Ahh, springtime…

…when thoughts turn to warmer weather, renewal and new beginnings. Or in my case getting my butt in gear and getting back to blogging. It’s been a long while so why don’t we start off with a picture laden post of the early goings on in my still-a-work-in-progress garden!

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These crocuses (croci?) are some of the first splashes of colour I see this time of year when I look out the window into the yard, shooting up shortly after the white snow drops have made their debut.

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I do enjoy these bunches of lush green leaves scattered here and there though I can never quite remember what they are before their flowers come along. I’ve blogged before of my less than green thumb and can report there is still but the faintest hue visible on those digits.

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Winters here on the west coast of Norway are quite mild so it feels like spring has been looming for the longest time. The rhododendron buds have been looking plump for what seems like weeks now.

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This past fall this Hellebore was looking a bit worse for wear but it seems to have bounced back and its new growth is looking healthy and strong.

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Though not one of my favourites in the garden all the roses are starting to show new growth. It always surprises me how much pruning they can take and still come back with a vengeance the next year.

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Another dash of vibrant purple just because.

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These don’t look like much now but give them a couple of weeks and they’ll be glorious purple balls of flowering awesomeness. Just found out these are called Primula denticulata or Drumstick Primula. I may like them even more knowing that.

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And in the great tangle that is the Clematis (always affectionately known in my mind as Chlamydia), this first little burst of new growth. One of a great many more to come in the weeks ahead.

And so may it be with my blog. Stay tuned.

Hills, Mud and Blueberries

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This past Saturday the Man and I decided to head for the woods to pick some blueberries. The day was overcast but the prospect of fresh berries for the ice cream in our freezer was too tempting to pass up.

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While wild mushroom picking is common I decided a photo of the ones we came across would be safer.

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The past few days had been a bit soggy off and on. Luckily we had donned our rubber boots for the expedition.

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Though the path we took isn’t that popular it is fairly well maintained with helpful bridges over the wettest bits of the way.

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There was only one brief rain shower while we were picking and one of us was glad she had her rain jacket on.

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This tiny little frog graciously sat still for me.

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Many of the bushes we passed had been picked over already.

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Quite a few pretty weeds and flowers lined the path. (I’ve no idea what these are)

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After a couple of hours it was time to head back down the hill with our haul of blueberries.

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Blueberries, ice cream and coffee capped off a slightly soggy and mud filled, yet thoroughly enjoyable, trek through the woods.

Norway Is Closed

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“We’re closed for the summer”

 

As July comes to an end you’ll notice some stores that have been closed for what may seem like ages, will throw open their doors, ready to welcome you back again. The construction site one street over will greet your still sleep weary brain with the dulcet sounds of drilling, digging and dynamiting.

Norwegians enjoy an almost silly amount of paid vacation time and it’s refreshing to see that a majority of people actually take it. In Canada most employees are entitled to two weeks vacation though it’s common for a lot of people to not take that time off from work. And from what I hear it’s even worse in the US.

So every year, come July, don’t be surprised to find your favourite store closed for a few weeks, or the painters you had hoped would slap a fresh coat on your house unavailable until early August.

It takes some getting used to but I’m happy it’s the norm here.

Where Am I Again?

I saw her across the street, walking briskly past the empty store. She seemed familiar. Although she had large sunglasses on I could swear I knew her. Her hair, her gait and the way she held herself strongly upright, no hint of a slouch. So familiar yet so hard to place. As she turned the corner I finally made the connection. Or so I thought.

When I moved to Norway from Canada I expected to have to get used to things being a bit different. Shopping at stores that didn’t have quite the exact items I wanted. Feeling a bit disoriented while walking about in a new (to me) town. Sounding clumsy when attempting a new language.

What I didn’t expect was to occasionally feel a brief instant of not being able to pin down where I knew someone from.

Not in the sense of were they someone I actually knew versus someone who only looked like someone I knew. I mean in the sense of what continent did I know them from.

Canada?

Norway?

It can be a bit harrowing at the best of times when you’re approaching someone on the street and you’re wondering if you should give them a quick wave or will they think you’re a bit batty. Who is this stranger waving at me?

It’s a completely different feeling when you can’t even place which country you may or may not know this person from.

I wonder if there’s a an actual word for that feeling.

Anybody else experience this? It can’t just be me, can it?

A Foggy Morning

On my way home from a quick trip to town I took a few pictures of the fog that had been hanging around since morning. It’s gone now but I was glad I took a detour and got those few reminders of one of my favourite kinds of weather.

The first one I took is alongside Risøy bridge.

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Taken in colour though it looks b&w.

Risøy bridge, taken from another angle as I make my way up to near the top of the bridge.

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I paused near the top and looked back north, the way I had come. The lower right shows a bit of the quay area which gets quite busy in better weather.

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And this last one is taken from much same spot but looking south.

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