Sunday, 26 October 2014

Soft Layers of Blue

Soft 
misty
mysterious
The sky, the mountains and the water 
merge together to give a feeling of peace and inner quiet.

A little rowing boat keeping its reflection company
and bringing in tones of aqua.
The faraway mountains
take on a delicate shade of violet
and
three little moorhens glide by
on the smooth surface of the water.

The small breeze 
creates gently undulating ripples
sailing boats sail back and forth with gracefulness
and reflections reach out to me
and pull me into the scene.

It would be a pity not to include a picture of the Mont Blanc
whose summit is covered in snow the whole year round.
This is the highest mountain in the Alps and the European Union
and it rises to 4.810 m (15.781 ft).
It's location is between the Aosta Valley in Italy
and the Haute Savoie in France


A framed picture of loveliness
to take home with me
and savour the inner stillness I still feel
when I observe them again, remembering the beauty of the day.






Sunday, 19 October 2014

Today

Today

will be yesterday

tomorrow.

I saw a poster with these words:
"Aujourd'hui
sera hier demain..."

This simple phrase made me think about things a little differently.

Today is the only tangible reality we have
and remember
tomorrow never comes
for when it's here
it's today!

What about yesterday?
Well, that too had its turn to be in the limelight
when it was called: today!

So
if today is the only day there is
let's live it fully
with  gratitude
for the little joys we can find
in each day

like noticing the dance of the bare branches
in a puddle we happen to encounter.




Saturday, 11 October 2014

The Child Within

Years later, they would remember this moment,

The two children sat on a rock near the lake's edge
 looking through the curtain of overhanging branches of a weeping willow.

The sparkles on the water in the late afternoon sun held their gaze.
The little boy and his big sister had been playing
and now they sat quietly together without speaking,
seeming content to observe and take in their surroundings.

The children's grandmother was sitting a little further away, 
keeping a watchful eye.

When I see scenes like this, I enter into the world of childhood again
and see life through a child's eyes, remembering the feeling
 and how each day was a new adventure to be embraced with enthusiasm.

I believe that within each  and every one of us,
there is a small child ready to be amazed by each tiny detail of life.

We all hold within us the capacity to live fully in the moment, 
where time stands still and thought-forms pass like fluffy clouds in the sky
and dissolve into nothingness.

Nothingness is sometimes the perfect state to be in.
What do you think?


Sunday, 5 October 2014

October's Whisperings

A puddle after rain
blue sky captured
A leaf framed

Bark and moss
provide a homely texture
for golden leaves aflutter

Copper leaves
dance against
the remnants of summer.

Hush!
Can you hear October's whisperings?


Sunday, 28 September 2014

Rippling Reflections

I hope you like green!
If you do,
 let yourself imagine that you're a water sprite
living in a poetic, watery setting in nature.

By clicking on each photo
to enlage the image, you will be able to see each tiny detail and every delicate hue.

Snatches of blue sky mingle in-between the green reflections

A few burnished leaves show themselves here and there

Cascading and ondulating
becoming abstract in quality

Here you can see the reason for these reflections and ripples
On the left of this image, the circular pattern comes from a source flowing into the pond.

Mesmerizing

Even the duck is enjoying the movements in the water
Can you bear a bit more green...?

This one is my favourite
The circular movement of the water,
the touches of blue
and the different shades of green.
All is made up of reflections except the hanging branch on the upper right.

A final look
this time at the other end of the pond
which gives a more serene atmosphere.


Water sprite:

An elf-like creature or water fairy.
Some people believe in them,
others prefer to look upon them as supernatural legendary creatures.
Whatever your belief,
I hope you enjoyed being a water-sprite during your visit!



Sunday, 21 September 2014

Conkers

A conker
is the hard, shiny dark brown nut 
of a Horse Chestnut tree.

I've always loved conkers
The way they hang on the tree in their spiky green capsules

and when they ripen,
the gorgeous, shiny, rich brown nut
appears and falls to the ground.

Every part of the conker is beautiful and harmonious,
even the inner capsule.

Some years ago,
I planted a conker and a wonderful horse-chestnut tree
started to grow.
I put it in a huge pot on my balcony
and every year it grew taller and more beautiful.
It grew taller than me and started to touch the top of the balcony.
One year, it gave flowers and I was hoping to get my own conkers.
but they didn't develop.
 The following year,
a very late frost killed my tree already covered in fresh leaves.
Maybe one day, I'll plant another conker and watch a new tree grow.


Just to explain a slightly confusing issue:

Conkers come from the Horsechestnut tree Aeseculus hippocastanum
 and are inedible.

Chestnuts come from the Sweet Chestnut tree Castanea sativa
 and are edible.

Monday, 15 September 2014

A Small Medieval Town


This is a fortified medieval castle
in a small town high up on a hill overlooking the green landscape below
It's Le Château de Gruyères
in the canton of Fribourg.

A canton is a way to divide the land of a country.
It is like dividing the country into different regions or states.
The word comes from the Latin: canto
which means: 'a section of a country'.

It's a steep climb up to the little town on the hill
before we can go through the archway at the top to reach the centre.

Glancing down into the valley below as the castle walls get closer.

This is the main street with cobbled paths.
No cars are allowed to circulate and have to be left down below.

A closer view of the mountain in the background
called Le Moléson.
It's a well-known landmark in this canton.
On the upper right, against the sky,
you can see see a sign which says Hotel de Ville.
The bird depicted in the middle is a stork (la grue in French)
which is the symbol of the Gruyères region.

Perhaps you have tasted the famous Swiss cheese
called Gruyère which is made in this region.

The town is beautifully decorated with geraniums in all the windows 
and on the terraces.
People sat outside, many of them eating cheese fondue, among other specialities.

There are many old doors with carvings and decorative stonework.
This one dates back to 1591.

Equally charming windows adorn old facades.
Don't you love the points on the extremity of the shutters
which slot into the shape of the stonework around the windows?

Could this be the door to the cellar full of vintage wines?

Heart shapes are everywhere, 
carved in the window boxes
and lacy hangings in the windows.

Doesn't this bench look inviting?
A place to sit and watch the people passing by.

I couldn't resist these windows with their reflections of the sky and clouds.

More attractive stone work with the pointed scallops
typical to the Renaissance style.
In the wrought-iron work,
we can see the symbolic grue (stork) once again.

Isn't this a romantic window?
Could there be a young damsel inside
waiting for her gallant cavalier to pass by?

Now I will show you how we finished off our visit
to this picturesque town
Does it look good?
Besides the cheese fondue,
this is another typical dish from this area:
Fruit of the season, served with meringues
and incredibly thick Gruyère cream.
Have you ever seen cream this thick in its natural state?

Go on!
Taste a bit.
I've put three juicy blueberries there just for you!


Here is the castle seen from afar.
This photo was not taken by me.



Thursday, 4 September 2014

Alpine Lake Hike

During the last week of my summer break
I was able to do a few beautiful outings
One of them was to hike around an Alpine lake.
The light was perfect.

The lake was surrounded by rugged mountains and green pastures.
If you look carefully, you will see a waterfall in the distance
and on the upper right you can see the white tip of a glacier.

Zooming in on the waterfall from the other side of the lake.

Quite impressive 
and I was happy enough to walk at the base of these rocky slopes.

Each part of our hike gave us a different scene.

A chalet nestled in a clearing surrounded by pine trees
and fresh green slopes.

Another chalet on our trail.
There was smoke coming out of the chimney
and look at those lovely cow bells all lined up!

A wooden jetty leading to the lake

Lake reflections
taking on the green colours of the surrounding scenery.

The air was so pure and clear

The views change constantly

and there's such peacefulness.

We were so blessed with the best sunny day of the week to do this outing!
Now I'm back in work mode, I have this lovely day to remember!