Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #113 – A Labor of Love

First of all – thank you for so many inventive, creative and fun interpretations of last week’s challenge – Pick a Word! Fabulous!

Rusha Sams of Oh the Places We See is our host this week, and she has chosen to highlight all those people who work for a better society and a better world. A Labor of Love.

As so many of us do these days, I think of the health care workers, police and firefighters – all those brave people helping us in this unruly world. But my thoughts also go to all those who work for a sustainable world and helping vulnerable species to survive – because biodiversity is essential to us all. Without biodiversity we will all perish and our planet is lost. Even if we are living in a pandemic now, we know that other problems will not go away – we have to fight them all, simultaneously. Tough. But, the pandemic is also a result of how humans have abused and misused Nature and our only home, planet Earth.

In the header, the dotterel beach in Coromandel.

In 2016 we went to Ecuador, the Amazon Basin and the Galapagos Islands. Threatened already then by the oil industry and new settlers burning down the rainforest, but little did we know of the many fires that would arrive through mismanagement and the pandemic.

A vast piece of jungle was once bought by a man from the Netherlands who wanted to save it from getting destroyed. We stayed at his eco-lodge with local people guiding and lecturing about herb medicine and Amazon plants and animals. These people were born and raised here, lived here and knew the jungle like the back of their hand.

They took us out on crystal clear waters…
…silent canoe days
…and if not out on the waters – then bird watching high above the Amazon jungle.
Luis was one of our skilled guides, helping us find essential plants for cuisine and health. This was certainly a Labour of Love for him – a way of helping his people, animals and plants survive. He could also recognize and identify several hundreds of different bird sounds.
For Andi, his Labor of Love meant that several villages could survive – and thrive.
This journey is the most highly treasured one of all my journeys through 47 years. To see these people’s loving faces in preserving and teaching about their natural environment was a great joy and to learn how deep their knowledge is of Nature’s secrets was truly humbling. Knowledge and skills of this kind can only be yours if you are born and raised here. I am forever grateful to have met them all.

”We hope you’ll join us in sharing your interpretations of “A Labor of Love” whether you showcase a person or a group or an object notable for the labor or laborer involved.” Publish your post and add your link to the Comments section at the bottom of Rusha’s post. Please don’t forget to add the tag Lens-Artists so you can be found in the Reader.

Next week we will be back on schedule, and Amy will be our host for challenge #114. Until then – stay well and be kind. To yourself as well.

Lens-Artists Challenge #53 – Your Choice

New Zealand is not a small country, but a large village – Peter Jackson

There is real purity in New Zealand…It’s actually not an easy thing to find in our world anymore – Elijah Wood

Today is a very special day for us here at Lens-Artists – the one year anniversary of our Challenge. While we were all initially saddened by the discontinuation of the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge, for us it became an opportunity to expand our blogging horizons and to create some amazing new friendships.

I feel that New Zealand is my second home.  – Luke Evans

On our end, we have transitioned from four independent photography bloggers to a tightly-knit team that supports, encourages and helps each other as we develop and create our weekly challenges. We’ve also been fortunate to have expanded our follower base thanks to bloggers like you who support and inspire us.

Toitū te whenua (Leave the land undisturbed).

As a result, our challenge has become near and dear to each of our hearts. We’ve gone well beyond being individual members of a team and have become four good friends.  We are tremendously thankful to you for your appreciation of our efforts; and for making us smile or feel touched by your responses.  As our thank you for your support and encouragement, we’re suggesting that you respond to today’s challenge with any subject that’s near and dear to YOUR hearts, as we’ve done with our images today. If you’d prefer some guidance, choose any of the four subjects we’ve selected this week (Friendship, A country that’s special to you, Imagination and Connected).

We are a proud nation of more than 200 ethnicities, 160 languages, and amongst that diversity we share common values. – Jacinda Ardern

Each of us has included several captures that are special to us in some way.

Mine are from a country and people that occupies a special place in my heart – New Zealand. Aotearoa is the Māori name – and the most popular meaning usually given is the ”land of the long white cloud”. A strikingly diverse Nature,  warm-hearted People with strong Environmental care and – an insane sense of humour! It is also the country in which JRR Tolkien’s characters so naturally belong. New Zealand opened its arms to me – and I immediately felt at home there.  I would never have guessed that our blogging community could feel like ”home” too – but it does. It is a privilege to host this challenge once a month.

I’ve learned that home isn’t a place, it’s a feeling.
Cecelia Ahern

Thank you again from the bottom of our hearts for making this such a terrific experience. If you have a subject that you feel might inspire us, please feel free to suggest it – we’d love to hear from you.  Should you be new to our challenge and interested in joining us, please click here and be sure to include the Lens-Artists TAG so we can all find you. Happy Blogging to all of our loyal followers and friends, and Happy Anniversary to us!

Whatungarongaro te tangata toitū te whenua

(As man disappears from sight, the land remains) This demonstrates the holistic values of the Maori, and the utmost respect of Papatuanuku, Mother Earth.


Have you seen these

Each week on Lens-Artists, we highlight several responses from among our followers. This special week we’d like to thank ALL of our followers for their thoughtful, funny, often-feisty and always wonderful posts. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do, and will continue to join us as we move into year two of the Lens-Artists Challenge.












Tuesday Photo Challenge – Rock

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Rock

Who does not love the Moeraki boulders, NZ? For Dutch Goes the Photo this week.


CFFC: Leaves or Trees

Leaves or trees – leaves And trees are my kindred spirits. For Cee this Tuesday, I have focused on two of my favorite countries and some of my favorite trees and leaves. In the header, autumn coloured beech by the lake near my home in Sweden.

Tree ferns of New Zealand are plants I would have loved to have in my country. They bring magic and beauty to the world.

The Kauris of NZ, here Tane Mahuta, are both majestic and endemic giants. See the people on the ground below!

When paddling through the thick, mangrove like trees, we admired all the other plants living on the tree branches and tree trunks. This is the east coast of NZ.

The Southern Beech is a very beautiful tree with rather tiny leaves, seen in enchanted forests by the road to Milford Sound. The fallen tree trunks still full of new branches.


Travel theme: Abroad

Travel theme: Abroad

Abroad means many things to me…but if I were to choose only one thing – it is Freedom.

Travel theme: Forest

Travel theme: Forest

Oh, Ailsa…where to begin…? My favourite motif and my major love – the Forest. Of course I love my own forest best…and in spring when the wild apple trees and cherries greet me when I walk across the meadows to where the forest starts. But…

Tane Mahuta

Tane Mahuta

Te Matua Ngahere

Te Matua Ngahere

Te Matua Ngahere

Te Matua Ngahere – full view

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…the Kauri forest on the North Island, New Zealand, is so impressive, dense and full of giants when you least expect it…I have never seen anything like it and I just never wanted to leave.

On the South Island, we met another type of mystical forest on our way to Milford Sound –  The Enchanted Forest.

WPC: Earth


The challenge this week from WordPress is to “…share your vision of our glorious Mother Earth”.

I feel…we are a tiny, gloriously beautiful, island out in the great blue – surrounded by stars and the heavens. Who is at the wheel? I wish we had better control …I fear we have lost the sextant and with it, our ability of navigation.

Mother Earth

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