For a few days, this tree carpeted the street with its falling pink petals.
Each visit to our nearby Parc de la Tête d’Or brings a new wave of spring flowers to delight in. Our walks are filled with little detours as I wander across the grass to investigate a hint of purple here and a flash of yellow there.
The shaded grass beneath the trees is riddled with delicate violets.
Hyacinths. These are one of the first flowers I remember growing as a child.
These red tulips stood out amongst the predominantly purple and yellow colour palette.
The first spring bulbs are starting to appear in the Parc de la Tete d’Or.
There have been a couple of mornings recently when I have woken to birds singing. It is still dark out, with hours to go before the sun eventually comes up, but somewhere out there, the little birds are singing away.
I presume this is a sign that spring is on the way. It’s an odd thought, as it has coincided with weather that epitomises winter for me: snow. It hasn’t been heavy snow; it left barely a sprinkling on the ground. But, it fell frequently for consecutive days. Each time I looked out the window, there was a good chance I’d see the white flakes drifting down.
We had heavier snow falls earlier in the season, where the snow blanketed the ground, and took days to finally melt away. They were exciting, but seeing snow fall day after day reminds me that I now live somewhere where it snows in winter.
Our local market was abundant with new produce this week. Amongst the seasonal offerings, there was an array of fruit and vegetables that I have never seen before.
One of these new discoveries is kaki. The shiny orange-apricot coloured globes caught my eye as we passed one of our regular stalls. When I asked the vendor if it was a fruit, he picked one up and sliced a piece off for me to try. The instantly sweet, complex flavour compelled me to buy some. It was only as we walked away with the bag of kaki in hand that the sweetness was replaced with a peculiar, dry sensation.
Happily, after a couple of days sitting on our kitchen table, they seem to have lost their dry aftertaste, and the flavour is a mix between melon, apple, and some tropical fruit I can’t pinpoint.
There have been a number of signs that summer has left us for this year. Apples are appearing in the market, the leaves are starting to fall from the trees, and we have doonas on the bed. But two things this week have confirmed it for me.
On my run yesterday morning, I was not greeted by the sun rising in all its pink and orange glory as I have been in recent weeks. The bright orange orb and pink clouds were nowhere to be seen. Yesterday, I was greeted by the moon and the mist.
And today, I noticed that all the street cafes have packed away their terraces. The time for enjoying lunch in the warm summer air has passed and the tables have retreated inside.
We arrived in Annecy in the rain, but on our second day we were rewarded with bright sunshine. Perfect for enjoying a walk along the edge of the lake.
I’m always amazed at the clarity of alpine water. The crystal clear water at the edges of the lake slid into a patchwork of brilliant turquoise, aqua, and green. There was even a dusting of snow on the peaks in the background.
I talk to a lot of people at work. Classes generally begin and end with small talk; what we did on the weekend, holiday plans, restaurants they’ve visited. This provides me with an endless source of recommended things to do and places to see around Lyon.
Annecy was one of these places. And so, we recently set off on the train to spend a couple of days there.
Annecy was described to me as beautiful and “tourisitique”, and it lived up to both of these descriptions. Even at the end of the summer tourist season, on a rainy day, the tourists seemed to outnumber the local residents. As we wandered around, I felt I heard more English spoken than French.
The pretty town sits on the edge of a stunning alpine lake surrounded by snow-capped peaks. The old, stone buildings of the town nestle between canals lined with flowers and crossed by ornate bridges. While the town is pretty by day, I found it particularly striking at night.
Large rounds of cheese and cured meats are not an uncommon sight in Lyon’s markets, but today they were of the Italian variety. We stumbled upon a handful of Italian market stalls set up the the centre of the city.
Earlier in the summer, I stumbled upon a wild strawberry patch on the edge of an industrial estate. It was my first encounter with wild strawberries, and they were tiny things.
Since that first discovery, they seem to have popped up all over the place. And today, I found one growing by the drain in the centre of our (otherwise concrete) courtyard.