On a clear summer night, with the campus quiet and mostly studentless, St. Lawrence’s Japanese zen garden reaches its most silent and, well, zen.
I’ve shown you St. Lawrence University’s zen garden in the past, but never from above. Down in the middle of Sykes Hall, in front of the clock tower, you can see a hint of raked gravel and carefully cut grass. I’m not sure I ever appreciated how many trees we have until I started flying.
I photographed a zen garden in the Northeast, and now I’ve photographed this one in the Northwest, as well. The Portland Japanese Garden and its spectrum of gold-through-green-to-blue conveys its own “calm drama” in a way much separated from the North Country equivalent.
Taking a temporary aside from Africa (and the warm/rainy weather of weird northern New York), here’s an image from the Zen garden just after the most recent blizzard. I haven’t done much work in black and white photography since high school, but this was a case of contrasting textures and tones that just demanded it. The rough, dark brick and stone dressed by puffy snow seemed poetic almost to the point of (again) cliché—so I went with it.
While I’m on the trend of remembering summers past (and mourning the end of our own summer), I’m also going to reminisce about our trip to the University of British Columbia’s Nitobe Memorial Garden last summer. Look at that lushness. Foliage everywhere. And, as I like to joking call it, the “enormous bonsai tree” framing the soft scene.