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 🙂

36 Responses to “Season changes”

  1. shoreacres said

    Always, I’m intrigued by the differences and similarities between our worlds which your photographs reveal. The greatest difference here, of course, is that extraordinary image of the vineyards with the mountains behind. It’s breath-takingly beautiful – there are some Texas vineyards, but nothing like that!

    My favorite similarity is the migration. Because we are a destination for so many birds, their arrival signals autumn long before we feel any change in temperature or weather. Yesterday I saw the first coots, and last week some osprey appeared. Red-winged blackbirds are mixed in with the grackels now, and in another month or so we may be hearing geese. It’s comforting, somehow, to see nature going on about her business despite human craziness and idiocy. (Thank heaven we’re near the end of our political campaign!)

    Your multi-colored leaf reminds me of my favorite childhood autumn project – sealing colored leaves between sheets of waxed paper with a warm iron, then putting them the in windows to shine like stained glass.

    • sybil said

      oh my you just brought back a childhood memory — we sealed the leaves between sheets of wax paper too !

    • Thanks for your answer, Linda, always full of informations and observations. Our vineyards often grow on foothills because this canton is very mountainous with few wide fields. Yet the soil, the sun and just enough rain are favourable to this type of culture. Vineyards were planted on terraces built with “dry stone walls”. If you add them all over the canton, they would reach about 3’000kms. Hard work and craft.

      What a lovely idea to transform colourful leaves into stained glass decorations ! Mine ended in my diary.

  2. Joanne said

    Oh, harvesting grapes, what a delicious job that would be! The purple/black grapes look especially tempting. We are seeing many changes here too, as the weather warms and the days will soon be getting longer. The colours we see in our garden are not those of your beautiful autumn leaves, but the new flowers, opening in the sunshine. 🙂

    • Hello faraway Joanne ! I am always amazed to imagine your Spring at the same time as our Fall arrives. Beautiful Seasons all over the world. I look forward to seeing more pictures of your flower garden and your blue, endless sky. Such a vastness in your country ! Thank you for visiting, have a pleasant day.

  3. Alice said

    The leaf is reminiscent of the abstract in the first photo. Lovely to snuggle under eiderdown–with a shadow of summer imprint. Nicely done.

  4. sybil said

    The vineyard with the mountain backdrop, is stunning ! Like you, the autumn is my favourite season too. Summer was too hot and we had little rain. We are making up for that now. We have had torrents of rain. Too much for the ground to absorb. Makes for a mucky back yard.

    Guess I better get going on Scott’s challenge.

    Loved your post.

  5. Giiid said

    Have you made the mosaic at the first photo yourself? I love the colors, a real eye catcher.

    Thank you for sharing your autumn, with beautiful photos and also a little new knowledge to me, I didn´t know about the wine harvest in your area. Are there a wine named after this area, or are the grapes perhaps mixed with others? I´d like to look for it here, to taste it. 🙂

    What a beautiful and inspiring landscape you have around you, I do understand that you love this season.

    • Hej Birgitte ! Yes, I made this mosaic with two particular pictures I thought would blend in nicely : a twig of lavender in our garden and a page of a book about the Czech painter Kupka. I used Photoscape but on flickr I mainly use Bighugelabs. What do you use yourself ?

      Our wines, white and red, have a special taste due to the soil, rather dry and “stony or rocky”. The most famous white wine is “Fendant” but we also produce other sorts like Johannisberg, Amigne (local, very sweet), Petite Arvine, etc…

      In the red wines the most typical would be the Dôle, then Pinot, Humagne, Cornalin and various other sorts that are also produced in other countries. They taste different though because of the kind of soil grapes grow on. Thanks for your words, always appreciated.

  6. Kathy said

    Cozily contemplating not only the grapes but also this sentence: A warmer and more cosy duvet or eiderdown is now well appreciated. Don’t you love it when you can cuddle beneath a warm blanket now? I also always love the photos of the mountains, Isa. You live in Paradise.

    • Kathy, you of course had to comment about this warm eiderdown and the cozy feeling it gives during our colder nights. I love your words, thank you. I am not sure if I live in Paradise but I do realize how lucky I am to live in such a beautiful and peaceful environment. Much gratefulness.
      BTW, is there a difference in English between an eiderdown and a duvet ?

  7. Truels said

    It is a wonderful and beautiful post, Isa! The mosaic in the first picture is incredibly beautiful. And what a landscape you are surrounded by! Although we now have 81 (small) registered wineries in Denmark (!) – the sight of the vineyards up the mountain is amazing. A staggering sight for a Dane – where one of the highest locations is 147 meters above sea level and is called Sky Mountain!

    • Thanks a lot, dear Truels, for such enthusiastic comments. Well, your Sky Mountain is certainly worth seeing in your mostly flat country, isn’t it ? If you ever come this way, I will introduce you to the “vineyards road”, little roads that are winding along the terraced vineyards and small villages. Very picturesque. Wine-tasting cellars are on the way too 😉

      • Truels said

        So kind of you offering to be my guide in your beautiful region – and to assist finding and tasting the yield of grapes. I am sure that I will come around one of the coming years!
        And be sure that I will be your guide in our kingdom anytime you come around here!

  8. Dawn said

    How fascinating to see summer end there! I am awestruck by the mountains and the vineyards. That is just amazing! And I love all the colors in your post as well. Truly beautiful!

    • Hello Dawn, thank you for your visit and comments. I drive through this vineyards’ area quite often and still I am always amazed at its beauty and all the work it involves all year round. I am glad you enjoyed this post.

  9. montucky said

    What a pleasure it was to see pictures of your country and read about the end of summer there! Thank you!

  10. sonali said

    I truly loved all your pictures. I am able to have a clear sight of the beautiful seasonal transformation happening your side. Is it usually so bright beyond 8:00 in the night? Birds must be getting prepared for the next upcoming season.
    The grapes look so fresh & delicious. It must be pleasing to go out with your camera clicking the nature. Its usually a bliss. Nature always has something new to share. Its nice to know that you take the seasonal changes positively. I like your enthusiasm as much as you like the colors. I’m sure you do! 🙂

  11. Thanks for those wonderful comments, sonali. Nature is a constant source of pleasure for me and I enjoy sharing my views with others. Days are now much shorter than on the date I took this picture you mentioned : at 7.30 it is already dark. At the end of this month we will be back to Winter time and days will get dark much earlier. I know you like colours too, your world offer plenty of them.

  12. Tammy said

    You’ve beautifully captured the end of the season Isa. I love these.

  13. Sartenada said

    Bonjour Isa.

    Belle poste. J’ai apprécié de voir tes photos d’automne et d’admire de voir des photos de paysage. Ils inspirent toujours mon esprit. Ma photo préférée est appelée “vendanges 4”.

    En Finlande feuilles se tournent vers yellow et rouge. Il a plu énormément ici et de sortir de la maison a été parfois difficile en raison de la pluie. En septembre dernier, il a plu 159 millimètres qui est un record depuis 1918!

    Belles journée.

  14. […] paints in words and photos all the signs of summer’s end in the Alps including school starting, grape harvesting, leafs changing colors and bird […]

  15. friko said

    A lovely view into autumn in the Valois. Here too, in my little valley between England and Wales, it is most definitely autumn. Sadly, there is no grape harvest.

    • Hello friko and thanks for stopping by. I wish you a pleasant Fall in your little valley. Any chance of seeing any pictures of it some day ? Grape harvest is almost over in most areas, it should be a good vintage (millésime): we have had plenty of sun and some good rain too.

  16. love that image third down from the top, Isa.

  17. Your photos are as breathtaking as ever. I love seeing your world through your eyes. Thanks.

  18. Thank you, dear Sherri, it is always nice to read your comments.Did you see the quilt I sewed for my sister’s birthday ?
    Some of your own quilts were a great inspiration to me.

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