Nature Photography: Coexistence (No. 35) – Foraging my Inner Garden

01 July 2019


Foraging my Inner Garden; Sally W. Donatello 2019 All Rights Reserved

Click onto image to enlarge. Let me know your response to this image. Prints are available upon request. 


“When you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.” ~~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

At the end of June and as the daylight seems to expand during the fully-engaged summer season, I meander through my gardens to forage for the uprising of jubilant flower heads: florets and larger blossoms that bring a gentle breeze of elation through my body and mind.

And so the image in the Lens section is a blend of those discoveries: flowers that I cultivate. As I meander through the wild and tame, I am drawn without a sense of direction. The flowers appear and I succumb to their charisma. My fingers build a small bouquet, which seems to expand in its appeal as the number of flowers are selected: tiny, medium and larger jewels fit into a symbiotic shape: wildflowers from my (teeny) meadow, annuals, perennials, and volunteers (that appear through happenstance).

My arrangement is intuitive, not calculated, and allows beauties to float and mesmerize. To forage and harvest is to maintain a presence in nature’s sanctuary of the season’s abundance, touching the magical elements of the natural world.

If I linger, then immediate memories take shape. When I proceed, the gathering creates a different kind of meaning and remembrance. Both coalesce around the instantaneous awareness that nature can kidnap our spirits, provides a respite from reality, and brings unknown assurance that life will go forward with or without us.

And so the foraging and harvesting blazes a trail through my interior, calming and transporting me to a place of sweet quiet. While the flowers shout with their colors and designs, I am caught in the gaze and the comfort that they exude: how the wild and the tame, at least in my gardens, coexist.


British nature writer Robert Macfarlane’s new book, Underland, A Deep Time Journey, builds upon his reputation as narrator for nature’s mysteries and triumphs. His writing stirs as it informs. The review in The New York Times by Terry Tempest Williams, who is another seasoned and notable nature writer, entices and made me want to want to immediately read this book. Strangely, I am in the midst of re-reading Macfarlane’s early classic, The Wild Places (2007), which describes some of vast and remote places that still existed in the first decade of the millennium. His reverence for nature is evident as he shares connections that he experiences with the natural world. Macfarlane’s new book expands upon his relationship with the natural world and his ability to lyrically and brilliantly share that bond with us.

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22 Responses to Nature Photography: Coexistence (No. 35) – Foraging my Inner Garden

  1. Tina Schell says:

    Your post gives us insight into what is closest to your heart Sally. A love of nature’s gifts that surely keeps on giving. Your image shows your love of things natural as well. Nicely done.

  2. I love the not forced arrangement of the flowers – and the colour combination. A lovely image.

  3. restlessjo says:

    I love everything about this post, Sally, from the foraging in the title through to the book recommendation. Thank you so much! Have a lovely week 🙂 🙂

  4. thirdeyemom says:

    Beautiful as always Sally! My garden is huge and filled with flowers thanks to all the rain we’ve had so far this summer.

  5. Amy says:

    That is a beautiful arrangement, not calculated. I love the light of this image.

  6. Su Leslie says:

    Both image and words uplift Sally.

  7. Masterful use of light & shadow, color & texture. You have a beautiful photo that will outlast the bouquet, Sally.

  8. smilecalm says:

    Looking deeply inside your garden has been rewarding, how wonderful 🙂

  9. Prior... says:

    Wonderful photo – the red adds depth – and paras with your thoughts – the Emerson quote – and liked this a lot:
    calming and transporting me to a place of sweet quiet.
    I feel that sometimes just watering the pots

  10. Lignum Draco says:

    A lovely vibrant image, Sally, full of the bounty of Nature. You seem completely in your element amongst the flowers.

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