science walkabouts

feels like summer has passed in the blink of an eye in this atypical year. the wariness of leaving the house from early spring slowly faded and made us look for safe outdoor activities. when we noticed the local science center was organizing a few themed walks around town for people to learn more about the environment, we eagerly joined a few.

the one about intertidal biodiversity was one of our favorites, because it was brilliant to see things from a biologist’s perspective — we spotted and learned about sea cucumbers, small fishes, crabs, molluscs and other plants and animals that live in the tide pools.

there were other walks, about the salt making process, the microplastics in the sand, the geometry in tavira’s façades and one about the fishes from our coast. some were more interesting than others, but we’ve learned a bit more about tavira in each of them. i really appreciated the time the center put into these, and hope they’ll continue for many years!

li ziqi

i don’t remember how i discovered liziqi’s youtube channel awhile ago. li ziqi lives with her elderly grandma in rural sichuan, cooking and tending to their farm, and just making stuff the old fashioned way.

the expression “from scratch” is taken to a whole new level in these videos — making rice cakes involves planting the rice, harvesting and shelling it, before the rice is ready to be cooked. making a duvet starts with cotton seedlings.

the videos have barely any dialogue on them, just scenic landscapes, a quiet soundtrack and li ziqi doing her thing… but somehow they’re *so soothing*, and in such sharp contrast to today’s youtube trends… it’s impossible not to be a little hypnotized.

she learnt to cook with her grandpa when she was young, then did the odd job in the city to support the family, but came back to the mountains northwest of pingwu when her grandma got sick some years ago. when she was back, she started to do these videos, slowly showing the world what life was like in rural china. the result is a beautiful ode to the hard work of so many chinese farmers, almost made to look easy and romantic in these frames.

analogue wednesday #239

signs of the pandemic.

one second everyday — august 2020

august was probably the happiest month of the year so far.

life regained some semblance of normality, with a couple of our friends coming over to stay with us for some weeks, along with their dogs. i’d forgotten how nice it is to have guests roommates! we had long walks with them, went to the beach and birdwatched a few times, attended a couple of socially-distanced outdoor concerts (with assigned seats and masks), practiced how to solve a rubik’s cube, did picnics with more friends, and learnt more about the environment in our town through the summer activities that the local science center organizes.

i’m ok with this new normal, a careful arrangement of masks, distances and social circles that feels safeish. bring it on, september!

analogue wednesday #238

fragile dunes.