journey through the mists

journey through the mists

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Given that this post’s title can be considered an homage to the superior fourth installment in the Land Before Time saga of my youth, I’m naturally overwhelmed by the vaguely prehistoric qualities of these rain-soaked forest landscapes. With that broad, bold Monstera leaf big enough to shelter a small child from the elements (holes notwithstanding!), the towering banyan trees that surely must host a neighborly Totoro or two, and the glistening plateaus of thick uluhe fern clusters, the plant life surrounding this waterfall trek seems magically monumental in scale.

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petal sunsets

petal sunsets

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I used to ride by Akatsuka Orchid Gardens nearly every day when I was a child – on the long way back from Hilo, I would see that cheerful orange orchid logo and know that home was just about ten minutes away.

Now, I’ve brought my fiancé to visit the Big Island for the first time, and to give him a sense of the local landmarks, we decided to spend an afternoon marveling over the many gorgeous blooms and scents in the greenhouses.

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tea in the garden

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Though I still can’t quite imagine feeling so bound to a place that I can begin the process of homeownership, I often fantasize about our future garden. I dream of fairy doors tucked under stumps, meandering flashes of moss, and strange overgrown sculptures emerging from every cluster of plants – as though some eccentric lost city lies beneath our herbs and flowers.

I experienced a similar cultivated wonder when visiting this tiny plot of teapots yesterday – and certainly found myself inspired to imagine how I might integrate some mismatched ceramics into a hypothetical garden of my own.

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the last homely house

the last homely house

FOREST PHOTOS (2 of 6)FOREST PHOTOS (6 of 6)

The last time we visited this enchanting corner of the Berkshires, the stale snow of late March covered pond and stones and grass alike. Seeing each corner of these historic gardens enlivened by blossoms, lilypads, and trees took my breath away – and made me even happier to think that this place will soon become the site for a most important romantic occasion.

Consider this stream-of-consciousness (and intentionally vague) post a small opportunity for strange escapism – I hope these photographs can take you away from whatever troubles you for a moment! The common impulse is to compare this property to a hobbit-home in the Shire: but I think the experience it creates for the weary traveler has much more in common with Rivendell, “the last homely house…”

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fairy rings

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I journeyed through my childhood and youth as an eager believer, resolute in my conviction that the sort of magic I encountered in any number of obscure juvenile fantasy novels would manifest in my ordinary life one day.

Now, I wouldn’t say that a glimmering portal to another realm awaited me on Mt. Pollux one iridescent October morning – but three weeks ago, I came as close to real-life enchantment as a decidedly, disappointingly non-magical girl could hope.

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snow + flowers

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It’s been a good long while since I just did a casual “little photos of strange magical things I discover on my walks” post, hasn’t it?

Winter decided to show all of its faces during one brief February fortnight. Over the past two weeks, I’ve seen blizzards, endless Himalayan peaks of excavated snow, veils of ice spiderwebbed across every available surface, and gloriously creamy blue skies floating above frosted branches.

(I’ve also seen the beautiful light effects that occur when you place a pink carnation on the melting snow on a surprisingly warm afternoon!)

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monterey: how far I’ll go

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So–in more ways than one, I’m back! I’ve returned to the East Coast, for one, but I’m also returning to my blog after a difficult few weeks (it felt good to take a break, honestly). I was so excited to share some gorgeous Northern California seascapes that it’s no surprise I’ve popped back into the blogging life sooner rather than later.

Monterey remains one of the most chillingly stunning places I’ve ever visited. Traveling there felt more like going home than getting off the plane in Massachusetts did! Riding down those endless seaside drives with an eye to the cold surf-break, peeking at otters and pinnipeds of all varieties, pulling my hat securely around my ears as I investigated the shells, crabs, and shipwrecked kelp that cover the rocky shores…it’s the wild ocean, the Romantic “sublime,” as I never imagined it before. Somebody call the Hudson River School!

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