Sunday, December 21, 2014

Fourth Advent 2014: Eat

Eat. Eat for energy, eat for nutrition, eat for grace under pressure. If you have only so much of a certain resource this Christmas, be it time, energy, or money, spend it to nourish yourself.
It is my intention to update this post with a picture of Mr.Wasp enjoying some honey (yes, he's still alive).
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Monday, December 15, 2014

Lupines in December

Frost and snow make everything so beautiful. I had never before noticed how
beautifully shaped the lupine plants are this time of year. If someone put this pattern, these shapes and lines on a wallpaper, I'd lust after it.

Happy to have found such beauty almost on my doorstep.

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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Third Advent 2014: Air Pockets

Yesterday I finally insulated my flowerpots in the hope that maybe it was not too late, maybe I would indeed wake up one spring morning to
happy tulip faces on the balcony.
As I made many, many "air pockets" for my insulation project, I thought about trying to apply a similar principle to the sometimes ruthless pace of December.

A tiny pocket of "nothing", just some scrunched up old newspaper in a plastic bag. Working with what you have, as things are. And yet all these pockets put together, there is potential that they will create a warm, cozy, and safe place for my beautiful tulip bulbs this winter.

I'm tired, and that's OK. It is possible to create tiny pockets of rest, peace, air.

In conclusion, here's a neat story for you. I found a wasp among my gardening supplies yesterday. I was about to shove the wasp out of the way, when I realized that the insect's alive. The wasp must have crawled inside my makeshift insulation pack that I made back in October.

I put the poor bugger on top of a flower pot, and gave him (her?) some honey on a teaspoon. The wasp was barely crawling, but it's body was definitely moving, it was definitely alive. Then we went out to get a Christmas tree. When we got back, the wasp was gone. Really?

And whom do you think we found, angrily buzzing about the kitchen this morning? Yes, Mr.Wasp. I have no idea where he is now. I am a little touched that I apparently have this new pet. The wasp made me believe in my insulation project yesterday. I hope he finds some warm place to crawl into for the winter. I hope I get some of his resilience.

Last year on Third Advent I wrote about "last minute gifts" (in Latvian). I wish I could truly internalize the message of that post. I'm trying.

Happy Third Advent! I hope we can all revel in some pockets of air.

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Sunday, December 7, 2014

Second Advent 2014: Ice Road Trucking

What happens when you get in a truck and drive North for two days straight?
Well, if it isn't Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, and Comet (what are you doing in front of that car, Comet?)!
For the record, both vehicles stood still until the deer decided to move off the road - no one was hurt. These photos were snapped on a wintry (albeit not an ice-) road in Northern Sweden, the E10, a few miles North of the Polar Circle, by M.S., a member of our extended Pieliekamais pack.
What am I thinking this second advent?
I'm thinking about how many roads there are in the world. They all lead somewhere to connect us. Enjoy the ride, and your fellow travelers this winter!

This time last year, we had a really interesting discussion in the comments (both in Latvian and in English) about prioritizing this time of the year. Sifting through the to-do list, is it hard work or should we look at it as a privilege (=I get to choose)? Here's that post (half Latvian, half English) and the comments.

Happy Second Advent!

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Sunday, November 30, 2014

First Advent 2014

Sunday is generally a good day to get your ducks (geese) in a row. I love how

these beautiful birds are so evenly spaced. I think when we think about our priorities, the things that really matter to us, everything falls into place. If we hold what matters to us in a moment of calm consideration, we too will naturally find this even space between the "things" in our life, a good pace, in a good place.

Peace, rest, nature, love, and enjoying the daylight hours. Happy first Advent!

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Eglites ir klat!

Shovakar pie veikala briinums -

klaat Ziemassveetku egliites! :) Es veletos Pieliekamajaa ielikt egliishu smarzhu.

Svetdien pirmaa advente. Iedomajos, ka diezgan daudziem cilvekiem ir iestiklots balkons, kuru ziemaa izmanto par tadu kaa ekstra aukstuma kambari (saliek visu ko, ko vajag turet aukstumaa, kam nav vietas ledusskapii). Esmu redzejusi egliiti shados balkonos, varbut to uzliek uz pirmo adventi, lai varetu priecaties visu decembri.

Paldies, ka ieskatiijies Pieliekamajaa!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

A walk in the woods

An update on what's going on in the woods at this time of year:
it is still relatively warm out (but do layer!). I tasted a lingonberry - it looked and tasted soggy. I saw some blueberries too, but I figured they'd be soggy also. Then I discovered this -
a tree stump covered in very apricot-yellow mushrooms (fungi), brighter than chanterelles. The above picture is to show the surrounding flora and general conditions. Here is a closer look:
What's interesting is that the mushrooms seem to start out from a kind of "sprinkling", see below:
like a pinch of course sea salt or something on a chopping block, and from there on it turns into the bigger mushrooms. As you can see, the mushroom is growing both on the stump and between the layer of bark surrounding the stump.
The bright color just stood out between all the greys and browns, and the greens. It would be very neat to take a similar walk with a biologist. Why that particular stump, "out of nowhere"?

Where will you notice nature today?

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