My favorite graffiti

This is green in real life, IRL.

…no political correctness…

…no social justice…

…no politics whatsoever.

This green graffiti is stone disrupted by plants.

My favorite. Tell me it isn’t beautiful.

Find yourself some.

Making your own path

…and when the path disappears?

Becoming a landscape architect is like walking an unknown path in a strange forest.

You know someone has walked it before, so you have some confidence. Then the path disappears. You have to make your own path and you don’t really know where you are going.

You must decide—forge ahead or go back.

Universities try to prepare you with programs, such as term abroad plus help through internships and mentoring… but in the end you must confront the unknown and make your own path.

That is what Christopher Janus, CJ, does in Tangier Gardens. He finds himself in unknown circumstances surrounded by botanists, horticulturists all in a fog of foreign culture. He has to define landscape, landscape architecture, gardens and his own career path. It is a path into the unknown.

If you would like to learn more about Tangier Gardens, click here.

Favorite Fog

Fog or cloud? This morning, this is what I saw. You might say–fog what’s the big deal.

You might say that if you have never lived among steep mountains in a climate blessed with humidity and precipitation.

Let me get on with it.

On the ground it may as well be fog. Can’t see blue sky or sun. Can only see 50 meters in front of me. Definitely fog. 

Or is it?

I live at 600meters above sea level in that fog.

But from a camera 1300meters above sea level, I am seeing that my ground level fog looks distinctly like cloud cover. A sea of clouds like all of us have seen while flying at 30,000 to 40,000 feet.

For me the question of fog or clouds is one of the pleasant riddles of life. Hope you have found it the same.

In the afternoon the clouds began drifting away or put another way, down river, downstream on the Aare River.

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.

Real snow

I wrote previously about winter colors, snow line and black and white.

The most attractive black and white in our landscape is the magpie, the Eurasian magpie, Pica pica. They have an large, active nest nearby in the top of a huge linden tree, Tilia cordata. When the first winter snowfall arrived the nest got so snowed in…it was no longer visible, neither were the magpies.

Where are the magpies?

Winter colors

…mountain, sky, forest and lake…

Gray sky? Yes.

White snow? Yes.

But the color of the lake? Look carefully and compare with the summer photo taken at the same time of day of the same mountain.

How cold is the ‘winter blue’ of the lake?
How warm and rich the mountain, sky and forest colors? And the lake, how to describe the color? Refreshing.

The above landscapes provide me daily inspirations to write about the landscape architecture past times of Christopher Janus, known to his friends as CJ, and his landscape encounters in Tangier Gardens. Please visit my Tangier Gardens landing page to sign up for launch discounts and more info on CJ’s north west Africa landscape searches for portals.

***As of NOV2021***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.

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.

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.

Dancing

What is a nature prescription? Why do you need it? Political or health albatross around your neck? A walk out past the edge of town?…just like Dancing in the Moonlight. Take a break.

Should your ‘nature prescription’ be more like taking aspirin or Dancing in the Moonlight? Take a walk in a place like this–that’s a nature prescription. Aspirin? Dancing in the Moonlight? It’s both and more. You’ve got to go beyond the edge of town or village–outside that downtown buzz–and breathe deeply–let your walls down–open all your senses. And the portals will open.

What’s missing here?

How can I get free of this stinking political and health fear-stuffed albatross?

Suppose this page is about you…and suppose you are wound up tighter than a drum by the tension of world wide and local politics and health. This page is your wayfinder.

THE PURPOSE OF THE BLOG AND ALL MY WRITING is to assist you the visitor to begin taking steps along a path toward discovering the regenerative existential cures to be freely found in plants, gardens and the landscape.

THE FIRST STEP is what could be called ‘nature prescriptions’–calibrated doses of time outside. Take a walk. But does the walk heal? What actually happens?  What is on the path that takes you on a journey? Where do landscape journeys take you?

And why even take that path and that journey?

A walk, a journey just for the landscape?–heh, I know what you are thinking–we all know what landscape is, right? Same old, same old, right?

flahertylandscape contends it is more–consider this:

The landscape can be a private cocoon to rest the restless.

On the walk you may weave dreams full of surprise and delight yielding true moments of repose.

It can be a journey to unwind, to regenerate, to reconnect with inner peace, to nest away from the daily hustle and bustle.

What’s missing from this photo? If you want to take that first regenerative walk on a landscape journey, here is what should be missing. Mobile, and any digital intrusion, mechanical noise from the city, from autos, any miscellaneous connectivity kit–that’s right don’t bring modern noise with you. Missing out all th is an essential part of your nature prescription.