Sunday, November 20, 2011

First Snow

I've just posted my new blog last night stating that I may not see the first snow this winter because soon, I'd be off to the tropical islands where I came from. And then early this afternoon today as I was writing another blog, I glanced out through the window, and the white ground caught my eyes. My first thought was that the asphalted parking space got rid of its moisture and turned dry. But how could it be when the air was gloomy and icy?  I looked closely at the air, then realized that little snows were falling. I exclaimed joyfully and ran outside to feel the snowflakes and the wintry coldness of this day. Shortly, the flakes became bigger and more numerous. And I savored the satisfaction of being able to see and feel the first snow right before my departure. The snowfall was short-lived but it was enough to create a lasting memory. It was a harbinger of the third winter in my life.

That's one of my simple pleasures. The magical effect of snow on one's psyche. I never get over the fascination of watching the falling snow and letting it touch my skin.

Ah, life, despite its dark days, is sweet and beautiful! What a wonderful gift from our loving Creator!

Just Scribbling

How swiftly time flies! I've been immersed in so many activities that I barely noticed how all the colorful foliages have gone in what seemed like seconds. Suddenly I came face to face with all the yellow  leaves blanketing the ground.  The thought of their falling so fast may be saddening and yet, their "fall" has created delightful sceneries.

I've been into important humanitarian works, accepted some extra jobs from our company, and traveled to the far south to attend the wedding of our friends and photo-cover the entire occasion.

Now I'm in the middle of preparing for a short vacation to my home country, which will be my first homecoming after two years in the north pole. I'll be going with my hubby and a male friend who will be traveling to Asia for the first time. I've been missing my family all these years, and I'm so excited to see them again.

Thus, for three weeks I'll be away from this place I've come to love and the people I've learned to care about, whom I will surely miss too,  but I will be with my loved ones. But being away from this place for a while doesn't really matter because these are the days when the things in nature that I love have gone to sleep, none of the usual colors and beauty remaining. Everything is just waiting for winter, which is about to knock on the door. But I may miss the first snowfall this winter. Last year, the first snow came in mid-October, but now, no snow has come yet, though some mornings are frosty and all the leaves and grass are beautifully covered or lined with frosts and ice crystals.

In such condition, I will leave this place and go to the warm tropics where I came from. There, I will enjoy my moments in the sun (but honestly, I prefer cold places), visit some beaches and be with my beloved mountains where my city of origin lies. I will be there, but I will also take my precious memories here with me and share them to my loved ones. There will be lots of stories to tell them, lots of experiences and observations about places which are a far cry from a third-world country.

Until then, I still have much memories to store here, which I have neglected on account of my hectic workloads. I also have lots of pictures to post in my other blog, My Nature Photography . I know I keep getting behind in posting, but better late than never. So I will try to post them one at a time, starting here and on to my long flight and even during my vacation in the Philippines. And when I'm back here again, I know there will be heaps of new memories to treasure.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

One Last Jaunt Before Hibernation

Höga Kusten, or the High Coast

From Wikipedia:
"The High Coast (SwedishHöga kusten) is a part of the Swedish coast on the Gulf of Bothnia, situated in the municipalities of Kramfors,Härnösand and Örnsköldsvik and notable as a type area for research on post-glacial rebound and eustacy, in which the land rises as the weight of the glaciers melts off of it. This phenomenon was first recognised and studied there; since the last ice age the land has risen 800 m, which accounts for the unusual landscape with tall cliff formations.
UNESCO, while inscribing the area on the World Heritage List in 2000, remarked that "the High Coast site affords outstanding opportunities for the understanding of the important processes that formed the glaciated and land uplift areas of the Earth's surface".

We were supposed to see this place last summer but with all the other scheduled activities that we had, we put this off for our future nature journey. We had seen parts of this several times in the past while traveling southward through the coastal highway. Just by traversing the highway from Örnsköldsvik to Kramfors, we can see awesome sights along the way that belong to the High Coast, some of them I have posted previously.

I had thought that maybe it would be better to visit this place in autumn when the hills would be ablaze with fall colors. When fall finally came, it seemed like we had no more chance to drive around, but opportunity presented itself one Sunday in late September when the weather was fine and we didn't have much to do. As usual, we hit the road in a last-minute decision.

Along the highway, the already bare trees gave away tell-tales that we were too late, that perhaps there was nothing more left to see. But once we diverged from the highway and headed to the inner sections of the area, it looked like we came too early, as we observed that some vegetations hadn't completely turned to their autumnal splendor yet. Some parts, however, didn't need to have everything in gold, as they looked altogether majestic the way they were.

Here are some pictures I took along the way, most of which are drive-by shots.

To this place we catered to the call of our wanderlust before it goes to hibernation. And it's been a short but a soulful journey.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Another Fishing Trip

Autumn is still a good season for fishing, though the air has become colder, especially around the fishing areas. Sometime last month, my hubby, being a fishing enthusiast, bought a new set of fishing paraphernalia which he wanted to try out. And so we went to a small lake at the outskirt of the city one late afternoon to see if we could catch something. When we arrived there, a car was parked close to the lake and someone was already fishing. We parked our car beside that other car, and my hubby went down to the bank of the lake in another corner.

While my hubby stood there with his fishing rod, I took the other side of the pathway where the ground sloped gently upward and foraged through the bushes for ripe lingon berries. And I was able to pick about  a kilo. I stopped picking when it became already too dark to see the berries. While waiting for my hubby, I strolled down the lakeside and took pictures of the serene water in different angles.

When my hubby came up, he was carrying his prize catch: a beautiful trout. It wasn't super big, but it's big enough for a hearty meal for two. Had we stayed there longer, he could have caught more, but dusk had set in and we couldn't see things anymore. So he just decided to go back there at the break of dawn the following day.

"The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope."  
~John Buchan   

Nature and photography. Two of my best companions that uplift my whole being.

Just storing a memory of one of my simple wanderings that added up to my bliss.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Autumn Still Sings in My Heart

The season is still here, though the golden colors have been fading away quickly. Contrary to my apprehension that that there might not be autumn foliages left on account of the winds and rains that threatened to strip away all the leaves from the trees earlier, this second autumn in my life has lived up to its golden season ephitet.

Although many trees had prematurely shed all their leaves, many more had kept their thick foliage that gradually transformed into the blazing colors of red, yellow and orange.  There had been so much to see everywhere, the distinctive gifts of the season that delight all nature-lovers.

(In the following mosaics are just some of the hundreds of pictures
of fall's lovely things that I took.)

Although most days were dark and rainy, or sometimes just cloudy...

....the days that were sunshiny exuded in intense brightness that cheered the gloom-stricken hearts,

....the sky was clear and blue, and everything under it glowed with vibrant colors,

...even the nights were serene and luminous, especially when the moon and stars were out, the afternoon, as the sun  descended, the westerly sky was emblazoned with golden and tangerine clouds.

Now, all such beauties are quickly fading away. Only a few trees are left with their golden leaves clinging to their twigs. And yet, the air is still crisp and refreshingly cool. Sometimes, the wind blows vehemently, yet comfortingly. Sometimes, the sun shines brilliantly, other times, it's murky and rainy. The days are shorter and the nights longer. The year moves on.

It's still a wonderful season filled with the music of lovely things gone and are still lingering. A season that is still marching to its completion, carrying with it a song that extols its incomparable splendor. A season that I know will keep singing in my heart even long after it's gone.

To view more autumn scenics that I photographed, click here:  Fall Color Medleys

"You (Almighty God) are opening your hand
And satisfying the desire of every living thing."
(Psalm 145:16)