This is narrowneck beach, in Auckland, new zealand.
It’s quiet and sunny, a tuesday morning.The water is crazy clear.
The island you can see is Rangitoto, an extinct volcano.
There are other islands, distant and bright green. I can see them, but the camera can’t really.
Rangitoto is green too, but differently. The other islands are much older. The green on them is pale grass, pasture, and great tall trees.
When you walk on Rangitoto the ground is black. It’s all scoria, rock, and it crumbles beneath your boots when you go downhill. There’s no dirt. There’s no grass. The island isn’t even close to a thousand years old.
All the green I can see on Rangitoto is low shrubs clinging with their feet dug into cracks. There are tiny weeds wrapped around their toes, too, but you can’t see them unless you’re standing there.
In a few centuries there will be dirt on Rangitoto, and real undergrowth, and taller trees. But then it won’t look like a silhouette cut out of the horizon any more.