Sometimes it is the close ups that give you a real sense of place:
Shadows and textures really make the carving below. I think it looks more dramatic in black and white. The colors distract.
We spent a couple of weeks, amazing, delightful weeks, on the north island of New Zealand last January. It feels like more than 11 months ago. We were able to see our son over the Chinese New Year. He went back and while he was in the air going back the state department sent out its “do not travel to China” message. (I have some very pithy ideas about the US state department.)
Seeing him again is not in the cards in the foreseeable future, so I am sooo happy that we had that time right before everything closed down.
That was where I first heard about the corona virus, it wasn’t yet called COVID-19. We debated the wisdom of my son returning to China. The US State Department warning came to my email while he was in the air to Qingdao. We have been on an emotional roller coaster since then.
By the time he landed, the bus service between cities in China had been terminated and he had to take a taxi 130 miles to get to his home.
While he has been abroad most of his adult life, he turned 18 while he was an exchange student in Japan, this is the first time when we can’t get to him or get him home easily.
At times I wished that the State department had had its act together and the email had come out twelve hours earlier, so he could have come with us. At one point I was in contact with our congresswoman about how I could get him home. Then we talked and realized that he was probably safer in China (a very sad realization for me).
Bay of Islands is a magical place. When we said goodbye, I said “same place next year?” Now it seems so naive and arrogant to have thought about something 12 months out.
Another sculpture from Auckland Botanical Gardens, this one is a permanent fixture in the rose garden. The ones I posted previously are part of the Sculpture in the Gardens special exhibit (Hand in the Dirt, The Head of John Doe, and Bee Haven. )
Yes, there were some real bees in the same garden:
We were lucky enough to happen on the Sculpture in the Gardens while killing time waiting for our late night flight home. The Auckland Botanical Gardens were lovely and it was easy to get there using local buses. I’ll share a few more from this exhibit in the next few weeks.