After the Rain pt.2

Here´s another sequel to my wanderings in my neighbourhood even when it´s pouring some rains.Running with slight rain is also one wonderful experience I have done from last week and yes, I am convinced that it can be done.Just like running when snowing! I love the nature itself and the mood after the showers captured in camera is quite different.

In my archives I saw some photos I took last Spring, just when the Clematis is in bloom, how lovely they looked, so fresh and pretty in pink.They can totally can make it to my Flower of the Day.Only the Mums in my garden are blooming this Autumn so actually not much flowering plants to see.

Pink Clematis after the Rains
FOTD ; Clematis after the Rain
Carpet of fallen leaves

This post is inspired by the wonderful Cee, for her FOTD; Flower of the Day Challenge and Terri´s Sunday Stills Challenge : Leaves have fallen from the Trees.

All photos are mine and taken by me.Appreciate the mention if ever you wanna use them.

Until then, Tschüss!

After November Rain

It´s raining outside and the streets are wet.The city gardeners really worked so hard these few past days.I noticed that all grass fields have been mowed for the last time this year, everything is cleared and prepared for the coming freezing winter months.

Coming home the other day I noticed another truck with few men inspecting trees, “Baumpflege” it says, meaning Tree care. So even trees deserves a check-up before winter.

The drastic changes in our neighbourhood today are so evident. Many trees are almost bare, without leaves and just covered in thick mist. I did my morning run today and I actually get through with it neatly. I haven´t got to run for a week since I am cramped at work and gave in to excuses. I breathe in and murmured to myself “Golden October” is gone, now I am just running on piles of fallen leaves, like a carpet of browns, orange, yellows and rust.They will turn into soil later, right?

I am fascinated by roses in particular, the way they embrace the cold, hugged by mist and seemed to be still carefree. The sight of a rose with water droplets has such an enigma to me. It´s beautiful, delicate and yet so fragile.Pouting buds and still beaming with life, with it´s leaves curled up. Mine in the garden are already trimmed, pruned and cut. I guess they are already hibernating. I would like to do so as well, to hibernate and come back again in Spring, hopefully the virus is then gone, and probably dissapear here in Europe and migrated to the peaks of Everest where they cannot bother us anymore.

Even nature takes a break so why can´t we? After these November rains, are they even bothered again? Oh nevermind,I guess watching the rain makes me ramble things from my mind.

Either way, I totally enjoyed my run and captured these moments beautifully. November rains are not so bad after all.

Stay safe everyone, enjoy the weekend and Tschüss.

Autumn hiking in Felsentor Unteremmendorf

Charmed by natural lights from the wild forests of Unteremmendorf

So what do you call a great hike?

For days we´ve been itching for a good autumn family hike , lucky enough, I had a weekend free so then off we go.The weather was great , and after breakfast, and only half an hour drive, we arrived to our new hiking place–in Unteremmendorf . The main attration in this place is the “Torfelsen“, or the Rock Gate. It´s a natural rock formation splendour and believed to be a part of the entrace of the three castles ,named “Torfelsen“, “Saufelsen” and “Hubertusfelsen” which were believed to be owned by Messrs. Emmendorf, a family of servants from Eichstatt.There is a 25- meter deep cave that attached to the gate and we thought it is quite cool to explore it. My daughter have never seen a cave, a real one alone!

Here in Germany, names of places are hard to memorize, actually I can speak of it but sometimes it´s so easy to forget them. But knowing German grammar, when I noticed the last syllable, dorf, that reminds me of a tiny village.Well, basically this place is easy to navigate since it is in the vicinity of Altmühltal valley, panoramaweg. If you lived here in Bavaria and in the southern part like us here in Ingolstadt, then eveyone knows Altmühltal. We have explored this area so much, and it actually has a lot to offer, for every ages, all in 4 seasons.But especially Autumn, it´s in its most colorful colors which I loved.

This hike was from 2 weeks ago, when the Autumn fog and the chill outside with bright sun is really enjoyable, a golden moment in October. Now, not anymore, nearing almost Halloween, it´s all grey, dark, gloomy and cold.The other day that I was cycling to work it seemed like it´s already winter, and I don´t really care If I´m already wearing a warm boots.

Anyway,this hike was a friendly family hike for us, approx. 7 kms and as usual, we took our time and made few stops to snack and let my daughter play.This path is also famous for mountain trail biking and connected to other panorama hikes with Ruins and castle views here in Bavaria.My daughter urges to bring her hiking stick but I know that in the middle of the hike,it´s me ending up carrying it, which is really typical.

So who doesn´t need a break when the sights are this pretty?

The beauty of nature is quite simple,the silence, the trees, the bright sun, these path, crisp autumn leaves which cracks everytime we walked on it….this place is quite magical.

The lights get through the trees is simply enchanting

The first part of the hike was almost flat. We hear the sound of the gushing water in the small brook that flows from the forest into the side street of the village.We parked our car in the foot of the village and the small path led us to right into the woods. From the beginning, I h It was a quiet place, and I love adoring the small gardens filled with autumn blooms. I haven´t seen anyone else hiking, or probably they´ve taken another path.There are lots of piled woods and tree branches along the way. That was a smart thing to do, those woods will definitely give warmth during the upcoming cold months.The sights were typical, yellow-orange leaves of the trees gives us a great backdrop but then the soil was damp, muddy and yes, wet from last night´s rain.We didn´t mind that though.

Then our search begun. Searching for mushrooms and other autumn finds is exciting. From odd spider webs to unusual colorful foliages up to the dried pine cones, they are all adorable during this time of the year. I just loved how fog makes everything misty and everything else in the wilderness seemed magical.I enjoyed taking photos of them as well!

At the end of the path we´ve met few people who goes in the same direction as ours and that always gave me relief. There was also a big family at the end, with a baby, another stroller and a dog. Then came another group of older women who are busy chatting about their dogs and the weather. Then it was a perfect time to have a break and some warm tea. When we do family hikes, we always pack a warm thermos, drinks and snacks,because it always saves the day.

The viewing point did not dissapoint us, but I think the view that we´ve got when we hiked through the ruins of the castle in Markt Essing and Kipfenberg is much better.The valley looks the same, nothing special and the river Altmühl view here is quite plain compared when we hiked through Burg Randeck.

The view from the top of Unteremmendorf

We´ve continued walking, this time searching for more mushrooms. This time the path gets slimmer and some uphill.Finally weve seen the signs that we are almost near to the Rock Gate.The moment we saw the slight narrowed path, covered with fallen leaves, this view surprised us. We´ve finally found the gate.

In Winter, this path is not opened to public and no winter path maintenance. But I think it would really looked lovely when everything is covered in white…like a winter wonderland plus this rock gate!

There´s a tree where you can climb and famous photoop site and of course, my kid did not missed that!I guess the beauty of hiking actually lies on the whole fun you´ve got while you do it , the hardship, missed turns, and not when you actually reached the summit of the point you are looking for. The adventure of searching the paths and looking for the right signs makes it all worthwhile!

Just beside the Felsentor is the cave where bats and nocturnal creatures lived and hide. They are probably hanging there, sleeping so we don´t wanna disturb them. There´s a sign that this area is protected so we did not dare to go inside the cave. Also I am not really fond or excited to meet some bats at this time. My daughter was excited and curious but then she did not walked further.

Felsentor, a rock gate in Unteremmendorf
Why do moss stays “Green” ?

What I loved about the Altmühltal Panorama weg is its diversity. We´ve seen castles, ruins, huge boulders of rocks, stones, carved mountains, wild forests, caves, bridges and historical churches and museums. Everything is just fascinating and each place has its own gem.We´ve done quite more hikes from this area and it always surprises me that there are more to see. The sceneries, the wildlife that we´ve seen are all truly special. I guess this Rock gate has been important during the old times but I am personally glad that in the middle of the woods, we were able to see it during this time.

Many times, my kid doesn´t want to walk anymore, making tantrums and feeling bored .The choice is not to give up. When we looked back at this time and looking at our photos, we actually forget all the troubles and problems. Just like any other hike, when we´re going down, it gets everything easier…and merrier.

Down in the valley, we rewarded ourselves with a warm lunch in Kratzmühle which have a very nice lake view , a mini golf area and a large playground. There were lots of bikers who took their break and many families doing the same things as we do. My daughter had a blast playing there while we enjoyed some day of rest. I wish the sun continues to shine like this through the coming cold months…oh how I wish!

What a simple, lovely day.It already feels like we are back in normal.

What does makes a simple hike great—I guess it´s just a day like this!

When was the last time you went for a hike?

Until next time, Tschüss!

Tschüss Sommer

There´s a kind of Autumn Hush

A walk in my neighborhood

I took a walk with my daughter last weekend through our neighborhood.The weather was great, I mean, for us here, it´s bearable than rainy and grey-cloudy days. Golden October finally said goodbye and we are finally approaching Winter. We are not really looking forward to the cold but Mr. Frost finally came,few days ago , he had a short visit, leaving us with a notice that he´ll stay longer next time.

Autumn in Bavaria

We have a beautiful Autumn feel in our neighborhood. I´ve seen far better views in other regions but during this Pandemic, the new norm is simply keeping distance, only-must-do travel and almost in isolation. I am still grateful.I am still in positive mind state so I am not complaining. Nature have graciously reminded me that everything will be alright soon.

Nature walks are far by the best…

My daughter goes to school now. She is an active first 1st Grade pupil .Here they normally refer to them as ” Shulkind“. A week ago, we received a letter from the school principal that one girl from other class have tested Positive from Covid-19. The next day, a teacher from the after-class day care is also Positive and then the following day, another pupil from another class tested Positive.

Do you get my message? It´s like a domino-effect and I just can´t stay still.

Children in school are separated in groups so the affected groups went to Quarantine.I think any parent would feel the alarm, a heartache, a tiresome worry that this Pandemic had brought to all of us. I was talking to my husband that you will never feel the weight of the stressfull times that Corona brings not until you are in that situation where you feel the threat for the life of your loveones.My daughter wears her masks from 7.30 am to 3.30 in the afternoon until she walks out from the school when I picked her up. they learn, they study, play and do everything with a masks!

Imagine that….

There is indeed a kind of Hush feeling all over the world.

But the loud silence we are hearing when we are out in nature is quite different..It is calming and somewhat juvenating.Of course we needed that, lots of it!

I diverted my thoughts and focus on the beautiful scenery in front of us.The small river in front of us is like a life size mirror with all the reflections of the trees, foliages and blue skies…It was magical! I imagined that it would be a total winter wonderland if this area would freeze and we can skate over here.There are ducks all over the place and they keep on doing their sounds.We forgot to bring old bread to feed the ducks so we just call them.

Quaacckkk Quaacckkk shouted my little girl!

I think it did the trick because the ducks and swans swam freely to us and made their stunts.They are beautiful…some things can be quite so simple and yet so meaningful!

Battling the cold battle…

While we were walking, she told me that she is waiting for her friends to go to the nearby playground. I explained to her that maybe they come or maybe they don´t. She said she hopes that everything returns to normal soon. I heard her…I wished that too.

As expected, a walk with nature always change our mood.We were busy looking for autumn leaves and looking at water reflections. The crystal clear waters of the Danube river and the area near the Glacisbrücke is really awesome. I walked further near to the bank and snap this photo.

Some trees are already bald, stiff and looked dreary, but some trees hold their leaves tightly, refusing to let go.Against the sunshine they remind me of my Autumn paintings.There is a lot of golden ochre yellows and rusty oranges colors that I see.I am telling you, as a self taught artist, I still find it so difficult to replicate the beauty of nature in landscape paintings.

I spotted these beautiful fragile beauties. I don´t know its name but hey reminded me of Cotton candy. It´s not yet covered in Frost but anyway they looked lovely.

My head can fit in this hollow hole of the Tree!

Have you taken a walk lately? How was it?

Please wear your masks and I wish you all a great start of the week!

Tschüss!

Wordless Wednesday

Thank you for stopping by…

Is it 10 months already? How time flies…

I started this Blog from middle of January this year and  noticed that I have  now 200+ followers. Imagine! 200+ beautiful souls who stopped by , stayed for a while, and followed my tiny space in internet. I remembered so well how giddy I am writing my  first post about Raising a Book-lover in your child, and how excited I was when I got my first ever Liebster  Blog award from Frank,of Dutch goes the Photo, one of the first one who stopped by & take a look at my page.

I  wanted to thank each one of you. Yes, you, amazing followers who stopped by & read what I’ve written.I have met so many  awesome people in this community and have learned so much about many things–Expat life, parenting, nature,travel, passion, and most of all– the value of time for stopping by to read & getting to know other Bloggers through their posts.

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To all of my Blog followers – Thank you for stopping by…
 

I realized that Blogging is like Benches.

Benches are chairs designed for people to sit on, mainly outdoors. To have a brief moment of solitude. To rest. To meet & greet. A connection point.

Somebody–a stranger, a friend, young or old, even a little child must take a fraction of their time to sit on it, rest their tired feet, and stop by. From the time they click on your links and posts, it is an open line, they can know you, they can read about your life, your wanderlust, your personal rants about a bad day, that happy moment you’ve put into writing,a milestone of your baby, or anything goes just like your Wordless Wednesday posts.

The same way I stopped by & read some interesting posts, your Blog for example.

While I was having a walk the other day I spotted these benches. Here in Germany they have ‘nice benches’. They are nice in a way that they looked sturdy, clean, and positioned in places where you can really consider stopping by and sit for a while. It’s always in a way where there is traffic.There are plenty of benches in the parks, along the river banks, outside the busy streets in the city centre, even within the forest.

But the other day was special for me since I have actually stop and take a closer look at these benches. I took some photos from my phone & my mind wanders. Not that they are newly painted or old, but it’s the first time I saw them in a different perspective. I passed by through some of them most of the time, but I paid little attention.I have some interesting impressions which I will relate in the following photos.

I saw  one cyclist having a break and sit in this bench.He is staring blankly at the vast landscape in front of him. I can feel his heavy breathing from the way he inhaled deeply. Cycling must have been exhausting. He needed a break for sure.

I also felt like this when I cycled. A minute or two sitting in a bench always a good idea of recharging.

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German benches – A pit stop for cyclists and weary
One particular old lady,dressed in a burgundy jacket with a thick scarf around her neck was sitting here. She sits in this bench with bunch of bags beside her.She had a quick stop at the nearby grocery shop to get some food, because I saw the pack of bread, and some tomatoes or are those apples? I’m really not sure. She looked tired but she smiled at me with a quick “Morgen!” As I walked away, I thought, She needed a pause, a time to compose herself. I wonder if she live nearby since I have been seeing a lot of old people in this neighborhood. Maybe this is her habitual stop over, a quick pit-stop before heading home. I knew that German old ladies are quite active,lithe and full of stamina.

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The silence of the benches in Germany,only the wise can hear.
This street in above photo is a busy road. This is in front of a school and as you can see, cars are lined up in the parking area just beside the rows of benches. On the other side is the Danube river and a bit further along is a Döner stand. I saw a young lady rummaging through her purse and looking for something. I don’t know, maybe some loose change or her car keys, but she looked anxious. She is in a hurry. She needed to stop by, to sit and have a good look on her bag.

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Blue bench in front of the Danube river
A man was sitting here. He has a dog with him. It was a cold, foggy morning as you can see from the background. Although he was dressed warmly, I can see that he is waiting for someone, or for something. He grab his phone and talk for about 30 sec and hang up. He just sits there, looking around, and gasping in the cold Autumn air. He stood up and walk his dog for a while and sits back again.He was trying to make a choice to stay or to go further, or maybe just wanting to go home and have a warm cup of tea.

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Autumn leaves adorn the empty bench

The thing is, we as passers-by can have a feel of others. If we observe enough we can have a hindsight of their thoughts, based on their facial expressions.  Just by looking, we can have a connection. But these benches don’t.  They are just there, serving its purpose. A tangible wood or steel bench. Imagine if these benches can talk and share to you what they can see from people who stopped by & sits on them. What kind of stories would they say?

Do you remember the time you read a meaningful comment from your readers? Remember the warmth in your heart knowing that someone, another human can relate and had a grasp of your thoughts.

Our responses were the same, we hit the like button.

As always, a silent way of saying ; Thank you for stopping by… and maybe, if time permits,see you again next time.

Chasing the Fog | Quest

Have you ever tried chasing the Fog?

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Chasing the Fog ..The river almost disappear and masked by mysterious mist.

I just did.

Last Saturday morning, alone and dressed warmly,  I discovered the whimsical, magical & overwhelming delight of chasing the Fog. It’s a new experience that I’m thankful I had done despite the cold. I checked my weather app and made sure that I’m going on a right time for fog conquest, sure thing enough, the fog greeted me at our doorsteps.

I find it so rewarding to wake up early, find my favorite places filled with the beauty and mystical charm that fog creates,to discover the unknown and capture a stunning photo. It’s not always planned, but I am glad I followed my gut to wake up early. I knew that I have to be ready to go when the time is right.

One thing I have learned….The fog doesn’t wait for you.

You need to chase it with enthusiasm, with great delight.

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The bridge over the river while the ducks are swimming in the early morning mist.

As much as I enjoyed a lot of wandering and exploring, I enjoy photographing everything that I find beauty in every single day. Recently,when the temperatures dropped down and I saw such a different world during Foggy mornings, I bent myself to chase it.I wish to photographed my daughter in a foggy settings,but she’s still best asleep on early dawns.We lived 10 minutes away from the River Danube that is a perfect setting to chase fog. A whimsical walk into this path leads me to great discoveries about nature, noticing trees, foliage or flowers so that they can be isolated by the fog for a focal point.

 

 

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A walk to remember…chasing the Fog.

Such beauty awaits for those who seek.

If I sleep-in and stayed in bed, then I would have missed witnessing this. After a quiet morning walk, I felt inspired, and perplexed.

Chasing Fog–A quest of something innate from your system, a need for discovery, a rendezvous with time.

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Change as the seasons change.

In response to this week’s Photo Challenge : Quest

Going nuts over chestnuts

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Chestnuts in the ground during Autumn

Aside from the sight of dewy cobwebs, pumpkins and dried leaves, Autumn is definitely the season where chestnuts come in the show ,and the best way to find them is by looking down to the ground.Today while I’m with my daughter in the park, and while running after her in the playground, I noticed that some of the kids are hovering around the trees. All of them have a bag and they kept on picking out something from the ground.

They’re picking chestnuts from the ground!!

Way back in Philippines, chestnuts are expensive and only available during Christmas season. I remember in Kuwait, I’ve seen these dark brown nuts in the supermarket and although I wanted to have some, I’m in doubt how to cook them.So I decided to join the hustle and pick some and to my delight, we gather a handful, almost a bowl. My daughter had fun picking up the chestnuts and playing with it.

Now what to do with it? The ever-curious in me runs high so after googling out how to cook it, I decided to try it.

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The bowl of chestnut as my first haul today.

Here are some important points if you wanna try the Caveman-way, I did it by roasting in the oven for 210 deg C  for about 25~30 minutes. The chestnuts will crack & turn brown once they’re done you can smell the delectable aroma .

(I call it caveman way because If you don’t like sweating out & hurting your thumb, then just buy the ones in the supermarket, it taste the same anyway )

1. Carefully cut an X into the flat side of each nut with a sharp, pointy knife, cutting through the shell.

2.Spread the nuts on a rimmed baking sheet for the oven or directly on the grill, cut side up

3.Roast for 15 to 20 minutes or until they’re tender and the shell comes off easily.

4.Wrap the hot chestnuts in a towel and squeeze them to crush the skins. Leave them wrapped in the towel for five minutes afterwards.

5.Peel while nuts are warm. Remove the inner skin along with the shell. Reheat briefly if the nuts become hard to peel.

Step # 6 is Enjoy which I omitted and I will tell you why.

Before you devour those chestnut, make sure it’s safe to snack on!!

Evil  Horse chestnut impostors are, in a nutshell, making you wanna vomit. Which means it’s a good time to remember that not all chestnuts are what they seem: Some, turns out to be fake,they are Horse chestnuts — similar in appearance and much more common, but inedible. Horse-chestnut poisoning is rarely fatal, ( as per Web site of Canada’s Nova Scotia Museum )  though effects can include vomiting, loss of coordination, stupor and occasionally paralysis.

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Horse Chestnuts that are poisonous ( Aesculus hippocastanum)

Raw Horse Chestnut seed, leaf, bark and flower are toxic due to the presence of esculin and should not be ingested. Horse chestnut seed is classified by the FDA as an unsafe herb. The glycoside and saponin constituents are considered toxic. Aesculus hippocastanum is used in Bach flower remedies.

The moment I’ve tasted these nuts, it tasted bitter and I knew something is not right. I immediately throw all of it in the bin. Again, there’s really nothing wrong about Googling. But sure thing that your taste buds will warn you, unless anything bitter is delectable for you.

So next time you wanna experiment the same way that I did, make sure you are harvesting the right kind of chestnut,and not the ones who can make you ill. Thanks to this incident or else I wouldn’t know that there is such a thing called “Horse Chestnuts”. Here are some for you to look just in case you are harvesting chestnuts this Autumn. These are based on a home-and-garden information center operated by Clemson University Extension distinguishes good nut from bad nuts.

*Edible chestnuts are like woodsy sea urchins, sporting very prickly burrs with one to several nuts inside. Horse chestnuts are less prickly, more easily handled (and thus, more sinister).

*Chestnuts have long, narrow leaves; horse chestnuts have big, compound ones composed of five to nine leaflets sharing a common stem.

* Chestnuts are starchy (and edible). Horse chestnuts taste horribly bitter. Taste buds description :  INEDIBLE.

*Horse chestnuts, have a nasty scent. Unlike edible chestnuts, their covers don’t pop off easily, which makes them, literally, a tougher nut to crack.

Do you like chestnuts?

Have you ever tried eating something and then it’s just too foul to taste?