Category Archives: Nature

Must-visit British villages easy to appreciate

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Bourton-on-the-hill

Bourton-on-the-hill in Gloucestershire is home to characterful stone cottages and stunning views of the Cotswolds. Credit: Alamy

These must-visit villages are beautiful and also good for our health

Katherine Lovage<br> By Katherine Lovage,
NEWSLETTER EDITOR
Good afternoon,

From cobbled streets to thatched roofs, British villages are easy to appreciate. Lured in by flora, fauna and a peaceful way of life, there’s a reason why so many poets have written rural idylls.

Spending time in the countryside brings health benefits, too. In fact, a recent study showed that being surrounded by nature reduced PMS symptoms and another reported that village life helps the mind stay sharp in old age.

For me, the biggest point-scorer for villages is a silent night, a far cry from my noisy city dwelling. I’ve been woken up by all manner of things in the past year: drunks howling outside my bedroom window, moped accidents on my doorstep and one rather lewd event that it’s best I don’t detail. While I’m sure these things happen in the countryside, I imagine at not quite the same rate…

To discover some of the best spots that Britain has to offer, try scrolling through this feature on Britain’s most desirable villages. I particularly like the look of chocolate-box Beaulieu in Hampshire and Oxwich on the Gower Peninsula. And whether you’re considering a big move or a short break, this list of the most beautiful villages in England is sure to provide some inspiration.

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Drought

Who knows, July and August will be recorded as the warmest and driest months in Europe since records began.

One can only hope that now, with all the fires and other natural disasters that are coming to our regions, there will be a greater awareness that something must be done to combat global warming.

Jewish Young Professional

Photo by Pixabay: https://www.pexels.com/photo/photo-of-brown-bare-tree-on-brown-surface-during-daytime-60013/

Grass grows patchy in bristling brown spikes
(if it grows at all).  The smooth-complexioned 
face of land now cracks 
under unrelenting heat.  Fields once flush
with fruits go barren, pleading

through parched throats and chapped lips 

that no kiss of water
or answered prayer
 
has yet come to soften,

for August doesn’t care 
about religion or rain dances.

***

FOWC, W3, dVerse. I took inspiration from Timothy Price.

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10 Alpine regions that’ll Rock your world this Summer

They say that beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. But who on earth does not find the mountains a majestic sight?

With the wonderful summer weather warming the rugged yet serene alpine landscapes, now is prime time to leave it all behind and head for the hills.

It may not surprise you to learn that we know our stuff when it comes to alpine regions. Its kind of our forte. We want you to benefit from our mountains of experience. So scroll down!

 Here are 10 alpine regions that’ll rock your world this summer:

1. MONTAFON

Bestof-Outdooractive-Montafon

The Montafon valley in Vorarlberg stretches almost 40km and is overlooked by some monumental mountain peaks. Discover three extraordinary mountain ranges Verwall, Rätikon and Silvretta. Explore the vast network of hiking and biking trails and visit the world famous Piz Buin (3312m) the highest peak in the Montafon valley.

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2. VALLE D’AOSTA

Bestof-Outdooractive-Aostatal

This Italian jewel borders Switzerland and France, and displays distinct influences from all three countries. The Dora Baltea river runs through the main valley and the giants Mont Blanc, Matterhorn and Monte Rosa rise up into the sky in dominant fashion. Enjoy the magnificent panoramic views and the extraordinary routes between Italy and France.

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3.LAKE LUCERNE

Bestof-Outdooractive-Vierwaldstättersee

Enclosed by the spectacular regions Lucerne, Unterwalden, Schwyz and Uri, Lake Lucerne is one of the most spectacular destinations in Switzerland. In addition to the idyllic resorts of Weggis and Vitznau, the surrounding mountains offer wonderful opportunity for exploration!

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Bestof-Outdooractive-Kawendel

4. KARWENDEL 

Karwendel in Tyrol and Bavaria makes for a truly magnificent holiday destination. Experience vibrant, blooming meadows, rugged mountain peaks, rushing streams and fresh alpine air.

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Bestof-Outdooractive-Gap Tallard Vallées

5. HAUTE MAURIENNE VANOISE

The upper Maurienne valley is a wonderful destination for hiking and mountain biking. With a staggeringly beautiful backdrop, enjoy delicious local specialities including some of the worlds finest cheese!

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Bestof-Outdooractive-Hochkönig

6. HOCHKOENIG

Stunningly beautiful with a huge range of epic mountain views. Find some wonderful areas to explore including Maria Alm, Diente and the extraoridnary Mühlbach.

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Bestof-Outdooractive-Viamala

7. VIAMALA

Host to some superb hiking and biking trails. Follow routes through gorges and valleys, over high mountain peaks and across extraordinary landscapes. Discover some of the finest panoramic views and jaw-dropping mountain lakes.

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Bestof-Outdooractive-Bled

8. BLED 

Located in the Slovenian alps, experience the spectacle of the truly majestic Lake Bled with an impressive backdrop of the Julian Alps.

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Bestof-Outdooractive-Dolomiten

9. THE DOLOMITES

Almost no introduction needed! The Dolomites are a wonderfully diverse, and histrionically rich place. Visit ancient castles and historic sites, as you experience some of Europe’s greatest mountains.

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Bestof-Outdooractive-Ötztal

10. OETZTAL 

The landscape of the Tyrolean Alpine Valley is a truly impressive sight. With so many hospitality huts and cabins, you’ll never be stuck without a supply of delicious local cheese and beer to accompany your adventures!

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Summer eye

ChinHooi Ng's Poetic Notes

The ink of time

depicts the beauty of heaven and earth

passionate soul

embraces the light shades of summer

melody from the violin

sings an afternoon

where the clouds float

the creek whispers

where the sweet scent blooms

there are green lives of leaves

what i saw

what i heard

in the soft corner of my heart

is taking root

sprouting

blossoming

this fragrant mood

such a day

how can one not be

moved.

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Adventure

Summer is the ideal opportunity to go out into nature and let the mind drain but also expand with wonderful new thoughts and energy, given to us by beautiful nature.

Even though we may know that autumn is not so far off, we know that when it comes, we will still be reminiscing about that previous summer.

ChinHooi Ng's Poetic Notes

On the road so long

voices and stones are picked up

a myriad trees have been summed up

the wilderness broadens the horizon

of autumn

the desert sand is

a water-finding footprint

they say a wandering

camel always

finds its way home

i want to know where

to shelter the soul

on this journey

the autumnal water

has no borders

a touch of solar system on the trail

we must pass

toward the shining direction

of our heart

the moon is thin

stars are sparse

the sea and sky as one

a pillow of dewdrops

let dreams be the coat

the keeps us warm

wrap up the lassitude

softly and gently

lay it in the middle

of the hallowed lake

keep the open space

desolation and strangeness

in the bag

along the route

of unremembered days

stars make a quilt

wind makes a bed

we surrender our carapace

to the…

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Sun-kissed evolution

This summer, in several places in our village, we see several fields full of showy sunflowers, which give an inviting gesture from the hills and make the sun shine even more in our hearts.

ChinHooi Ng's Poetic Notes

A sun-loving flower

blooms within sunburst

receiving the gift and bounty

from the gentle nature

sun-blessed petals

bathing far away from the abyss

the gloom and fear

yet the truth is

rooted in the soil and dirt

born of the wind and rain

growth and development

is always accompanied by

daily cloudiness and radiance

and flowering is

but a fleeting ceremony

storms and thunder are the medal

to flaunt

little did i know

i already have my plot

of sun-loving flowers

flowers that have been sharpened

by the wildness of weather

darkness and cold are not enemy

but friends

squall and lava

are origins

sun-loving flowers

will always be able

to shine through the bolts

of lightning

dance through the vehemence

of cyclone

and flow high above

the molten rocks.

©2022, ChinHooi Ng.

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luxurious

about these things

“Summer is a period of luxurious growth. To be in harmony with the atmosphere of summer, awaken early in the morning and reach to the sun for nourishment to flourish as the gardens do. Work, play, travel, be joyful, and grow into selfless service. The bounty of the outside world enters and enlivens us.” -Paul Pitchford

Photo by Marge McCoy

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Ocean

Subliminal Landscapes

Waves lapping
over more waves,
running, chasing
each other tirelessly.
Are these the lives
an ocean has lived.
The ageless ocean,
where life itself
was formed,
where history
was created,
battles fought,
flags downed.

Sand and sea
unify at the verge
of each wave’s end,
blinking like a
shapeless eyelid
over the horizon’s
crimson eye.

If I could stitch
the waves together
with my breath,
shall I know life?
I walk quietly on the beach
strewn with shells.
Soft bed of sand,
a contemplation
on transience.

I look at a chambered nautilus
and marvel at its beauty
and perfect geometry.
I bring it to my ear
and hear life
in all its sacred
echoes of emptiness.

If I was born of the ocean
so shall I merge into…
Amongst myths and mysteries:
Dark and Deep!

© Shalini Garg 2022

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Why does the world exist

 

Vragen - Questions

Blijf niet alleen afgezonderd op jouw eiland met je vragen zitten – do not stay isolated on your desert island with all your questions

We are here. That much seems clear. We can’t deny our own existence.

Well actually great philosophers have denied our existence. What we can’t deny we suppose is that something exists. There is an experience of existence, of being, that is undeniably the foundation of everything. If nothing existed there would be nothing to contemplate …

Some may even question what it entails to be in or to have “existence”. In what way we experience existence? We can feel ourselves and we can see and touch other things, but that does not yet mean we feel their existence. Though most often as soon as we see and feel something we want to believe we feel and see the proof of its existence.

To what extent do we want to accept that which we can perceive to exist?

But one of the most important questions that most people have is why they exist. The “Why” of being us and the “Why” of being the things around us.

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Oekraïne – Droogenbroodt

mystiek & filosofie

Oorlog in Oekraïne

De amandelbomen staan hier in bloei
een verrukking voor het oog
dat van schoonheid houdt

weldra zullen ook citrusbloesems
een verleidelijk parfum verspreiden

maar elders woedt de oorlog
ziet het oog verwoesting
en menselijk leed

daar bloeien geen bloesems
ze verstikken in de rook
van barbaars geweld.

Germain Droogenbroodt

Marioepol

Vredesduif

Het regent
het regent treurnis

voor onschuldige slachtoffers
voor de vernietiging van een land
voor de vlucht van moorddadig geweld

hongerig verlaat een tortelduif
de beschutting van haar boom

een strop gelijk
de zwarte ring rond haar hals.

Germain Droogenbroodt

Marioepol

Despoot

De nacht heeft de dageraad overvallen
en ontvreemdt van de vrede
het kostbare licht

De stilte verstomt
door schoten, kanongebulder
en huilende sirenes overstemd

Onberoerd door het leed
─ zelfs van zijn eigen volk
de heerszuchtige despoot.

Germain Droogenbroodt

Marioepol

Sporen

De storm is geluwd
met de zandkorrels vermengd
de algen op het strand

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