Altitudes and contrasts

March 19, 2014

Over the past weeks it seems like I did  nothing much but come and go between the mountains (4429ft) and the plains (1480ft) and yet I can assure you a lot happened in-between ! The seasonal flu’ hit several family members I looked after; Spring cleaning fever hit me too, as well as clearing out. I also took time to visit with friends here and there. During these constant trips up and down the valley, I became interested in  comparing the changes of Season according to the different altitudes.

The tall and almost bare larch trees in the Alps; snow melted in places but no green buds yet.arbres-mâts

A forest of slender masts in the town of Morat, at the edge of a lake. The boats are stlll protected from the cold and the frost that can cause so much damage in Winter. Soon they will sail on the lake though.


Under an unusual mountain fog, the slate roofs of the chalets are still covered with a thick layer of snow.


whereas the old red tiled roofs of the ancient houses shine under the sun near  Morat.


Snow flowers over 4000ft


and  Spring first pink blossoms at the lakeside.  So welcome !


Someone you know, my Nino, is almost taking off a steep slope in the mountains, a simple joy he never gets tired of,

Ninio, snow

and a thirsty dog (20°C on that particular day) taking a bath and drinking water at the edge of the lake, after playing with his master on the grass.


Typical Winter activity…


and early Spring relaxing moments at the lake.

DSC00268Such are my landscapes at the moment. Winter is not yet over (far from it) and Spring is starting to shine down in the valley. I even saw apricot trees in bloom, a rare sight at the end of March. I wish you happy moments, joyful colors and a warmer sunshine in a blue sky.

En route for Spring !


19 Responses to “Altitudes and contrasts”

  1. Carsten said

    Thanks for the spring pictures Isa.
    I like your idea of showing the contrasts.
    The man figthing the snow dunes is my favourite picture in this series. It shows WINTER and WORK!

    • Glad you enjoyed these Spring pictures, Carsten. The man fighting the snow dunes is my man… he appreciated your comments very much 😉 There has been such an amount of snow this Winter that he actually had to dig trenches to go up to the chalet. Thanks for your visit and words.

  2. Truels said

    Using contrasts is such a strong and clear way to tell a story. Your picture story is exciting!

  3. shoreacres said

    I had just turned to your post when the most unearthly racket outside pulled me to the balcony. How I laughed! A man was walking two beagles, and from their behavior it seems they must have treed a squirrel in a palm tree — or perhaps a cat. Such baying and carrying on! It made me think of Nino. I’m glad to see he’s well and enjoying himself.

    You have altitude, and we have fronts. The past month we’ve been swinging between cold and warm, a bit of ice and barefoot weather. Finally, I think things have evened out a bit, and spring truly is coming to us.

    I first saw larch trees in montucky’s blog. They’re so pretty in the autumn. And I like the way you’ve matched the larch with the sailboat masts – very effective. The boat I sailed for years had a mast made of Sitka spruce – one of the longest-grained trees in the world.

    Your mention of having to shovel passageways reminded me of the worst blizzard I can remember during childhood. The drifts were to the rooftop of my grandparents’ house. I may have mentioned it, because it made such an impression. My dad had to climb out a bedroom window with a shovel, and go around to work on clearing a path or two.

    Your photos are so lovely, but I suspect you’re ready for more spring and less winter, too. Soon!

    • Good morning Linda and thank you for your long message, interesting in many ways, as always.

      When I took the picture of the boats in Morat, I thought of you and wondered if you were sailing on such a boat. I felt the picture of the masts would please you. I had never heard of Sitka spruce trees. They look a bit like our pines but are much taller and bigger. Very impressive trees indeed, from Alaska and North American coast, as I read.

      As for this unearthly racket caused by two beagles in front of a tree… it made me smile too. Determined, stubborn beagles, not different across the pond. After all, their nose is highly specialized in finding smells of all kinds, right ? I can just hear their barking…

      And yes, I am ready for more Spring and less snow. We just had the visit of a dear friend from TX, so nice to talk and hear more of your own state. Wishing you a pleasant Sunday, Linda.

  4. Sartenada said

    Quelles grande variété de superbes photos Isa. Je les aime tous et j’ai dû les regarder trois fois – en admirant!

    Belle journée!

  5. Les contrastes entre les montagnes et la vallée sont étonnantes, Isa. J’aime les toits de tuiles – ils sont typiquement suisse? Les couleurs de l’image finale sont belles – surtout le ciel ultramarine. Et c’est bien de voir que Niño jouit de la neige, même si tu es prêt pour le printemps!

    • Bonjour Janice et merci de ta visite, de tes mots. Ces toits de tuiles se trouvent aussi en Allemagne, Autriche, à l’Est de l’Europe aussi. Différentes tuiles que celles de l’Italie, de l’Espagne ou du Sud de la France, par exemple. J’aime voir évoluer les couleurs au fil des saisons.

  6. Joanne said

    Hello Isa. What a lovely story of contrasting weather you have written here. My favourite photo though is Nino…just look at those ears flying! Our pets can teach us so much about simple joys. 🙂

    • Merci Joanne, Ninio is also my favorite. He loves nature, weather in Winter or Spring and he shows his joy with a total liveliness. Simple joys, as you say.

      • Dear Joanne, I just read about the loss of your lovely Tessie. How very sad, I can understand how you feel, I also had to part with Mouchette, the sweetest dog you can think of. But yours was too. Our pets are so dear to us and they live with us forever. Let’s be grateful that we could share many happy years with them. With all my sympathy, Joanne.

  7. sybil said

    Oh what a fascinating post. Isa, what is the driving time between locales? Does a two hour drive take you from winter to spring ?

    • How interesting that you should link time and seasons, Sybil. You are quite right, if the roads are not too busy I can leave the chalet in the Alps around 10am and be in Morat, at the lake side at 12am. A total change of climate and landscape. Switzerland is a very small country, you know 🙂 Thanks for your visit and words.

  8. We are still in the grip of winter. I would love to get into the mood for spring cleaning but there is something about cold, snow, ice and grey skies that is preventing that from happening anytime soon. At least spring is happening somewhere… (lovely images Isa)

    • So nice to read you again ! Winter seems to be lingering in your area but surely Spring will be on its way soon. I wish it very much for you.
      The weather has changed so much over here. Spring, yes, but with Summer temperatures ! The orchards of apricot trees in our area were in great danger recently. As they were almost in full bloom, one night of very low temperatures and frost endangered them badly. Many trees were lost but fortunately the greatest part was saved. It is an important production in our rural area.

  9. ANNE G said

    De nouveau Isa, je me suis longuement promenée sur ton site, lisant ici ou là ce que tu écrivais, regardant les photos…………….j’aime franchement beaucoup ce que tu fais et ce que tu écris!!!
    tu vis donc en Suisse, mais sembles connaître l’Afrique, tu donnes des cours de patchwork?
    J’aurais bien des questions à te demander…………..Si un jour tu passes en Périgord, tu es la bienvenue, tu me feras plaisir de t’arrêter! Et is c’est asseez long, tu auras droit à un dîner indien!
    Pour qu’on se connaisse un peu mieux, je me présente, et j’espère que tu feras de meme sur mon adresse mail…. 63 ans, prof de Lettres (en retraite anticipée, j’ai 4 enfants!) Très mobile à cause de mon mari médecin qui fait maintenant des remplacements, j’ai 6 petits-enfants de moins d e5 ans…et ce n’est pas fini………….

    • Quel plaisir de te retrouver ici, chère Anne ! Ca me fait plaisir que mon blog – pas très régulier en ce moment – te plaise. Oui, je vis dans la partie francophone de la Suisse et j’ai vécu dans deux pays d’Afrique : Madagascar et le Rwanda. Je n’ai jamais donné des cours de patchwork mais j’ai commencé à apprendre les bases de ce qui est devenu une passion à Kigali, avec des tissus africains uniquement. Mes préférés.

      Il y a bien, bien longtemps que je suis passée dans le Périgord, une superbe région. Si jamais j’y retourne, je te promets de m’y arrêter, pour te rencontrer d’abord et pour goûter à un repas indien, une cuisine que j’adore !

      A bientôt sur ton mail pour plus d’informations. Merci infiniment de ta visite.

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