Stunning photographs from Duke Gardens

Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. – Genesis 1

1-IMG_5584The challenge of vacation – for the serious blogger – is the fact that there is simultaneously more to write about and less time to write; both more images to capture and less opportunity to share.

So I typically end up skipping a couple of days, and then dropping a bundle of images in one post. This is that post.

It was last Friday, the official first day of Rebekah’s vacation. Also, Rebekah’s brother Joe and his wife, Cheryl, were in town for a weekend visit. So we took them to take a look around Duke Gardens in Durham.

The day was hot but after all – as Rebekah pointed out – it takes the summer heat to make some of these spectacular flowers grow. Plus, and I remind myself of this every year, summer here is seasonal, not brutal, overwhelming, and relentless like it is in Tampa.

The Gardens at Duke University are laid out beautifully, in the shadow of the magnificent chapel. They cover just fifty-five acres, but the variety in topography and vegetation suggests a space three times the size.

1-DSC_0189Joe handled Cheryl’s wheelchair like a pro, and we eased our way around carefully, trying to keep some of that vacation energy in reserve. We saved the Japanese Gardens for another visit, but everything else is pretty well documented in the slideshow below. You won’t want to miss the photographs.

Always, when I take the time to pause and to see with deliberate eyes, letting the beauty of creation flood over me, I am not only inspired but renewed. God teaches me a little more each and every day, if only I am careful to pay attention.

Stay tuned to see what’s next as the week progresses. Peace and promise, always – DEREK

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derekmaul View All →

Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at, and there’s always something new in the works.

Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.

Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.

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