The last day of November was gloriously cold:
A frosted universe presented itself –
Frosty flowers that looked like stars floating in the cosmos;
Small ice crystals in the shape of
Trees on the postbox lock;
A storm passed through
And left frozen waves in its wake;
A bird hiding out in the icy reeds
Sang a morning song;
And yes, even a rubbish bin
Transformed into something greater than itself
In the frosted sun.
For more frosted times, please visit: Our World.
The mist hung thick over the trees –
A perfect day for a walk!
The woods were full of mischievous sprites.
A pylon loomed suddenly out of the mist
Like an iron giant.
Walking up the hill to The Fort,
We spent a moment by a trench dug in 1914
Wishing for peace in the world.
Finally, our destination appeared out of the fog -
Looking like a beached submarine –
An old bunker from the First World War that was never used.
It was built almost a hundred years ago by Swedes
Waiting for an enemy that never came.
How like us humans to focus on building walls
When so often the enemy is within.
For more mist-ical stories, please visit: Our World.
It continues mild here for the time of year,
So, you won’t need too many layers as you join us for a walk.
Let’s start off with a refreshing swim.
As the sun rises over the horizon, it creates
And electricity lines glow like
While the leaves on the birch trees
Shine like luminous earrings.
Breathe deeply – this is where we get our energy from.
Enough energy to finish off our long walk
With a splash.
For more meanders, please visit: Our World.
Last weekend dawned glorious and mild.
The autumn leaves lay heaped up and knee-deep…
Who could resist their invitation to dive in and take a leaf bath?
The kids couldn’t…
And neither could I!
My daughter caught me dancing with leaves.
Meanwhile, Oscar enjoyed the autumn sunshine
In a more dignified manner.
For more autumn (or spring) fun, please visit: Our World Tuesday.
The first frost of the season
Sprinkled the flowers
With pink and ice.
Silken threads of web
Filled the spaces
Between frozen water drops.
The last rose of the season
Seemed more perfect in
And dropped a single petal
As a farewell to summer.
For more frosted stories, please visit: Our World.
Come hang with me for a bit on a gorgeous August day…
Let’s go down to the lake – I like to think of it as ‘my backyard’ –
And enjoy the scenery for a while;
Let’s drink in the perfect reflections
Of summer’s fluffy clouds.
As we walk past people’s gardens,
We might discover a bee-autiful surprise.
Then it’s time to dash inside and
Enjoy a summer shower with a butterfly for company.
When it clears up, we can release the butterfly
And our souls
As we sit on a bench to enjoy
A truly magnificent sunset.
For more guided walks, please visit: Our World.
Legend says that St. Cuthman was a poor shepherd, who was forced to beg from door to door when his father died.
As his mother was paralysed, he built a one-wheel cart to bring her with him. He set off to the east and eventually, the rope he used to pull the cart broke.
He built a church on that spot. Nowadays the church is known as St. Andrew’s and St. Cuthman and can be found in Steyning (that’s in West Sussex, England), where my sister lives.
Not much of the original church, dating back to the 8th century, survives.
But you can get a sense of the history and workmanship
From the arches – each one has a unique pattern on it.
The heavy wooden door looks ancient too.
Outside, graves that are hundreds of years old
Are now resting places for tree roots and branches –
And there is always time for contemplation of what life is all about
Between the vitality of youth
And the wisdom of the old.
(Still in England, so may not be able to visit you all.)
For more stories, please visit: Our World.
It’s always bitter-sweet when summer starts
Its slow retreat into autumn.
For those of us with short summers and long winters,
It’s often a matter of creating memories
And bottling up those intense moments
Of summer joy
So that we can spread some sunshine later on.
It brings to mind one of my favourite metaphorical quotes by Camus:
In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.
For more lovely memories, please visit: Our World.
Life is full of surprises – but sometimes they can give us more than we bargained for.
Last week, I was out walking the dog
When a hot air balloon swooped over my head
And landed on the green before slowly teetering on its side.
(I’ve never been dive-bombed by a balloon before!)
Planes are a little more reliable –
Big and noisy but they manage to stop in time…
A couple of months ago, I was enjoying an early morning sunrise
When I heard a honking in my ear.
A duck shot past me, grazing my cheek
And nearly knocking the camera out of my hands.
(Can you see the duck in the bottom left of the photo?)
I’m always startled when those sticks in the path
Slither over my feet…
(Perhaps you could call this foot-bombing?)
My favourite surprise though
Is a glorious sunset and a balloon … in the distance.
Go and dive-bomb this site: Our World.
Flowers are happy things
And none more so than lavender.
It’s bright and energetic
Perfuming the air
With its fragrance and colour
Lavender is the colour of summer for me.
What about you?
(Just realized that I’ve passed FIVE years of blogging! Thank you all so much for reading.)
For more perfumed stories, please visit: Our World.
You can also check out Laura’s I heart macro link-up too!
I’m still away in England, so thought it was appropriate to show you some of the sights that make me sigh.
Cream tea in a lush, green garden
And thatched cottages from a bygone era.
My sister lives in a quaint old village
With lanes full of houses dating back
To Shakespeare’s time.
And last but not least, how I love
The rolling golden countryside
Of the South Downs!
For more charming places, please visit: Our World.
I’m still away so won’t be able to visit. Back very soon!
Friday was the summer solstice – the longest day of the year –
And also Midsummer’s Eve: a major holiday here in Sweden.
It’s a time for weaving flowers around the maypole
And then lifting it up into place as a team effort.
Midsummer is an ancient pagan tradition –
And, as you can see, it’s a celebration of fertility
And light and the burst of growth that occurs during the short Swedish summer.
It’s a time for having fun and dancing around the maypole
Like a little frog in time-honoured tradition –
(Yes, this is me being silly…)
Although for some, a short nap in the green summer grass
Is more than welcome.
For more traditions, please visit: Our World.
As I lay on my stomach trying to photograph
The lovely way the dandelions catch the evening light,
I thought to myself:
What do you see?
A weed –
Suddenly, the wind blew
And the tiny wishes
Floated away, like sparkling fairy dust.
For more glitter and glamour, please visit: Our World Tuesday.
Is there a more delightful sight
Than a happy dog
For more joyful animals, please visit: Camera Critters.
It’s always exciting to experience the first stirrings of spring.
And even though they happen every year, it feels as if I were experiencing them
For the very first time.
It’s magical when the ice finally melts …
When the first patch of crocuses appear in the neighbours’ garden…
When we can finally get out into the woods again
And witness birds singing on trees.
Even the faded beauty of an old cottage in the woods
Takes on new beauty
And the old window
Reflects back a stately tree.
Do not wait until the conditions are perfect to begin. Beginning makes the conditions perfect. -Alan Cohen
For more fresh starts, please visit: Our World.
I love the contrast between the cold of winter
And the humid tropical temperature of visiting the greenhouse of the Botanical Gardens.
First off, you are greeted by a vibrant
Splash of colour as you go in…
Wandering around the more temperate parts of the greenhouse
You can see signs on some of the trees:
Happy Winter! I’ll wake up again when it’s spring.
(The same could be said for some of those people who don’t like winter…)
As you walk further back, you enter different regions — much hotter ones.
My camera lens fogged up and as it cleared,
I could just make out some kind of orchid
Swimming towards me like a fish with petals.
I fell in love with the fronds
And patterns of some tropical ferns.
Before I left, I spied the delicate
Pink tutu of a flower.
“All the flowers of all the tomorrows are in the seeds of today.”
– Indian Proverb
For more stories, please visit: Our World Tuesday
You’re not tired of snowy pictures yet, are you?
Good. Because neither am I!
The skies are often grey over here
As they are weighed down by snow clouds.
But that suits my world so full of grey and silver highlights.
Roofs are utterly delicious
As they remain hidden under white frosting
And cats smile under snowy hats.
My favourite view is this lovely grey wooden house
With a wonderful curl of roof icing.
For more lovely greys, please visit: Our World.
Here is my most popular post ever – about the beauty of grey.
A recent visit to the Botanical Gardens
In a cold snap
Was the icing on the cake (or dome of the greenhouse).
Disobeying the sign that says: Don’t walk on the grass
Is only something for people who don’t get cold feet.
(The snow was way beyond our knees.)
The bare branches
Looked tree-mendous against the setting sun.
Meanwhile, inside the greenhouse-cafe,
The sun created a beautiful mosaic of gold.
And then it was outside for a family snap –
Yes, we were all playing n-icely
With our ice sabres.
Wishing you all a n-ice holiday!
For more silly posts, please visit: Our World.
The key to enjoying a cold climate
Is to embrace it.
It finally started snowing and
The neighbourhood echoed with
Happy cries and drawings by children on the cars.
The snow turned everything to silken
Puffs of cotton wool.
(Can you see that big puddle making a heart?)
It’s still snowing!
And we’re still enjoying
Our dreamy winterland.
For more snow and sun, please visit: Our World.
It’s still too mild and grey for November, so I’m looking back to the end of October
When the frost presented a cheery iced sun;
And a wild pink rose
Covered in cold eyelashes.
Further on, a rose bud
Shimmered with melted hopes and ice –
And I found myself
At the beating heart of nature itself.
For more flowery scenes, please visit: Our World.
A couple of weeks ago, we woke up to a world transformed.
Trees and boats floated out of the freezing fog
Like soft ghosts;
The path along the lake looked as if it was
Covered in cotton wool.
As I walked my daughter to the train station in the early morning,
Our spirits lifted in this new world of fog and cold.
On the way home, a golden splash of colour
Transported me into the world of Monet.
Genius is the ability to renew one’s emotions in daily experience. – Paul Cezanne
For more stories, please visit: Our World.
It’s been an unusually mild and wet autumn so far…
The soft rain makes art out of a humble fence
And turns a bench into a diamond-studded wonder.
And best of all, it lends beauty
To the graceful head of a flower:
Reminding us that bowed is not defeated
And that the best thing to do when it rains
Is to let it.
For more grace, please visit: Our World.