Questions, few answers

Street trees ablaze with immense profusion of red crabapples, their fiery effect stunning in the bare winter landscape of Alexandra, Central Otago. Taken late in the day with the sun about to disappear, 08 Aug 2019. New Zealand.

Earlier today, Jane Dougherty pondered weighty questions in her poem Questions, few answers.

I invite you to contemplate her words as you browse these images.

Jane Dougherty shares her poetry at:   Jane Dougherty Writes


Questions, few answers

poem by Jane Dougherty

night sky

full of stars

perhaps a mirror

of the bright earth’s



in the darkness

a red glint

star or planet

or just another forest



where did it go

the hope and the glory?

into the scarred

and charred earth

where the innocents bide


who will remember

what green was

how it fed a multitude

and who will sing the song of the earth

when all the voices are stilled?


is there no end?

the question is purely rhetorical

the end will come

when there is nothing left

to burn.



Posted by Liz, photos by Liz and Nigel; Exploring Colour (2019).
Photos 1,2 and 5 by Liz; 3 and 4 by Nigel.

38 thoughts on “Questions, few answers

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    1. Beautiful street trees, I had no idea previously that crab apple trees are in that streetscape! Never seen them fruiting so bountifully or brightly before.. the red is simply unreal!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. There’s a spot that I visit in a favorite park with some crab apple trees loaded with fruit. They pale in comparison to the prolific fruiting your trees display. And the birds that devour them would gorge like never before were they to happen upon those trees. What color! They probably brighten the night as well. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your comment makes me wonder if those trees are lit up at night. We were in Alexandra on Friday evening but didn’t drive down the street as far as the crabapple trees.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve never seen such vivid red apples on a tree before- I am completely amazed, they are stunning and I love the juxtaposition next to Jane’s words of this world we are killing off, suddenly the red apples becoming bubbling blood seeping from the lands wounds.

    Such sadness and such beauty, perhaps we were given too much too soon, perhaps we were too greedy for more.

    And as they bit into the apple they lost their right to the garden…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve been amazed several times now with prolific, colourful displays of crab apple fruit on trees in Central Otago but these are the most stunning yet. Fabulous street trees that everyone can enjoy!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, such amazing colours in the crabapples! And, oh, Jane’s words are much too true, sadly. The words and photographs go very well together – I feels as if the trees are singing the song of the earth – for now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The bright red is really incredible and I had no idea these winter treasures existed in Alexandra! I love what you said.. feeling that the trees are singing the song of the earth – for now. Well said Ann, thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ms. Liz, this is a beautiful twining of the phenomenal photos and the lovely poetry by Jane Dougherty. Allow me to say that I also enjoyed the ensuing comments betwixt Jane and yourself. Love the photo with your adorable Nigel! Thank-you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Ellen! Nigel’s gonna love it when I tell him you used the word ‘adorable’ in conjunction with his name. It’ll make his day!


  5. I’ve seen crabapples all my life, but never any as loaded and vivid as this. Quite a contrast between the cheery-looking trees and a very saddening poem. Maybe as people become more and more disenchanted with the established political parties, more of them will turn to the “green” groups for clear thinking and answers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was startled to see these crabapples, never seen anything like them! The Green Party are a part of our coalition government at the moment (we have a MMP system) so they definitely add to the discussion in this country. They have for a long time advocated to legalise marijuana so that would’ve put a lot of voters off them – even if sympathetic to the environmental concerns.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Those trees are on fire! Our crab apples were never so red. There was always a patch of yellow left. So simple, the contrast between profusion of wealth freely created and given by a tree and our begrudgery of the smallest drop of water, the smallest corner of our land to wild things.

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    1. I had no idea crab apples could be so red, so bright.. they’re like beacons! You’re absolutely right and it’s a stark contrast.. everything else participates in a balance of giving and receiving and we just seem to take, take, take – and wantonly destroy.What a mess 😦

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      1. I don’t believe that it’s ignorance of the consequences that makes us so selfish, or that if only people ‘knew’ they would change the way they eat, vote, behave. We do know but we don’t care, not if it means doing without a little luxury.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Totally agree it’s not ignorance, not these days anyway. But in NZ we’ve only just got past the point where anyone who talked about these issues was dismissed as a ‘greenie’ or ‘environmentalist’ (and pretty much became a social pariah). Even when more people finally accept the undeniable, we’re all so slow to change, and there’s so little time. Greta Thunberg has been remarkably effective at driving home the urgency aspect and finding a way for children and young people to have their voice heard.. incredible really.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. It’s strange isn’t it, that NZ which benefits so much from its ‘green’ ‘natural’ image should be so dismissive of a system that will eventually destroy it?
            Greta Thunberg is a phenomenon, and I worry that she will get a bullet. She puts the point so directly, doesn’t pretend to have the answers, but tells the politicians that she is only a child, they are supposed to have the answers and if they don’t their job is to find them. Who else, journalists included, ever puts the politicians on the spot like that?

            Liked by 2 people

            1. It defies explanation. NZers are completely cynical about the clean green image. In Southland (which has heaps of rivers) only six are classed as “swimmable”. Just in the last week or two a kindergarten in Southland had to close due to mud and sediment washing through the grounds – from runoff next door where winter grazing of stock wasn’t managed properly. Who else indeed.. she’s incredibly courageous as I imagine she’s aware of the risks and does it anyway.


                1. I wish foreign visitors to NZ would understand that violent crime, often drug-related, is something they should be very wary of – they need to be just as vigilent and take their personal security just as seriously as wherever they come from. SIGH.. so sad for those visitors who’ve lost their lives or suffered terribly due to not realising this!


                  1. I’ll let you into a secret—I hate tourism and the kind of people who travel across the globe on planes or cruise ships to fuck up local economies, enslave local populations in the service of hotels and the leisure industry because their traditional livelihoods have been taken away from them, pollute everywhere they set foot then brag about how knowledgeable they are about far flung places and how wonderful it was to discover new civilisations, to boldly go etc etc. Just sayin.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    1. Those aren’t usually the ones in danger (unless they jump in their hire car without a good night’s sleep after their looong flight). Its the young independent travellers who hitch-hike or travel on the cheap that tend to get into strife here. (Or go boldly into the great outdoors clad in t-shirts and sneakers).


                    2. True. There’s one French kid hiking in Italy fell into a ravine. They just found his body a few days ago. My sympathies are rationed now to specific cases (like the student hiker). I’ve stopped feeling any for people who get into difficulties when their luxury cruise ship runs aground.

                      Liked by 1 person

            1. The word ‘greenie’ is really loaded here and has been for generations, generally spat out by farmers in conversation. Lots of farmers support our centre-right political party, National.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. It’s a bit more sympathetic here and some (only some though) farmers are interested in wildlife and conservation. Unfortunately others aren’t.

                Liked by 1 person

                1. We’ve met a number of farmers who are knowledgeable custodians of their land and doing great things but they’d normally ensure that what they say doesn’t make them sound like “greenies”!

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