The big Siberian larch tree in our garden looks like it should be an evergreen but it’s not. There are new needles every spring. The most fun, though, are the new baby pinecones.
Category Archives: trees
We took these photos last weekend at the fortress. Three days before this, when I had been up there with my grandparents, there was scarcely a hint of green anywhere. Now, a week later, nearly everything is green. Our grass has turned green and grown several inches and almost needs a mow already. Spring always seems to turn up when I’ve just about given up on it, like a wayward lover appearing at your doorstep with flowers, two weeks too late.
And then all of a sudden its as if it’s always been here. It’s so warm and lovely here to day I even had a bounce on the trampoline. This place really seems like a different country once the warmer weather sets in. Too bad we’re off in less than three weeks. But I guess it will be spring in America too!
Here is a brand new pine cone on the tree in our garden. At least that’s what I think it is. I’ve never seen one before. I tried to get a photo of the old wooden ones too, but couldn’t coax the little camera into focussing twice…
Last weekend one of our neighbours wandered over as we were planting seeds in pots. Between our terrible Norwegian and her terrible English, we managed to work out that she is 75, she grew up in our house, and her mother lived here till she died. Her children knew our house as ‘the grandmother house’. Her father planted the big tree.
She told us what sort of tree is was and Michael understood because it’s also called that in German, but it didn’t mean anything to me. It’s a Siberian something-or-other.
I think she told us that the fruit trees in our garden are yellow plums.
She warned us that deer would try to eat our flowers and our herbs. She said they especially like roses. You cannot plant roses here. But she said she has lots of flowers in her garden every year, not yet but soon.
I told her that I come from Australia and I work in a kindergarten.
I realized yet again that my handy stack of Norwegian sentences: ‘Would you like some more?’; ‘Are you finished?’; ‘Come here!’; ‘Don’t do that!’; ‘Mummy’s coming soon’; ‘Can I change your nappy?’; ‘Have you done a poo?’; are not really adequate for social encounters with people older than two years old. I so wanted to talk to her that I lapsed into my dodgy German, which didn’t help anyone.
So. Once the teaching is finished, the Norwegian books are coming out. Really they are.
Tonight another neighbour came to visit but she didn’t stay and chat.
We went for a walk in the forest today. You can open our front door, walk for ten minutes or so, and be deep in the woods. This is extremely cool. We walked for about an hour and half today, but if you felt like it, you could go for hours. Next time we’re taking a picnic.
There is something deeply fairytale about the pine forest. The criss-crossing paths. The darkness. The slanted light. I felt like someone in a George MacDonald story. The treetops wooshed in the wind like the sea.
In other news, I am always so deeply exhausted by Friday night that on Saturday I just want to curl in a ball. Planning my classes in the evening after working all day in the barnehage, and then traveling two hours up to the campus in Oslo is starting to take its toll. I am glad there are only three more weeks of teaching. It has gone quite well. It would have gone better if I had more time or lived closer to the university. But I’ve done my best whilst keeping myself relatively sane, so I’m not going to beat myself up about not doing more.
I keep meaning to write some sort of retrospective post. I was going to do it at the end of 2009, but didn’t. And then at the end of March it was a year since I handed in my thesis. And last week, it was three years since I started my blog. But it makes me tired just thinking about listing everything that’s happened in the last year. Actually, I just made a list, but it made me tired just to look at it, so I deleted it. A lot. A lot has happened. Good and bad.
I feel like I’m still walking in the woods, and I can’t see around the next corner. But the moss is nice. And there are little streams.
I am in Austria. Very close to Switzerland. If you climb a mountain – or, with much less effort, take a chairlift – you can see into a lake that touches Austria, Germany, Switzerland. I am surrounded by improbable lushness: meadows peppered with dandelions, mountains swathed in patterned cloaks of dark and bright green, the pine trees interspersed with deciduous trees in the first flush of spring. White blossom still flowers in the valleys, but everything is in leaf. Here, May is the most beautiful of all months. Winter is gone and summer is yet to settle, but the air is warm and the green burgeons with promises.
It is strange to think that on Tuesday I was in Adelaide, on Thursday and Friday I was in London, and now I am here. A week of contrasts if ever there was one. It was very sad to leave. It was just so nice to hang out with my family and catch up with my old friends. My brother and my grandparents drove me to the airport, and after a coffee and a very chocolaty raspberry muffin and at least three hugs from each of them, I felt bereft as they walked away. On the plane, I thought – why am I leaving? What am I going back to?
Autumn in the Adelaide Hills.
But as soon as I arrived I knew. Apart from being with M again, which is just brilliant, there is so much to see here! So much to explore and think and dream. I really enjoyed the two days in London. I usually just transit through London, but this time M had organized a two day workshop and they were all staying in the rather lovely Goodenough College, so I got to piggyback. I just loved wandering around all the green squares between the London University buildings, pretending to be Virginia Woolf. I’ve been to that section of London before but never spent much time there. Spring is in full swing and the huge trees are raining down little umbrella-shaped pollen things.
I spent an afternoon in the British Museum. It is all wonderful but I was especially amazed at collections of medieval and Roman rings – how strange to think of the hands that have worn them! And then on Friday evening we wandered around the Tate, which is possibly my favourite art gallery in the world. It’s all been re-hung since I was last there, and there are themed collections: ‘poetry and dream’, ‘energy and process’. I loved the way the words wove between the pictures, and the layout of the rooms made the paintings and sculptures talk to one another.
I started writing this in Austria but actually now I am in Switzerland. M is working here today and we are going back to Norway tonight. I haven’t been there in nearly two months! His parents joined us in Austria and we had a very relaxing couple of days. They made friends with the neighbours. Monica did a brilliant job of combating her fear of heights – she came with us as we drove over a high pass in the mountains (see above), and even went on two chairlifts!
Michael and I each had one beautiful paraglider flight – I was up for more than an hour and could have stayed up much longer if I wished. How strange to be able to work the air currents and drift above the mountain ridges and the trees.
We had a minor disaster yesterday when M tried to launch in a tail wind and didn’t take off in time and flew straight into a clump of trees. Luckily he wasn’t hurt but we spent nearly three hours extracting the glider from the trees! They were about four metres high, so not strong enough to climb but too tall to reach the top of. They were perched on a steep slope in a patch of snow, so there was a lot of sliding around. We even had to chop a couple of them down with a borrowed axe! Anyway, no harm done, and we are rethinking our safety policies…
But all in all, everything is beautiful. My viva is two weeks from today – I wonder if my examiners are reading my thesis yet.