Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank Partnership

Photos & Editing: Aline LaPierre & Victor Osaka
Visit our fine art & stock photography site:
http://www.TrueLightDigital.com

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Every garden is a work in progress. And for three hundred years, the seasons have rolled around as generations of gardeners have developed and tended the Kew Royal Botanic Garden. If indeed, the garden is a metaphor for the gardener, then Kew is the perfect opportunity to meet the British love and respect for nature.

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In addition to being a flower wonderland, Kew is a world-class botanical research center. Its extensive scientific resources are focused on finding solutions to the global challenges of biodiversity loss, food security, poverty, disease, and the changing climate.

Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank Partnership is the largest plant conservation program in the world. The Seed Bank focuses on saving plants faced with extinction and plants that hold the most potential for future benefit. Working with partners across 80 countries, they have successfully banked over 13% of the world’s wild plant species from regions most at risk from the ever-increasing impact of human activities.

Each day, throughout the world, four plant species are at risk of extinction. You can participate in saving them by joining the Kew Adopt a Seed program.

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A glorious peony and two magnificent purple irises in full bloom.

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Mysterious lavender flowers with lovely yellow hearts.

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A peony variety remarkable for it’s pure simplicity.

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This Kew glass house is an architectural jewel. As rare flowers and endangered species
come into bloom, they are brought here for visitors to enjoy.

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I love these wild haired individuals. I became so enthralled by nature’s unrestrained designs that I forgot to note down botanical names. To feel better about my lax attitude, I tell myself that these flowers do just fine expressing their unique personalities without knowing that we humans have given them names.

 

Coming next: African Safari

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    Visit our fine art & stock photography site: http://www.TrueLightDigital.com

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Gothic London

 

Photos & Editing: Aline LaPierre & Victor Osaka
Visit our fine art & stock photography site:
http://www.TrueLightDigital.com

 

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THE CALLING OF THE LIGHT
WESTMINSTER ABBEY

Imposing columns, like revered immortal trees
lead the eye
from dark history when kings and queens
were wed and laid to rest,
upward to the transcendent light
aglow with ageless majesty.

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DEFYING IMPERMANENCE
WESTMINSTER ABBEY

Quietly sitting on the cool green lawn
studying the abbey’s lace-like silvery stone.
Déjà vu.
I have been here before
in a past century, in a bygone life.

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TIMELESS MOMENT
THE CLOISTER AT WESTMINSTER ABBEY

 

“You must be the girl from the colonies.”Aline_D_20140409_8943

“Yes! I am the girl from the colonies.”

No solace here.
Only unquestioned conceit
speaking with unyielding dominance
to the naive young girl that I was then.

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BRITAIN RULES
PARLIAMENT BUILDING
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BIG BEN ON A CLOUDY DAY

Like an oversize grandfather clock,
it faces the four corners of the land.
It’s full-bodied voice marks the pace of the hour,
a resounding symbol of immutability.

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 TRUSTED GUARDIANS
TOWER BRIDGE 

When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life;
for there is in London all that life can afford.

Samuel Johnson

 

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    Visit our fine art & stock photography site: http://www.TrueLightDigital.com

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The London Eye

Photos & Editing: Aline LaPierre & Victor Osaka
Visit our fine art & stock photography site:
http://www.TrueLightDigital.com

 

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During our stay in London last week, we took a break from photographing flowers to ride on the iconic London Eye, Europe’s tallest observation wheel.  We joined the 3.5 million annual visitors eager to experience the city’s most popular paid attraction.

 

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The Eye is quite an engineering feat. Cantilevered over the Thames and supported by tensioned steel cables, it looks like a giant bicycle wheel. Each of its 32 pods hold approximately 25 people, which means that at any one time, the wheel is carrying some 800 people. That’s approximately 10,000 people a day.

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Apart from the fact that it began to rain just as we boarded our assigned 10 ton egg-shaped glass capsule, the ride on this huge loop in the sky was quite fun. Quiet  fun, that is: no speed ride here, no heart-into-your-throat breathless screams. The Eye rotates at the leisurely pace of 10 inches per minute. Looking at it from the ground, it barely seems to move at all.

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Nonetheless, once settled in our glass pod, with a foggy London skyline at our feet and looking into the distance some 40 kilometers, the 30-minute revolution went by in a flash.

Dangling in our pod like a ripe berry, every moment became magnified. As vista upon vista unfolded, the slow inexorable pace gave rise to a surreal altered state. The incremental yet relentless pace of the Eye merged with an image of the wheel of time to remind us that, as always, time cannot be paused. The challenge remains to enjoy memorable experiences in the all-too-brief moment.

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The rain intensified as we reached the top of the wheel, adding a thrilling touch of drama to this peak moment. A great breath of freedom filled our lungs as we rolled over the crest. Even though the fog and the water droplets on the pod’s surface marred what we had hoped would be perfect aerial photographs, the moment at the top, which lasted but a few seconds (isn’t that the way of life?), gave us a new sense of connection to the city below. 

Having seen the city from such height, we landed no longer feeling like strangers in a strange land: the river, the Parliament Buildings, Westminster Abbey—all had become part of a Harry Potter-like Gothic tale which we were eager to explore. With this newfound sense of curiosity and intimacy, London was becoming our friend.

Not surprisingly, the rain stopped and the sun came out just as we exited the pod, a perfect welcoming return to the world of reality.

 

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Next “stop”: Gothic London

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    Visit our fine art & stock photography site: http://www.TrueLightDigital.com

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