Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The end of one year, the start of another

2014 went by fast when you look at it in hindsight... swoosh! But a lot of interesting and good things happened, and some that we could have been without, as always.  My blogging was reduced due to other things, but here is a little summary of the things I never got time to show you earlier from the year that is about to pass on to history (2014).

WEATHER: There was a very cold and wintry beginning. Everybody learned the word 'polar vortex' with caused low temperatures and snow and ice.

FOOD: Many good Swedish-style breakfasts, which are like true mini-smorgasbords. Kalles Kaviar we have to get at IKEA here in the US. 

CRAFT and ART: Philadelphia and Baltimore Craft Shows, as well as Morristown and Peter Valley. Weavings by AA, trips to Grounds for Sculpture, and much more enlightened and enlivened 2014. This sculpture below by Brower Hatcher is one of my favorites at Grounds of Sculpture... it is really a place worth many visits.  Below that is a piece of one of Erin Wilson's many handmade, innovative artwork quilts, which we love. (The photo doesn't really do it justice, since it was taken with a smartphone.)

SWEDEN: a trip in March to the homeland, led me back to some places I hadn't seen for over 35 years, and Fiby Forest was a wonderful place to revisit. March is usually a cold and dreary month in Sweden, but there are wondrous things if you look closer, red beetles, green mosses, and colorful food (indeed, these days Swedish food is not just boiled potatoes, brown meat and sauce).

IDAHO: Summertime was conference travel time as usual, this time in Idaho, a new state. Up into the dry areas of the Bitterroot mountain range was an experience - hiking around Blue Lake, and being in all the alpine meadows with new kinds of birds and flowers, and views and vistas. I am going back!

PLANTS: Lots of work work focused on plants as usual, especially neglected weeds, lichens, and edible and urban plants. Beauty and wonder is everywhere...

BUGS: But there was also a lot of insects showing up wherever I was, and they too can be gorgeous. Looking at them this year and finding help online to identify and learn about them lead to a whole new world opening up.  I guess I have to learn more about fungi next year...

OPTIMISM: And now, it is the last day of 2014. And, I end with a quote by Cheryl Strayed from her book Wild, on what nature (and life) really is about:
“It had nothing to do with gear or footwear or the backpacking fads or philosophies of any particular era or even with getting from point A to point B. It had to do with how it felt to be in the wild. With what it was like to walk for miles with no reason other than to witness the accumulation of trees and meadows, mountains and deserts, streams and rocks, rivers and grasses, sunrises and sunsets. The experience was powerful and fundamental.”