What really takes my breath away …

img_3361 Muriwai beach, Auckland. Walk far enough and you can almost ignore the tour bus parties destroying the rock pool eco-systems with their sunscreen, body lotions and general stupidity. Image; Su Leslie 2019

I live in a country that earns quite a sizeable portion of its living out of being breathtakingly beautiful.

It is true that these days human impacts on land and water are beginning to show, and we’re increasingly like a hung-over media celeb, relying on Photoshop to pixel over the cracks. But it’s still relatively easy to turn a corner or crest a hill and find a vista so beautiful you can be forgiven if you forget to breathe.

I wouldn’t say I’ve become inured to such beauty, but if I’m honest, what really takes my breath away these days is the appalling ease with which my fellow New Zealanders (and some of the paid guests we’re taking in to help pay the bills) feel it’s ok to desecrate our environment. Apart from the terrible damage inflicted on landscapes, waterways, eco-systems and wildlife, it’s biting the hand that feeds.

This is death by a thousand cuts; dumping litter, over-fishing, clearing forests to create dairy farms, freedom campers who (literally) leave their shit behind, people who turn every available patch of grass on a beach reserve into a de facto car park because someone else did it first, a national mindset that says dairy farming and tourism are GOOD FOR GROWTH and let’s not look too closely at the negative impacts … the list goes on.

As always, the prescribed treatment for my chronic environmental grump is to get out the door and connect with the little miracles of nature that also take my breath away.

Posted to the Ragtag Dail Prompt | breathtaking

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42 thoughts on “What really takes my breath away …

  1. Exquisite photo creations, Su – each one a star in its own right. But as for the humans, it’s astonishing how crass and mindless too many people have become. In Much Wenlock it’s the locals who drop the litter and allow their dogs to foul pavements and well used footpaths, and local landowners who root up ancient hedges with protection orders on them or sell off good farmland for over-priced housing with multiple bathrooms, whose effluent and storm run-off are likely to threaten the homes of existing residents downstream of them. Austerity and greed are a toxic cocktail. Our local authorities can’t afford to protect communities as they once did and the selfish and opportunistic move in on all the gaps. Hmph. Grumpy old woman mode surfacing AGAIN. And so yes – I feel your anger. And just to cap it, here on the stupidity front – today we get to vote in the elections for the European Parliament – a Europe we may soon be leaving. And I wonder how many will be bothered to vote.

    Liked by 6 people

    • Thanks Tish. It amazes me how people can find such anti-social behaviour possible. It’s just so incredibly stupid. It feels as though there’s this whole bunch of people who are perhaps actually unable to consider the consequences of their actions.
      It will be really interesting to see what the election outcome is. I can’t get my head around the mess that the whole Brexit thing seems to be causing.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Those photos are quite exquisite, Su. I especially like the last two images. They give the impression of felt. I also really like the colour combo of the fern frond. Those colours would look nice in a mosaic, don’t you think?

    Sounds like the numbers of tourists are getting overwhelming. It really puts me off traveling. Such a conundrum.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I share your concerns for the environment 100%. Greed is the terrible engine that drives the destruction of all things beautiful. Enjoy the beauty (what is left) and let it take your breath away, Su. Best wishes!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Su, you think that’s bad, Canada has been shipping its garbage to China and the Philippines. China no longer wants it and the Philippines is so mad at us they are shipping our garbage back to us. Who in their right mind would ever think of sending their garbage off shore? We are a disgrace.
    Leslie

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Hey, desecrating beauty seems to be what we do. From the utter pollution of every major river in Europe and the British Isles to the pollution of water and air in Asia … it just took a little while to get to you. Peter Jackson’s movies were great — and they also suddenly made your country a really attractive vacation venue. And those visitors don’t seem to get that they aren’t in a theme park where the attendant come to pick up all the trash. The human animal, overall, is kind of a pig, except pigs only get themselves dirty, not the rest of the world.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. all of these are breathtaking! And I think there is nowhere nowadays where human beings haven’t destroyed the ‘larger’ part of natural beauty. I only pity the children, future custodians of this world….

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  7. I hear you, Su. It drives me up the walls as well. There are so many stupid people all around the world and our governments actually support their stupidity because it makes us easier to manage. I watch the children in my pottery class with no interest whatsoever in nature and animals. Who don’t care about seeing some spring lambs in the nearby park, who throw away litter on the streets because it’s not their job to look after it… the list goes on and on. And these are only the children in my class! I feel so sad, disappointed and even angry at all this. And to think that children almost always reflect the behaviour of their parents makes it even worse. 😯

    Liked by 1 person

      • I can relate only too well. 😦
        A group of five-year olds made horrible rude remarks to me today when I was on my way home from grocery shopping today (won’t repeat what they called me) – I couldn’t believe my ears at first, and even though I did respond, I lacked the wits at the moment to hit the right tone, I’m afraid. It was just awful. I truly pity their teachers, their parents, and actually themselves – nothing good will come out of them I fear. 😦

        Liked by 1 person

      • That’s utterly appalling.
        I would have been speechless, or incoherent. I’ve never been good at thinking of the right thing to say under pressure.
        I can’t imagine what home life must be like for children to have so little self-control. I pity their teachers too — and the kids. What turmoil must those little minds be in? ☹️

        Liked by 1 person

      • I rather not think too much about it – I know, a cowardly reaction, but what could I do about it anyway? I will concentrate on the kids in my pottery class instead, some of those also need a bit of manner teaching sadly.

        Liked by 1 person

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