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in the lyngen alps, norway

bird-skull mountain
[I don’t know its real name, but this seems an appropriate moniker]

We recently made a trip to the Arctic Circle in search of the Aurora Borealis. The brief glimpses we had of this awe-inspiring phenomenon were beautiful and mesmerising, but during the ten days that we spent in the frozen north we weren’t lucky with clear night skies (so hope to return in the future for more Aurora action!)

The landscape of Norway’s Lyngen Alps area in late March – snow-covered mountain peaks, reflecting fjords, complex icicle structures, and early colourful signs of spring contrasted against the predominantly white backdrop – is breathtakingly beautiful and unlike any other landscape I have experienced…

in the lyngen alps, norway

reflecting fjord

in the lyngen alps, norway

sámi turf house

in the lyngen alps, norway

repeating patterns

in the lyngen alps, norway

elemental

in the lyngen alps, norway

chibi totoro fondly recalls childhood vacations on hokkaido

in the lyngen alps, norway

buried

in the lyngen alps, norway

unexpected flashes of colour

in the lyngen alps, norway

purple & chartreuse

in the lyngen alps, norway

turquoise & norway blue

in the lyngen alps, norway

husky pup in the sunshine

in the lyngen alps, norway

views from our temporary home

in the lyngen alps, norway

rorschach test

gira admires his reflection

I’ve been rather neglectful of this space of late – perhaps if I had my own doppelgänger I could enlist her help to post more frequently! But in lieu of such assistance or anything more substantial to post at the moment*, please enjoy these pictures of my cat questioning the very nature of his existence…

gira licks his reflection

who're you?

* I have been working on some fun drawing and screenprinting projects and, when I get my blogging mojo back, hope to post about some of them!

After several weeks of posts about my travels in a far off land I think it’s time for me to face reality and return to the streets of Amsterdam! And what better way to do that than with a fifth instalment in my ongoing (if infrequent!) ‘Amsterdam Cats in Windows’ series…

hello, sailor!


the welcoming party


20th century art lover
favourite collar?

yves klein blue!


maitre d’


dutch delight


honorary felid


technology overload


the effigy


the decoy


lemurcat!


ivan the (not so) terrible
[mouser & all-round tough guy at the neighbourhood russian supermarket]

[Looking for Part I, Part II, Part III and Part IV?]


We have visitors staying with us at the moment and are taking the opportunity to do a bit of exploring beyond Amsterdam. Our first port of call, last weekend, was the tiny, picturesque village of Giethoorn (no roads – bike paths and boat waterways only – so no noisy, polluting traffic. Nice!). The weather wasn’t kind to us, but we couldn’t let the April showers dampen our rambling-spirits.

The absence of car traffic results in cleaner air, which in turn allows numerous magnificent lichens to thrive.

And the abundance of water (not just the stuff falling from above – we are, after all, below sea level here!) means fabulous fungi, startlingly green mosses & grass, and a myriad of water birds abound.

And I should also mention that Giethoorn might be home to some of the planet’s friendliest cats! On our wanderings we met a new one at almost every turn… they don’t require coaxing, they come rushing along the paths to meet you.

A town full of friendly felines (and well-fed woolly sheep), even a damp town, is alright in my book!

One of my walking routes from home in to ‘town’ takes me past a quiet bit of water (between two busier canals) and the back of the Hortus Botanicus, Amsterdam’s botanical garden. It’s such a beautiful spot, always tinged with a bit of mystery and magic whatever the season, and if it’s possible to covet a building (which, it seems, it is!) then I have a serious case of palm house envy.

The Hortus’s palm house (and, in fact, the entire garden) is not on the grand scale of the palm house at Kew, but it’s the unassuming mellow brick and glass, and the human-scale of it, that make it so appealing. It doesn’t dominate the landscape, like an overwrought wedding cake*, it nestles into it and they become one…

It’s hard to believe that this magical landscape is, practically, in the middle of the city!

If you stand around long enough gawking at palm houses, autumn leaves and their watery reflections you’re bound to attract some attention. When two handsome strangers approach for a chat…

… it would be churlish not to hang out for a while. Topics of conversation are limited however – mostly we talk about the deliciousness that’s lurking beneath the dew-damp carpet of fallen leaves.

Hmm, beak-smacking good!

* Actually, I love the majestic greenhouses at Kew! But for the sake of this comparison the ‘wedding cake’ simile seemed appropriate ;)

Hortus Botanicus palm house built 1912, designed by Amsterdam School architect Johan van der Mey (also responsible for this gem)
Kew Gardens palm house built 1844-48, designed & built by Decimus Burton (architect) and Richard Turner (engineer)

some of my work, available on etsy
support worldwide wild cat conservation

copyright

All images and words on this site are © suzanne norris / sakurasnow unless otherwise specified.

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A gift from a friend @jessebreytenbach a couple of years ago, this tiny, beautiful artwork has taken on a deeper poignancy and significance… [Artist: Stephanie Simpson @me_and_norman] - #stayhome #isolation #art #hope #collage #foundtext #goldleaf #gold #crescent #moon #spring #blue #sky #birds #seagulls #soar -
There’s a cat among the pigeons... A very good reason to #stayhome Be safe, be well. - #idiom #pigeons #cat #grayson #grey #greeneyes #ThinGreyDuke #onelungedwonder #MegaLung #GraysonTheGreat #socks #catsofinstagram #catsofholland -
Venetian grafica, part II - #venice #winter #urbanenvironment #streetart #graffiti #urbanart #vermeer #scubamask #architecturalsculpture #stonework #pinecone #water #reflections #canals #seaweed #shrine #jesus #lion #planetearth #strongman #flare #emergency #climatechange #pattern #texture #colour #art - Credits: The ‘woman in scuba mask’ street art is by Blub, based on Johannes Vermeer’s ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ c.1665. Other artist’s unknown (to me). - [Photos taken in November 2019, shortly before this vulnerable, fascinating city was once again flooded, and long before Italy went into the current lockdown state]
Venetian grafica, part I (part II to follow, because Venice is an incredibly visually rich place – what textures! what colours! what magnificent, ancient urban decay! – and I was incapable of culling my photos down to just the ten permitted by IG in a single post!) - #venice #urbanenvironment #streetart #graffiti #urbanart #architecturalsculpture #stonework #medieval #embellishment #grotesque #chimera #water #reflections #canals #damp #edvardmunch #scream #selfie #baroque #vivaldi #scubamask #violin #owl #tourist #raven #plaguemask #pattern #colour #art #climatechange - Credits: The ‘man with violin’ street art is by Blub, based on an anonymous portrait of (probably) Antonio Vivaldi c.1723. Other artists unknown (to me). - [Photos taken in November 2019, shortly before this vulnerable, fascinating city was once again flooded, and long before Italy went into the current lockdown state]
The only thing crazier than one one-lunged-wonder is two one-lunged-wonders! - #grayson #onelungedwonder #MegaLung #ThinGreyDuke #GraysonTheGreat #doppelgänger #doublevision #tightsqueeze #thecrazies #grey #cat #greeneyes #darkroom #blackoutcurtain #window #reflection #russianblue #catsofinstagram #catsofholland
Glasgow grafica… - #glasgow #scotland #winter #urbanenvironment #streetart #graffiti #urbanart #mural #mushrooms #amanitamuscaria #highrise #highway #creatures #animals #cat #entangled #yarn #birds #beak #steeple #sandstone #gardenshed #hedgehog #treeskeleton #silhouette #concretejungle #pattern #colour #art - (December 2019)

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