Animal Farm – ‘Grun 80’

Today was the first really Spring-like day this year; sunny with deep contrasty shadows, warm enough to throw coats and caution to the wind, flowers popping their heads up everywhere you look. Just lovely! The perfect day to visit “Grun 80” or “Grun Achtzig” (parkimgruenen.ch)  – not far from home. Many years ago when I first moved here, a dear friend introduced me to this beautiful park in Spring; to the swans a-swimming with their cygnets, very photogenic ducks in thier pond, flowers and trees a-blooming, the herb garden, orchard and many other lovely growing things – all near the centre of the city. There are outdoor concerts on Sundays, a waterside cafe and a small working farm complete with animals. At present, the main attraction is the new “crop” of baby lambs. The adult sheep come right up to the fence for a pat by curious children and their parents. I love the way the sheep’s horns curl around their ears and how one rather cheeky sheep kept sticking his tongue out at the little girl stroking his back! 

More please……

I know that photos of flowers (fotos of flowers or photos of phlowers???) are a bit “been there, done that” but I couldn’t resist today; Spring temperatures, bright sunshine and a happy morning! As I was waiting for a friend to arrive for a walk in near-by Schutzenmattpark, I found the lawn by the tram stop full of flowers. It was as if a giant hand had scattered handfuls of colourful confetti across the grass. The problem; how to take some close ups without trampling on the flowers and being yelled at by passing pedestrians for being a foe of nature? The solution? Tip-toe through the…well in this case, the croci, hang the camera by its strap, push the shutter and hope for something unexpected…

Is it Spring yet?

Funny this winter we are having here in Switzerland! One day is freezing cold, the next day the temperatures are racing upwards and the flowers are blooming. I took two photos recently that shows this crazy climatic contradiction nicely…

The first photo was taken at the Tinguely fountain in Basel: http://tinguely%20fountain%20basel, the second at an outdoor cafe under the arches at “Im Viadukt” in Zurich: http://www.im-viadukt.ch/en/home/.

Now, just need to decide to wear my coat as a necessity or accessory today??? Maybe just skip it and go for sunglasses?

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Studies in Black & White

Somedays, no matter how creative the day begins, it reaches a dull spot where suddenly there is a need to entertain oneself (hopefully without the use of anything digital…). Look around the house and something will always pop up.

Deciding that I could use some more practice with depth of field and settings (I still do, any suggestions?), I decided to look for details around the house . What came out of it was a pretty satisfying experiment in black & white.

 

Meet and Greet: The People of Basel

In German, residents of Basel are either Basler (for males) or Baslerin (females). In any language, they are interesting to observe as they go about their everyday business around the Marktplatz – the main square downtown. I felt particularly confident today and found that my personal feelings where “absorbed” in my photos – they seemed to be more assertive in capturing personalities and mood. I was especially captivated by the energy of the bagpiper in dreds and the “attitude” of the man with his bicycle. Couldn’t resist snapping away.

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If it is Autumn, it is time for the fair!

It is certainly Autumn in Switzerland; bright sunshine in that golden Autumnal hue, blue skies, dipping temperatures and crisp leaves that you scuff on the pavement with new leather shoes.

In Basel, it is also time for the Autumn Fair or Herbstmesse in German. One of the very special things one finds at the fair (amongst beautiful handcrafts and Swiss treats such as melted cheese Raclette, braised sugar almonds, and marzipan gingerbread) is a an antique two-story carousel. This same carousel has brought delight to several generations of  Basler children and looks spectacular again the darkening sky.

On my way home, nibbling roasted chestnuts in their special paper bags (one section for the chestnuts waiting to be eaten, another section for the shells of those already gobbled greedily!), there was just enough light to take a picture of the typical Swiss architecture in the Old Town.

What a great day!

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