Season changes

September 24, 2012

There is no doubt about it : we are heading towards Autumn. As I write to you rain is falling heavily. Geraniums on the terrace are dancing wildly as a strong wind blows. Not a single blue patch in the sky but total greyness. Yet yesterday was a real warm and sunny Summer Sunday, with no sign of today’s storm.  I do not mind letting Summer go though. It was a particularly hot Season this year, one that was generous with sun but also with rain. In fact, I am grateful for such months that brought the best out of nature. And, as a bonus, a bit of Mediterranean climate to our cool Alps.

The deep blue lavender tones have  given way to others, just as colourful but with a softer shade. A gorgeous array of contrasts is awaiting us.Scott Thomas at “Views Infinitum” invited us to express in words and pictures how we felt about the End of Summer and the passage to Fall. His photography challenge ends on September 26, if you wish to participate.

A definite sign of the end of Summer are the  cooler nights and mornings. A warmer and more cosy duvet or eiderdown is now well appreciated.

End of Summer also means end of vacation for most people, especially children. They are now back in school and as you drive around the country and in town you will see those notice boards as you get near a school : “Stop before the shock !” Let’s be even more careful on the road.

Another sign of Summer leaving for warmer horizons is the lenght of the days. They have definitely been getting shorter.  This picture was taken a few minutes after 8 pm, street lamps and floodlights were already switched on. Night falls shortly before 8.30pm.  Shorter and darker days are in for many months now.  I will miss the long days of Summer indeed.

Grape harvest is a big event in my  home state, Valais. Even in this mountainous area, vineyards have been planted for centuries and have shaped the landscape in a unique way. Today is the start of the harvest season. This hillside and a lot of  other areas will be filled with grape-pickers. Busy, noisy slopes bustling with activity. Grape harvest is one of the most significant moments of the end of Summer over here. And I love it !

Just as much as I love eating grapes 🙂Of course, the change of colours in the vegetation is getting obvious. Summer has not gone completely and yet the landscape is changing. Slow but definite variations in shades and textures. The end of Summer is a promise of such beautiful and colourful transformation all around us. I am looking forward to the arrival of Fall, my favourite Season.

I had been hoping to share with you an event that really means “end of Summer” for me. It is the birds’ migration. A few days ago a large group of birds swooped down on the trees behind our house. I had never seen them before in our area. They looked like small partridges, light grey and white feathers. Pretty birds. Such loud chirping and excitement in the almost bare branches, flying from one tree to the other ! Today they are gone having eaten most of the red berries in the rowan-trees. “Bon voyage” to warmer climates, little birds !

Thanks for stoping over in our garden 🙂


Patches of Summer

September 15, 2012

Summer is still blooming, shining and giving us a bounty of Season’s delicacies we never seem to get tired of. Treasures of colours, scents, flavours and sights.

Sunflowers would highlight any day. They show us the way to the slightest sunray. “Tournesol”, from the Italian “girasole”, -“which turns with the sun”-  bears such an appropriate name.

Fine and fragile cosmos playing with the breeze, in white, pink, purple spreading out their petals like arms to better grasp the light and warmth of this Season.

And what about the fruits that abound at this Season ? Now it’s time to pick prunes, mirabelles, pears. Soon there will be grapes – a big event in our area – apples, fruits meant to last and be enjoyed during colder days. Yes, let’s face it, Summer is going to end, Fall is at the door.

“What constitutes the end of Summer for you ?”   This is the question Scott Thomas asks on his blog to anyone wishing to participate in his new photo assignment until September 26.

It should be very interesting to see how each participant feels about and look at the change of Season. I am going to think about it.

If you would  like to  take part in this new photography challenge, please click on the above link to get all the information.

A second life for this old fountain and a home for all kinds of pretty flowers.

One week in pictures

September 8, 2012

Some weeks just go by their own quiet way and rhythm. I do not mean  a routine because there seems to be something special in each day. In some weeks though there are events out of the ordinary, people and places you will remember. The week described here was one of those.

Monday is sometimes a day when I try cooking new recipes. Pies or quiches are amongst my favourites. Some of them I find reading blogs such as Tammy’s. Her blog is not only about food but also about community supported agriculture. Well worth reading.

  The recipe is about a tomato pie. Since I had a big and beautiful zuchini  waiting to be picked in the garden, I added some of it in the pie (grated and grilled a little). This is the only change I made. It tasted really delicious, Thank you very much, Tammy.

On Tuesday I had to go to town  and found a quiet lane to walk for a while with Nino-the-beagle. Guess whom we met ? Another beagle looking lonely behind a fence. What do two beagles say to each other when they meet : “Let’s escape together and go hunting !”

Wednesday morning. Brilliant clouds welcomed me as I opened the shutters. “O, beautiful golden clouds, what will you bring us on this day” ? As it happened, the warm morning turned into a stormy day. A rather temperamental weather this Summer but a rain that was well needed too.

A short break after work on Thursday afternoon. As we  were  sitting on a bench with a friend, a “school-boat” was floating down the canal. A lady was steering the little boat back to its mooring. Not as simple as it looks  and she did very well.

Friday was a rainy day. A drive over the mountains to visit long-time friends of our family. It was cold, foggy. The landscape looked  autumnal and yet beautiful in its own way.

On Saturday morning at our friend’s home, we were awaken by a ballet of helicopters. Every third minute or so, a helicopter would fly over the area, fill a big  bucket of water (700 liters) and pour it down on the forest which had caught fire during the night. It took the pilots two whole days to stop it. Nobody was injured and the damage could be stopped in time.

Sunday was a happy celebration day ! Family and friends gathered around Alima, our youngest niece. The sun shone brightly  for her. There were prayers, songs, dance and lots of African food and music. Another change of scenery in this particular week.  Alima was quite comfortable and relaxed dancing in her  proud grandmother’s arms.

Guess what I did on Sunday ? After a rest following the previous long day, I sat down on a lovely terrace between sky and earth, took my pen and some nice stationary; I wrote to a dear friend all about my recent week. Internet is not part of her world and we both enjoy exchanging letters every month.