Last Friday the world transformed into a white fairytale after I left Liege. Driving through the High Fens was not a punishment (normally this highway is boring). Near Nancy the snow was gone and it was exciting if there would be snow in the Vosges.
As soon as I left the highway, the forest was covered by a thick layer of snow and it was magical arriving at the house under these circumstances.
When I stepped outside the next morning to photograph this setting, a sign 'Attention Chasse en cours' was placed a few metres in front of my house and a lot of hunters + dogs were very busy finding/tracing wild animals. I was forced to stay near the house until the 'çhasse' was finished.
By that time the sun had climbed over the hill and the first snow started melting.
I was impressed by the atmosphere of the path/road to my house and installed my tripod on it, normally I do not see anybody for days. Exactly at the moment I pressed the shutter button, I heard a noise (actually 'bonjour') and a jogger ran into my picture.
Today it's two years ago that true friendship came into my life with a dog called Wanda.
Thanx to her I have a reason to make tours through the forest almost every day and we both love remote places. One weekly route ends near a chapel and sometimes we light a candle for the people which we have lost......still loved....still missed!
During my two weeks stay in the Vosges I granted myself one 'free' day after the big 'colour the ceiling white' job was done. It was autumn and the first trees were already leafless but catching this mood with the camera is an other thing. On my way back from a walk throught the forest part behind my house, I saw Laurel and Hardy and immediately I cheered up, first because I loved the light situation and second because Laurel and Hardy made my laugh when I was a child.
About three weeks ago my 'holiday' started with a trip to my birth town for a reunion of 'my' primary school class and ended with a two weeks stay in the Vosges. The weather in the Vosges was fabulous in the first week. With temperatures above 20 degrees a lot of jobs have been done outside......like cutting the bramble bushes. After this job was done my son discoverd a little snake between my house and the path. The little snake was a grass snake who is living in a hole of my housewall; during my complete stay the snake stayed on the same place. Taking a photo of the snake without brown cutted bramble branches was a challenge but after some attempts/days the snake was not using his 'reverse' immediately when I came closer.
Autumn has arrived definitely, the forests are full of mushrooms (I have never seen that amount of eatable mushrooms before) and a lot of trees change colour.
Together with Wanda I'm enjoying the smell of autumn, finding beautiful coloured leaves and getting soaked by heavy rain showers.
Every year the colour changing proces is a kind of miracle. Some leaves which had fallen down are 'simply' brown but others are a world apart. It's magnificent that mother nature can create that kind of beautiful colour ranges.
For this kind of photography I use a window and scotch tape.....and it's to recommend, in case the leaf has a hole, to clean that part of the window before starting photographing ;-).
Remember my blog from July about the six caterpillars? This image shows the last emerged butterfly which I found when I was at home for some hours (returned from Germany and ready to depart to France). As summer will return the next days I hope to see, find and photograph some butterflies again as I did not touch my camera for some weeks.
After the caterpillars of the Large White 'conquered' my vegetable garden three weeks ago, I found (and still finding) chrysalises on strange places (like window-frames). The first butterflies emerged already and yesterday evening I found a fresh one in my garden which I 'catched' this morning with my camera. The fresh cold air and the colours in the background are the first signs that autumn is coming!
Last weekend I was in France as some repair and a lot of paint jobs needs to be done at the house. The weather was great and I started with sanding the weathered front door and bench followed by putting a coat of primer on. Although the previous owner told me about Grass Snakes around the house I did not believe that they would be around with that kind of noise.
Yesterday morning when I inspected my paintwork I saw a dark earthworm in the corner of my house/terrace. When I came closer I noticed that it was a little snake but not a Grass Snake...as the snake disappeared within a few seconds I was not sure which species it was!
One hour later, I noticed the snake in the split of the terrace wall and took my camera.....with my macro lens I looked into the split and noticed one.....two.....three snakes heads.
When I looked aside I saw an other little snake between the tiny flowers which were growing over the terrace .....I immediately asked my children to pay attention to that part of the terrace.
After an absence of almost three weeks, I inspected my vegetable garden and found out that the cabbage area is a battlefield. In all kind of sizes I found caterpillars of the Large White and one caterpillar of the Small White.
Eating any cabbage I can forget like every year.....I love this little creatures so the cabbage is for them. I must be content with some red tomatoes!
Unfortunately it is time to say goodbye to Germany. Last Thursday I visited the top of the Dreisessel area again and on my way back I visted one of my favorite spots and miraculously I found ONE resting butterfly, a Sooty Copper. Between my visits on Tuesday and Thursday again a butterfly spot (in years that I found them) had disappeared for the storage of trees.
Now it is time for a new adventure....tomorrow I will receive the keys of my new old house in France and a new chapter in life (with even less time) will start!
Jibt dir dit Leben mal een Buff, denn weene keene Träne. Lach Dir'n Ast und setz Dir druff und baumle mit de Beene.