As much as I enjoy gardening and seeing gardens, I sometimes welcome a respite. We’re constantly urged to make the last sowings of autumn vegetables and annuals at this time of the year, stake any perennials grown out of bounds, and monitor for insects and diseases. It’s a heady time, the sun high and hot, the air thick and reveberating with cicada song, and the vegetation overwhelmingly luxuriant. That moment of stillness creeps hither in midday when the heat’s oppression becomes clear. I find myself wanting to escape to more northern climates, or if more plausible, higher terrain with comfortable evenings of 50s, and nature’s quietude replaces the demands of a garden. It was never a problem in Down Under and the Land of the Long White Cloud where the wilderness was no more than a skip away. I look through these photographs, just marveling at the freedom I felt exploring these places. The open skies, the blue waters, and plants unfettered by our expectations are a visual salve. ~Eric
Bay of Islands, North Island, New Zealand
Dramatic rock formations in nature, like the one here at Cathedral Cove in New Zealand, always seduce me – their unhewn shapes have a whimsy not easily copied – and even better if they are on the coast.
At the Hokianga Harbour near Oporoni, North Island, New Zealand, Cordyline australis, naturalized Cortaderia selloana and Phormium tenax punctuate the tussocks of grasses and shrubs on the coast.
Black tree ferns (Cyathea medullaris) grow in such profusion that the effort to cosset one or a few in conservatory just seems foolhardy after seeing them in the wild.
Morning fog over the Adventure Bay, Tasmania, Australia
There is something placid about watching a flock of birds, Arctic terns here, roost on this skinny sandbar in the relatively calm Isthmus Bay. We went clamming for cockles, which become our meal for seafood linguine.
I woke up one morning to catch the sunrise on Fossil Cliff, Maria Island, Tasmania, Australia. Seeing the first rays of light on a grand landscape reaffirms your sense of living and reinforces how insignificant you are in respect to time and natural forces. Sometimes a kind reminder of our mortality can refresh our perspective on life.