I grew up in Schweinfurt, Germany, where my family was dedicated to nature – either in my grandfather’s big garden or the diverse countryside.
Almost every Sunday, my mother would take my brother and me to nearby mountains to walk; explore; learn about wild plants and berries; and nap in the meadow. With our faces so close to the flowers, the gentle buzzing of insects lulled us to sleep.
I credit today’s powers of observation to my mother’s influence. She was forever pointing out plants, berries, critters and other items of interest to her, but not necessarily to me in those days.
Lately, I have been on guided nature walks with Jim Amon, former D&R Greenway Director of Stewardship. He introduced members of the Princeton Photography Club to fascinating trails on D&R-Greenway-preserved land. In summer, my paths lead through woods and along rocky cliffs of Mt. Desert Island, near Maine’s Acadia National Park. New Jersey’s Pine Barrens are rich in nature’s rarities, often found nowhere else.
Everywhere, I look for berries, mushrooms, seaweed, plants, mosses and lichen. I seem to be drawn to the unusual. Often the tiniest plants compel me, as though I were still my child self. I am pleased that D&R Greenway invited me to share these images from the child’s perspective for Olivia’s Rainbow Gallery.