A 31Dec2021 Surprise

Don’t we all need a pleasant surprise? I was given one that I’d like to share with anyone who derives pleasure from the landscape.

Watching the sky in mountainous landscapes in my neighborhood, I am always struggling with clouds or fog. At what point does fog become a cloud? And do clouds ever become fog?

How can I even ask these questions? 

Because in steep mountainous terrain along a river valley whose source, not far away, is in the above tree line, high mountain pass glaciers, I regularly see the life cycle of clouds–the speed of cloud formation and dissolution. 

And that for me is excitement. 

Why? Because the speed of cloud is slower than human patience of vision. 

How often can we look at a cloud long enough to see its swirling edges grow or decline–and then until the cloud disappears or generates from nothing to a huge presence.

Today, 31Dec2021, I had an unexpected present handed to me by the local mountain landscape. 

I saw for the very first time–what I could for certainty define–ground fog. It began last night at sunset. Then in the middle of the night it grew while I slept. By morning, we were enveloped in it. It wasn’t deep but it was thick. 

In the clear sky sunshine, I took a walk to explore how the ground fog moved (more of a slow-motion slither, an exhale, a flow) around the valley floor. 

There is something special about seeing in real life, real time, the life cycle of clouds and in this case ground fog. 

I go through the whole gaia thing and the science of temp/moisture/wind. But in the end, I am convinced there is some thing alive in this life cycle. Are the mountains breathing in and out? I don’t know. My weak speculation is ignorant at best. But I feel what I feel. All I can do is write about what goes on in the landscape. It is all around each and every one of us. And it is mysterious…arcane.

Tangier Gardens?

Original 17th century Wenceslaus Hollar view of Tangier harbour post-processed by flahertylandscape.

CJ was coming of age and he was lost. He had wanted to get absorbed in a different culture. The labyrinth had captured him. In his despair he turned to his oldest friend, a girl with whom he had been growing for the past six years. And she became his strength. Though separated from CJ by thousands of miles, she lit his path to clarity.

Tangier Gardens. Launching March 2022. Notification of details and discounts here.

Sun and sand: MOROCCO

CJ had visited Morocco once before. A long time ago . He was with his Mom. And he was only six. They spent three months on the beaches of Essaouira; but they never visited Tangier.

Now 20 years later he was on his way to Tangier. He thought he knew Morocco.

flahertylandscape is the root of Tangier Gardens.
Sun and Sand Morocco is a trailer that recalls CJ’s memories and some of his uncertainties.

Want more? Visit my Tangier Gardens Amazon author page.

Butterscotch–once again

It is that time of year.

It’s here. There is no doubt.

What’s this?

It’s the autumn.

We don’t have those North American attention grabbing sugar maples or even their cousins around here.

Rising out of the butterscotch sea. From the lower valley pastures to the mid mountain mixed deciduous and evergreen up to the near mountain summit pure coniferous forests. Autumn calls.
Some might say how drab! Yellows and browns. C’mon man.
But honestly…these yellows and browns in our landscape offer something more…a flavor…a sweetness. A pleasurable sweetness. A lasting enjoyment that comes…from a flavor to a taste…to become softly in our ear…a kind word. Extrasensual.
I like it–like a butterscotch candy…the flavor lasts and lasts.

CJ needs help

PLANT PORTALS

***PLEASE NOTE***FLAHERTYLANDSCAPE HAS MOVED ITS URL TO A NEW DOMAIN–https://flahertylandscape.com CONTENT THE SAME ONLY A NEW URL. PLEASE CLICK THAT LINK.

Who is CJ?

He is the protagonist in the series, The Landscape Architect.

The Landscape Architect is the title of a series of fictional autobiographies. These are CJ’s autobiographies. In this series, CJ reveals the twists and turns in the development of his career as a professional landscape architect via his interactions with cultures, landscapes, gardens and plants of the world—where the unexpected and downright strange become daily facts of life.

Tangier Gardens is the debut novel in that series.

When you dig into Tangier Gardens, you will find a contemporary coming of age action novel about CJ (Christopher Janus), who like us is facing a broad range of distressing challenges.

CJ needs a break. He has been busting his hump full time six years at university with one more class till graduation.

He wanted just a few moments of repose before getting on with his career.

Didn’t happen. We all sadly know that story. But how did CJ deal with it? Tangier Gardens is that story.

CJ, studying landscape architecture, is into pedestrian towns and warm sandy beaches. For his last class, a term abroad design study, he’s on his way to Tangier, a town with sandy beaches on the Med and a historical pedestrian district, the medina. 

However, crossing the Strait of Gibraltar and landing in Tangier immediately upsets his planned easy observe-and-check-the-box design study. He is thrown off balance and he has to start all over from scratch–no more easy study.

With Andalusian legacies, languorous gardens, Moroccan markets and ancient medinas, Tangier Gardens brings Mediterranean life to the armchair traveler.

If you are: 

-A nature lover, into urban gardening or a landscape architecture aficionado;

-Curious about all things green–the environment, plants, gardens, landscape;

-Intrigued about the North African multi-cultural, mystical history of people and plants, then

Tangier Gardens IS A MUST.

Tangier Gardens is the debut novel in the series The Landscape Architect. Is the landscape CJ’s worst enemy or is he his own worst enemy? Can he design his way out of this conundrum? Could coming of age be more awkward?

If CJ and his Tangier Gardens intrigue, then please send me your email address for information about free pre-launch copies and 2022 launch schedule.

Awed

I can not turn away from my evergreen source of inspiration. It is a landscape that continuously surprises me with its overwhelming awe, its raw power and a beauty that leaves me speechless —harmonic beauty. And it always makes me ask questions–about transportation infrastructure, water resources, land management. I love it. Refreshing it is.

The big, broad spreading beech. These are very uncomfortable times. Do I fight or become a medical experiment? We all have that choice, or do we? I take walks–and I find shelter–like this beech tree on a river bank. It says shelter. Relief. Relief? Relief from what? Why do I need shelter? Twenty months of health statistics anomalies. And I haven’t seen anyone collapse on the street since that Wuhan play actor almost two years ago. Yet everything I read or see on TV says I should be part of big pharma/political experiments. Yeah, I need relief. And yeah, that beech tree offered it. I looked long, hard and lovingly at that strong beech and its broad spreading protective canopy. I felt the shelter; and for a long moment I felt relief from the non-stop tyrannical tensions.
I pushed on. I walked further and further and became awestruck. A landscape vista worked its magic on me. The beauty so overwhelmed that I needed to sit. Dizzy with beauty I had become. More relief–this time with inspiration.

Romantic landscape? Definitely. Evergreen inspiration. Evergreen succour.

Listen to ‘Mys Alpli’

I had to re-post this because it sings in my heart–source of evergreen inspiration.

Edelwyss-Starnen sing the last verse of Mys Alpli. High in the Berner Oberland, an alp is a field, a pasture, a productive piece of mountain land where animals can be grazed. Thus in the background of this you can hear the bells of the sheep, goats and cows. Available at itunes.apple.com/us/artist/jodelg…rnen/id329166348

Mid July in the Berner Oberland Jungfrau Region–it is that time of year when the highest alps receive the animals for the ‘spring’ grasses.

I met a researcher in a Stubbe last week. He was researching linkages between humans and the landscape. He shared with me the following photos of yodelers.

…silvery…

Yodelers in the Jungfrau Region of the Berner Oberland in Switzerland–in the yodel, a human can hear and feel the landscape.

…silver…

Yodelers demonstrate their respect for the landscape in all aspects of their lives–arts, crafts–and the richness of the detail recalls the richness of their feelings for the landscape. Stewards, custodians of the landscape–that is only the beginning in the Jungfrau Region of the Berner Oberland.

He noted that these yodelers are not hired professionals or foreign workers. They are humans whose families have lived in this landscape for centuries.

He posited that there are rootlets of some strange consistency that transcend the lifetimes of humans. Those rootlets, he said, were channels through which a music travels from the landscape through the voices of the yodelers.

Each verse of a song glorifies a different aspect of the relationship between humans and the landscape. And each chorus…well…the chorus is the landscape.

Link to the original post in 2016.

Sun and fun

…for millennia…Tangier has been a nexus of Mediterranean, African and European cultures…a classic melting pot that is still on the boil.

Christopher Janus, CJ, had visited Morocco once with his mom when he was only seven–he had memories. He remembered sun and fun. Now nearly two decades later he, studying landscape architecture at university, was planning a design study term abroad. This, however was to become a different journey. The Moroccan tourism advertising was for sun and fun. That’s what he hoped for.

He had been six years full time at university. He needed a break. Sun and fun on the Mediterranean in Morocco? Great Moroccan markets in the pedestrian-only medinas? What was not to like?

When CJ crossed the Strait of Gibraltar and arrived in Tangier, the cultural complexity…the mists of cultural history…the cultural reality fog overwhelmed him. His carefully planned design study disappeared into a thickly uncertain maze. In this journey, he was blinded. He couldn’t find any portals.

His attempts to work through that maze is the basis for my upcoming novel, Tangier Gardens.