Mountain forest spring

I’m lucky.

Out of my living room I see forested mountain slopes. They are steep and, as the crow flies, only 4km away.

So I get to see, up close and personal, the seasonal changes of the forest trees.

High up on the slopes is a forest of evergreen conifers–they climb right up to the tree line, the elevation above which trees no longer grow.

Lowest on the slopes is a forest of deciduous trees–the ones that lose their leaves every winter.

In between is mountain forest of mixed deciduous and evergreen.

From this distance, I rarely see color change in the evergreen conifers.

But the deciduous, that is another story. This time of year as the new spring growth just about reaches full size–their color is a brilliant chartreuse.

As summer sets in, they become darker green and much less obvious in my vision.

I have included 3 images of that mountain forest for you to examine the difference between deciduous and evergreen in a south facing, northern Swiss Alp forest.

  1. From a distance
  2. Medium
  3. Close up

If you get into the landscape and discoveries, you might enjoy reading my recent novel, Tangier Gardens.

Liver problems?

Hepatica nobilis–portals?

Hepatica pushing up through last year’s beech leaves at 600meters above sea level in the forests just above Interlaken, Switzerland.

Still not sure about portals? Neither was CJ.

Wilderswil

Part of what keeps me going into the landscape every day is how the people in the local towns and in their agriculture integrate at the smallest scale into the larger landscape. Wilderswil is an excellent example.

From my place I took two busses and in 10 minutes I was in Wilderswil Dorf–the center of the village.

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The Bears Hotel in the center of Wilderswil–this is downtown in the village. 2,700 people live in Wilderswil which is part of the Interlaken agglomeration(24,000 pop.).

After 5 more minutes walk I was at the edge of the village on a pedestrian path known in the local dialect as a wanderweg–a way for wandering through the landscape–journeys to the unknown.

ForestJourney

Wandering along a wanderweg.

After 15 minutes in thick mixed forest, a view of the larger landscape opened before me.

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The small scale agriculture sits at the base of steep forested mountains.

SmallScalein the Mountains

The valley floor is pasture for smaller agricultural holdings. The forest begins where the slope becomes too steep for pasture.

The small scale agriculture comes right to the edge of town.

Edge of Town

This is the kind of diversity that comes from hard work and returns healthy people.

The town people use every imaginable way to bring practical plants, gardens and small scale agriculture right to their doorstep.

Integrating

These are typical throughout the village–the owners encourage nature right up to their front door.

This last black and white photo, taken in 1952, shows Wilderswil at the mouth of the Saxeten Valley and river. This valley, while never gaining the reputation of the Lauterbrunnen and Grindelwald Valleys, has undeniable drama and magnificent landscape setting. These are the Berner Oberland.

1952

By Werner Friedli – This image is from the collection of the ETH-Bibliothek and has been published on Wikimedia Commons as part of a cooperation with Wikimedia CH. Corrections and additional information are welcome., CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=59858775

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!

Is it clear yet?

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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?

Forests, Dreams and Fairytales

Forests and Dreams (1)

Have you ever been where black forests white, only to feel winter pushing at the edge, unleashing colored dreams?

These are the forests of fairytales. Forests, where blacks and whites dissolve…into the always gray, always shady dreams…or do they?

Color or gray, dreams invariably have misty, shapeshifting edges where certainty and uncertainty jostle. And the fairytales? Were they once dreams, or…?

Squeezed at the edge

In my last post, I referred to winter towns squeezed between the mountains and the lake at the shore line. Upon closer examination, they are not squeezed–they just fit. Like we’d all like to fit…and not be squeezed, not be forced.

Squeezed

I think, winter spring, summer or fall, I would have fun walking this village, don’t you agree?

Head in the clouds

Clouds gently drift into and pause in places we humans can not easily access.

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I’d rather have my head in the clouds than my face in the mask.

What is freedom? What is science? What is clear? What is certain?