Summer heat (2)

July 27, 2010

After a few days of well needed rain and cooler temperatures, another heat wave is at the door. Time to  go to the swimming pool or to the lake for a tour on a small paddle boat or pédalo in French.

This could well be the last time  this Summer that we had a barbecue. Because of this long spell of hot days, fires are forbidden in the open; in the forests or in your own garden ! Too dangerous in such a dry Season. No private fireworks either in most places on August 1st, our National Day.

I wonder can you feel the heat in those last two photos ? The wheatfields are ready to be harvested, some have been already.  Their golden shade seem to attract the sun and reflect all this Summer heat.

The heat like a haze over the wheatfield…

Here is something very interesting for all of you who visit. How about  joining in on a photography assignement  by  Scott Thomas ?

http://stphoto.wordpress.com/

Below is a link for more information. Everyone is invited !

http://stphoto.wordpress.com/2010/07/14/assignment-8-travel-photography/#comment-4413

A gentle curve

February 18, 2010

“If your mind becomes firm like a rock

And no longer shakes

In a world where everything is shaking,

Your mind will be your greatest friend

And suffering will not come your way.”

Theragatha

Back from the Alps

January 8, 2010

Just back  home from a stay in our Alps which happen to be in my home state, Valais. These  mountains stand at the border between Switzerland and France/Italy. Most of them are over 3000m high, some (including the Matterhorn or Cervin as we call it in French) over 4000m high. A mighty landscape some find overpowering. Personally these mountains fascinate me because they  seem to change according the season, the day and even the hour. Although we did have some patches of blue sky and luminous sunsets, the weather was rather grey and freezing during the Holiday Season. This year there were more icy paths and roads, violent storms, fog and avalanches than in the previous years . This is not really like the usual weather we enjoy up there. This area is well known for its ever present (or almost) sunshine.

At night time the landscape take a whole different look. Mountains look like a skyline in the horizon and the hills are covered by a multitude of lights. Villages are built  on the steep slopes and when the night falls around 5.30pm, the view is just breathtaking. Try to imagine the fireworks on December 31st in the same night… magic !

A last look at the Rhône Valley in the plain below before closing the shutters at night. Dreams can only be good 🙂

Skies

September 2, 2009

Skies always fascinated me. Maybe because I come from a country where the horizon is almost always limited by hills, forests or mountains. To see a sky as big and wide as in Texas (see below),  you would have to go climbing on a mountain…  Or go hiking, driving to one of those high alpine valleys. There you would get this strange and unique feeling of being somewhere between sky and earth.

Texas mai-juin 2008 069“The world could have been as simple as sky and earth”

André Malraux

The vastness of Australian skies also made me wonder. Clouds looked different to me, as if more free to expand in all directions. The clouds over St-Kilda, Melbourne just slid away in the immensity of the Southern hemisphere, ignoring the  static world underneath.

vastness

“There are more things in the sky and on earth than your philosophy can dream of”

William Shakespeare

A sky I know well, at all times and all seasons. Vibrant colours of a sunset or dark clouds announcing a storm from the West. This is my part of  sky as I open the windows facing South-West. The forest as a skyline.

Fall, 21.10.07 023“Hope is like a night sky : there is no dark corner where the obstinate eye will not discover a star”

Octave Feuillet

Here is a sky I never get tired of admiring  in the Alps. Mountains are towering in a wide amphitheater. No soft and round hills here but a natural circus of peaks and glaciers. Some say they feel oppressed. If one looks above the mountains the sky shines or darkens like nowhere else I remember of. As if telling ancestral stories of continental drift.

Patch of sun“As long as you are happy, you will have many friends.

But as soon as the sky will darken, you will be alone”

Ovide

on the edge

June 28, 2009

on the edgeThere is this village up in the Alps,  a hamlet really, only a few chalets almost hanging from the steep slope. Hardly anyone lives there nowadays. It used to be a larger village where families of mountain farmers made their living in growing wheat, rye, vegetables on terraces.  Goats  provided milk and cheese and mules were the only means of transportation. No easy life up there but the necessity to cultivate every inch of soil.chèvreWhen I am in the area, I often walk to this village on a small track along a narrow irrigation canal. Water ! so precious at all times in such an environnement. The canal is called “bisse” over there and it is built in the same way as the Arabs did in Northern Africa, in the Atlas mountains. Arabs who did travel as far as the Swiss Alps  many centuries ago and who shared their knowledge about water supply.

bisse sous VerreyIn Summer the sun is hot in this micro climate. Coolness is provided by the gentle flow of the water in the canal and the shade in the woods. Tourists have discovered this pleasant walk  and enjoy hiking along the mountain slopes for miles. I love it up there. In all Seasons. In Winter it is easier to do snowshoeing. The silence is  palpable. Hardly any birds around but the mountain ones or those who did not migrate to warmer climes.Verrey, sentierIn the late Fall, I like to bring a book with me, sit along the track and read. Often my eyes lift from my reading and just look and admire this unique landscape all around. Sitting on the edge of the mountain, somewhere between sky and earth. The mountains towering above and the valley deep down below. I have walked on this path countless times, it is never the same and always a renewed pleasure, a deep gratitude for such a world we inherited and have to protect.verrey hameau

Almost snowed in

January 11, 2009

almost-snowed-inHello  and welcome to my blog ! Happy New Year to everyone !

I am Isa from Switzerland. This is from this spot in the Swiss Alps that I saw the first day of  2009 coming, the sun lit up this mountain on the opposite side of the valley and the day started beautifully. A sign maybe that this new year may be as bright as the moments  experienced up there ?  Who knows… There will be joy and sadness too but let’s wish that Hope will always be present. And Peace too. The kind of Peace that starts in your heart and spreads all around. These are my wishes for you and yours wherever you are.

The cosy chalet was almost snowed in.  Nothing but silence, occasionally the sound of a crow or a blue jay. Barely a few tracks, animals, snowshoes, skis. Cars were not exactly welcome on that morning, snow had fallen all night long and paths were invisible. A slow start of the year, peaceful hours to enjoy the present moment. There were quiet talks around the breakfast table, a smell of coffee and toasted brown bread but mostly the amazement and utter pleasure to find oneself in such a unique landscape, a snowy terrace between sky and earth with mountains as neighbours.