January 1, 2017
HAPPY 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.
Still 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.
And 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.
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.
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,
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.
Such 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 !
December 3, 2013
It seems like a short while since I wrote about Fall. Now Winter has arrived bringing snow, freezing temperatures and pleasures many look forward to. I have not been very present on my blog lately and I regret it. Troubled times and sad events kept me away. Sometimes you cannot help but just going along with the flow of life and all it gives you, good or less so. I missed reading your own blogs and sharing more of my thoughts and images. Recently though I had the opportunity of taking a few pictures and I thought I would share these moments with you.
It was the first day snow fell. I sat on one of those bright yellow postal buses driving up to a chalet in the mountains. It is a drive I always enjoy for the breathtaking landscape and the comforting feeling of not having to drive myself on the slippery roads of this Season.
Few people were in the bus: not even ten of us including the driver. There were mostly young people studying down in the valley and going up back home in the late afternoon.
Suddenly, exactly at this spot on the road, one of the four snow chains that equipped the large wheels of the bus broke. The driver stopped the engine and went out to see the damage. He did not look really happy as he started to replace the chain; his vehicle had just been thoroughly checked before Winter and he was surprised this should happen. We, the passengers, sat patiently, waiting, reading, listening to music or looking at the landscape. That was me.
I liked the blending of shades, golden trees surrounded by white fields. Snow had started falling again. A snowplough overtook us in the curve, the truck driver stopped and offered his help. “Thanks, it’s all right” our driver replied, “I’ll manage” ! And the truck went off, a long evening of work ahead of him.
The snow fell on and on, softly but steadily. By then we were on our way again, very cautiously. Calmness was all around, a beautiful landscape and hardly any car on the road. I felt safe and warm in the bus and did not mind the delay.
I was looking at a few chalets on the way and imagined how cosy it must feel inside, around a fireplace maybe, as snow was covering paths and mountain pastures.
The road was barely visible. Few vehicles had driven there since snow fell in the morning. It was slippery and the driver was extremely careful and slow in handling the bends and downhill slopes.
Yet it felt good being driven in such a beautiful and quiet environment. I trusted the driver and enjoyed the nature all around us. No more music nor chatter in the bus, the only noise was the sound of the big chained wheels on the crisp snow. A dreamy and silent drive, one that brings peace to your mind and makes you feel good in your heart.
I would have loved to take a picture of the yellow bus in the snow but by the time we reached the village we were heading to, it was real dark. Our HD – Hero Driver – was not in the mood for a picture, too tired from so much concentration on the driving. Nice as he is, he promised I could take a picture next time I am on his bus.
Please, excuse the poor quality or the images (too many reflections from the bus windows).
November 10, 2013
…Fall was there ! You wake up one morning, pull the curtains and there it is. The birch tree is turning yellow and the morning feels slightly cooler.A soft haze envelops the landscape just enough to highlight the changing shades of the Season.The last yellow roses in the garden undulate slightly in the breeze. The day was chilly ; did they get pink petals from the fresh air ?More autumnal shades are reflected in a pond. A quiet and peaceful mood to welcome a new cycle of Season.
More autumnal shades are reflected on a pond. A quiet, peaceful mood to welcome a new cycle of Season.Back home from my morning walk, I found big colourful apples in a pot in front of my door. Someone really nice had left them there for me. I immediately bit into one…Simply delicious ! As for the others, they were much appreciated on a pie, juicy and melting in your mouth. Just a few small pleasures of the coming Season. I hope you have just as much, and more, to enjoy.
August 14, 2013
Another day in Portugal. After the city of Porto, its harbour and the Douro river, how about spending some time in a luxuriant park of Porto and in Coimbra’s Botanical Garden ? It was founded in 1772 and is part of its very ancient University. More about the beautiful city of Coimbra later on.Won’t you come into the garden, I would like my roses to see you.” Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1751-1816) said to his future wife Elizabeth inferring that she was more beautiful.
A hue of far away. Perhaps for this
The dove brought olive back, a tree which grows
Unearthly pale, which ever dims and dries,
And whose great thirst, exceeding all excess,
Teaches the South it is not paradise.
My garden is my favorite teacher. ~Betsy Cañas Garmon,www.wildthymecreative.com
March 18, 2011
This is my contribution to Scott Thomas Photography´s Assignment on close-up photography :
It is so worthwhile and amazing to take a closer look at things around us. Walking along a mountain path during the week, I tried to look more closely at nature and man-made environment. Here are a few images I felt like sharing.
A knurl like a spiral in a wooden fence.
Spring is not here yet in the Alps. Those are the first buds I could spot on a bush.
Barely out of the snow, a tiny velvety flower was creeping on a rock.
Spiky-looking needles that are as soft as wool when you touch them : a thick and soft carpet under my favourite tree, the larch.
In a dry-stone wall along a stream, a colourful stone stood out: white, grey, black, rust shades and rough textures under your fingers.
All pictures above have been taken in the macro mode of my camera, a Sony DSC-W5.
Once again, thank you Scott for this opportunity of looking differently, more closely at our environment.
September 11, 2010
Last night I saw a movie at the cinema, a Franco-Australian fable called : “The Tree”. Instantly this movie became a favourite of mine. I felt like sharing my enthusiasm and emotion with you and I made a collage to illustrate it. The first picture shows a huge tree I photographed in a park of Melbourne. Apart from its size, it has not much to do really with the immense and symbolic fig tree in Queensland where the story takes place. The second picture is a photo of the film poster featuring Charlotte Gainsbourg (Dawn), the main actress in the movie. More talented and natural than ever.
This film is directed by Julie Bertucelli and is based on a novel by Judy Pascoe “Our Father Who Art in the Tree”. This delightful movie was presented on the closing night of the Festival de Cannes in France recently and was widely appreciated. Marton Csokas (George) and Morgana Davies, an exceptional and talented young actress (Simone) are amongst the characters that will be remembered.
The story ? I do not feel like saying too much about it… Just know that the story starts in Australia. Peter and Dawn live happily somewhere in Queensland in the shade of their huge and magnificent fig tree. When Peter dies unexpectely, each member of the family reacts in his or her own way in order to continue living without their dear partner and father. Simone, their young daughter of 8 years old, believes her father’s soul lives now in the fig tree. This little girl illuminates the whole film.
I hope some day you will be able to see this movie made with a rare sensitivity. Queensland’s lanscapes are breathtaking and the photography in the film is superb.
March 27, 2010
Today is a stormy day, rain and wind and cold temperatures again. 10°C less than these past days. Such will be our weekend according to the weather forecast… No wonder if some trees have adopted the “question mark attitude” and ask themselves questions about the real arrival of Spring !
Spring (8 haiku)
sail boats in the fountain
my first kite
circus in town
kite in the sky
pulling my hand
our last dance
song without end
March 12, 2010
Have you ever enjoyed a walk through a botanical garden in Winter ? When I am in town, I often take time to stroll in the small garden that keeps its particular charm even though bright colours are not very present at this time of the year.But if you look closely you will find the warm orange shade of a wild rose bud. In the pond, a small block of ice shaped like a frozen silver rose. The pale Winter sun would light up the windows of a greenhouse gently brushed by white rods.
Inside the greenhouse plants are growing slowly and waiting for better days to be brought outside. Their green reflections behind the glass add some life to the sleepy garden.
And when the weather is as cold as now, low temperatures and an icy Northern wind, the tropical greenhouse welcomes you in its warm and humid forest of banana trees, eucalypts, ficus, acacias and a more exotic landscape. Wherever I go, I try to find a botanical garden, stroll through the seasons and the local vegetation. Often it is a breath of fresh air in the middle of a city. A green area to sit and rest or read, just feel good and relax.
January 22, 2010
Frost, snow, grey sky and coldness are still very present here. We all seem to get used to those low temperatures (-5°C or less in the morning, a few degrees higher during the day). One thing though keeps me wondering every day and I look forward to my walk in the woods : it is the extraordinary and fabulous transformation of vegetation through the frost. How can one ever get used to the beauty of these branches ?
As the French saying goes “Année de givre, année de fruits”… “A frosty Winter gives a generous harvest of fruits in Summer” 😉 So, let’s look forward to warmer days !