Thursday, September 30, 2010

The First Frost

It came this past Monday, the 27th of September. When I woke up early in the morning, I was conscious of the semi-warm light that seeped through the window blinds. I had the feeling that this would  be a fine day.  I pulled up the blinds, and the first things that caught my eyes were the tiny blades of grass coated all over with frosts. The lawn and the bushes were almost white with frosts.

The trees and their twigs and leaves stood still sans any movement at all. Apparently, they too were "petrified" by the frosts. The sky was clear and started to manifest a warm glow as the sun radiated from the horizon and gradually set out on its journey across the sky.

And yet, the air was icy. I shivered when I got out to our backyard to take a few macro photos of the frosted grass and any vegetation that caught my fancy, and these pictures are some of what I captured.

frosted blades of grass

a kind of flower-bearing bush


rowan berries

rowan / mountain ash leaves

blades of grass catching the sunlight

On my way to the bus stop where I could take a ride to my language school (SFI or Swedish for Immigrants), my layers of fall clothes were unable to protect me from the chilly air. But then, I still managed to stop for a few moments and look at some frosted things along my way and shoot those I found interesting.

When I got to school, the scene below greeted me . The frosted grass in the foreground  remained in stark contrast against the bright trees already basking in the warmth of the sun.

Several maple leaves have fallen, some had gotten rid of their frost while others still kept their icy fringes.

Indeed,  frosty autumn is well along, and it looks like winter will come early this year. Meanwhile, when the sun is out and the sky is clear, I must take the opportunity to relish their warmth in juxtaposition to my delectation of the frosty mornings.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Autumn Begins: The Reign of Blazing Colors

It has actually began some weeks ago when many birch trees gradually turned yellow, especially the inner leaves, those closest to to the trunk.

Now, many have turned yellow all over.

The bushes too had  transformed into deep red and orange colors. And much of these foliage have fallen, blanketing the ground with nearly dried leaves.

Most of the aspens too have become yellow and orange, though others are still in the process of transformation.

The maple trees have started to showcase their elegant colors but they haven't reached the peak of their splendor yet.

Everyday I keep on watching out for slight changes, but it looks like all the leaves are transforming too fast. There's a strikingly noticeable change in their appearance each day. Sometimes, I'm afraid that all the leaves might suddenly fall, and there's nothing left for me to photograph. I want to go to the hills, the countryside and the high coast to get a glimpse of the autumn glory there and preserve its beauty through my camera. But would there still be time for this? Would the leaves cling to the twigs long enough for me to enjoy their beauty?

By the way, fall also means very cold weather here. I always find myself shivering in the chilly air as I go out. Sometimes it rains or it showers. Sometimes, it just gets dark and cloudy. 

There are times, though, when we experience an Indian summer, those days in autumn when the sun is out and remarkably warm.

I love this season too, and I'm looking forward to other interesting features of this season's reigning.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Mushrooms Are Mushrooming

Earlier in my life, I had never been a mushroom enthusiast, though I like to eat mushrooms. It was my hubby who sparked in me a liking for mushrooms. He has always been a mushroom lover ever since he was two years old, and he developed the skill to identify edible and poisonous mushrooms. When he grew up, he became a mycologist without actually going to school and study the course. It was merely his natural ability. As he spoke with me about mushrooms, my interest in them gradually started to grow. Now, I enjoy going to the woods with him and pick these edible fungi.

From the start of summer to this early fall, my hubby and I have been regularly visiting the forests in search of the most delicious mushrooms that exist here. Actually, mushrooms are flourishing everywhere in abundance, not only in the forests but also alongside the roads where the grass grows. There are many varieties of mushrooms here, and most of them are edible, but we only pick the best ones for our food.

Here are some of them that I photographed:

Being a mushroom enthusiast now, I'm highly fascinated with every kind of mushroom that I discover, though I still can't identify all of them yet. And I "pick" all of them and preserve them through my camera. Here are a few of those I collected.

My other mushroom photos are compiled in my album found in the following link:

Sunday, September 19, 2010

My New Blog Title

I had to change my blog title, The Bliss of Solitude, because I found out one day while I was searching about something that this title has been in existence here in blogger. I love that title because it's from a line of one of my favorite poems, I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud by William Wordsworth. The message of the poetry has touched me so much from the moment I read it, and this line, "which is the bliss of solitude" (referring to the joy of watching the beauty of daffodils), struck a melodious chord in my heart. That's why I chose this title for my blog.

Furthermore, solitude appeals to me, and I myself enjoy moments of solitude. So in renaming my blog title, I decided to use the same theme, though expressed in another phrase. I think it sounds good, for me, that is. And I hope that no one else has this title.

Anne of Green Gables

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Changing Colors

One Swedish song has this line about summer, "sommaren är kort", meaning the summer is short. And yes, summer is over now, and it seemed short. There's so much to do during the bright warm summer days but the whole season is not long enough to accomplish everything that one wants to do.

And now, autumn is here, but I heartily welcome it too. Like the other seasons, autumn has its own loveliness to flaunt. At the  onset, I was so excited to see the slight changes in the colors of the birch and aspen leaves, from green to light yellow. 

Later on, the yellow hues became more intense and expanded as more leaves gradually changed colors.

Then came the orange, pink and red colors of the bushes and the mountain ash trees.

Most maples still keep their dark green pigments but some are already crowned with dazzlingly warm colors which are gradually spreading through all the leaves.

Many more trees haven't transformed into their blazing hues yet, while some have already shed much of their yellowed leaves.

And I'm always on the lookout for further changes while taking lots of pictures of everything that fascinates me. I can't wait to see all the trees (except the evergreens, of course) transformed into an explosion of brilliant fall colors. I want to watch the leaves being blown by the wind, to feel the falling leaves showering on me and to tread on a thick carpet of autumn leaves.

Yes, I'll keep waiting, and I know that I'm going to love this season too.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Forest

We've been prowling through the woods in search of mushrooms, and we have stepped into different kinds of forests inhabited  by diverse flora. Some forests are home to some kinds of vegetation while others are more hospitable to other kinds. But all of them are teeming with several varieties of mushrooms.

In one of our forest-trips, we came across one that looked like a fairy tale setting. It covered just a little section of the entire woods, which set it apart from the general appearance of the whole area. The ground was carpeted with mosses.

There were ant lines or ant ways (?) cutting through the mosses,

leading to the ant hill,

or to the base of a tree.

We also spotted some rare coral mushrooms amongst the mosses.

And some old bones from the remains of a dead moose or other wild animals.

I was so engrossed with these things that I discovered here that I forgot for a moment the purpose of our trek to this forest. I was spellbound by the magical atmosphere, and the feeling of being a part of a fairy tale danced within me. Never in my whole life have I been in this kind of place, and this  experience is another step for me toward my journey to new discoveries that will become a part of this current chapter of my life.

As the shadows became longer, we got out of the woods, joyful and satisfied.