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)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Dinner for One

My hubby went fasting last month to lose some weight. For several days, he abstained from eating solid foods, and disciplined himself to drink juice and pure vegetable broth soup.

However, during those times of abstinence, the culinary artist in him spurred him to cook something delicious. And he did cook with enthusiasm, not for him but for me. And so, while he himself refrained from eating, I had all the pleasure of eating for myself, and I did relish his delectable recipes. Here are some of the foods he cooked for me. 

As much as I loved eating the foods that he prepared, I was hoping that the weight that he would lose would not heap up on me. I have a normal physique, though I've never been on a diet, and I want to keep it that way. So I was a little worried that these savoury dishes would disrupt my shape.

Fortunately, the fasting is over, and my hubby has slimmed down by several kilos, and I didn't gain weight at all. Yehey! And it called for  celebration. After almost a month of preparing dinner for one, he felt the need to make a real good dinner for two on the day of his "comeback".

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Early Birds

One morning at half past six, while waiting for the bus that would take me to my work, I looked around the still dim surrounding, and my eyes were drawn by the orange glow of the sky. It looked like a promise of a lovely day. I fished  my compact camera out of my backpack and took a snapshot of the clouds.

Along the path of my vision, a black silhouette presented itself and got my  eyes focus on it. There were two birds perching on the bar of a street lamp. Early birds watching the break of day. 

They reminded me that I was one of them that day and a few days before that. I've never been an early riser. I'm basically a sound-sleeper, and I do sleep like a log despite any noise around my sleeping time. Which means that I have difficulty waking up early, and I must have an alarm clock to wake me up.

Recently, my job requires me to start early, and so I must make myself wake up at 5:00 in the morning, which is really hard for me. At about 6:30, while most people are still sleeping, I'm already at the bus stop along with one or two people, waiting for a ride to my workplace. Most mornings are dark and cloudy, but at this particular day, the sky was lovely and the birds added up to what I anticipated to be a beautiful day. As the old proverb says, "Early birds catch the most worms", I might as well catch more "worms". True enough, starting early provided me more time to work more and thus earn more. And I could also finish my tasks earlier. 

That day also treated me with these stunning views of the city as seen from the top floor of the newly constructed apartment building that I was assigned to clean up after the construction. I took a few minutes during lunch break to drink in the autumnal glory that bedecked the city river and to take snapshots in different angles. These sceneries are viewed from one side of the building.

This one is from the other side.

Looking at these beauties made me feel like those birds perching high up there on the lamp post relishing the splendor of that early morning. And I had my fill of the loveliness that prevailed that day. Indeed, being an early bird is worth all the efforts!