Lens-Artists Challenge #120 – What a Treat!

Tina has got a marvelous treat for us this week! African wildlife in glorious images through her lens. So, now we are looking forward to seeing Your treats – be it candy, grandchildren’s visits, a splendid hike or…

One of my own biggest treats is a visit to Kew Gardens – I don’t go that often…maybe once every fifth year – and this year should have been a Kew year for me. But then came Covid-19.

Maybe the fact that something is not easily available is one of the reasons for making it a special treat?

I will let the images speak for themselves. And, I really long for a new visit … In the opener, a late night view from the plane back from London.

A microphone? Yes…listen to Mother Nature and do everything you can to help her!

If you feel lost, disappointed, hesitant, or weak, return to yourself, to who you are, here and now and when you get there, you will discover yourself, like a lotus flower in full bloom, even in a muddy pond, beautiful and strong.
― Masaru Emoto,

This week we are including what we hope is a treat for all of you! At the suggestion of one of our followers we are announcing NEXT week’s theme. Our host, Patti, will share “FOCUS ON THE SUBJECT” on her blog Pilotfish. Please let us know what you think – is it helpful to know the theme in advance or do you prefer to be surprised?

Finally, sincere thanks to all of you who participated in my Hideaway challenge last week. I am glad most of us have a special place where we can focus on Life and our inner thoughts. Mindfulness. As always we enjoyed your creativity and the glimpses you gave us of your own lives.

Whatever you choose to treat us with, please remember to link to Tina’s post, and to use the Lens-Artists TAG. Until then, have a lovely week and please remember to stay safe.

Black and White Sunday – After and Before

For Paula this week – a beautiful pod from Kew Gardens. For more of this, click here.

 

Princess of Wales Conservatory – Part I: Cactus Country

When we reached this glasshouse I was so excited to get inside – I remembered my last visit, where this particular house was one of the highlights. This is Kew’s third major conservatory,  designed by architect Gordon Wilson, and opened in 1987 by Diana, Princess of Wales The conservatory houses ten computer-controlled micro-climatic zones, with the bulk of the greenhouse volume composed of Dry Tropics and Wet Tropics plants. I will never forget the brilliance of different orchids, water lilies, cacti and bromelias.

But…as I was lost in the cacti department, there was some buzzling and I heard people saying ”they are closing now”. But that must be impossible! There was one and a half hour left before closing time…and when I checked the site four days ago, before our flight, only the Temperate House and the Pagoda was supposed to be closed, and the elevator to the walkway out of order, nothing else…

I became rather stressed and had to rush the photographing in order to at least see the giant, Victoria amazonica, waterlilies. Their very large green leaves lie flat on the water’s surface, and they are up to 3 metres (9.8 ft) in diameter, on a stalk up to 8 metres (26 ft) in length. The genus name was given in honour of Queen Victoria…

…and I managed some shots there too before we were ”thrown out” in the cold. It turned out that the whole place was hired for a wedding – so, sadly enough not all of my friends managed to see the giants. Some lovely shots were saved for my next post, tomorrow.

 

 

Kew – Roses and the Palm House

No visit to a Real Garden…goes without roses or a Palm House. This is Kew Gardens.

 

The Palm House is always a treat. Today I found a new glorious favourite inside…a Japanese Lantern.

 

Lastly another favourite…a delicate noname plant sweeping its feathers around us.

 

Thursday Thoughts – Another View of Kew

I had not been to Kew for some years…about 35-40 I would guess – and when I finally returned some weeks ago, there were some surprises awaiting. The Hive was one of them, and another one was the Treetop Walkway. 18 metres up in the canopy, you could get a closer look at lime, sweet chestnut and oak trees – as well as a bird’s-eye view of Kew Gardens.

Take the lift up with me to the canopy! Not quite like the Amazon in December, but still great.

 

 

 

Thursday Thoughts – In the Hive

My number one goal with the London trip was Kew Gardens. I think the year was 1977 last time, or maybe 1979. As you who read this blog will know, I love gardens and flowers. Maybe especially English gardens, because of their soft and soothing architecture and lines. But this time, I also found the most mindful spot – The Hive.

A well thought through installation, and a high quality space for mindfulness.

The Hive stands 17 metres high, set in a meadow of wild flowers. The installation is  connected to a real beehive, from where you, through several canals, are able to follow the sounds and vibrations of the bees.

We all know the importance of bees, and as scientists have proved – without bees we will not survive on this planet.

In  this structure, you cannot shut out the light – you cannot stop it from seeping in. Looking straight up from the ground beneath, there are also… feet to be seen…

…and inside the construction, the blue sky is visible from every corner. Slow down and listen to the bees working, humming soothingly. Add some distant music… and this will be your reaction…

Meditative moments…Mindfulness…

 

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