Treasure hunt!

Booty from a previous trip
Booty from a previous trip

Horsham Downs Claudia Aalderink comes clean on a small obsession.

I’m an obsessive collector. There….I said it. Not of Fabergé eggs or expensive Swarovski figurines. No, when out on a walk I spent most of my time looking down.

Not something you would expect from a photographer straight away, but I do. A seashell, driftwood, stones, feathers, chestnuts, anything with a beautiful shape, texture or colour comes home with me.

I think it is a disorder of some kind, but I don’t really care. I’m not bothering anyone but my family, who wait patiently for me to move along and catch up to join them in our family outing.

Campervans, tents, cars, even handbags, soon turn into a small museum of all my found treasures and I am always wondering if I’m alone in this. Could it be about recreating a bit of that moment or could it be a form of greed? The latter sure comes to mind when I think of a chestnut tree surrounded at its feet by hundreds of beautiful golden brown chestnuts freshly fallen and glowing for no reason at all other than showing off their smooth skin and reminding me of younger days. Just leaving them there is totally unacceptable to me. I smile, crouch, pause and dig in! All my pockets will soon be filled with them and that temporary feeling of euphoria is priceless.

I have had this all my life I’m sure and I don’t think I will ever stop doing it.

What I do with it all? Usually I put them together in a group as a temporary still life in the house that in turn will become a huge dust collector and therefore it ends up outside in the garden where it will live a long and happy (still) life.

The ‘lucky’ ones are being kept in a jar with a label where they take a proud place in my office and remind me of great outings or summer holidays.


ClaudiaClaudia Aalderlink produces Claudia’s Corner exclusively for N8N. A whimsical, weekly photographic column on anything that takes her fancy.

Check out her website here.

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Number 8 Network - a community website for the rural areas northeast of Hamilton, NZ, is run by Gordonton journalist/editor Annette Taylor.

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