Autumn walk 2017

Around this time last year, I went for a walk along a stream near where I live. A year before that I had walked along the same stream and taken photos of the gorgeous autumn colours. It was only afterwards that I realised the photos had been taken on the same day. This year I wanted to take photos on the same day again, but unfortunately I misremembered the date and thought the others had been taken on 31st October. Actually, it was the 30th. Oh well…one day out is basically the same, right?

The trees have been weird this year with some of them changing from green to yellow then brown and finally losing most of their leaves all within a single weekend (a few weeks ago) while others are still looking very green even now. Two years ago I’m sure all the trees were red and yellow and orange at this stage? Anyway, here are some photos of this year’s autumn walk.

Leaving the house immediately proved worth it when I saw this guy mere minutes into my walk:

squirrel

As you can see, it was an absolutely glorious day for a walk. Hard to believe it had been freezing cold and rainy just two days earlier!

And finally, here’s a comparison of this year with the autumns of the past two years:

From left to right, the end of October 2015, 2016 and 2017. Unfortunately the photos weren’t taken in the exact same place/direction, but they are very close together and you definitely get an idea of how different the colours have been at the exact same time of year! I actually think last year was even greener… this year’s photo looks more yellow, while 2015 had all the orange. Now let’s hope we’re still here at this time next year so I can see what the colours are doing then!

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Photo an hour: 19 November 2016

A slightly abbreviated photo an hour this time as I only took photos until 5 p.m.! We were at Jan’s mum’s birthday celebration for most of the day so at least there was something to photograph…

9 a.m. Reading while I wait for the shower to be free.

10 a.m. Getting ready to go. Do I have everything I need?

11 a.m. In the car. Snapshot of the view while moving.

12 noon. Almost time for the buffet. We were sitting in front of dessert so I took a photo of it.

Bonus noon photo! Inserting this to preserve symmetry later. My plate of food.

1 p.m. After the food, they brought out coffee.

2 p.m. The celebration took place in the cafeteria at Jan’s mum’s workplace, and after brunch we were given a tour. The photo was taken froom the roof terrace – pretty autumn colours!

3 p.m. When we got back to the cafeteria, cakes had appeared.

4 p.m. It took me another hour to actually fetch myself a piece of cake.

5 p.m. Admiring the table of gifts.

We arrived back at Jan’s dad’s house (where we were staying) at 5:55 p.m. so my 6 p.m. photo should have been taken there, but it felt weird taking random photos of somebody else’s house so 5 p.m. ended up being my last photo. The rest of the evening was spent watching Jan sort something out on his dad’s partner’s computer, eating more food (buffet leftovers that we had taken along) and drinking a beer.

How was your Saturday?

Autumn days…

We woke up on Saturday to rain, which continued for the rest of the weekend and is forecast to carry on until at least next Monday so I thought I would upload some photos I took a few weeks ago to remind myself that autumn can be nice when it tries.

All the photos were taken between the 16th and 30th of October, and it was actually not that easy to find signs of autumn! The first time I went out, the trees were still mostly green, and by the end of October a lot of them had lost their leaves completely… it seems they changed directly from green to brown this year. To prove my point, can we please just consider the following two photos, which were taken precisely one year apart along the same stretch of path (although sadly not in the exact same spot so we can’t get a direct comparison)

Apparently Basel used up its best colours last year to welcome us to our new country. I shall have to make a point of going out on the same date next year to see what the trees are doing then.

Happy new week, readers. I hope Monday is less grey and miserable where you are!

Friday letters

Oh, hey! So apparently it’s Friday already? This week has gone far too fast!

Let’s have some letters:

Mail box

Dear trees. You’re so pretty right now! I love walking into my living room and seeing yellow beside the balcony, or looking out of my office window to see orange and red. Do you think you could maybe stay like that for while instead of rapidly going from colourful to naked? Thank you!

Dear birds. Now it’s getting colder, you can have some seeds again. Enjoy!

Dear Christmas. I see you lurking, but this year I shall be prepared! No stitching cards until midnight the night before we’re due to go away for a few days!

Dear November. You seem to be filling up rapidly. Visitors, Christmas markets, birthday celebrations. I feel tired already and you’re not even here yet! (It’s all fun stuff though, so no real complaints).

Dear bed. Let’s spend some quality time together this weekend, okay? (Despite going by in a flash, this week has also managed to seem like a lot of very long days and short nights. Time is a funny thing).

That’s all I’ve got today and I need to get back to work if I actually want to finish at my normal time tonight.

Have a fabulous weekend, bloggy friends!

Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival 2015

I’m aware I haven’t actually finished telling you about our holiday in England yet, but today I want to skip to what we did this weekend because the festival isn’t over yet and there might be people in the area who feel like going.

Each year, the castle in Ludwigsburg hosts a huge pumpkin festival in its gardens. A few bloggers went last year and it looked amazing, but sadly I wasn’t able to go then, so when Meredith wrote a blog post about this year’s event I was determined to make it there this time. From Karlsruhe, it would have been fairly easy to get to. This year we were further away, meaning the journey took us around 3 hours (changing trains twice), but we decided that was just about doable. Since we had to change trains in Karlsruhe, I asked whether any of my friends there would like to join us and two of them did.

Tiny pumpkinsEach year, there is a theme for the sculptures at the festival to fit into and this year’s was Fliegen, which mines flight. However, there were some interesting interpretations of the word, for instance one sculpture was of a grand piano, which is der Flügel in German… and Flügel is also the German word for wing (as in what birds have, not the wing of a house), giving it a (slightly contrived) connection to flight. Here are some of my favourite photos that I took of the sculptures. The smaller carved pumpkins aren’t part of the “main” exhibition and therefore don’t have to follow the flight theme (hence cows and snakes).

I managed to take my camera along without it’s memory card because I’m a moron 😉 Luckily I can actually take some photos with the camera’s own memory, but it meant I had to ration myself. Luckily my friend K took lots of photos, which she very kindly shared with me, so the next gallery is all her work.

As well as the sculptures, there were various culinary offerings involving pumpkin. We had roast pumpkin seeds – I bought ones with chilli and sugar while K chose sugar and cinnamon, pumpkin popcorn (boring – it was just ordinary sweet popcorn with crushed pumpkin seeds sprinkled on, and taste of just… popcorn), pumpkin burgers (amazing! Would eat again!), pumpkin chips/fries (also amazing! I plan to try and make my own), pumpkin Schorle (juice mixed with fizzy water) and pumpkin prosecco (“Kürbissecco”), and also sampled some of the items that were available to buy for taking home – including pumpkin seed pesto, pumpkin ketchup and pumpkin chutney. All were delicious!

As well as the sculptures, the entire place is decorated with pumpkins and the winners of the German and European giant pumpkin contests were also in display. Here are a few general impressions of the pumpkins, the park and the gorgeous autumn colours. First gallery contains my photos:

And the following photos are by K:

Sorry about the photo overload – I couldn’t narrow it down any further!

If anyone is in the Stuttgart/Ludwigsburg/Heidelberg area and wants to see the pumpkins for themselves, the festival is on until Saturday 8th November. The exhibition area is not lit, so I recommend going during the day/before dark. Entrance to the garden is €8.50 – and make sure you do ask for a ticket to just the garden, unless you actually want to go into the castle! Apart from the pumpkins, the garden itself has a lot to offer, including a huge walk in aviary (which we sadly didn’t have time to go into this time, but Jan and I have been before and it’s amazing!) and a fairytale forest.

Phew! That was a long post, so congratulations if you’ve made it to the end!
I’m linking this up for Monday Escapes with Packing my Suitcase and My Travel Monkey. Click the button for more information.

Packing my Suitcase

Friday letters

Another Friday already? Wow, that came around fast! Well, the good news is that by smothering my wrist in Deep Heat and strapping it up, I’ve managed to get it almost better, and stitching doesn’t hurt as long as the bandage is around it, so I’ve been busily stitching away trying to get the cross stitch for our little game finished and will hopefully get the reveal post up next week sometime (the things I do for you people. Honestly!). I’m not sure how much stitching will get done this weekend as Jan is singing at two concerts and we have visitors coming tomorrow to see one of them, then staying overnight, so this evening tidying must be done! I’ll try my best though. Anyway, letters…

Mail boxDear autumn colours. Why are you fading already? That’s not fair! I’m not ready for nasty brown leaves/naked trees yet!

Dear crumbs/dirt. Where do you come from? I’m so sick of hoovering you up! (Oh, and hair, could you maybe stop falling out all over the bathroom floor? Thanks!).

Dear decent hole punch. Where did you go?! I can only find my old, crappy one. You’re massive so why can’t I see you?

Dear fish fingers. Eating you makes me feel like I’m 8 again! Except these days you’re served with roast potatoes and salad rather than oven chips and baked beans…

Dear Sherlock. I can’t believe it – we’re actually up to date with a TV series! Now what am I going to do until Season 4 comes out?

That’s all for today. Not much is going on with me, apparently. Have a great weekend, everyone!

Friday letters

Is it just me or is autumn going by really fast? I know it’s only mid-October and officially autumn will last a while longer, but over the last few days it’s gone cold here and I can sense winter rearing its ugly head already! Oh well, at least the sun’s out today so I won’t have to force myself to go for a walk in the rain like I did yesterday. Anyway, letters…

postboxDear wrist. I’m not sure why you hurt (although holding the tablet seems to aggravate you so that could be a clue?), but you need to stop it. I have many cards to cross stitch and right now stitching for long stretches hurts!

Dear patterned tights. You know what would be nice? If your patterns actually went all the way up! When the end of my skirt/dress is reached and then there’s a block of plain black (or whatever) before the pattern starts looks really odd! And the dresses I wear aren’t that short… mostly.

Dear autumn leaves. You’re so pretty! I wish you weren’t all falling down already – although the trees in the courtyard outside my flat are still looking rather glorious in yellow and orange.

Dear birds. Now the cold is setting in, we’re planning on buying a feeder for our balcony very soon. I hope you’ll come and visit once we do!

Dear Sherlock. No wonder your seasons are so short – those episodes are long! You’re the reason I got nothing done between making tea and going to bed last night!

Dear old home. Sorry to hear you’ve lost your best Irish pub. Honestly, you move away and everything goes to pot 😉

Right, must get back to work now. Happy Friday and have a great weekend everyone!