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Posts from the ‘nature’ Category

All the gold of the fall

The only fair, honest and true thing that we have left at our disposal is the nature. That is why I am turning to it.

The only place where the true and real justice manifests is also the nature. I highly respect the nature for that. For being natural.

The only true value can be still found in the nature: natural food, natural remedies, natural breathing space … Well, they are taking it away step by step, but it is still available so far.

Everything else is valued nowadays by what it seems and looks or by what it sells for.

It will vanish with natural disasters which we are causing by creating the sale value.

I cannot travel a lot, therefore, I have become more attentive and observant and I notice wonderful and incredible things happening or surprising me straight at my doorstep.

That is not that little.

All the gold of the fall. Almost like all the gold of the world. Right here.

I am sharing it with you since I am a generous person.

The best of the golden fall.

golden fall photos

Maple at my entrance

photos of golden fall trees

They are growing at the end of my yard

squirrel and fall leaves

Fall leaves photography, with squirrel

fall trees photography

Going with the wind, gold of maples

Photos of fall trees

Red gold of maple leaves

and

Photos of golden leaves

The golden energy of the fall

So much of it

golden trees at fall

Lots and lots of fall gold

…. and finally the distant view

Beauty of the fall to dive in

Enjoy!

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Absence of shadows

We are shocked so frequently with extremely bad news.

We cannot be in a steady state of sorrow and grief.

I am focusing on the good things that surround me. These are mainly colors and the sunny backyard.

I used to cry for everything and I was crying a lot even reading books and watching movies. It seems I am in a place now where there are no long shadows.

It is much more peaceful since the entrance gate is locked. It’s not that I have built a wall around me, but I am carefully   selecting the things that get in.

When we allow strange forces and energies to take over, it can be very difficult to get back to oneself. Almost impossible since we are scattered all around like falling leaves.

I have to immerse myself in colors. The stunningly dark red and the blindingly bright yellow.

This is so refreshing.

I let my thoughts go.

I skip the sad pages and get back to colors.

It will be never so that everybody will smile and breathe easily. There is day and night. Light and darkness.

We are energy. We can be pure and clean energy and we can damage us allowing too many dark shadows cover up the light.

So, this is today.

I hope it is a good tomorrow.

I have no idea how the weather will be after that.

I am walking around live colors. I am inhaling them and they become a taste, too. What a relief! Meditation. Simply: I let the time disappear.

For it’s going to be a good tomorrow.

Beautiful picture gallery displaying fall nature, enjoy!

The red

 

The orange-red

The pink

The nicely pink

The yellow

The deeply red

Looking for wild things in the wild

Before I fly home, I definitely had to make some mushroom picking trips.

It’s something I miss a lot in Canada and which is plenty in Latvia.

It’s a land which has maintained its ecological integrity. Forests are quite wild and frequently not that much walked or travelled, although, large number of people would enjoy them, pick wild berries and mushrooms there. These natural forests are extra clean compared to highly developed countries.

It might sound like a walk in the park, but it actually isn’t. It’s not that easy to get over the fallen tree trunks and branches, bushes, thick young firs, aspens, birches and bushes. There is no path usually and one goes led by intuition or guess since wild mushrooms do not grow everywhere, but they are friendly neighbors of some particular tree and moss combination, as well as they like some grasses and dislike or never grow near others. King boletes love outskirts of the forest and can be also found near old roads. The orange-capped boletes grow rather in long grasses, but every forest is different and one has to figure out where they might be hiding.

It is a sporting activity that carries a lot of excitement, hence, finding a bunch of king boletes makes one happy and also proud.

The rainfalls and pretty warm weather this September definitely helped mushrooms grow fast and almost in every forest.

I regret I do not know such places in Ontario, but one should most likely drive for many hours in order to find a clean place where wild mushrooms love growing. It was just slightly out-of-town in Latvia, but we made lots of stops. Every ditch that separates road from the forest was full of water, and getting in the forest was a challenge.

I personally enjoy to a huge extent picking mushrooms, I like eating them, as well, but still: nothing compares to overcoming all obstacles and getting a full basket of nice and valuable mushrooms. King boletes belong to the most nutritious wild mushrooms and they are pride of everybody who takes a walk in the forest. It is believed they help conquering even cancer, not to mention that their protein content can exceed the amount of proteins in meat. Dried king boletes contain more protein than meat.

It is a wonderful food and can be prepared in very many ways: Latvians make mushroom sauces, soups of mushrooms; we dehydrate and dry them and use afterwards either as powder or spice; dried mushrooms can be added to broth, soup and any other dish. We pickle them and prepare delicious salads. Wild mushrooms can be prepared with salt for winter and then eaten any way one likes. They go into pies, and it is not only a snack, but a very delicious main course on many Latvian dinner tables.

Enjoy the pictures! Well, some picture-taking was very tricky since I had the basket on one arm, it was heavy, not less than 4 kg, I balanced myself on some small dry patch and here and there it was almost impossible to place the phone so that it would take a picture.

Golden chanterelle

The poisonous beauties: fly agarics or fly amanitas

The bright red poisonous mushrooms frequently signal that king boletes are not far

Small king bolete getting out of moss after rain

To get the close-up, I pushed moss down, a bit  larger king bolete

Orange cap aspen boletes, so lovely!

This family of orange cap aspen boletes was hiding in long grasses

Full basket of orange cap and king boletes

Absolutely delicious and extraordinary beautiful

They were so firm and so fresh

I took like 100 pictures, I couldn’t resist because I rarely have such an opportunity

I will catch up with my blog friends once I am back home. My trip will take some time and, unfortunately, there is large time zone difference, and that will require adjustment from my side.

 

The soothing Sunday thoughts: absolute calm

The sun is quite low

No wind swirls a leaf

Clouds have flown away and taken

Storms somewhere else

Thoughtfulness in each stem of the grass

Everything is at rest

Including my usually racing thoughts

Rabbit in the evening sun

Lazy and satisfied with the green grass meal

Chipmunk runs along the fence

And disappears in the soft shadows

Squirrel sneaks up on my plants

Bird on the fence, staring onto the sky

Sparrows chatting about a piece of bread

And otherwise it is silence

Too deep to realize this is life also

Life at rest

Such absolute undisturbed calm

Soft purple

Dreamy pink and

The happy rabbit

To illustrate the absolute calm, I took a few pictures. Rabbit was the most patient model, and obviously plants were not moving. Chipmunk disappeared before I got my camera, squirrels usually run somewhere and bird took off.

Burnout syndrome? Chronic fatigue? Turn to the nature

Popular assumption is that burnout is the result of excessive stress. Stress management system of the body is a very complex multi-action trigger and response system that involves both branches of the autonomic nervous system: sympathetic and parasympathetic, the brain and the HPA axis (the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis), as well as other pathways.

Burnout syndrome and chronic fatigue syndrome are quite difficult to diagnose because when somebody experiences frequent headache, chronic pain, depression, anxiety, insomnia, loss of appetite, lack of interest in anything, hormone imbalance and irritable bowel symptoms: these symptoms do not immediately make us think about low cortisol and a suppressed HPA axis which have eventually resulted from stressing oneself to the maximum over long periods of time. Physical and mental exhaustion manifest as similar set of symptoms, therefore, overdoing with inappropriate physical activities, overloading one with duties or studying and learning until complete exhaustion occurs is not a good idea.

Burnout syndrome and chronic fatigue syndrome may seem to be very different, but they are quite similar, in fact. The same hormonal abnormalities are present in both conditions, as well as similar complaints about physical symptoms. It could be that the brain has decided to shut down the HPA axis activity in order to prevent us from damaging our body completely. If we did not experience tiredness, sleepiness and exhaustion, we would probably work until our body is permanently damaged and unable to recover. Research suggests that the brain, and the HPA axis may be responsible for the fatigue experienced during burnout and with chronic fatigue syndrome.

Our body loves balance, so that all mechanisms and systems can work in a well-adjusted, well-balanced way. We certainly want to be safe and rich, and have no financial struggles. Many people go for 2 jobs or work even at 3 places. Nobody has cancelled family or kids; that takes our condition to the point when every single day is too short. When we start feeling worse and weaker, we can get done much less, so one wonders how that was possible I studied and worked and still had time to go out and enjoy? This pretty much affects any tasks we have to deal with: whether work or relationship related, and it does not stop there. Burnout causes to lose any motivation and interest in the job or activity which could have been even exciting and good opportunity when we started out.

It is not always work which causes somebody to burn out. It is usually a combination of things. That can be job that has become very difficult to cope with, too demanding boss or too many tasks; sick parent who needs daily care; kids’ education that needs attention, difficult and worsening relationships with spouse or friends who were there to support before, so on and so on. Loss of somebody very meaningful, especially if this person was more or less associated with anything we do. Stressful situations and events just pile up and we seem to have less and less control over them and less and less power to manage everything.

The worst part is that these emotions and feeling completely ill are like a vicious circle: they will not go away until the cause of never-ending stress is eliminated. It is easy to say: quit the job or leave the family, move to another city or town, or place your parent in old folks home. Most often the financial situation and debt are the most stubborn issues. Still, if you reach the point when it is almost impossible to keep doing that job or fighting with duties or people, you will have to quit it. Your health will demand it. In burnout syndrome, mental issues prevail; chronic fatigue manifests more as a physical illness.

Feeling good and healthy makes everything else happen.

My personal recipe before one turns to brain-affecting medications or drugs and alcohol is being in the nature. Being with it, in it and having oneself immersed in the nature. That is why these who have a garden or backyard are better off.

The soil and grasses have huge power: as you touch soil with your hands or stand bare-foot on a fresh, green grass, the bad energy flows out and energetic imbalances return to normal. We have so much electricity in us that sometimes it just needs to be unloaded. Give it to the soil, return into natural circulation. Doing garden work is good in any regard and no gym can ever compare to that. Don’t do this to become the world’s best gardener: do gardening for yourself and as much or as little as you can.

The other thing that makes time and everything else disappear is art. Meditation with pencil or brush. How wonderful is that? Drawing flowers or scenes where everything is included and balanced. Peaceful soul reaches out to the beauty of nature. Be careful, though, if you do art for achieving the status of the best artist ever, but not to relieve your stresses, there won’t be results. I am talking about activities which are completely different from your daily duties. Who cares what your drawing or painting is like? Nobody, as long as you have let stresses go for a while.

If you are an artist or writer who feels completely exhausted and swallowed down by the competitive world, you will have to choose nature for walks, forests for discoveries and gardening for making brain and body more saturated with simplicity.

Simply switching activities can help, too.

The worst way to gain more time is depriving oneself of sleep. Sleep has to be made a big priority. Cannot sleep? Drink chamomile with honey, lemon balm (if you do not have low blood pressure because it lowers blood pressure a lot), literary: smell roses and lavender.

Late night is not the time to resolve anything. Morning always knows better.

Why am I suggesting such simple things for extremely complex conditions? Because I’ve been through this. The last stretch of 4 years was horrible. I have made through it without falling apart completely only because of nature, garden, work in fresh air and art. It is not that easy to paint or draw after a bad fatigue episode when everything hurts. It is not easy to get back to life after being exhausted or depressed. If we don’t do anything, nothing good can happen either. Change is hard work, but we need to find strength within ourselves. Nature is smart, way smarter than we admit. It is very rewarding to find a part of our strength in the nature.

This is what heals me

The fantastic fragrant air raising from apple blooms: it works like a medicine

Lilac beauty and fragrance therapy

The spring blossoming this year was so intense that I could not resist taking a few more pictures.

Enjoy the blooming!

Warm spring greetings to my blog friends

I am completely in migrating my art blog inesepogagallery.com  to a WordPress website. It hasn’t been a smooth ride so far. I am still waiting for quite a few responses from support team, but I have lost all followers (almost 2000) because of this move and there obviously no likes under my imported posts yet. The most terrible part is that I do not have even the simple one-click “Follow” button which appears to be a nightmare to generate. I haven’t gotten that done yet. The site is being added features and lost parts every day, but still, it takes a lot of time.

I would greatly appreciate the former followers stayed in touch by either following this blog or by renewing subscription to the newly created website.

All tutorials and instructions describe such a move as an easy breeze, but it was nothing like that. It seems one also needs quite a lot of money for such a move (which I wasn’t prepared for).

Well, my head is spinning already, and I haven’t even made up a normal menu yet, just trying to republish the lost posts.

Meanwhile, the weather is getting better and the planting season is approaching fast.

Therefore, my blog migration feels at a wrong time, but since it’s done, I will have to just move forward and hope for the best.

 

The new perception of prosperity and green living has become a must

Why do we think resources are endless?

Maybe you don’t or maybe I do not, but we are not seeing implementation of any resource-saving impactful actions in the daily life of just everybody. The richer somebody is, the more they believe they require thousands of outfits, thousands of pairs of shoes, many cars, so that every person can use one on their own, tens of rooms, so on.

We humans are designed the way that we can be only at one place at a time, wear one outfit at a time and sleep only in one bed at a time. The first thing that has to change is the perception of prosperity. We have to stop buying things just to show-off our wealth. In reality, you look at Facebook, that’s all you see: people bragging about everything. The perception has to change so dramatically that kids growing up have rich imagination and creative approach and they understand how to use it not harming natural resources and nature around us.

Advertising has huge power. Financially abnormally rich companies do not show any example in saving resources. The only aspect they save is the cost which goes into any service or product in order to gain large profits.

We normally think that pollution over China is something that Chinese are responsible for and they have to deal with. We also think that ice caps on poles decreasing are so far away and we don’t even feel any impacts. We think that floods in some places where they never happened before are just nature’s mood and inevitable disaster. How about destroying any natural balance and creating unwanted and undesirable side effects? They manifest as natural disasters just about anywhere because the Earth has to return to BALANCE.

The earth is one and everything is connected within it, above it and under the ground, oceans are connected with the sky and the land is connected with oceans, not to mention air; and humans who are assuming we are technologically so advanced that we shouldn’t fear anything are also in the same connective air-water-land space.

We are very many. We all need food, air and shelter. We need medicines, fashion and we require entertainment. The new perception should focus on essential things, on life enhancing things instead of mental garbage thrown at us in huge amounts and things that make the planet Earth safer and our life better and more enjoyable.

We know that so far all simple, good things are free: sunlight, air, beauty of nature, adorable views, and not privatized waters, rivers and ocean beaches. We can enjoy and create so many things not harming nature and ourselves. We simply MUST want that.

There MUST be a start when one says: I do not need 10 fur coats because the winter in my area is short. I do not need 50 handbags because most of them I never use anyway. I do not need extremely big, but good-looking packaging that’s not biodegradable. I do not need and I will not use any drinks or foods that come in plastic. I will make my perfect shopping bags out of recycled material friendly to me and nature. I will not leave the water tap open and I will not leave power on in any rooms where I am not present. I will not buy food in large packs and later discard it as garbage. I am aware that garbage is burying us, and I will only use products in nature friendly packaging.

The NEW PROSPERITY PERCEPTION starts with each one of us. Because we are so many. Because we can do a lot.

The attached natural forest pictures continue with wild mushrooms and leaves. Isn’t that amazing how poisonous, not edible mushrooms attract with much brighter appearance?

The next post will show the beauty in a fall garden, last blooms and many colours of garden plants.

The very green walk in October forest: we have to end consumerism

I am feeling energy as an independent dimension of our existence, being and universe. The energetic potential of a forest is so intense that time disappears and the freshness surrounds us like a cloud. The forest breathes with colourful foliage, tree trunks that are so deeply engraved with signs of the past times, incredibly attractive shapes and shades of moss and pine forest lichens. What a treasure for somebody who needs a bit of new and relaxing energy!

The flora of this forest was so rich, and adorable beauty and uniqueness was present in every smallest branch, every mushroom we found and grass stem.

The cold weather is just starting In Latvia, so I was lucky to still find late wild mushrooms because we just stopped by at the forest on our way home.

The mood and atmosphere of these lonely pathways was amazingly tranquil, the brightness of greens was shining through the thickening twilight. It was getting dark rapidly, but it was the warmest night so far, and didn’t rain for a moment either.

Latvia met me with chilly wind gusts and unstoppable cold showers. Therefore, this green adventure was refreshing. It’s needless to mention I am envious of nice temperature back in Canada, but there was a reason I had to travel during this not that pleasant season.

People talk a lot about green living recently. It does not take much to discover how we can use the treasures of nature without destroying it. It only requires to get back to one’s roots and learn living with less. The first step towards green living is stopping consumerism.

The insatiable consumption is the cause of many disasters our planet suffers from. It doesn’t seem some people will ever have enough: enough outfits, enough cars or houses, enough furniture, enough devices, enough entertainment, enough money. In fact, living green and close to nature means being happy with basic things and not overusing resources to satisfy one’s moods and cravings for being famous for wrong reasons.

The reality shows most people understand with green living the use of ecologically clean products instead of artificial, but not reduction in consumption or misuse of resources.

How simple and enjoyable life would be without greed and all these hungry consumers who only want to take, take, take more, and never give back or restrict their desires! The green living starts with ecologically clean and green thinking. Consumers are consumers whatever color we paint them; we need creators and those who save nature, not the ones who brag around about green living, but meanwhile destroy everything because of profits and their greed.

Walk in the forest can be the most enjoyable experience, it will cure physical and mental disorders and award the one who looks for discoveries.

 

Joggling between light and darkness: sunlight energy preserves

Are you just like me, a person sensitive to the sunlight and lack of it? Well, the gold of falling leaves and frost-touched trees will still shine through the dullness of cool days, but more than ever we should be thinking about the preservation of some sunlight within us for the exhausting and energy draining winter.

There’s inspiration everywhere at the moment. Have you seen the vines recently? Yellowish, soft green, orange, light red, saturated red and purple: it is such a symphony of colors which burst out straight in our backyard. What do the bright orange and red ash-berries and rose hips tell you? Pick us for tea, pick us for jam, and pick us because we’re ready to celebrate the fall!

Autumn energy 1

Red cheeks of apples

 

Autumn energy 6

The distant autumn sky

Herbal tea with a tiny bit of fresh ginger is an excellent warming and body cleaning drink. As you may know, moderate doses of any tea which you feel attracted to, will only do good for you. Fruits and vegetables have top nutrient value around their harvest time. Although, we can eat vegetables and fruits all year round nowadays, the naturally ripened and freshly harvested ones are the best choice for our taste buds and body, especially those ones grown in the area where we come from or reside in.

Autumn energy 3

The red rowan

Autumn energy 2Take a walk

The more sun and good weather a fruit or vegetable has enjoyed during its ripening, the more of good energy it will have. Indeed, I’m referring not only to the energy we are measuring in calories, but also to the universal energy which is present in everything either as positive, neutral or negative vibrations. This energy has also a direct value: it will result in pleasure, feeling of happiness and life energy, in a strong bad luck resisting force. This means: the same fruit or vegetable gives us double benefit when we consume it straight after its harvest while it is still full of life, has undamaged cells and is rich in flavor.

Autumn energy 5

Garden is full of treasures

Calorie counting makes people mean, small-minded, it upsets them, and they feel as if being punished for something which is not their fault. This is the time to enjoy any natural fruit and vegetable dishes, eat them free of guilt and with huge pleasure, therefore, our meals will result in great effects on our mind and health.

This is the time to take long walks, make our hearts and souls take off with leaves and dance in the wind! It’s way overrated that big physical loads in sweaty gyms make one feel good and healthy. Look at some people: how much struggle they go through to get their daily dose of physical exercise! Fresh air is absolutely free so far, and the best exercise everybody will benefit from is a simple walk. When the sun plays a shadow game in colorful leaves, it is also a pleasure for our eyes. This is exactly the way to achieve mindful experience of happiness right here and right now. Why not go for it?

Autumn energy 7

Did you know that brown shades of lipstick are really in for the fall? How about coffee with cream if you’re blonde like me?

Happy fall and lots of sun!

The Midsummer magic in Latvian style

Midsummer or Summer Solstice is celebrated in quite a few countries, nations and places; however, I don’t know any other place than Latvia where people so much love the Midsummer night which is called „Līgo”. This is practically not translatable; it comes from ancient times and is used after every line of Latvian midsummer folk-songs. The closest interpretation might be “sway or swing”, just like plants or trees are swaying in a light wind. There are plenty of folk-songs, and these songs have come to us through very many centuries, they have originated some 1500 years ago and given verbally from generation to generation. No powers, natural disasters or governing rules could make these songs and the Midsummer celebration extinct, even though many tried to prohibit Latvians to celebrate “Līgo”, especially Germans and Russians and especially after the WWII during the communist times.

Well, Latvia is such a tiny country, but the spiritual and intellectual side of life is a big deal over there. Latvians are a nation of singers; they were overcoming all troubles and all disasters cheering up themselves with such folk-songs. I will attach a link which shows one adapted “Līgo” song performed by Latvian choirs during the Song Festival which takes place every 4 years.

Magic rituals, superstitions, simply traditions and solstice magic: everything is carried out and present during the night of June 23. It is supposed to be the shortest night, although, we know June 21 or June 22 are the shortest nights.

Ligo My small Midsummer  treats

We have special foods to enjoy: special cheese with caraway seeds, beer, special small pies and similar.

I managed to make my Midsummer cheese this year, as well. That is definitely my most favorite cheese of all of them. It is difficult to make it using Canadian products because they are not quite the same as in Latvia. However, the taste is excellent, I had some slices already.

Latvian Midsummer

This night is celebrated outdoors: with bonfires, dancing and singing. This year I’m not going to Sidrabene where Canadian Latvians have Midsummer Festival, it is not the same anyway. “Līgo” belongs to Latvia, we can imitate it, we can try, but it still is very different from the original celebration in Latvia.

Midsummer treats: caraway seed cheese

The nice thing is being able to wear a flower wreath: women wear wreaths from any flowers, grasses or leaves, men usually wear large wreaths made of oak leaves.

Fresh midsummer strawberries

Latvians have names days and celebrate them even more than birthdays. June 23 is the day when Jānis has the name’s day. Jānis (we say this not with an English “J”, but like in “young”, just with long “a”). Many Latvian men are given a name “Jānis”. It said 58, 400 men will celebrate their name’s day this year, meaning, they all have name “Jānis” and wear the big oak wreath. “Jānis” in Latvian mythology was supposed to be the God’s son who rides around during this night and blesses fields, meadows, forests and homes: brings fertility, abundance and good luck.

Latvian Midsummer caraway seed cheese

The Midsummer cheese, Midsummer wreath and Midsummer bonfire are all round to honor the Sun and to celebrate its victory over night. Nights are very short around this time in Latvia, there are only few darker hours between 12 and 3 pm, and afterwards the light returns.

Young and not that young couples are going to look for the blossom of a fern. Ferns according to the Latvian mythology are blossoming only during this night, only in rare places, and not everybody can find or see these blossoms. The folk-song says: all flowers were blossoming; only the fern did not. It was blossoming on the Midsummer night with golden blooms.

Ligo 7

Midsummer is the moment of full blooming when the beauty becomes so obvious that it is impossible not to notice it, when love is so close that it becomes touchable. It is a time of fertility in the nature and among humans. It is a time when human becomes a part of the nature again, forgets about civilization, its rules, limitations and restrictions. The Midsummer night is wild in its purest form.

Folk-song adapted to song festival

Just like thousands years ago, a clear and loud “Līgo!” goes up to the sky, and lakes, rivers, hills, forests, fields and meadows respond with an echo. This is believed to be the most magical night when everything is possible and everything can come true.

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