A walk in the woods in winter …

Unless the weather decides to spring a last minute wintry surprise, I am anticipating an early start to a fabulous spring. After the freezing weather in January with frequent snowfalls and sub-zero temperatures, the weather in February has been relatively pleasant, often filled with bright sunshine. I hope it will continue this way until spring … but … even if it does not, I am still pleased that spring is just around the corner.

And as a little momento of the soon-to-be-over winter season, below are some photos of the day when the hubby and I decided to take the long route to do our grocery shopping by passing through the woods so as to be able to go walking on freshly fallen snow.

However, unlike the colourful photos that I had shared in my previous post of autumn colours, these photos are the total opposite. Apart from the spot of colour provided by the skiing jacket that the hubby was wearing during the walk, the photos are almost devoid of colour. Almost like black and white photographs … I love them! 😀

sam_0477aAfter the initially flurry of snowfall just a few days after we went walking in the woods to enjoy the beautiful autumn colours in early November, it did not make its grand appearance again until the first week of January. And when it came … what a nice change it made to the landscape.

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Covered in snow, the woods was magically transformed into a charming winter wonderland. And we were very fortunate that the snow which had been falling since the previous day finally stopped just as we reached the woods, so that I was able to take clear snapshots of our little walk.

sam_0494bA small bridge which we had to cross in order to continue our walk to the other side of the Flon river.

sam_0524bThe tree-tops in winter. What a contrast to those seen in autumn!

sam_0548bThe walking path along the river was totally obscured by the thick snow.

sam_0555bApproaching the first of several small waterfalls in the woods. We first discovered these waterfalls about three years ago.

sam_0559bFirst waterfall … incidentally, the nicest and the easiest to get to.

sam_0578bSecond waterfall, as seen from the top of a slope. It is not as nice as the first waterfall but this is definitely one of my favourite shots of that late Saturday morning walk. It looks almost otherworldly, does it not?

sam_0592bAnd the third that we managed to see that morning … although in this case, I am using the word waterfall in a loose sense.

sam_0616bOur last photo stop before heading to our local supermarkets … a small and totally frozen pond located at the periphery of the woods.

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These small red berries covered in snow provided such a beautiful contrast to the grey and white backdrop.

Even though I shall miss such a beautiful snowy landscape, the arrival of warmer weather means that I can now indulge in my other passion … gardening and foraging! So I have no complain if we do not get anymore flurries for the last remaining weeks of winter! he,he,he … 😀

 

Autumn colours …

Today is the start of what is going to be a wet and cold autumn week, with some heavy snowfalls forecast for Tuesday according to the Swiss Meterological Department. I must say that I am not ready to have snowfalls starting this early because my balcony garden is not yet fully prepped for its winter hibernation … and I have not had my fill of foraging for mushrooms. But one cannot fight the weather … so I am  resigned if indeed winter is set to make an early appearance.

However, in anticipation of the change of weather, the hubby and I decided to take advantage of a sunny afternoon two days ago to go for a little walk in the nearby woods to enjoy the colours of autumn before they disappeared. Errr … actually my priority was to go and look for black trumpet mushrooms before the winter weather sets in … but hey, I might as well enjoy the colours of autumn while I look for my little black treasures, huh? 🙂

So here are some colourful shots of the woods on that sunny … and very fruitful afternoon. (Oh yes, I found my black trumpets and even its smaller cousin. But more of that in a different post lah! 😉 )

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All these glorious colours will soon disappear. But fleeting though they may be, the impression that they leave behind will last for ever. Colours of autumn … at Bois de Sauvebelin, 3 November 2016.

 

Autumn pickings at the parents’…

Prior to the visit we paid them two weeks ago, the last time I had got to see the parents and their garden was in spring. As we were already approaching mid-autumn and the weather had started to turn a bit chilly, I had assumed that there would not be anything interesting for me to look forward to at the parents’ garden.

But I was wrong … so wrong … much to my happy surprise.

While I had been busy foraging and picking free nuts and fruits closer to home in Lausanne, I had forgotten about the many freebies that would be waiting to be picked at the parents! 🙂

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The first thing that caught my eyes as soon as we arrived was these lovely looking tomatoes which were growing not far from the front door.

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Just a few metres away at the side of the house, I saw more red tomatoes basking in the sun. And they were also cherry tomatoes growing near the terrace at the back of the house as well as in the potager.

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Oh my … I could not believe that the parents still had that many tomatoes growing and ripening when the ones on our balcony were already nearing the end of their lives! This year was definitely the year of the tomatoes at the parents’. Lucky them!

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Just across the tomato plants growing in the rectangular container at the side of the house was this small apple tree laden with fruits.

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Despite not having been treated with any chemical pesticides, they were very healthy … and juicy … and sweet … and crunchy. In other words, they were delicious!

Another apple tree growing near the copse, unfortunately, had been badly ravaged by squirrels. There were only two small apples left on the tree when I arrived.

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When the daddy-man asked me a few days later whether I wanted to help him pick all the apples from the tree, I was more than happy to offer my assistance. 😀

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And then, there was also the nashi pears. These, however, are the fruits of the male nashi pear tree. There were still loads of these pears on the trees mainly because, unlike the fruits of the female tree which are very sweet, these male ones are not.

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They did look yummy and they were certainly very juicy … but because of their bland taste, even the squirrels seemed to be uninterested in them … preferring to go for the apples much to the daddy-man’s frustration. I had missed picking the female nashi pears in summer and so I was looking forward to picking some of these. But after having tasted this male fruit, I decided to give them a miss too lah!

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Fortunately, there was the hubby’s favourite fruit that I could pick … the kiwis. This year, however, was definitely not the year of the kiwis at the parents.

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While we were there, the daddy-man asked us to help him pick all the kiwis from the tree.

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It did not take long for us to finish the job because this was all the kiwis that were hanging from the tree! Oh well, better some than none at all.

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And my new favourite fruit … the figs. As I did not know that fresh figs were quite delicious, for the past several years, I had never bothered myself with the fruit even when the daddy-man had offered some to me. I had tried dried figs before and found them not to be to my liking. So I had assumed that the fresh fruit too would not be to my liking.

I am so glad that I chose to give the fresh fruit a try this year because if I had not …

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… I would have missed these fresh figs from the parents’ garden! But in our zealousness to pick the fruits, I think that the hubby and I picked a few unripe ones as well! Oh well … we shall do better on our next fig picking lah! hehehe … 😀

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And last but not least, the potager outside the greenhouse was also brimming with luscious and healthy looking salad greens.

It was a pity that we could not bring lots of them home with us (since they would not continue to remain fresh even if kept in the fridge) … because the parents would not be eating all of them. Used to the salads bought from the supermarket, the daddy-man finds the texture of these salads to be not quite to his liking. So a lot of them will soon be making their way  to the compost bin … haizzz. What a waste of good and healthy food!