This photo is from January, 2014. I taking a walk with a friend in Nyckelviken, Nacka (suburb to Stockholm, at least that is what I would call it). I had a good time and had a great picture from it.
San Francisco, California, USA — November 2014. A beautiful tree in an interesting city.
When I visited the Mission area in San Francisco, California, USA in November 2014, a new friend showed me around. One of the places she took me to was an alley with a lot of street art and murals. Each piece was different and such great art.
The piece above is very captivating. So I thought I’d share it.
The stork is the one that brings babies to their parents. All in the name of not telling children what sex is and how come that creates babies. This picture was taken at the Hannover zoo in July 2014 when I visited Germany to see some of my writer friends.
I thought it would be appropriate to start the new year with a stork. I have thought about what I want to accomplish in 2016 and how 2015 went. And each year arrives blank and full of promise, just like a baby. (No, I’m not saying a baby is blank, but the parents have no idea who the baby will turn out to be, so in a way the baby’s personality is a blank until the parents can discover it.)
The stork have delivered 2016 to you, what are you going to do with it?
A beautiful tree I almost walked past without photographing one morning in February 2014. But right when I was going to dismiss the thought of capturing a picture saying to myself that I could take one later, I realized there probably wouldn’t be a later.
Carpe diem! Or seize the picture!
I’ve been to zoos that claimed they had wolverines, but never have I seen them until I visited Kolmården with a friend in August 2014.
The wolverines ran around and played with each other as my friend and I watched, along with a few other zoo-goers. It was a treat. I realize there is a debate whether zoos are good or not. At Kolmården, I’ve seen the happiest animals I’ve ever seen in a zoo, so they are one of the best if you believe in zoos.
When I was in Japan in September 2014, there were a few festivals while I was there. At one of them, they had an exhibition of ikebana—flower arrangement—aka flower art. The picture above is of one of those ikebana during that festival.
I’ve been a fan of Japan and Japanese culture for more than a decade, but it wasn’t until I took a course called “Japanese Art, Architecture and Visual Culture” that I fully appreciated how much I love many Japanese things.
Scandinavian design is often called minimalist and clean (or words to similar effect), and so is Japanese design if I say so myself. Ikebana is colorful, stylish and temporary. Nothing lasts.
One Japanese architecture book I have (Japanska Rum: Om Tomhet och Föränderlighet i Traditionell och Nutida Japansk Arkitektur by Kristina Fridh (excellent book btw)) says that in Japan a room isn’t a room. A room is the experience you have right that moment as you are in the room. That means that each time you enter or leave a room, it is different. Every time you move, or the light moves (if it has a window), it is a different “room”.
In view of that, ikebana as a master art form makes perfect sense. Nothing is permanent; everything is always different; even art, or especially art.
Exactly a year ago (September 2014), I was in Japan for the first time. I spent five weeks there, and I made it a point to visit several different Japanese gardens while there. This picture however isn’t from Japan. This one is from the Japanese garden in the Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, California, USA.
I found it fascinating how very much like an authentic Japanese garden it was. Now, there are several kinds of Japanese gardens. I only really know the names of them in Swedish, but direct translated this would be a walking or path garden. It is built for you to wander through. (Unlike Zen gardens which usually consists of raked gravel with large, moss covered rocks. And specific spots to stand/sit and contemplate their meaning.)
Of course there were plants and trees in the garden in California that you wouldn’t find in Japan. There were some redwoods there for example. But the likeness was striking anyway.
One year ago almost to the date (aka August 2014), a friend and I visited Kolmården—a huge zoo in Sweden. Each animal species have large areas to move through, and the park have even larger areas where many different animal species live together. This trip with an overnighter at the hotel beside the park was my birthday present from my friend. I turned 25 years old in May 2014.
As part of our trip we included a tiger tour that took us as close to a tiger you can be without also being eaten by them. In the picture above you see the tiger on top of a metal bus (or something similar) where all windows have been exchanged for bars. The tiger is so interested in the inside contents because inside is half the guide group and the guides are throwing meat up to the tiger through the ceiling bars.
My friend and I were a part of the second half to visit the inside of the bus. I literally was less than a meter from tigers while inside that bus. We weren’t allowed to be close to the bars because the tigers could reach slightly inside. So below I treat you to a picture of a hungry tiger thinking of eating me. 🙂