Am I back?

Hello dear readers and friends,

So many months have passed since my last blog post! And so many adventures happened since then… coming back from Croatia, attending a Living Wild course, learning new skills, weaving willow baskets, and the never ending story of finding a job in my home country… I have neglected so much this blog. I am the kind of person who has a hard time forcing herself to be creative and write when inspiration is not flowing… and the last months, indeed I was more inspired to do others things, and focused on other responsibilities and projects. But now, I kind of regret it a little bit. How many memories could I have written down in detail if I had been more disciplined? Well, can’t go back now… however, I am considering writing at least about those most memorable. Would you be interested in reading? :)

As a way to apologize for my absence, I will share with you some of my latest photos. I hope you enjoy them!

This one was actually taken by my husband while I was swimming in a lake in Portugal :)

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Autumn. And saying goodbye to my little spot in Croatia.

Autumn has arrived. And we have been preparing our travel back to Portugal. So much is going through my mind right now. I have so many mixed feelings! On one hand, I am super happy to go back because so many new adventures await us and I can barely stay still just thinking about it. But on the other hand… it has been 1 year and 6 months living in Croatia, and 1 year and 4 months living in this little place facing the mountains called Kotlenice. Every day, I take some moments to appreciate this place and all the living beings that lived here with me during this whole time. The trees, the rocks, the moss, the birds, all of them were my best companions here. I learned so much about myself as well. There were very hard times, but I realised I needed to go deep into myself to better understand many things. Now our time here is over, but I take in my mind and heart the sight of the mountains every single morning, the songs of the birds in early Spring, the feeling of the wind in my skin and the colours of the ever changing seasons.

Although rain has started to be more predominant these days, last Monday was such a sunny day that I took the opportunity to go for a walk with Maria and enjoy each and every moment. The new leaf colours were breathtaking. The sun was shining strongly and it was warm, almost like a gentle Summer. Maria was happy as usual, running around like a mad dog. Mad with happiness and freedom :) Everything was truly perfect. The perfect day to say goodbye to all my living family here – the mountains, trees, birds, rocks, moss…

Some friends have questioned us why we have decided to leave if we love it here so much. There are many reasons – for instance, being far away from family and friends – but one of the main reasons is because we really want to start our long term dream: a sustainable farm/rewilding project. And our dream was always to have this farm in our homeland to help regenerate the Nature of the place that saw us be born. So at this moment we want to give it a try once more. If not, we might have to emigrate once again, if we realise we need to save more to make this project happen. But for now, I want to believe it is possible. I feel hopeful and I want to keep that little flame alive.

Last but not least, as you may have noticed, I’m not very good at keeping this blog updated. And due to the long travel and all that is waiting for us, it might take a while for me to post again such a long blog. Nevertheless, I do update both my instagram accounts: @ana.filipa.crow for my photography and @anafilipacrow for other projects and more personal stuff. Feel free to follow me there :) And now, below… the photos of my day out with Maria. Hope you enjoy them :)

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The dividing line is imaginary

The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.
Carl Sagan, Cosmos

This quote makes me shiver. The realization that we are all connected on such a deep level is simply breathtaking to me. In a world where everyone seems to constantly wish to divide, separate and isolate, looking up to the night sky late at night soothes my troubled spirit and clears my mind. We are indeed connected, so much that it is impossible to draw boundaries separating individuals, communities, ecosystems, galaxies. Everything is starstuff… animals, trees, bacteria… houses, fridges and cars… we truly are connected, just like… family.

This reinforces a lot my animistic views of the world. Everything is alive. It doesn’t matter in which category we, humans, have placed certain living beings or certain objects… even the computer I’m writing on this blog post in ultimately made of the same elements as myself. And one day will reintegrate Nature, just as myself.

The dividing line is imaginary. Many lines have been created to separate us, humans, from the rest of the world. It’s now time to destroy them and come back home.

I have always felt a deep fascination for the Universe. But only recently did I initiate myself in astrophotography. I’m still a total beginner, but nevertheless happy with my latest photo results, which you can see below (way better than my very first astrophotos ehehe). I hope you like them too :)

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Trees of Velebit

While in Velebit National Park, I couldn’t avoid but contemplate the trees that lived there. Individuals part of a larger community, communicating, breathing, living. The more we learn about plants, trees and fungi, the more we understand how extremely complex forests are. And in the mid of so many young and old trunks, some capture our eyes more than others. Perhaps because they have something on their bark that make them stand out, perhaps they have been shaped by the wind in an incredible manner, or perhaps they are dying, their bark drying out, and have no leaves. Tree personalities. Young trees, vibrant and full of life, and old trees, carrying inside them deep wisdom and stories of their own.

During my day in Velebit, I took many photos of some of these trees, the ones whose amazing personality impressed me so much that I felt compelled to approach and observe them closely. Below, you are invited to meet these amazing beings as well through my photography, in a small collection called “Trees of Velebit”.

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Nature Details | Velebit National Park [Part 2]

I love close ups and details of Nature. If I had a proper macro lens, I would lose myself in the middle of wild flowers, buzzy insects and the amazing living world that lives mostly hidden from our eyes. Hidden not because it is actively hiding itself from us, but because we tend to overlook most of the life that surrounds us. As Humans, we are constantly too busy to stop, to busy to see, smell and touch, to busy to experience Nature. And clearly that’s one of the reasons we destroy without a second thought so many wild places. Because we don’t know who lives there, the life that thrives in that place, the beautiful beings that are our family as much as our human brother or mother. And this is true both from an animist and scientific point of view… we are all related.

Below is a selection of photos I took while visiting Velebit National Park, this time focusing on details. I am in love with Velebit and I hope you will too after seeing these photos as well as those from my last post :)

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Velebit National Park [Part 1]

Velebit National Park… probably the most beautiful national park I have ever visited in my life. There was something so untamed, so wild, so raw about this place, I could lose myself there over and over again, forever. It made me dream of ancient times, when humans lived in a more connected way to the Land, moving from one place to another, passing through old growth forests and meadows, hunting and gathering, deeply embedded in the landscape. Most of us don’t know anything about our ancestors, how they lived, related to their surroundings, saw themselves in the world. However, because they were our ancestors, there’s something inside us that triggers every time we go to a place as wild as Velebit. A sense of connection and awe that you can never find in a crowded and loud city.

Because Velebit NP touched my heart so deeply (and I took hundreds of photos on this day), I’ve decided to divide my favourite memories of this place in different blog posts, which I’ll publish during the following days/weeks. Today, I share with you a selection of photos of the amazing landscapes of Velebit. The mountains, the tall trees, the rocks, the horses, the meadows… a truly magical place.

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Visiting the North of Croatia

So many months have passed since my last post on this blog. A lot has happened since then and, now that my journey in Croatia is reaching its end, I feel a bit sad that I didn’t document it in more detail on this blog. On the other hand, there were a lot of emotional and self-growth moments which would be too hard to blog about and I feel that maybe it was all better this way anyway. Nevertheless, you can always check out my photography on both my facebook and instagram accounts and take a look the amazing places we’ve been visiting lately :)

At the end of August, we decided to visit the whole North of Croatia for the first time. We visited many wonderful places, full of Life and Nature. During the next days, you can expect some blog posts about this adventure as well as about our future plans, now that we are leaving Croatia for good. So many amazing news to share, I am looking forward to it!

The photos below were some of the first of this travel to the North, on the first place we stopped to rest for the night, nearby Velebit National Park. Truly, a magical place!

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