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?

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.

Quarantine at the edge of town

All of us are experiencing quarantine in one form or another. 

But the edge of town? What is that? Traditionally the edge of town was the place where fertile flat lands were cultivated for agriculture that was more valuable than town housing. And necessary.

So, yesterday I took a walk–quarantine all around. Walked by myself. As I walked across town, I saw an open bakery, an open grocery store and an open drug store.  Everything else was closed.

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The town had plenty signs of spring–the forsythias always shout with joy.

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At the edge of town, I saw the agricultural landscape, the spring green of willow trees and the hopeful construction of a tree house.

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Then I saw the farmhouse–so many activities related to food. Farms are amazing producers and guardians.

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At one entry to the farmhouse, I was reminded of the simplest of their products–available almost any day of the year. Direct from the farm: eggs, jams, Alp cheese, goat cheese.

Quarantined? Take a walk. Check out the edge of town.

Old Age

As I observe old age taking interest in my body, it shades my observations of the landscape.

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This apple tree is also under the influence of old age; yet it has retained a balance even though having experienced extreme events during its lifetime. Everybody struggles through life. But how to achieve balance? That is a mystery. Faith? Hope?

 

Free Beer

Most of the time I take photos of plants, gardens or landscapes where I attempt to share something beyond sense perception. That is my fun.

The other day, not far away, I found this sign. Tomorrow is when? Tomorrow never comes. Now isn’t that the funny truth?

And after all, it is not a stretch to say beer is the ideal people and plants linkage. Ethnobotany at its finest.

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See you there tomorrow for free beer.