All of a sudden …

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.DSCN0780A soft haze  envelops the landscape just enough to highlight the changing shades of the Season.DSCN0771The last yellow roses in the garden undulate slightly in the breeze. The day was chilly ; did they get pink petals  from the fresh air ?roses d'automneMore autumnal shades are reflected in a pond. A quiet and peaceful mood to welcome a new cycle of Season.

étang, automneMore autumnal shades are reflected on a pond. A quiet, peaceful mood to welcome a new cycle of Season.pommesBack 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.

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It’s all about colors !

November 17, 2012

If you read this…

you will know that Scott Thomas’ new photography assignment is about

“Color Composition”.

Please visit Scott Thomas’ blog here :  http://viewsinfinitum.com/2012/11/07/assignment-22-color-composition/ for more information. Deadline to send your pictures is : November 21st, 2012; this challenge is the last one Scott is presenting to us this year. Come and join us ! Thank you Scott, it is always so interesting to share our pictures from all over the world and learn more about photography.

Here are a few pictures I would like to share with you for this assignment :

On a dull Winter day in the South of France, the overall colour in this small alley was beige but for this man’s  striking red scarf and the bright blue gate.

My favourite time for taking pictures is at sunset. I think it brings out depth and brilliance in any colour.

Autumn offers so many possibilities for displaying colours.

An opening to the  light in an ancient church. I particularly like the contrast between architecture and nature.

A magic window in The Cube of Melbourne. Another world is created by the colourful reflections between sky, lamps and decorations.

The pace of nature

December 15, 2011

“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience” (Ralph Waldo Emmerson).

Patience was  really needed to fulfill Scott Thomas’ last photography assignment for this year  http://viewsinfinitum.com/2010/12/08/assignment-seasons-2011/ The aim was to picture the same view during our Four Seasons and see the changes nature brought to a particular place in our surroundings. I chose a view close to me and that I love all year round: the landscape I see from   my kitchen window.

I started taking pictures in December  2010 on a day when snow fell like in a fairy tale. Snow flakes kept falling silently day and night leaving a strange quietness over the landscape. The bare rowan-tree outside the window became heavy with snow and some of its fragile branches broke. Gusts of wind brought snowflakes onto the window and they stayed there, frozen around the wooden frame.

“Winter teaches us what it means to close one phase of life so that we can begin something else, totally different, totally new. It gives us the joy of beginning over and over again throughout the whole of life.”

April changed the view from my window. Green fields dotted with dandelions and buttercups, the first soft green leaves opening slowly in the rowan-tree and a pot of daisies decorating the windowsill. Not much warmth yet but more light and the beginning of a long awaited Spring.

“Spring teaches us patience. Things – and we, a well – grow slowly. Do not overvalue the speed that races to produce what the heart is not yet wise enough to use well.”

Summer in a blazing heat around midday. Everything is growing wildly in the garden, the wheat fields  are looking almost white under the sun and bunches of red berries are now hanging in the rowan-tree for the great pleasure of lots of birds. This is the end of Season for daisies, geraniums will replace them later.  I often sat  in the shade of the ever present rowan-tree in this inviting folding chair.

“Summer teaches us that to have the fullness of life – great tastes, good fun, warm sun and wild abandon – we must have less of it than we expect. Too much of anything sears the soul.”

Fall and its warm colours;  leaves are turning yellow and rusty on the rowan-tree, purple heather has replaced  geraniums on the windowsill and a small mapple-tree is showing its autumnal dress. The fields are still green but with a touch of gold,  at sunset a light haze emerges from the  forest in the far. Almost all ripe red berries have been eaten by the birds preparing for a long migration to the South. Happy and excited reunions in the branches and a carpet of little red fruits on the ground.

“Fall teaches us the value of resting our minds as well as our bodies, the value of readiness, the value of transition. In all the in-between phases and places of life, we are given the time to allow our souls to catch up with our restless energies, to take stock of the present, to get sight of all our possible futures and choose between them.”

Thanks so much Scott for choosing this  theme for your last challenge this year. I took many pictures (with different cameras)  at each Season before choosing these four ones. I love the way Nature looks like through this opening. I  surely missed  a special light or a moody sky but generally this is how my Four Seasons would appear to you from my kitchen window. Although sometimes you may have some surprises…

Like this silent cat, sitting on a woodpile and  observing me patiently behind the window as I was preparing breakfast one morning. When I finally saw him, I could not help but opening the window and giving  him some of Nino’s kibbles. Behind me there were loud howls of protest ! Just an example of an early morning in my kitchen.

All quotes are taken from  Joan Chittister’s monthly Newsletter (The Monastic Way) and I thank her for letting me share them with you.

High Window

July 17, 2009

Verrey,+fenêtre+bleue

“Rather than words comes the thought of high windows:
The sun-comprehending glass,
And beyond it, the deep blue air, that shows
Nothing, and is nowhere, and is endless. ”

Excerpt of a poem by Philip Larkin

An old wooden house  in an almost deserted village. A  small window under the roof. No one is living there any longer. The curtain is pulled halfway across the opaque glass.   Just enough to let in a patch of blue sky. When I pass in front of the sunburnt wooden facade, I look up and imagine life that used to be behind the  high window.  Was it the bedroom of a large family or a bachelor’s housing ? A room under a corrugated iron roof that must have been too hot in Summer and freezing cold in Winter.  The stove was on the groundfloor, no heating upstair.

I imagine the thoughts that flew to the sky as a hand pulled the curtain.  Thoughts of  other places over the mountains. Desires of leaving the village for a better living. Dreams of knowing more of the world beyond the narrow valley.  Or were they thoughts of happiness  and comfort to live in the place of one’s roots ? I imagine the confidences swept away by the wind as one opened the high window… Cool mountain air that would refresh old walls and nurture one’s soul.  A small high window to let the sunshine in.