19 elokuuta 2019

Lady in Red

The Lady in Red by Chris de Burgh

Chris de Burgh is an Irish singer-songwriter and instrumentalist. He started out 
as an art rock performer but subsequently started writing more pop-oriented material. 
He has had several top 40 hits in the UK and two in the US, but he is more popular 
in other countries, particularly Norway and Brazil. His 1986 love song "The Lady in Red” 
reached number one in several countries. De Burgh has sold over 45 million albums worldwide.

18 elokuuta 2019

Color Collage

// COLOR COLLAGE 34/2019

A green facade in Helsinki /  Orange hemerocallis from my garden /
Bowl by Shōji Hamada at Ateneum exhibition Silent Beauty /
German church in Helsinki / Green mantlepiece at Ainola, the home of Jean ibelius

17 elokuuta 2019

Wishing More Butterflies to Visit!

I visited a garden center and found there a group of Coreopsis grandiflora ’Early Sunrise’.
The spot with their pots was whirling with butterflies, mostly Aglais urticae,
but I saw also Vanessa atalanta, but it was too quick for me.

I simply had to buy a few plants to my garden, although yellow is not the colour I want.
I replaced with Coreopsis the previous annuals in big pots on the terrace stairs 
and shall later plant them to the ground.

I have a ’nursery’ for Sedum Herbstfreude. In two years they grow from tiny pieces
to handsome plants. This size costed 9.90 € in a garden center.
This summer I have planted approximately 30 of them - quite lot of money!

Wishing you all a sunny weekend!

16 elokuuta 2019

Shinrin-Yoku - Forest Bathing

The silence of nature is really continuous,
magnificent and endless symphony.

Most of my blog friends are nature lovers, so a review of this wonderful book. I didn’t know anything about forest bathing until Diane praised this book. A little googling gave a lot of hits. So it seems forest bathing is some kind of a rising trend that fits in well with today, after all we are all worried about the climate change.

At Amazon:

Maintaining and strengthening the forest relationship has never been more important. People should remember that the forest helps us. More than 32 million hectares of forest are felled every year around the world.

Shinrin-Yoku is a kind of meditation in the forest, the idea is to calm the mind and body to receive the present and stimulate all five senses. Shinrin-Yoku is not hiking, but rather slow walking and being in the woods. Dr. Qing Li recommends a speed as low as 2.5 km per two hours. The idea is to stop and listen to your own sensations, open your senses and observe: you can see, smell, touch, taste and hear the beauty around you in the forest.

Me forest bathing, got a rain bath as well :)

For more than 30 years, Dr. Qing Li has been researching the effects of forest medicine on the Japanese and found that forest bathing has many positive health effects. This is not limited to Japan, many projects and studies have been done and are ongoing around the world. It is not new to us nature loving Finns that going outdoors improves mood and relieves stress. But it has been investigated that forest baths have measurable physiological effects, too: they can lower blood pressure and heart rate, improve concentration and memory, and boost the immune system by increasing the number of natural killer cells in the body.

The book was a charming reading experience. Dr. Li's way of writing is a fascinating mix of scientist and nature lover.  The book has a wealth of beautiful four-color forest images from around the world, so the reader can get some kind of forest bathing experience through the pictures. And, of course, the spark to move more outdoors and appreciate own surroundings.

For a Finn, a forest bath may not be a revolutionary idea because we have a small population and everyone can get into nature quite easily. But globally, urban life is becoming more and more hectic, with noise and technological stress. Dr. Li flashes a not so nice picture of the lives of 13 million Tokyo people:

There are 11 million daily passengers on the Tokyo subway. In Japan, the phenomenon is called tsukin jigoku, or commuting hell. Equipped with white gloves, ashiya pushers push passengers in subway cars designed to carry only half of the current number of passengers.

The forest bath does not require an ancient wild forest, your own garden or urban green areas will do. In an urban environment, trees contribute to the health of residents by producing oxygen, absorbing fine particles, air pollution and excessive rainwater. The book tells about incredibly great green design projects around the world. For example, the dismantled motorway ramparts in Seoul have been transformed into parks and many cities have large-scale tree replanting projects.

The name of Rikugien Park in central Tokyo means "the Garden of the Six Principles of Poetry", and it has 88 small scenes of famous poems. The flowering branches of cherry trees hang in the spring, and the entire park glows red thanks to the autumn maple leaves.

Rikugien picture from here. More pictures on the site.

Children are the future, says Li. Smart devices and other indoor activities fascinate today's children and adolescents, but a good relationship with nature teaches them to love and protect the environment. There are also special forest day care centers in Japan where children spend most of the day outdoors. There are over 60 certified forest bath centers in the country that have been awarded the Healing Forest Label.

In nature, observation can be called soft enchantment: Clouds or sunset, leaf chatter, bird singing or whispering of the wind capture the mind effortlessly. Soothing scenery and sounds give your mental resources a respite.

The text in Finnish HERE.
Click yourself to a forest bathing experience!