On small things, big things and taking pleasure in the natural world


On the forest floor. Image: Su Leslie 2017

On Wednesday afternoon, Aotearoa New Zealand will go into Covid 19 lock-down for four weeks.

It’s been looming for days; even as outwardly life has gone on “as normal”. Except in the supermarkets where it’s felt like Christmas Eve, albeit a Christmas where apparently toilet paper is No. 1 on everyone’s Santa list.

Part of me is relieved that the waiting is over. But even as I say that, I also feel anxiety bubbling up. Not for the Big T and myself particularly, but for other family members less well-resourced, and who are now “out of bounds” to us.

The last few days I haven’t felt much like taking photos, and if I’m largely confined to my home, I suspect I’ll run out of subject matter fairly soon.

But I do want to carry on blogging; to stay in touch with this community and because we’re all living through incredibly weird times and I think we need to document that.

The image above is one of the first I took with a macro lens. With hindsight, it’s not a particularly good photo, especially as I now know just how much detail I can capture with that lens.

But in the same way as it is a symbol of my photographic innocence, it also belongs to a more innocent time. The shot was taken in the Waitakere Ranges Park, Auckland. Since then, all of the forested area of the park has been closed to prevent the spread of Kauri dieback — a fungal disease that destroys one of New Zealand’s largest-growing, longest-living and most awesomely beautiful tree species — the Kauri (Agathis australis). The fungus is spread mainly humans and our pets. Virtually every forest area containing kauri trees is either closed to visitors or has a disinfecting station at the entrance.

Ironically, keeping humans contained may give kauri trees their best shot at survival (though four weeks won’t be long enough).

I’m always drawn to small plants and new growth. They make me hopeful, and I think we all need to focus on whatever give us hope.

Macro Monday

71 thoughts on “On small things, big things and taking pleasure in the natural world

  1. I hope there is respect for kauri trees struggle. Yeah that is such a crap moss flower photo Su…………NOT.
    Once you have worked out the lens, the better the shots will be. You are like me, must be THE photo with every one πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Bless you, hon! It’s strange, and uncomfortable, but there may just be some positives to all this. Your trees, for one, and yesterday I picked up the phone to repair an old friendship that had long ago gone adrift. Life’s too short for cross words. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We’re certainly going to get the chance to experience small pleasures, those of us lucky enough t have outside space. Not seeing our families is going to be more difficult. And yes, even though blogging may seem harder as our own little worlds shrink, I think those connections may remain very important to us.

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  4. A changing world day by day now Su. Bringing heartache and for some loneliness, a time to count our blessings and we are going to have so much more time now to do that. I love the positivity that this photo brings, life does go on. Enjoy your garden and I agree that blogging and keeping in touch with our virtual communities is a good way to spend time and important in this changing world

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  5. It will be interesting to see what happens to humanity after we get through this pandemic. Will we change our ways for good (and for the good of the planet?) or will we go back to where we were. People (in North America, at least) thought everything would change after 9/11 – that we all would realize what’s really important in life and change our lifestyles accordingly, but nah…not really. This pandemic and what comes out of it will provide fodder for researchers and historians for years!
    Thanks Su,


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  6. It’s a strange, strange world we find ourselves in. I cannot begin to make any sense of it. This year was to be my year of resuming travel plans – that’s worked out well! I think I shall be glad if we actually make it through the year! Though not being able to go anywhere is rather frustrating, especially as spring has sprung! My garden is not huge so I don’t think it will manage to keep me busy all the time, but I do have jobs to do (and housework). One thing I shall have a go at is using the tripod with my macro lens – if the wind ever stops! I barely ever use a tripod so that will be an interesting experience. And hopefully the OH and I can continue to walk around our lanes so I shall take up my nature diary again!

    Stay well Su xx that first macro is rather splendid. This is mine: https://wp.me/p3jVw4-1FW

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    • Your first macros were pretty damn good! I’ll be interested to see the shots you take using a tripod.
      Definitely strange times. On the surface so much is the same, but the undercurrents pull us away from familiar channels and that is very disconcerting.
      T is very keen to build some new raised beds, but it looks as though the hardware stores are going to be closed, so we may have to spend more time planning!
      I have lots of projects to do, and hopefully materials to achieve at least some of them.
      Take care.


      • That’s the same here. I only really go out to shop, and the library weekly, gardens, beach, garden centre occasionally, so being at home is my normal. But now I am enforced to be at home I’m feeling trapped! Why is that? Better see if I can find some online nurseries to send me plants / seeds.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Before you had freedom of choice β€” even if you chose to stay home. Now external forces are making the choices for us and I think we’re all going to feel trapped before too long. ☹️


  7. Su–you know I think all your macros are beautiful–this one is no different. Our governor here in Florida is probably going to place us in lockdown, also. I, too, think I will be relieved. I live across the street from a park so see plenty of people walking their dogs, running or biking like mad to let out the frustration. My sense of calm is here on the blog–mentally checking to make sure everyone is here and accounted for. Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was relieved when it happened here. It won’t be pleasant — downright horrible for many people — but it removes uncertainty. Of course, people are already looking for loopholes. 😦
      Hope you are well. Take care.


  8. Su, we must continue with our virtual tea parties, please?? Am starting to plan out what to have next month. Just hope I won’t have to tell visitors to bring their own tp. πŸ˜‰ I enjoy your photos and thoughts so much, and hope the coming of winter down your way won’t dissuade you from getting outside, however large or small your patch. 😘😘

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I feel drawn to them too, and for exactly the same reasons, Su. This worldwide lockdown is so unprecedented, even though I know it is in place, I still can’t really grasp its range in all matters… I feel a bit stunned, maybe even shell-shocked. Keeping your distance is mandatory here, but it seems an awful difficult thing to do in a city as big as this one. Just went shopping for groceries yesterday and was baffled by people milling about as usual, not even trying to avoid getting too near to each other in the aisles. But then you have to keep that 2m distance when you’re standing in line for the cash registers – bizarre! What use it that if people do it only there and not everywhere? It doesn’t help that it has been getting warmer here these past days, and the sun shining almost non-stop. People want to go out and enjoy it, feeling somewhat invincible because of it… 😦

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