The Colour of August

There is no single colour that represents the month of August
but I get an overall impression of bright and joyful colours
which enchant me wherever I go.

Gorgeous sunflowers like this one above
growing in the grounds of the local Farmer's Market
The details in the flower centre are a sheer work of art!

On my daily walks in and around my neighbourhood
I discovered these beautiful Morning Glory blooms
generously providing lots of pollen for the visiting bees.

These flowers last but one single day
but there are always new buds in preparation.

The lovely cascading petals of this beautiful dahlia
captured by leaning over the fence into someone's garden.

Cone Flowers looking pretty in a nearby park.

Blanket Flowers
(Gaillardia aristata)
Growing for the first time on my balcony
and simply adored by the bees.

One can see the attraction to this gorgeous pollen-filled centre

I will definitely be growing these flowers on my balcony next year
I love bee and butterfly friendly plants!

The Gerbera Daisies
enhance a window box just next to my kitchen

Golden Tutsan flowers
This is a larger flowered variety of Hypericum or St. John's Wort

One thing I notice is that August's palette shows a lot
of yellow, pink, orange and red
but  I found a little blue Chicory flower on one of my morning walks
just to ring the change of all these warm colours!

The apples are looking good already
and I can't wait to eat my first apple of the season!

Seed-pods are starting to develop everywhere.

This month of August
has been very hot and even since July we've had
heat-wave after heat-wave with a few days of respite between each
with storms and a little rain to bring the temperatures down, provisionally.

I have often sought out the shade of leafy trees and early morning walks
before the heat builds up.

Sunsets have been beautiful
even here in town
where I manage to zoom between buildings to frame them
with tall trees which remind me of the countryside.

I can hear many people around me
wanting the summer months to last much longer
as they feel that winter lasts for far too long!
As much as I have enjoyed the profusion of flowers
and wonderful colours during this summer
I just love the arrival of autumn
and the wonderful lighting.

My favourite seasons are spring and autumn.
I love living in a country that experiences all four seasons
and I shall be relieved when the extreme heat
of this summer has dwindled into autumn breezes.

The Open Window - Scene & Story - July 2017


When I see this open window in the old stone house,
it reminds me of the importance of remaining open.
To open myself to new ideas,
to see things from another point of view
and to let the fresh air into my way of being and thinking.

Sometimes,
we need to reflect on how our life journey is unfolding.
Going out walking always helps me see things more objectively.

Every morning when I get up and a new day greets me,
I open the windows in my home
to feel the peace of the early morning and go on my balcony
to look up at the sky.
In the warm season,
I say good morning to all my flowers.

I say to myself
that whatever this day brings,
I will do my best to accept the events as they come to me,
not fighting the unexpectedness of how life happens,
but looking at things with new eyes 
and adapting to how they actually are
and not how I had imagined them to be.

An open window allows me to connect to life around me
and to live each new day with open-heartedness and acceptance.

***

Joining Sarah at Paisley Rainboots and Lee at Sea Blue Lens
for the monthly Scene and Story.


Between Sunrise and Sunset

The fisherman chooses the best spot to witness the sunrise
I love this moment full of suspense and waiting when the colours
start to fill the sky and create gorgeous reflections in the lake.

Here comes the sun
Spreading a golden glow everywhere.

Pulling back to see the lovely clouds in the sky.

After the sunrise, the lakeside flowers come into their own
Rejoicing all who pass them by.

Another Hibiscus
in more delicate tones

Rudbeckia
Sunshine flowers

A cloudy sunset 

The swan family makes its way home

The water's surface takes on new colours and patterns

and little boats return to port.


Through the Eyes of a Child

The little boy was on the same steam-boat outing as me.
I couldn't help but notice how long he sat quietly
watching the paddles on the boat churn up the water.
He put up his hand as if to touch the splashing water and left his hand
on the glass a very long time. He could certainly feel the vibrations.

When we look at the world around us as though we were seeing things
for the the very first time,
just like a small child discovers everything around him,
we are able to enter into a state of childlike wonder.

As a child, I remember how shadows were created by sunlight
and how the moving changing patterns fascinated me
allowing me to be totally immersed in the moment.

Just the other day, I poured myself a glass of water when I got up
and stopped to admire the shapes and reflections on the kitchen top work surface.
I thought how beautiful they looked.

Slowing down on my walks allows me to notice tiny insects, butterflies and bees
on the plants and flowers I pass.
It's lovely just to linger awhile and wonder about the sort of life they live.

I notice how a beautiful flower is at the end of its cycle
and how the centre is a source of interest and beauty
once the petals have taken on a more discreet role.

Sometimes the filtered sunlight in the background 
fills me full of awe
before I even notice the pollen-filled centre and the luminous petals of this 
Rudbeckia flower.

***

"To reclaim our childhood wonder, we need a way
 to let go of our judgements and return to a beginner's mind.
How can we do that?
The best way is to let a child teach us.
If you have the opportunity, spend time with a child.
Go for a walk with them and notice how they approach the world.
Photograph the wonder in their eyes."

This quotation comes from the book entitled:
by Kim Manley Ort.

I am reading this book and following the weekly exercises
through my photography.
It is allowing me to pause, focus and connect to all that is around me.

Small Wonders from my Walks

Queen Anne's Lace flower seeds
Enclosed in a perfect cage of stalks.

A thistle head after the flower has finished blooming
so beautiful against the soft background.

Little tendrils of a climbing plant looking for somewhere to latch on
and climb as high as they can go.

A late blooming aquilegia that I lifted gently
to photograph the underside.

Walking in the woods to keep cool on a hot day,
I noticed the dappled shadows of the overhead trees
and how a fallen leaf came to my attention in a sunny spot.
I also noticed two sunny heart-shapes formed by the shadows of the leaves.

A bright poppy growing on the grass verge by the roadside
illuminating my early evening walk.

As I walked up the hill in the early morning, 
I put my camera through some railings to capture some Shasta Daisies
in the long grasses at the far end of a garden.
I do love the wild spots that are dotted everywhere.

Above the rooftops and behind the clouds, the sunrays draw lines in the sky.

This lovely tree-hanging made of stones and a heart-shaped
HAPPY
is a good reminder!
Though when we notice all the little wonders around us,
a reminder isn't really necessary, is it?


The Posy - Scene & Story June 2017

On a bench at the lakeside metro station,
there was a forgotten posy of wild flowers starting to look a little wilted
and very thirsty.

The next metro didn't come for five minutes and nobody came to claim these flowers,
so it seemed the best thing to do was to bring them home,
trim their stalks and give them plenty of water.
They soon perked up in my little fluted vase
and their presence on my small round table
was both joyful and endearing.

I had a feeling that these flowers had been picked by a young child,
the stalks were uneven and broken at all different lengths.
I just hoped that she (or he) didn't go back to look for them...
and find them gone.

If you know the little posy creator,
please will you thank them for me
and show them how their flowers have been loved and well-cared for in my home.
They have thrived and smiled at me for many days.
Every time I looked at them, I thought of you,
the unknown and mysterious posy child!

A tender posy
Quite forgotten on a bench
Found its way to me.

***


A Breakfast Invitation


How about a glass of cooled orange juice on a hot morning?
The croissants and crunchy buns are still warm just out of the oven.
Don't they smell good?

Breakfast is my favourite time of the day to invite friends and family!
Though I know that nobody is such an early bird as me.
I always ask them to come at a comfortable time for them.
Eight-thirty is good for some and the others stretch it out to be a bit later!

The best time of the year to do breakfast invitations is definitely now.
In fact, as soon as it's warm enough to eat outside on the balcony!

We've all been wilting under a prolonged heat-wave over here in Switzerland
so early-mornings are the best times for walks and eating outside.

Would you like to pop in for breakfast one day?
I'd love to have you over for a chat!
Do you prefer tea or coffee or maybe Peppermint or Lemon Verbena?
Just let me know before you come!
I still have a pot of homemade apricot jam leftover from last year
so don't wait too long!

Fresh as a daisy
On a balmy summer's day
Petal poetry.


My Balcony in June 2017

These are the last of my pansies which I picked mid-June
so that I could plant the dahlias!

Every season has its flowers
and after pansies come all sorts of beauties
like these orange and yellow dahlias with a fine red line around each petal.

Refreshing pink

and luminous red

and a mixture of warm colours.
Two window boxes of dahlias are planted in front of the garden table
where I eat every day.

A hydrangea heart.
This plant hadn't flowered for three whole years
and I was about to give up on it
and told it so!
It must have heard me because it suddenly started growing
beautiful light pink flower clusters!
This is my oldest hydrangea.

Last year, I bought a new hydrangea to compensate for the 
older plant which had remained dormant for so long.
I'm thrilled with the deep raspberry pink of these new flowers

which can be seen even better here.

but the hydrangea star of the show this year has been this beauty
in tones of  pink lilac, developing into deeper tones of blue.
This one was a beautiful birthday and Mother's Day gift
from my son this year!

The final colour.
Though as I speak, the flowers are changing yet again
to more muted pastel shades with touches of pale green.
Beautiful at every stage!

The Physalis, or Chinese Lantern
is doing so well.
I love to watch the tiny white flower transform into tiny bud
which then develops in to a little green lantern.
They will look so pretty when they all turn orange.

The different stages can be seen here in the collage.

Pink anthemis flower the whole summer through
these are a welcome splash of colour next to my kitchen door.

My small olive tree is laden with tiny flowers which will become olives!

New this year is an oleander plant with beautiful coral blooms.

Two kinds of bell-flowers or Campanula.
The ones above which have grown back from last year

and these smaller ones in a big tub which come back every year.

All these wonderful colours make life living in the town more bearable.
My flowers are my joy and I love to sit outside
for all my meals and read surrounded by all these manifestations of nature.


Sometimes,
I like to pick just a few flowers to enjoy inside.

If you have a balcony or a terrace, or if you're fortunate enough to have a garden,
I hope you are enjoying all the wonders of nature.
Just like me!