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!

*****


An End of Summer Feeling

A tiny feather floated down zig-zag fashion
and landed on my Gaillardia flower.
It made me think of autumn leaves falling.

This summer has been particularly hot
and we have experienced heat-wave after heat-wave
with temperatures reaching 32 degrees Celsius.
It has been uncomfortable
and I prefer the cooler seasons of autumn and spring.

Luckily the lake is not too far away and I can reach the water
in fifty minutes on foot
or take the metro for fifteen minutes if I prefer.


Which way is the wind blowing?
The weather vane tells me that it's coming from the south-west.

Steam boat rides are always part of summer!

My grandson loves to look at the workings of the boat!
We have a summer tradition of going on a steam boat when he stays with me!

Chrysanthemums are already planted in my window-boxes
I love these striped ones

and the centre of the yellow ones too.

The early morning sunshine streams into my home
and I just love witnessing this peaceful moment.

My coloured marbles love the sunshine too!

The clouds formations remind us that a change of weather is coming

Sunset

and sunrise

The light is changing
an end of summer feeling
storms are on the way.

This is the essence of my summer.


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.