Friday photos and a few ramblings

Here are a few stories/links for you to check out and enjoy.

Standing far below a roof of green pine needles, wisps of light wafting through said needles, the air warm and muggy around you, and the smell and crunch of pine straw beneath your feet. This is my idea of forest bathing and it calls to mind my childhood. I spent a fair amount of time as a young person exploring the woods, all while learning to watch for poisonous snakes, black widows, and brown recluse to name a few. When I moved to Michigan as a teenager, as beautiful as that state is, the lack of trees is unfortunate. Which, amusingly was the opposite reaction for some friends from Nebraska, they felt that the amount of trees in MI was claustrophobic. My father grew up in the Pine Belt of MS, which is where most of my forest roaming happened, amidst the sounds of mocking birds, doves, crows and the loudest crickets on the planet. I believe that trees have the same capacity as the ocean and mountains to remind us of our place in the world. We are so often not as great as we imagine, yet – at the same time we are great in that we all have purpose in this world….even if it means being a pine tree deep in the woods of Jasper County MS

This beautiful article is titled “What trees teach us about life and happiness.” This quote from Fiona Stafford sums up my feelings perfectly; “Trees connect us to others and also the past or future.”

I recently watched a film on Netflix (I don’t recommend it, so I’ll spare you the title) but the soundtrack was a lot of fun. It felt like an early 2000s movie mixed with a bit of 1994 and then a cherry of 2019 on top. One of the songs that I have been listening to on repeat from the film is Robyn’s Missing U. I could have sworn that it was from 1987, it has a very Tiffany meets Flock of Seagulls feel to it. But, imagine my surprise when I found out that she put the song out in 2018! Anyways, here is Robyn performing Missing U on Later…with Jools Holland

I have been reading The Romanovs: 1613-1918 and The Catherine Palace has featured a fair amount. It is an exquisite palace. Find some pictures here. This palace is where the Amber Room resides(d). The Amber Room was a gift from Frederick William I, King of Prussia to Peter the Great in 1716. It was shipped to Russia in 18 boxes and installed at the Winter Palace. In 1755, Empress Elizaveta had it moved to The Catherine Palace. “After other 18th-century renovations, the room covered about 180 square feet and glowed with six tons of amber and other semi-precious stones. The amber panels were backed with gold leaf, and historians estimate that, at the time, the room was worth $142 million in today’s dollars.” (1)

In 1941, Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the Soviet Union by the Nazi’s launched three million German soldiers into the country where, among other things, they began to load up the plethora of art work belonging to the Russians. Staff had covered the Amber Room with wallpaper but the Germans weren’t fooled. They then proceeded to tear down the room within 36 hours, packing it into 27 crates and shipping them to Königsberg, Germany where it was reinstalled in Königsberg’s castle museum on the Baltic Coast. In 1943, the Germans were advised to dismantle the room and store it away. Which they then did, and to this day, no one knows where the contents of the Amber Room are. Check out some photos of the room here.  

As always, here are some photos for you to enjoy. Enjoy your weekend.

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