Wordless Wednesday: coastal walk

Pohutukawa (Metrosideros excelsa) flower buds. Image: Su Leslie 2019

Mangrove (Avicennia marina) fruit. Image Su Leslie 2019

Nothing but water between here and South America

The Pacific Ocean, Otago coastline, New Zealand. Image: Su Leslie 2018

You realise how isolated New Zealander when you can stand on an east coast beach and know that the nearest landmass beyond the horizon is Chile.

Ragtag Daily Prompt | vast

Friday flowers

img_5823 Image: Su Leslie 2019

One of the more unusual gardens included in the Taranaki Garden Festival was actually a cemetery — Te Henui Cemetery.

On the edge of New Plymouth’s CBD, Te Henui is the city’s oldest cemetery, with graves dating back to 1861. It occupies almost 10 hectares (24 acres) and is extensively planted with fruit and ornamental trees, while flower beds bring colour, texture and fragrance to the (mostly heritage) plots.

img_5826 Image: Su Leslie 2019
img_5836 Image: Su Leslie 2019
img_5822 Image: Su Leslie 2019

Large-scale maintenance is done by the council’s park’s’ staff, but the magnificent flower-plantings are entirely due to the efforts of a small group of volunteers.

img_5827 Image: Su Leslie 2019
img_5837 Image: Su Leslie 2019
img_5825 Image: Su Leslie 2019
img_5824 Su Leslie 2019

I find cemeteries fascinating; sad and poignant, and full of glimpses into other people’s lives and families. Sadly, in New Zealand at least, I don’t often find them beautiful. Graves that are lovingly tended by partners and children quickly become neglected as generations pass on. Many of us don’t know even where our grandparents and other members of the wider whanau are buried, let alone have the ability to visit and care for their graves.

Through their wonderful gardening efforts, the volunteers at Te Henui are dissolving time and distance. The beautiful, tranquil, contemplative space that they maintain and watch over helps connect the present and the past, and remind us all of our humanity.

img_5835 Image: Su Leslie 2019

Monochrome

sparrows in western park b&w_resized

Image: Su Leslie 2019

When we think of monochrome in photography, it’s often as an alternative to colour — or even as its opposite.

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Fern frond. Image: Su Leslie 2019

We might allow sepia — with its connotations of nostalgia.

But sometimes, nature presents us with monochrome images; green leaves, a bunch of flowers, or a perfect blue day on the lake.

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Image: Su Leslie 2019

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Image: Su Leslie 2019

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Image: Su Leslie 2019

lake tarawera monochrome

Lake Tarawera, Rotorua, NZ. Image: Su Leslie 2019

I’m sure there are others.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge | monochrome