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!

Autumn has visited our home

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 we 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 too 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.

Roses from our garden

Autumn is finally here! I’m glad that long, hot summer is over… If it was up to me, I’d have a long spring, a short summer with temperatures up to 25° Celsius, followed by a long autumn and solid winter full of beautiful, white snow.

Our roses are a constant joy for us. They bloom throughout the three warmer seasons, keep our garden colorful and put a smile on our faces, too. Here are some of our fall rose blooms, photographed less than half an hour ago.  I hope you enjoy them as well!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

I wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and to share a few Christmas scenes from my house, taken today. Featured below is our little angel Sophie, who’s going to turn 2 in just a few short months.

Sophie

Water colors

Today’s post: water colors, and I mean that literally. 🙂

Ripples

Ripples

Ripples

Ripples

Ripples

Ripples

The weeping willow weeps in spring

In contrast to the silly title, here are some colorful photographs of weeping willows in spring. Enjoy!

Weeping willow

Weeping willow

Weeping willow

Weeping willow

Weeping willow

Weeping willow

Weeping willow

Weeping willow

Weeping willow

Spring rain

Have you felt the drops of a spring rainfall on your face? They fall softly, blessing each leaf and bud and flower. They remind us of winter and of melted snow but they’re tinged with hope, looking forward to summer. They chill and yet they warm.

 

The dawn sky

Can you think of a better reward for getting up early than the dawn sky?

Or how about this one?

More details

I love macro photographs and I’m glad to see that you do as well, judging by the wild success of my last published set of photographs on this subject. So why don’t I give you more of what you want? 🙂

Details, details, details

I love photographing details. It allows for so much creative freedom — much more than when photographing whole subjects.

What can you do with corners?

Say you’re stuck inside but you’d love to use your camera and take some creative photos. What can you do? How about a play on lines and colors? You can use your very own walls and corners, and then you can manipulate the photos in editing to make them even more interesting. It’s a wonderful exercise in creativity. Here are some photos I took at home one evening, where I did this very thing.

Photos of spring in the Mid-Atlantic states of North America

The spring season in a temperate climate is a wonderful time, isn’t it? If one is affected by such things, and I am, the colors, the new life, the fresh air, the sunshine, and the chirping of the birds can make you ecstatic with joy. Just as winter can be a time for quiet thought and reading by the fireplace, and that sort of thing is much-needed after a full year of work, spring is when you can get out of the house once more to explore nature as it comes back to life.

I thought I’d put together a little collection of some of my best spring photographs, taken in states such as Maryland, Virginia and DC. There are 50 photos in this post, all of which you can see individually below, or in the embedded slideshow.

Continue reading “Photos of spring in the Mid-Atlantic states of North America”