Colour Me Autumn!

Let's start with the Tulip Tree against a clear October sky

and zoom in on the top of the tree to get the full golden glow

Or an early evening walk past an orchard in shades of spring
yet the leaves in the foreground tell us otherwise

So gorgeous when the golden leaves take on a burnished hue

Maple leaves showing us their transition of the season

Many leaves are falling and we can see next spring's buds against the sky

Three little berries that the birds will soon find

and a Ginkgo biloba turning gold in front of the local school

A glorious show of red Maple leaves

like flames against the blue of the sky

A close-up of some beautiful colours in the park.
Persian Ironwood turn the most marvellous colurs in the autûmn.

Standing on tiptoe to capture these leaves at the top of a bush in the evening sun.
Persian Ironwood again (Parrotia persica)

As soon as I see the start of a sunset, I grab my camera to try and catch
the rapidly changing colours.

The sunsets have been exceptional

and I have often rushed out right after supper to capture them  in nearby streets
where there are less obstacles of buildings.
I have to move fast before they fade away! 

Coming home through the park, I was suddenly dazzled
by this wonderful sun-flare through a gap in the tree trunk.

We have been having an exceptional month of October with temperatures
varying between 18-22C.

I've been collecting seeds from the plants on my balcony garden.
These remind me of little parachutes and are so pretty!

Returning from my early evening walk, I caught the first signs of the pastel sunset¨
in these reflections on a wall behind a young Ginkgo tree.

Pink anemone against a backdrop of autumnal bokeh

Here's my little owl mascot holding up an autumn leaf!

I hope you're all enjoying the wonderful colours of the season wherever you live.

I shall be taking a short blog break as I'm going on holiday at the end of the week.
See you again at the end of this month!

Till then, enjoy the wonderful season!

All photographs have been taken in my immediate neighbourhood.
Who would have thought that there was such beauty on the upper part of town?

The Terrace - Scene & Story September 2017

Imagine an outside terrace on a balmy September day.
Sitting in the shade of some plane trees
with the sun peeking through the tiny spaces between the leaves.
Can you feel the warmth on your skin?

There's a soft unobtrusive murmur of voices from other tables.
They do not perturb the peaceful atmosphere as the tables are well spaced.

You look up to see how a natural shady canopy has been formed
by the branches of the trees and how the sun illuminates the leaves,
creating moving patterns in an almost imperceptible breeze.

You lower your eyes where a glass of wine has been poured as you await your meal.
See how the sheen on the glass creates a soft background of colour.
There are impressionist-like soft smudges of green and orange
created by oleander bushes and geraniums

The back of a wicker chair enters into your line of vision
and you notice little dapples of light which escape through the spaces on the weave.

Just close your eyes for a few moments.
Slow down your breathing.
Feel any little signs of stress just melt away
letting the scene and ambiance envelope you through your mind's eye.
Doesn't that feel good?

This is what it's like to sit on an outside terrace by the lake
on a sunny September day.


September Delights

Nature reminds us that the autumn equinox is fast approaching.
The berries are ripening and the leaves are changing.

We are getting more rain after a very hot and dry summer,
but everything looks so fresh and colourful, thanks to the changing of the season.

Fallen leaves are starting to appear everywhere

Seedpods are forming on the flowers, like on this cone flower.

Lichen and fungus are growing on tree trunks

showing us their own kind of beauty

Raindrops glisten

A recent walk down by the lake shows the late blooming flowers

A tiny aster blooms on my balcony

The last dahlia buds have opened in the last few days of brilliant sunshine

and an autumn rose blooms in a neighbouring garden.

But the plums are ripe and perfect for making tarts,
like this traditional one I made yesterday, for the Jeûne Fédéral holiday,
which is always on the third Monday of September
in the canton of Vaud where I live.

The collage shows the different stages of the tart making.
The plums are dark purple in colour. They need a little sweetening
with Sucanat, a natural brown cane sugar.
I make my own shortcrust pastry from a recipe by Julia Child.

I hope that you are also taking pleasure in the joys of the season!

When Summer Lingers

This is the time of the year
when late summer and early autumn join together
as the autumn equinox approaches.

I notice this as the hydrangea leaves change colour with splashes of red.

The petals take on a more muted shade

and shades of green come back rather like in the springtime

The dahlias are having their last fling in glorious full bloom

and showing the intensity of their varied colours

Bees are still busy taking advantage of the sunny days to collect pollen.

and the Golden Rod lights up the gardens

and Rudbeckia blooms dazzle us with their sunshine petals

until one day it starts to rain
and the first autumn leaf floats down to remind us
a change in seasons is taking place.


The last blog header to remind me of earlier days
when sunflowers still waved in the fields.

Bertha: Scene and Story - August 2017

Bertha and the heat-wave.

Bertha mopped her brow as she staggered out of the relentless heat of the midday sun.
She had spied a comfortable looking chair in front of a boutique
and plopped herself down on it.
"Whew!" she said to herself, slightly out loud,
"I can't take much more of this heat."
Her feet were killing her
 and she knew that she shouldn't have worn her red shoes with the pointed toes.
She glanced down at her nail polish,
even that seemed to be melting ... or was it a trick of the light?

After a few minutes, the shopkeeper came out and said:
"Would you like a fan too?"
Bertha wasn't sure if the woman was being facetious,
so she said: "Oh yes please, if you're selling them!"
They did, and Bertha bought one!

The shopkeeper said: 
"I can't believe this! The back of my chair is covered in the same material as your dress!
I made it out of a remnant from last year's stock."
"So it is", said Bertha, 
"I bought the material here last year and made the summer dress I'm wearing."
The shopkeeper smiled, looking pleased and warming to Bertha.
"Why don't I go and get us both a glass of iced water," she said.
Bertha smiled back and felt grateful
and thought how nice it was that the heat-wave had made her seek out a shady spot.
Now she had a new fan, a glass of cooled water and a friendly shopkeeper with whom to chat.

Life is good, she thought to herself, even during a heat-wave 
... especially in the shade!