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.

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?

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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…?

I crossed the line

Late December 2020 in the northern range of the Swiss Alps.

I crossed the line.

What? Which line?

Did I stop wearing a mask?

Did I stop supporting local populism?

Did I walk the wrong way on a one-way-street?

No.

I stopped seeing winter as cold, naked and heartless. I stopped seeing winter as death to be abhorred.

Crossed the line

No leaves? No problem. No sun? No problem. Huge landscape? Big time. Mountains, sky, lake. Along the shoreline in the middle ground and background, the big landscape squeezes three towns into mere nothingness. And, by God, I saw beauty. I had crossed the line.

Fall2020

I looked out the window today. Fall had snuck in, big time. Nearby a huge old linden tree was freely droping leaves. It made me think of snow flakes, large snow flakes drifting down on a day with no wind.

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1.European linden, Tilia x vulgaris

It was mid afternoon. There was still an autumnal warm sun. I had to take a walk.

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2.I wanted to take my peeps for a ride on the nearest lake; but along the way, I became distracted. This image made me think, if I was looking at a city, would I be looking at something as diverse as this? Then I thought green ferns and gray rocks. Such a pleasant combination. Then I headed to the lake.

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3.When I showed my peeps the boat, they said no way. Not sea worthy.

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4.Then they pointed to the ship they wanted. I looked. Instead of the ship I saw the fall color in the backgroud forests.

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5.I followed the forests along the lake edge until I saw this town. Then I thought, no need to go out on the lake. It would be more fun following paths in the forest.

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6.Ahhh, yes, this was my pleasure in the Lauterbrunnen Valley away from the tourist route.

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7.And as usual for me, I had to look not only at the large forest landscape but also at those life forms that were sheltering under the forest canopy. And as I examined, I was unfortunately forced to ask if this was a diverse village. Upon closer inspection…one bite makes you larger and another makes you small…

It was time for me to get back home for dinner.

Landscape Visualization

Not so long ago, I participated in a survey by an American specialist in landscape visualization. The survey focussed on the inclusion of visual utility infrastructure as it is built through the landscape.

At the close of the survey a question was asked for each to identify the ideal image of landscape visualization. Well, it would have been easy to say–landscape without any infrastructure visual intrusion would have been my preference.

Could not do that. But I did add that since humans had been living with and using the landscape as long as written history, the ideal landscape image should include successful use, accomodation and management of the landscape.

Just recently, I found a photogenic example that expressed my ideal. The images follow below.

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This foreground field, occurring at the confluence of three mountain valleys and two mountain lakes, was for decades a central air field for national self-defence. When that defence was transferred from props to jets, the airfield became community pasture and recreation for 25,000 local people. The red circle, enlarged in the image below, shows how well major electrical infrastructure has been brought through the adjacent forest.

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This is an enlargement of the red circle shown in the above image.  I should note that this landscape, incredibly photogenic, is regularly photographed by me in all seasons. And despite the well camouflaged electrical power line infrastructure, I always try to frame my photos without any visible infrastructure. We put up with that infrastructure to ameliorate climate, daylight and communications. That is our way of life.

Jungfrau in cloud

Clouds, almost like lingerie on a quiet, sunny winter day–the level of mystery–what is really there that I can’t see? I want to see more.

Lord Byron saw it in storm and had quite a different take, documented in his poem, ‘Manfred‘.

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The view south toward the Jungfrau massif from the Interlaken region. Real estate agents might call this the million dollar view.