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.

A little joy…

…goes a long way. Especially this time of year in the Northern Hemisphere.

Northern Hemisphere?

After the joy of the first fluffy snows, I find a certain, almost enbalming, dreariness in gardens before any sign of snow drops or aconites. Everything is gray and dank.

That was yesterday, after my physio at the hospital, as I walked home. Cheery did not enter my thoughts. Wind was cold. I zipped my coat up higher to protect my throat. Everything was wet. Melting piles of snow everywhere. All plants had suffered under the burdens of ice, slush and snow.

Witch Hazel

Unexpected discovery. Don’t give up hope. And even a little bit of fragrance.

They call it witch hazel. There are a bunch of them around the world in the Genus Hamamelis. Got its common name from its use by water witchers. Lots of medicinal uses.

From first sight, it sparked hope in me.

To Farm or Not

I was born and grew up in the urban and suburban Midwest USA—Detroit, Chicago, Cleveland—had to drive for miles to see farms, the places where we could buy fresh corn on the cob and watermelon from small makeshift roadside stands. These were grown on huge extensive plains. A consumer, I was a consumer.

I had no idea what farmers had to do over a 12 month or more cycle so that they would have ‘produce’ to sell to me from their roadside stand.

Decades later, I am still a consumer; but I live in a community that has been for generations small scale farmers. Each and every farm house has apple trees and walnut trees growing close by. Even the generations who have moved into the dense village have planted small fruit and nut trees. Why?

This first image reflects a spiritual understanding that nature is unpredictable and a reverence for a greater power is essential for farmers. So many things can go wrong with weather, climate and the geophysical that a season, a year may come anytime to take away the food necessary for farmer life. Imagine no grocery store with well stocked shelves, imagine no 7-11/24-7-365 convenience. Imagine if you had no access to food. Farmers make plans that their families never have to suffer such a hardship.

This means long hours everyday, year round. Just grab a short bit of relaxation from time to time. Hard life. I can see it all around me these days. Yet, I, as a consumer with a second-hand sympathy for farmers, sometimes feel envious of how much determination, commitment and practical knowledge they bring with them day-in, day-out to solve problems beset on them by nature and changing government regulations.

So this year, I have enjoyed observing the ripening process of fruits and nuts—apples and walnuts.

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The Alphorn is a conduit providing mystic connections between music, people and the landscape.

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Walnut trees on every farm.

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The apple of my eye on every farm.

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Walnuts in green—the husks in first stages of ripening.

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Signs that ripening is progressing—the husk prepares to break open.

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The walnut reveal.

Apple and walnut torte or apple and walnut kuchen…your choice.:)

Lawns or Meadows…

Mini-meadow in the lawn--heart pounding variety--spring promise in early April.

Mini-meadow in the lawn–heart pounding variety–spring promise in early April.

Or, both and…

All my life I have seen cool weather grasses from Chicago to Detroit to Boston to the UK to Belgium; but I have never seen like I see in these photos– the Thun and Brienz lakes area of Switzerland.

Everyone’s house has a very small yard which usually includes a vegetable garden, fruit tree or two, flower garden and a flat trimmed lawn area.

In the spring the usually flat trimmed lawn area reveals this just opening array of wild flowers–kind of mini-meadow like.

People cut around these bouquets of wild flowers until the flowering is finished, then the lawns are fully cut.

Next year the wild flowers return.  Both lawns and meadows, as I see it.

Anybody seen something similar?

Joy of Spring 01

Cool season grass, early April in northern hemisphere following a steadily mild winter.