feature the lake.
11. What is your proposed site?:
My proposed site is the Lake Superior cliffs.
12. Are you already familiar with your location, if so how?:
Iam already familiar with the landscape through the beautiful picturesthat I have seen. I have also watched a documentary that touched onthe receding beaches of Lake Superior. My interest in the landscapehas also led me to inquire more information from fellow students whohappen to have visited the site.
13.Give a brief description of what you already know about yourlandscape site:
Ialready know that the main access route to the preferred landscapewith Lake Superior is by bus or taxi. Since I do not have a car, Iwill board a bus to the location. The area is under the protection ofthe government conservancy agencies hence it will require some moneyas entry fee. Over the past few decades, the water levels in LakeSuperior have been reducing drastically due to human overuse.
14. What is the boundary of the site, what defines the boundary?:
Theboundaries of the site are many depending on one’s point of view.Towards the cliffs, which also happens to be my landscape ofinterest, the cliff on the edge of Lake Superior mark the boundary.On the sides that do not have a cliff, dry land marks the boundarybetween the lack and the next ecosystem.
15.Form a hypothesis about the physical characteristics of yourselected site:
Thephysical characters of the cliff are a major attraction to touristsand photographers alike. The height of the cliffs could also be adeterrent to tourists who have a phobia for heights.
16. Form a hypothesis about the economic/political setting of yourselected site:
TheLake Superior is a major economic contributor to the people livingaround it. Economic activities associated with the lake includingfishing and tourism are the backbone of the surrounding community.
17.Form a hypothesis about the social setting of your selected site:
Thelake is creates a scenery for various social interactions. Couplesfrequent the area because of the ambiance it creates.
McGarigal, K., 2012. What is a Landscape? University ofMassachusetts.
Wang Han. Personal Interview, My mother, She visited TaihangMountains severally.
My friend, James Smith, he uses the Mackinac Bridge every opening andclosing of the school semester.
Yourdictionary.com, 2016. Landscape definition. Retrieved from<http://www.yourdictionary.com/landscape> accessed May 20,2016.