2017

January 1, 2017

DSC03379.JPGHAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL and best wishes for this coming year.

Here are my new calendars for 2017 and some of my little and bigger friends who will accompany me each month. Aren’t they cute, beautiful ? These calendars were sent to me by a few rescue centers for animals. It makes me happy that they found good care and a shelter.

DSC03291.JPGStill no snow in the Alps but frosty, misty mornings that are so cold my wind chime keeps silent. Their sweet voices too frozen to sing. No swinging either.

dsc03349And when Winter rhymes with frost, colors and blue sky..this Season looks and feels just wonderful for your eyes and  heart. How can one not feel good when such a landscape welcomes you in the morning ?

Front cover of my tiny 2017 calendar

Because love, love is never finished,

It circles and circles

The memories out of order

And not always complete.

(Sara Zarr)

Hints of Spring

April 15, 2014

Did you think Spring had come ? I did too last March. Then one morning I felt everything looked too white, too cold.  Different. A patch of Winter had covered the landscape. Again. Just to give us a fright. It did not last long though.   DSC00321 When snow melted, the soil got warmer by the day and little by little tiny flowers, daisies, appeared in the grass. Some were quicker to open to the sun, others  more shy, stayed asleep. DSC00408 Dialogue between two cotton sheets in the open. “What is Isa thinking to hang us outside today ? Early March is too cold and what a Siberian wind this morning !!”.  “I know, I am freezing. Let’s huddle up together, get warm and dry. Isa will come over, bring us down into her basket and put us back nicely onto our beds”. Spring washing Hiding in the grass ? I saw you, pretty white primrose. You made my day. Thank you. DSC00356 Spring can affect some animals, apparently not these quiet cows grazing along the railway road. As I and other passengers were waiting for the train back in Fribourg, we were told that the train would have an indeterminate delay. We waited as the same message was repeated again and again. Finally we knew what it was all about :  heifers were on the tracks and  all trains from Zurich to Geneva (half of Switzerland, North-South) were delayed. Maybe it was the cows’  first day out in the pastures  after a long stay in the barn ? Such an excitement and joy ! There must have been some serious gap in a fence somewhere  too. Fortunately nothing wrong happened to anybody, the cheerful cattle was driven back home and the train moved on. Missed connections but more time to admire the scenery.DSC00368   Spring can also make you feel more tired. This is my case. I do not seem to be the only one… I was looking for Nino at home, no sign of him. I found him upstairs, dozing lazily on a comfy quilt, eyeing gently at an exotic parrot. Oh well, change of Season, you know.quilt, Nino, KOSince we are in a patchwork mood, let me show you my new Spring project. Something I have been planing to sew for a long time : a picnic blanket for Summertime. All different scrappy squares, economy blocks or diamond in diamond. I really enjoy going through my leftovers boxes. The quilt is far from being finished; I plan to separate each square with a plain fabric, white or green.  Spring has just started and I hope to sit in the open on this blanket next Sumer. How I love picnics ! DSC00448Just a few touches of my Spring that I felt like sharing with you, hoping yours is pleasant too. Any project on the way ?

Cats in the garden

April 26, 2013

A short, very short story.

Two cats in a garden close to my home, so close they often pay me a visit. One jump over the fence and here they are :

Renia, the white Somali, sweet looking but fierce when it comes to defend its preys.Renia

and Solero, the brown Bengali who reigns over our area and whose descendants are numerous  and beautiful.

forget me not

The garden they live in is just beginning to bloom and it is a real pleasure to look at it. What a gift  to stroll through its alleys after the long Winter !  Its gardener, my friend Germaine, so loved by both cats, spends hours tending to it.

This is how Germaine’s garden looks through the eye of my needle.

quilt cats in the garden

A round ochre terrace surrounded by colourful bush, neat narrow alleys and a kitchen garden where flowers have nested too. In a secluded corner lies a small pond amongst pink flowers, home to golden fish and frogs.quilt cats in the garden, 2

An air of Japan, stones,  big flower pots, small plants and cactus.quilt Cats in the garden, 3

Flowerbeds glimpsed at through Germaine’s kitchen window. Nature and beauty are  all around.

quilt cats in the garden, 4

Lovely and peaceful, yes, but on the other side of the fence is someone who is not in good terms with the feline crew. Worried and annoyed by the boldness of Renia and Solero, Ninio-the-Beagle shouts it loud and clear in the neighbourhood. Oh ! Happy Sunday mornings when our pets greet one another…Ninio, 3 ans, 1

Dormancy

January 22, 2013

Scott Thomas’ first photography challenge this year is about Winter. http://viewsinfinitum.com/2013/01/09/assignment-23-winter/ What does Winter mean to you ?

Here  is my contribution to Scott’s  assignment.

Winter 2012-2013 is  particularly cold and snowy in some areas of Switzerland and yet it is only January ! In an alpine area, this Season brings a lot to mind like the best, in particular the various kinds of sport activities to the most unpleasant and dangerous, like extreme coldness, icy roads,  avalanches. There is also one aspect that touches both the vegetal and animal world: dormancy. If you consider the time I spent away from my blog. you could also include humans 😉

During a train travel between Geneva and the Alps, I was looking at a landscape of vineyards under the snow. A lovely patchwork in white and grey shades, no bustling around, just quietness. I thought of nature and its resting time, dormancy.  I love this unique landscape of Lavaux terraced vineyards spreading down gently to the shore of Lake Léman. The whole area is protected by Unesco. Here are more pictures for you :

http://www.lavaux.com/

vignes, guérite

First snow in early December. As I opened the shutters one morning, I was surprised to see  whiteness all around. The air was chilly and silent. I smiled as I spotted what looked like two animal shapes sculpted by snow. A hare ? A turtle ? In any case, they were well into their dormancy period.lapin, tortue

In a more urban landscape,  some construction sites experience their own dormancy period in Winter. Work had stopped. A greenhouse in the botanical garden nearby was all lit up, a warm looking sight. The heat inside was such a contrast with the outside temperature. Tropical trees and plants were  blooming, no sign of rest there.chantier

A familiar sight, the terrace in front of our home. On the previous day, I sat there for a while,  letting my eyes wander on a landscape I am  never tired of looking at.  Now it is time for garden tables and chairs  to  take their own rest.terrasse, neige

The little hedgehock was on the way to his favourite spot to spend the Winter: a big heap of  leaves secured from Ninio-the-beagle’s investigations. Both had a rather traumatic meeting a while ago… and I doubt Ninio will ever tease the hedgehock again.  As I got nearer, he stopped his quick little steps and buried his head in the snow. Discreetly, I retreated and let him move on for a long Winter sleep.

hérisson, hiver

Someone just eaten a good part of my tasty and juicy apple. See below. I had left it on the picnic table while I taking a picture of Lake Livingston, Texas, at the end of a very hot July afternoon. The squirrel’s stomach was full and contented.  Not a bit disturbed by my presence, he lied down on the bench warmed by the sun, made himself comfortable and gave me a last look before entering  in a lethargic and sleepy state. Aestivation ? Another kind of dormancy, away from the coldness of hibernation in the North.

fatigué

Sleep well, greedy little one 🙂

How do you think my own dormancy looked like over this past month ?

Just like this. Books. Lost in books of fiction, history, biographies, memoir. A few have been read and enjoyed a lot. Others’ turn will come soon.books, Jan. 2013, HDR

About three years ago, this shy and unsure little guy arrived in our home from the South of France (Provence),  just in time for my birthday 😉 A ten weeks’ old Beagle looking up at me with eyes that seemed to say: “Here I am, tired from the long drive, my heart and stomach feeling strange,  away from my mom and pack of brothers and sisters… Will you love me ?” If the picture is a bit blurred, it is because my eyes were a bit misty too.

A few weeks later, Nino was already exploring the jungle of lavender flowers whose scent may have reminded him of those vast blue  fields that spread over plains and hills in the Provence. Something familiar for him.Life is not always a tranquil river… (Title of a French movie). At 8 months, Nino had a surgery and came out of the vet’s with this strange and cumbersome kind of hat. It did not prevent him to walk and run head down though, scraping against any stone or branch that was on his way to some interesting scent.

Month after month he grew up into a strong, energetic and alert Beagle, always so happy to walk or  run along mountain tracks. Sometimes on the leash when cows were pasturing nearby, sometimes as free as the air and totally oblivious of my “retour/return !” command. My second son, a soccer player, gave me a referee whistle. Its shrill sounds seems to bring him back to me. Sometimes.Although  a Southerner, Nino really adapted very well to our  long winters. He is never cold nor tired to walk in the snowy forests. His short but thick fur keeps him warmer than any coat I could wear. No cold feet nor frozen fingers for my Beagle. On and on he keeps exploring and digging under the snow.At the end of March though, I almost lost my Nino. During a walk across a field, he ate something poisonous, real bad. I never saw what it was and the  vets who took care of him for three days could not find out either. He had a terrible fit, uncontrollable convulsions. It took him a few weeks and more medicines to recover. Calm, sleepy, recovering slowly but surely. I will never forget this moment of panic,  Nino trembling violently, his four legs all stiff, his imploring eyes saying “help me !” and am so grateful to the vets who cured him so well. A strong little Beagle.

Nino has now fully recovered, as you see from this picture taken yesterday during a walk. He is again the determined and tireless dog that he was before he got ill. Strong and alert in his element, Nature. This conqueror’s attitude… has he been  inspired by  Napoléon crossing the Alps ?;)  I think Nino still has a lot more to enjoy and explore. Happy Birthday, little buddy !

A week of snow

December 7, 2010

The Blues of the Nets. No cheer, no crowd, not much around these days but a lot of snow and a few noisy crows watching over deserted nets.

A snowy forest star just as lovely as in Summertime.

Braving  wind and  snow on the coldest day of the week (-7°C).

Dialog between four (not too friendly)  eyes :Dog to Cat : “Hey Chubby ! You’re on my territory ! How d’you like our new chaseground, by the way ?”

Cat to Dog : “Not as crazy as you about it… and I don’t mind sharing your territory, I’m faster anyway and I can climb, remember ? ;)”

Snow and fog; it was probably the most beautiful and special day in the country but… totally chaotic on the roads and in town.

Another morning of deep snow and freezing temperatures (-6°C). The laundry will have to stay indoors.

What an utter pleasure  to see the sun again and the beauty of the landscape under its cool rays on a forest path !

This is a little of my week for the past seven days.  There is less snow today because it has started to rain. The air is still cold but someone cannot resist the call of the forest  and off we are on the road and tracks again 🙂 !

A hint of Winter

November 1, 2010

It was around 5.30pm and  I was driving to town. The sun was highlighting the pasture and the cows, the last rays of a beautiful but chilly autumnal day. I just had to stop and take a picture of two Seasons that were overlapping. Snow had fallen on the Prealpes mountains and the sight was enchanting. Could it be that Winter is at the door ? A bit too soon for me…

“Winter is an etching,  Spring a watercolor,  Summer an oil painting and Autumn a mosaic of them all”.

Stanley Horowitz

Dialog without words

March 7, 2010

Words do not always need to be expressed… So much can be said between four eyes.  Or so I imagined 😉

Oh Isa,  at last you are here! I was waiting for you .

I have a real big problem …

I lost that favourite bone of mine 😦 You know the one, don’t you ?

I searched everywhere for it, inside and outside.

I know it’s here somewhere but it’ll take me ages to find it ! I’m quite desperate 😦

Please Isa, can you help ??

“Sure, little Buddy, we’ll find it. Some day :)”

Christmas decoration

December 14, 2009

Slowly but surely, home looks more and more “Christmassy”. Quilts, stars, crown, pine cones, baubles were all sewed along the years. They add  a colourful touch inside the house whereas  outside trees are bare and bent by a strong and freezing Northern wind.

I just started decorating the Christmas Tree too, one I bought in the village. Every year the funds of this sale will help children go to a ski-camp for one week. This year I fixed decorations  in the upper part of the tree only. And of course, no candles nor small chocolate figurines !

But “why” ? would you ask. “Her Christmas tree looks so minimaliste” ! Just wait till you see the next pictures. They are quite self-explanatory….

Ninio is a great acrobat, there is no obstacle for his stubborness.  And his curiosity for novelty is… boundless !

B like Beagle

August 15, 2009

Niño 5Birthday does not rhyme with Beagle But at least it starts with the same letter!

B like a Beautiful surprise

B like a Big parcel that I was given on my Birthday

B like an incrediBle joy as I found inside a small red collar

Niño, ball

B like the Black leash that accompanied it

B like the sweet message  that I read with a tremBling voice in front of my family

B like the two deep Brown eyes that looked at me on a picture

B like my heartBeat when I realized this Baby Beagle was mine ! He just needed a name starting with an E, not a B 😉

B like my Elnino Beagle, Ninio for his Buddies

B like my patchwork Basket he chose to sleep in when he arrived at home

Niño, basket 1B like the little Bundle of joy that wakes up every morning

B like the Breathtaking energy Ninio expends every day

B like how unBelievably quick Ninio adapted himself to his new family… and reciprocally

B like his Ballet dancing when it is Breakfast time or  when forest calls

B like the first Bone he ever tasted after a Barbecue which smell kept him Busy and alert for a good while

B like an adoraBle Bright little Buddy who Brings joy to everyBody at home.

Niño, jardin 1

B like Better leave you for now : someBody is waiting for dinner !

B like goodBye