blossoms and bluebird babies

6.10.17 ~ Connecticut College Arboretum ~ mountain laurel

So… there were other treasures waiting to be discovered while we were on our long hike Saturday. In 1907 the mountain laurel, a lovely native American shrub, was designated as the official state flower of Connecticut. They are just starting to blossom and we saw loads of them.

6.10.17 ~ Connecticut College Arboretum ~ wild geranium, another native wildflower

I was raised by the melody
Of the whispering grove
And learned to love
Among the flowers.
~ Friedrich Hölderlin
(Odes & Elegies)

6.10.17 ~ Connecticut College Arboretum ~ eastern blue-eyed grass, another native wildflower
6.10.17 ~ Connecticut College Arboretum ~ ferns and saplings filling the edge of a meadow

Now, the staff at the arboretum is keeping a meadow open for habitat for several kinds of animals and birds. They also erected several bluebird houses and we did see a few bluebird parents feeding their young ones. They were moving too fast to catch on film but I did manage to get a few shots of a baby waiting for the next food delivery from its folks.

6.10.17 ~ Connecticut College Arboretum ~ bluebird and orbs

These shots were very hard to get because they were taken from so far away. I didn’t have a tripod to stabilize the camera and the zoom lens. I climbed a bank on the side of the trail, through a thicket of plants and saplings, and then leaned one arm on a tree to steady my grip, trying to avoid the gypsy moth caterpillars. (I wound up bringing at least one tick home – I hope I won’t find any more…) Even though I had to delete most of the shots I took it was a thrill to get home and find that these three came out!

6.10.17 ~ Connecticut College Arboretum ~ bluebird and orbs

Sing strong and clear, O bluebird dear!
While all the land with splendor fills,
While maples gladden in the vales
And plum-trees blossom on the hills:
Float down the wind on shining wings,
And do thy will by grove and stream,
While through my life spring’s freshness runs
Like music through a poet’s dream.
~ Maurice Thompson
(The Bluebird)

6.10.17 ~ Connecticut College Arboretum ~ bluebird and orbs

I love all the orbs I captured, along with that adorable little bluebird head. My guess is that it will fledge soon.

6.10.17 ~ Connecticut College Arboretum ~ mosses and grasses

We were just thinking of turning around and retracing our steps when Beverly was beckoned by yet another tree growing through the rocks. So we left the path and carefully navigated our way through uneven terrain of rocks and bushes. I found a spot to take the picture. More orbs!

6.10.17 ~ Connecticut College Arboretum ~ tree with orbs
6.10.17 ~ Connecticut College Arboretum ~ looking up the same majestic tree

After finding our way back to the trail I finally put away the camera, took a long drink of water, sprayed on some more bug repellent and enjoyed the long walk back, hands free.

Bergen Railway

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5.23.15 ~ Hardangervidda, Norway

On May 23rd we took the Bergen Railway (Bergensbanen) from Oslo (altitude 75′, 23m) to Myrdal (2,844′, 867m). The line crosses the Hardanger Plateau of Norway (Hardangervidda) at 4,058′ (1,237m) above sea level.

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5.23.15 ~ Hardangervidda, Norway

All these pictures were taken through the window glass from the train. Some by me and some by Tim. The scenery was so utterly breathtaking we took turns trying to capture it on camera and then sitting back to enjoy the panorama for a spell.

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5.23.15 ~ Hardangervidda, Norway

I was starting to get the feeling I was unprepared for the weather on this trip. Many passengers were bundled up in winter clothing and some got off at various stops carrying their skis. Apparently Norway was also having a late and cold spring.

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5.23.15 ~ Hardangervidda, Norway

Little did we know that there had been an avalanche the night before which was blocking the track between Myrdal and Bergen. No one was hurt. It didn’t affect us, though, because we were getting off in Myrdal. But I think everyone going to Bergen got off in Myrdal, too, and made the next train ride down to Flåm more crowded than it otherwise might have been.

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wondered if this person lives here year-round or if this is a vacation home ~ 5.23.15 ~ Hardangervidda, Norway
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5.23.15 ~ Hardangervidda, Norway
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5.23.15 ~ Hardangervidda, Norway
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5.23.15 ~ Hardangervidda, Norway
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5.23.15 ~ Hardangervidda, Norway
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5.23.15 ~ Hardangervidda, Norway
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5.23.15 ~ Hardangervidda, Norway
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5.23.15 ~ Hardangervidda, Norway
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5.23.15 ~ Hardangervidda, Norway
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5.23.15 ~ Hardangervidda, Norway
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5.23.15 ~ Hardangervidda, Norway
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one of my favorite shots ~ 5.23.15 ~ Hardangervidda, Norway
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trying to imagine living here ~ 5.23.15 ~ Hardangervidda, Norway
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turf roofs ~ 5.23.15 ~ Hardangervidda, Norway
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5.23.15 ~ Hardangervidda, Norway
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5.23.15 ~ Hardangervidda, Norway
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look how deep the snow is on the sides of the plowed road ~ 5.23.15 ~ Hardangervidda, Norway
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there was some amazing snowlight ~ 5.23.15 ~ Hardangervidda, Norway
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snowed in? ~ 5.23.15 ~ Hardangervidda, Norway
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5.23.15 ~ Hardangervidda, Norway

As dreamy as the scenery was, when we got off the train at Myrdal Station it was startlingly COLD!!! Fortunately we didn’t have to wait too long for the next train.

Next stop: Flåm Railway from Myrdal to Flåm.

one morning

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“Fjord in Norway” by Lev Lagorio

It is that dream we carry
that something miraculous will happen
that it must happen –
that time will open
that the heart will open
that doors will open
and that the rock face will open
that springs will gush forth –
that the dream will open
and that one morning we’ll glide in
to a harbour we didn’t know was there.
~ Olav H. Hauge
(The Dream We Carry: Selected & Last Poems of Olav Hauge)

shelter of the dark

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“The Dream” by Odilon Redon

The world rests in the night. Trees, mountains, fields, and faces are released from the prison of shape and the burden of exposure. Each thing creeps back into its own nature within the shelter of the dark. Darkness is the ancient womb. Nighttime is womb-time. Our souls come out to play. The darkness absolves everything; the struggle for identity and impression falls away. We rest in the night.
~ John O’Donohue
(Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom)

For some reason I’ve been sleeping very well this winter. After the excitement of the holidays drifted away the days now seem very peaceful, the nights long and restful, and my dreams full of sweetness. Perhaps I am creeping back into my own nature. I’ve been “pruning” my family tree by day because it needs a lot of editing every once in a while.

A few Alberta clippers (fast moving snowstorms that seem to originate in Alberta, Canada) have passed through, leaving delightful snow flurries and light coatings of powdery snow. The bitter cold snaps have been more remarkable. The lowest temperature we’ve had here by the shore so far was 2°F (-17°C). Inland has been much colder. Today I will start putting away the solstice decorations. It would be nice to have at least one big snowstorm, a nor’easter, this winter…