Saturday, December 20, 2008

Back to Programming As Usual

Now that travel photos have been shared, I can return to posting about the mundane, and occasionally wonderful, details of daily life. As winter has deepened, as the snow has fallen, the icicles have lengthened and the days have gotten ever shorter, here's what's been going on:

Plenty of cappuccino drinking. Can't do winter without it.

Most definitely some baking.Wintertime just cries out for warm pies, crumbles, and New York Times chocolate chip cookies.

Intense board gaming. Specifically Settlers of Catan. Who wants to go out when you can build an empire while sitting at your dining room table?

Holiday-light appreciating. They are almost enough to make one forget how chilly and dreary the weather is.

Guest blogging. I have been taking photos every morning and evening this week to contribute to Amy's photo blog, Every Morn and Eve. (Needless to say, I am in talented company, so the pressure is on!)

And finally, that coziest of winter activities, knitting. Latest off the needles is this cowl, knitted with some soft and fuzzy Malabrigo chunky yarn in the appropriately-titled color of Polar Morn. (A big thank you to Parikha at sixoneseven for the pattern!) This cozy wonder is already warming the neck of a good friend, and there is a second cowl now in the works. (A bit of cowl obsession has developed over here at Under Consideration this season, so you will surely see more of them in the coming months.)

What wintery activities have you been up to? How do you pass the time when it's cold outside?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Heart and Soul

Wildlife adventures and beautiful scenery are all well and good, but people give a place its heart and soul. It is the photographs of the men, women, and especially children I interacted with that are the best reflection of the warmth and friendliness I love most about Nepal.

What a country of beautiful faces.

A country of diversity.

Of shy smiles.

And irresistible cheeks.

And little boys wanting to play with the big kids. (Photo courtesy of Ash)

A country of curiosity.

And warm welcomes.

And just a little bit of camera-shyness.

It is a country filled with playfulness.

And amateur photographers. (Video also courtesy of Ash. Thanks Ash!)

And distinguished gentlemen.

Nepal is a country of eager models.

A place where everyone wants to join the fun.

A place where everyone is welcome.

Friday, December 5, 2008

On Safari

Only about 100 miles south of the Himalayas, a completely different world exists. A world of flatlands, lush jungles, palm trees, broad meandering rivers, and rice paddies stretching into the distance.

The south of Nepal is also home to all manner of wildlife, like this Asian rhinocerous that stood silently contemplating our jeep for a moment before crashing off into the brush.

Royal bengal tigers are also native to the region, though due to their nocturnal nature (and decades of determined poaching) they are rarely seen. The tiger below (eyeing me hungrily through the rather flimsy wooden bars of his enclosure) was captured by the Wildlife Service after he and his mother terrorized some local villages.

There is no better way to see the jungle that from the back of an elephant.

The elephants were very friendly with us. They didn't bat an eye when we ungracefully scrambled up their trunks to ride on their backs, even giving us a helpful lift. I found them remarkably beautiful, with deep, wise eyes framed by incredibly long lashes.

This little baby elephant was particularly feisty and eager to play. It's all fun and games until a 400-pound 8-month-old mistakenly steps on one's foot. Ouch!

Coming up: the last post of my Nepal series.