IMG_2338For as long as I can remember I’ve loved wood, in furniture, in sculpture, in forests, even in piles.

On a recent visit to New Zealand, I was delighted by the acres of log piles at the ports along the way. Our friends were amused by my fascination and by all the photos I took of the felled trees. Log after log was straight and appeared to be about 10 inches in diameter. The piles were wonderful in their symmetry and color. I watched as logs were piled onto ship decks, each ship going deeper into the water as it was loaded. Most of the ships were headed for Russia and China.

I asked questions of a tour guide and was told that trees were harvested after 30 years of growth. The entire forest was cut to make room for a new stand of trees to be nurtured for the next 30 years, then the process would be repeated. As we drove through the country, I saw stands of trees in various phases of the process. Timber is the main export in New Zealand. Because of the hilly terrain, not much cropland exists. We saw sheep, cattle, goats, llamas, and hills of green with wild flowers and rocks, and trees.

At the end of our trip we spent two days in Auckland, a hilly city that looks very much like other cities in the world. A park there had wonderful old trees, gnarly ones with many roots above the ground. We saw children climbing on them, and I was tempted. In the park were grapefruit trees with some of the fruit on the ground. There were wonderful flower gardens, one in the shape of a clock with flowers spelling 3, 6, 9, and 12 – another photo op. When I sent some pictures home to the family, one of them said, “Where are the people?” <img IMG_2472
I do have more success with still life.