Sunday, February 24, 2008

A Day on the Plains

Hedges, Canterbury Plains, Feb.2008,Ajr
It's a cliche to liken the huge spread of the Canterbury Plains to a patchwork quilt but that's exactly what they're like. I was reminded of that last week when I flew over the multicoloured landscape on my way home from Invercargill - multiple shades of green, brown, chocolate, yellow, ochre - all hemmed in by a complex grid of deep green hedges. Yesterday I drove out on those long, arrow-straight roads to visit the country garden of New Zealand opera singer, Dame Malvina Major and, having completed the interview, I dawdled home, stopping repeatedly to photograph those big 'blocky' pine and macrocarpa hedges that shelter everything from the plains' howling winds. I find something reassuringly solid about those hedges - and I think I might be the only person in the world who responds to hedges as if they were animate objects.

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