The first have of January was so sunny! That’s what I like about January. Within a week of the winter solstice you can notice the days being longer and the light changing. The promise of spring’s coming from the first week of winter! So much and so little can change within a week.
For New Year I got out the city! A little outing up to the Costa Brava for the night before heading to Monestir de Sant Pere de Casserres, an 11th century Benedictine monastery along the Riu Ter/Ter River. We didn’t go to the monastery, just the look out point, Mirador del Ter. Sadly the lookout point’s filled with rubbish from an abandoned restaurant. The path to the look out point’s a little confusing at first with overgrown pavements. Why an overgrown pavement so far away from the road along a dirt track? It all made sense at the now abandoned restaurant.
Back in the city where magpies, pigeons, ducks, wagtails, sparrows, seagulls. geese and parakeets/parrots rule the skies. Well maybe not the ducks and geese, but they rule the ponds in Parc de la Ciutadella.
The rest of the garden at Lyon Arboretum leading from the Buddha was more semi wild rainforest. Still manicured, yet compared to the actual manicured part it was wilder, more forest. I’d got to the point I couldn’t and didn’t want to take any more photos, yet every twist and turn of the path was something I wanted to photo knowing I’m probably never returning again. Trees were more than just trees. They were cities in themselves with ivy, moss and host of other plants growing on them who in return housed hundreds of bugs, insects and animals. The big tropical leaves growing free competing for the sunlight. Leaves as big as umbrellas.
I only realised editing these photos I never changed the ISO. In my defence I wasn’t using or understanding how to use ISO 2 years ago. Yes, it’s been 2 years and I’m only just sharing the photos! This part the island has its own climate (The Hawaiian Islands have 10 of the 14 climates in the world!). Sunny skies accept for the Manoa Valley that day. It’s crazy how for such a small island in the middle of Pacific ocean different locations on the island have different climates and weather all in one day. It freaked me out almost daily when I was there that I was on a tiny volcanic island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean which is huge and deep, feeling open and exposed. I live by the Mediterranean Sea with a huge continent behind me with one fault line running in the middle of the med sea. I feel safe as there’s lot of space. Even in the UK an island itself where I grew up I never thought I was on an island. It’s what you’re used to. None of this however excuses my lack of using ISO.
Just like how plants grow in cracks in walls!
Canopy tops like coral fans looking up matched each other like jigsaw puzzles for light. Neither one bumping into each other leaving a little breathing room between them.
Deviating from the path at the end of Manoa Falls trail back the carpark, enticed by pink flowers and thick tree truck bases you could camp in we stumbled across Lyon Arboretum.
Lyon Arboretum’s a botanical garden run by the University of Hawaii set in 194 acres conserving native Hawaiian plants and their relationship and role in Hawaiian culture. Entry is free, although you’re encouraged to make donation of I think $10 person which I’d happily pay again as it’s perhaps the most magnificent, magical botanical I’ve been too. Yes, there’s a manicured lawn of which the main path of stone and wood stepping stones, takes you around detailing plants in Hawaiian culture, as all botanical gardens have a manicured lawn somewhere. In addition to native Hawaiian plants they also have many other non native plants such as ornamental tropical and temperate plants. More gems I think are hidden in the many trails up into the rainforest. Sadly we got there about 45 minutes before closing (coming from Europe or rather Spain, the early closing of many places was a shock). That was just enough time to walk around the main trail. I’m sure trails off the main path leading up into the rainforest are way less quieter than Manoa Falls trail next door. That trail’s way too busy! I didn’t see the gardens advertised much, so I think it’s a if you know it, you know it garden which is great if you want to escape the escape the hustle and bustle of the tourists while being tourist. And yes, I took way too many photos. Editing them for here was so hard.
Aside from the security guard chickens in the carpark and wild birds near the sea and at Diamond Head monument I didn’t see much wildlife on Oahu. I did have moment with this guy. We watched each other for a few minutes.
I have a confession, I didn’t know what arboretum meant when I saw it. It is a botanical garden devoted to trees for science and educational purposes. If I had used my Spanish I would have guessed it. Only looking it up I saw the root (hehehe) arbor. Tree in Spanish is arbol. The science and educational bit makes sense too as to why it’s run by the University of Hawaii. Duh Nat.
Could it be that I’m back posting more regularly? Maybe, just maybe.
Last year as for many was a little crazy and disoriented. I don’t even know where last year went. I still took as many if not more photos than usual. Especially of my summer world, under the sea.
While warm springs and hot summers have my heart, cool autumns and what currently feels like summer Artic for winter (it’s super cold this year) hold it for light. The sun’s lower giving warm crisp yet bright cool hazy almost golden hour light all day. Or when it’s sunny. Last autumn was cloudy sunny than bright sunny. Zoo hours have changed, closing an hour earlier than previous years. It’s a little more tricky to make it and when I do, if it’s sunny I get amazing light! Some days the light’s so pretty I don’t to leave. If I find warm sunny sheltered spot with birds and few humans I almost want to freeze time to enjoy it longer. I don’t want to face what’s outside the gates when I leave. Everything feels just right at that moment.
I went to see my Mum and Dad in November. The UK felt a month ahead being further north with morning light. Warm morning golds which are like January mornings here in Spain. Yes, the sun does shine in the UK.
I hope you’re having great weekend and welcome back to another Weekend Friday Favourites! Spain declared last week another state of alarm to combat covid-19’s 2nd wave and is in place for 6 months. Unlike back in March it’s not a total confinement. For now a nationwide curfew from 23.00-06.00. Regional governments can alter an hour each way. Catalunya had already closed all bars and restaurants for 2 weeks unless providing takeaway with group meetings to a maximum of 6 people. Regions can also stop cross region travel however Spanish borders will remain open. In addition this week the Catalan Government set the curfew 22.00-06.00 with further measures this week of weekend municipal confinements from 06.00 Friday to Monday 06.00. We’re allowed to cross town borders to exercise but not shop unless for essentials not close by. All shopping centres/malls, gyms, the zoo, cinemas are closed for initially 2 weeks apart from supermarkets with other shops limited to retail size and people capacity. Bars and restaurants unless takeaway remain closed. I’m happy it’s not a total confinement like last time. I think I’ll crazy for sure if it was.
Anyways, Weekend Friday Favourites, things that have made me smile or caught my eye recently.
I used to do jigsaw puzzles as a kid and really enjoyed them. My Dad helped although he only did a few pieces before his patience and boredom set in. I’m hoping they’ll break up screen time in the evenings. I spend way too long on my phone particularly YouTube when I get back. Ironically it was YouTube video which gave me the idea. They’re not something I can find easily in the shops! My local supermarket has tiny selection* so it’ll be online for more. This one took me 5 days to complete. What I thought was 10 minutes was 30 minutes or more! I didn’t get much done 2 weekends ago as I was too busy ‘wasting’ time on it. But it’s a good wasting time as I’m using my brain. I felt a little proud when I completed it! I have 2 more already to start (* thank you Christmas toys board games in stock in that local supermarket). This one came with optional glue mix to keep it complete but I’m looking forward to trying it again to see if it’ll be easier, if I recognise pieces and places. Yep. Nerdy.
This is what happens when you watch Hotel Luna on Netflix. A fantasy Kdrama about an hotel that’s for ghosts, souls to rest, resolve grudges before moving onto the afterlife. Only ghosts can see it save the one human employee who helps the owner. The owner each episode wears at least one moon inspired price of jewellery and that’s how I ended up on Etsy looking at moon necklaces. I won’t lie, last week when the moon was a waning crescent to half moon I felt like I was twinning with it.