Exotic

Nigh onto 10 years ago I had just finished 25 years building gardens and landscapes in the Arabian Sands. The Sands were my life. 

But be sure about this…the Sands are more than sand. 

To reflect the huge unknowns of the Sands, my blog banner became part of the enigma of the Sands. Exotic for a Midwestern American, you bet. But exotic is a 25cent tourism marketing adjective. The Sands are not.

Ten years have passed. I live in another exotic landscape, this time a mountain landscape. Ten years of explorations in this new landscape have enthralled me, so I am updating the blog banner.

Exotic? Borders on magic realism, neo-romanticism and eco-gothic. They are all alive and well in exotic landscapes. as are rarely predictable and always inspiring plants and gardens. Just take a walk, open your eyes and ears. Listen, feel, see, discover.

WP19Apr2017r

Old banner–the sands–always an enigma–sun but no soil or water.

flahertylandscape2021Update

New banner–the plentitude of soil and water.

Want to take a walk?

Some days it is hard to get up from the computer.

Other days it is hard to take my eyes off my mobile.

Well, today it is time to take a walk for walk’s sake.

Take a walk?

Uphill? I’ll give it a try. But how far?

Do it!

Spot the difference

Two pics,

Same time,

Same place,

Spot the difference.

Swiss Alps, Berner Oberland, Jungfrau Region, 11AM, 2Apr2021–the difference? 2000 meters above sea level.

Swiss Alps, Berner Oberland, Jungfrau Region, 11AM, 2Apr2021–the difference? 600 meters above sea level.

Isn’t that amazing?

What are we sure about in this life?

The weather?

The coming of spring?

Taxes?

Death?

Daily concerns often are little more than a good ha-ha.

Couldn’t be happier

I couldn’t be happier

Spring is breaking out everywhere and I couldn’t be happier. I’ve had 75 of these northern hemisphere springs and I still bubble with joy as I watch the reveal. That, in and of itself, is reason enough for me to be happy.

Every day when I take a walk, something new awakens me, even calls me. Below I share my good fortune.

SunshineCrocus

It’s just a photo, but the sun was warm and these flowers were smiling.

SpringFlowerinWoods

Hepatica nobilis coming alive out of the forest floor–amazing what a little sunshine lets us discover. Hepatica nobilis? Liverwort is the common name because its leaves, when they finally emerge, are shaped like the human liver. Long ago, especially at the time when the Doctrine of Signs prevailed, hepatica was used medicinally. According to the doctrine the appearance of the plant could be used to discern which organ, body part or fluid the plant was able to treat–hepatica’s leaves are three-parted, just like a liver, and the underside of the leaves is the same colour as raw liver. It was therefore used to treat liver and kidney problems and to arrest bleeding–nowadays however it is identified as a poison. On the day, I was happy to see spring revealing itself after a cold lifeless winter.

SnowDrops

Snowdrops–spring enthralls me. Coming out of nothing. Nothing? Next to the snowdrops can you see last fall’s rotting apples nutrientizing the soil. And me, I saw these snowdrops as a clump of trees. Crazy? Or just drunk with pleasure?

KaffirLily

Kaffir lilies–Winter telling me to get ready for spring. Also these kaffir lilies remind me that I, a Christian westerner, survived residing for two decades in Muslim countries. So what?

HazelNutCatkins

Hazelnut catkins–there is nothing I like better than hazelnuts enrobed in milk chocolate. And these catkins will make it happen.

EverywhereintheLandscape

Even the larger landscape with its grassy meadows, shrubs and trees is beginning to show its spring bump. That is exciting and beautiful.

Can’t wait for another walk tomorrow.

Engineers’ Delight

In the world, the very broad world of ‘engineers’, there are huge works that stun and amaze. There are also smaller works that read very clearly as the ‘engineers’ world’.

Engineers'Delight

Materials, details, scale, colors and content. Definitely ‘Engineers’ world’.

And this is heaven?

Aletsch Glacier

River of ice? Sea of ice?

Often I intuitively feel an inspirational link in my plants, gardens and landscape photos. That makes them easy to share.

But this day, this photo left me wordless, speechless, spellbound.

Then finally came some words. Geography, topography. I was standing at 4,000 meters above sea level, looking down upon 3,000 meters above sea level. Those are the Swiss Alps.

I thought of the Himalayas and Mt Everest at 7,000 and 8,000 meters above sea level. Twice as high as I was on the day.

This is the Aletsch Glacier and its tributaries in the Berner Oberland. They live just off the back side of the famous Jungfrau mountain, above Interlaken.

Measured in human terms, the scale is incomprehensible. Even with the alarmists’ passionate flogging of the ‘end of the world’ ‘global warming’, which over millennia comes and goes like the seasons of each year, this living glacial landscape measures 14 km in length.

Still leaves me speechless. Its beauty takes my breath away. So I share this photo.

Is it clear yet?

007

I see the light.

That’s right. The ‘magic light’ that travels from the sun 93 million miles through ‘space’ and supplies an ‘energy’ to plants which in turn then support every living animal and human on this planet. Is that not amazing? Is that not magic? Or is that science?

Travels 93 million miles and still has enough power to feed this entire planet? And we think we can control that? Am I missing something?