Ligia’s hard work planting all kinds of new flowers in our garden last year has definitely paid off. This spring we’ve enjoyed quite a few different kinds of daffodils and tulips — and that was on top of the usual spring appearances from hyacinths, forget-me-nots, dandelions, snowdrops, violets and more. It’s been lovely!

By the way, I took these photographs with my Olympus E-1, a DSLR made in 2003. Don’t let anyone tell you old cameras can’t meet your needs anymore.

If you should like to license an image of mine, I’ve begun to build a catalog at Picfair. You can see it here: photos.raoulpop.com. Of course you can also contact me directly, but it’s probably easier to just get them there, and I think I’ve priced them quite affordably.

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The theme is the arrival of spring while reminding you of winter. If my schedule allows I’ll publish a separate post with photos from one of these late winter/early spring snowfalls which I love so much. For now, enjoy these photographs!

I’d also appreciate your feedback on whether or not I should set up a proper photo catalog at Picfair. Here’s the one I’ve set up for now, which I’ve maxed out at 50 photographs (that’s all they allow with their free plan). If some of you plan to purchase licenses for commercial uses of my photographs or want an easy way to order prints, I’ll go ahead and upgrade to their paid plan, which will let me put up tens of thousands of my images for sale, but I’d rather not go to the effort and the expense if it’s not going to be used, so let me know what you think.

Also, I’ve decided to increase the number of photographs per each one of these posts from 10 to 20.

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Today’s images

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The theme is once again winter. I know that other parts of the world have had plenty of snow, but we have not, so I yearn for it and treasure every little snowfall we’ve had. Enjoy!

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These are scenes from our garden. Enjoy.

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Today’s images

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No particular theme for this set of images. Let’s just call it #phototherapy. We’re all stuck indoors, so we need it. Btw, I’ve been posting frequent images to my social media accounts lately, for the same reason. Enjoy!

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Today’s images

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The theme is places and colors. Enjoy!

Lists

Today’s images

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Places

Summer in our garden

I promised I’d put together a gallery of photos taken in our garden last summer (that’d be the summer of 2018 for those of you who’ll be reading this in future years), and here it is.

Get ready to see 347 photos of summertime, taken between June and August of last year. Grab a cup of tea or coffee and enjoy! ­čśÇ

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Late spring in our garden

Summer doesn’t officially start until the solstice on June 21, so even though it feels very much like summer outside, we can still call it spring. Here is a gallery of photographs taken recently in our garden (on the 9th) with my PEN E-P2 and the 12-50mm lens, which does double duty as a macro when you need it. I’m so glad I bought this camera. It came out in 2010 and even now, in 2018, I can’t call it outdated when I can take photographs like these with it. Look at the colors, at the details, at the clarity and the bokeh. It’s so good ­čśŹ. I know I shouldn’t praise my own photos and I’m not, I just really like this camera. I love all my PEN cameras, they’re awesome little beasts.

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Autumn in our garden

Now that winter is almost here, I thought I’d show you a few photographs from the autumn we’ve had this year. A few of them are from our courtyard, most are from our garden. Enjoy!

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I’ve been hearing our trees calling out to me these past few days, particularly yesterday, when it rained and their leaves were wet, a beautiful kind of colored, almost translucent wet brought on by the autumn winds. They were saying, “Raoul, come out and admire us, you know you want to… Take your camera and come outside.” And I’d say to myself, “Yeah, I really need to set some time aside today to do that,” and then I’d get to work on whatever project was most important and lose all track of time.

I didn’t get to go out yesterday but I did it today and it was worth it. Our entire courtyard is peppered with sour cherry and cherry leaves, paulownia leaves, “platan” leaves (it’s a big tree, grows as big as oak trees, but I can’t find its name in English as I write this), fig leaves, lilac leaves, grape leaves and of course my favorite, delicate white birch leaves.

What’s left on the trees is sheer beauty, bunches of leaves hanging on here and there, some dappled with many colors, some filled out completely with just one hue of autumn’s palette, ready to be admired, lessons in meditation and slow, peaceful focus. Autumn is truly a wonderful time, a time to be enjoyed slowly, savored in little vignettes that┬áwe tuck away in the precious corners of our heart and pull out later when we want to feel cozy and nostalgic.

I suppose we feel that way because the passing of these temperate four seasons of ours is a good preparation for life (its beginning, progress and ending). It’s hard not to look at autumn leaves and realize they’re saying goodbye to the world they’ve known for many a day. Some will stick around a little bit longer, most are already on the ground, but they know it and we know it; it’s inevitable. Winter, that time of hibernation, of natural pause, of a rest that explodes back into glorious life as spring arrives, will soon be here.

We too, have our autumns. We know, as we get older, that the time is up ahead. We start to feel it in our bones, our joints, our skin. We turn a little more yellow, the bones become a little brittle, the skin on our faces and bodies begins to tell the story of the experiences we’ve had. We have long autumns, we humans, but somehow they’re still not long enough. We always want to do more, even when we can barely move, when we should be preparing for the transition into the next season of our lives, that great hibernation that no one really knows anything about.

The plants are teaching us that every day matters. They show us how to make the most of the days we have, because sometimes all we have is one year, perhaps even less than that. We look at them and admire them for having accomplished their purpose in life, which was to act as complex, integral parts of a whole, for a while. Created by the whole, they rejoin it as they slowly re-integrate into the earth that gave life to the tree itself and is still providing for it.

Perhaps natural beauty is more beautiful because of its intrinsically ephemeral nature. And perhaps human beauty and human life are meant to work in the same way. Enchant us for a while, like blossoming flowers, then give up their life force in order for other creations to exist.

Don’t take these thoughts of mine┬átoo philosophically. They’re merely passing glimpses of subjects we don’t understand and possibly cannot even grasp. The only takeaway here is that we should be beautiful in our lives, to possess a beauty that shines from within and colors us in happy hues. We should bring joy and peace to others. We should make positive contributions to the working of the world in general. And we should learn to give up gracefully what was given to us for just a while, when that time comes.

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Autumn has visited our home

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