CMMC November Close Up or Macro

Giant Dutchman’s pipe (Aristolochia gigantea)

This is my entry for Cee´s CMMC November Close Up or Macro Challenge. I find it really fascinating to see hidden facets of nature especially flowers when being photographed closely.These photos were taken on my last trip to Münich visiting the Nymphenburg Botanical Garden and Greenhouses.Such a beautiful nature paradise!

Prickly new beginnings

Crowning glory
Aristolochia, Too pretty to handle
I really forgot how this flower called, so unique, so exquisite!
When the frilly petals left the Poppy head
Close up shot of a withering Sunflower
Remains of the withered, dried Sunflower

Thank you for the inspiration Cee!

FOTD: Flora, saving the last dance

Last dance of the season for `Sonnenhut Echinacea

Autumn is in full bloom here in Bavaria and I am still trying to embrace the cold. I am loving the dim lights, the flickering yellow sun and fragile rays on a sunny Autumn day. I took a long run the other day and I really enjoyed the colorful foliage, yellow orange leaves of the trees and watching the thick fog slowly dissapear. I am bent on chasing the Fog once again. I guess thats the perk of waking up early, kissing the dews and inhaling the almost frigid wind almost everyday.Summer has been so quick for us, unapologetic and swift with it´s sombre goodbye. Nevertheless I have to thank once again nature for reminding me that this cycle must go on.

No matter what, look up.

As I hold on to my camera I thought it would be nice to once again be up close and personal with nature. I am surprised by the results, again amazed that I have discovered a hidden facets of a very normal, quite dreary sight which a normal passers-by would never take a second look.

So fascinating, I never knew that the core of the Poppy flowers have an almost excellent symmetry. Just look how perfect the dimensions and composition of it.With 12 equal divisions, nature embraces linearity, a really bizarre aspect of flowers.This beautiful seed pod is exquisitely important for the next breeding. Thinking of it, it´s like it´s the ovary of the next generation of Poppy flowers in my neighborhood which will grace our next summer .That´s why they said, when the petals are gone, hold on to it´s seed pod.

Absolutely an almost perfect crown

I must admit I quite enjoyed blowing some of these featherly fluffy flowers.The wind blew them all away in an instant and I have no idea where they landed, probably in few kilometers away, probably in my neighbour´s garden.

Untangled freely feathery plant

This post is inspired by Cee´s Flower of the Day Challenge- October.

Until then, Tschüss.

LAPC-On the Waters- No water, no green, no blue, no life

Raging waters in the Krimml Waterfalls in Austria

Here is my response to John´s Challenge ” On the Water ” for this week´s Lens -Artist Photo Challenge.I got excited when I saw this topic since I love water. I just do.Just like Silvia Earle says..” No water, no blue, no green, no Life…”.

It´s all true, without it, there´s absolutely no living. When I saw that raging waters coming from the Krimml waterfalls, I felt the strong force it has.There is definitely a strong movement, a raging inertia that gives power, and move people.The locals have said that just standing beside a waterfall and inhaling the water vapors can actually cure diseases such as asthma and other respiratory ailments.

The Oasis of Life, and water fuels it.

Simple as that. Life in fact is not complicated. Here are some more of the photos I took that shows how I see water as a vital part in our life.

Without water, there will be no beauty found in Waterfalls, rivers, and brooks. One thing that I love exploring are Gorges. I just marvel how powerful water can be that it can split rocks and forged minerals out of it. Time is the witness of all these wonderful sights. Time had shown me…water can work in mysterious ways too.

Come to think of it, there will be no hydrolectric power that can be produced without these water resources, meaning there will be no energy.No rivers to swim, no adventure in rafting, no fish to catch.

Calm rush of the river, somewhere in Austria

Then there would be no Autumn rains, and children doens´t have the joy of jumping into muddy puddles.

The carpet of leaves submerged in water in Fall

How great a fountain would be? without water, the it is just a scupture, a monument, no sign of living. But with water gushing from it, it is a form of Art.

Quiet landmark Fountain in my city

Sans water, there would be no attractions where people gather, where we find joy in nature´s simplest forms…

Cascading waterfalls in Lechbach in Füssen, Germany

There would be no place for nature´s way of showing it´s artistic forms.

Another magical art
What can nature be without water?

But there would be no living if we don´t stop our wrong doings. There would be no more beauty found in chaos of pollution.

Signs of degrading our waters

But then, once we reaarange our bearings, nature gave us back a positive sign…growth, lush greens, and fruits.In the end, there´s a surprise of harvest.

The perfect Green
Quaint Houses near the river, Markt Essing, Bavaria
Yes, there are tons and tons of water inside these blue & white Mushroom towers. Precious waters for the whole country of Kuwait.
The Kuwait Mushroom water Towers

Thank you John for this worthwhile challenge.

Until then, Tschüss!

Lens-Artist Photo Challenge- From Large to Small

Patti invites us this week, for a different challenge. “…pick a color and select several photos that feature that color.

Start with a photo of a big subject in that color (for example, a wall) and move all the way down to a small subject in that same color (for example, an earring).” She reminds us of size constancy and the importance of easily recognizable objects for comparing. You will see some of this in my images, but in some there are no perfect objects for comparing.

So, now I can splurge on my favourite color—Turquoise, Turkis, or shade of Aquamarine.

Now that we are slowly easing Corona Lockdown measures here in Germany, I am constantly dreaming to visit a beaches and lakes , splurging and digging my toes into that powder white shores and looking at endless blues, turkis shades of water.probably soon.

Anyways, this challenge took me back to my island hopping and beach adventures in the Philippines where I see endless horizons and infinity turquoise waters.I truly missed them.

Malapascua Island, Palawan, Philippines

The view is magnificent, the color reflects to my sunglasses and it´s beauty blinding me. I could stare at these views forever.

Coron Island, Palawan, Philippines

Even lakes here in Germany and Austria reminds me so much of my beachcapades , this colour is everywhere, thanks to the wonderful weather. Surrounded with mountain cliffs, rocky valleys, Turquoise always captivates me.

Stausee in Kaprun, Austria

Then moving up to one of my favourite hobby, which is watercolor galaxy art painting where I used much shades of Blue combined with white and green to create this shade of Turquoise and make an illusion of the Aurora Borealis, turquoise glow..and northen lights.

Galaxy Art Watercolor painting (JustbluedutchArt)

Then I want to move along to my Expat diaries in Kuwait where I normally visits traditional tents and war torn islands, specifically, the Failaka Island. I feasted on the traditional handmade clay vases and pottery in their charming museum.I found this shade is so refreshing, compared to the predominant beige and ivory shades of Desert life.

Yes, definitely this painting looks delicious and cozy, ladies in Turkis says “Cheers” ! I snapped this photo while visiting a park in the Netherlands.

and lastly, the apple of my eyes, lost in Berlin, continuously exploring, curious as ever, and supercozy wearing a jacket in a fine Autumn weekend in Berlin.

Where to go?….

Thank you, Patti, for this fun and creative challenge! Don’t forget to visit Patti and her inspiring site – and we hope to see you there under the Lens-Artists tag.

Until then, have a great weekend everyone, stay safe & Tchüss!

Nature inspiration in Landesgartenshau-Ingolstadt

Entrance to the Rose Garden in the Landesgartenshau-Ingolstadt

Last Saturday I was in a happy place–in this large botanical paradise, 15 minutes away from home, I was surrounded with beautiful summer blooms in different shades and heights, charming little gardens, and lush green oasis. I constantly hearing the sound of the bees and other insects and the calming flowing fountains and ponds. My worries about Corona were gone. Well at least on this day..!

The photo below describes exactly how I feel all throughout of our visit.

Breathing in and breathing out nature

There was pure Zen. Tranquility. Day of Rest and relaxation and pure bliss.

Who would be sad if they see all these beauties. I heard people saying ” Wünderschön…!” “Sehr schön…” and I couldn´t agree no more.

I totally got lost so I was constantly clicking my camera. I snapped and took photos of all the beautiful things I saw.Today was the day I need to improve my camera skills anyway…

Blue Sheep? why not… ( Blue Flock Art Project)

It was supposed to open last year but because of Corona, Landesgartenshau-Ingolstadt remained closed to the public until recently, but still with tight restrictions and hygienic measures, it finally opened for tourism.It`s amazing that a place like this pop up into our city, giving us a new destination to interact with nature. A place to bridge the gap between neighborhoods and a circle to meet with friends and serves as a natural sanctuary.

Charming and exquisite Floral arrangements and design

This was good news not only for me, but for so many nature plant loving humans over here.We needed a bit of fresh air from a long time of lockdowns. This place signals a new hope as well for thriving businesses , and multi-talented artists. Everywhere, people wants to go somewhere ,anyhow, it doesn´t matter, just being out from the house is great enough.

Children for sure wants to play outside, freely and no restrictions.Crawling back to normality in baby steps…

Silver + White is probably the right theme of this art installation…perfect for Life in Colour indeed!

I love visiting Botanical gardens and Garden show like this and it´s a big plus if my little miss can enjoy it as well.

Asian themed gardens

My little Miss was super excited to go. She knows it so well that there is a huge playground there so that kept her stamina up for many hours.I am personally very happy that we have now something in our city , like this green place that we can be proud of. This new “Green Oasis” just beside Westpark is the new magnet not only for the local residents but throughout the whole region. A visit to this place is open to all ages and I am sure everyone in the family will enjoy.

How to visit?

Because of Corona, a visit to this place cannot be done without prior registration and schedule. We applied for a schedule 4 days ahead then we got the confirmation to visit.No worries, everything can be done online and the entry procedures is generally easy.Everything about the location, schedule, Tickets and entry requirements can be found here.

As of today, the limit of visitors allowed to enter the park is up to 4,000 guests/day.

Parking is available in the areas near the Park. Map is provided upon entrance.

When to visit?

Ideal time is actually depending on your choice.Summer time means the floral and garden display will be all about summer blooms and Spring flowers are gone. The list of activities and park´s exhibitions including the programmes are all listed in here. Be there early so you avoid the crowds and long lines!

The park runs from 3rd April up to 10th of October 2021.

Corona measures?

Wearing masks in the closed areas such as the Floral exhibitions and public areas is strictly required and monitored. There are clean bathrooms for hand washing and disinfection stations everywhere.

Corona Negative Tests are not required upon entering the park although restrictions may vary and change depending on the actual Corona situation of Ingolstadt.

What to wear + bring?

Summer time is here, so unless it´s a bad weather, dressing up light is really good. You´ll be walking a lot so think about your own comfort.Wearing a hat and sunscreen is really needed as the sun can be harsh for long time exposure. If you have children, bring lots of snacks, extra clothes for change, bathing suits , towels,and shorts because they will be wet, dirty and sweaty.

Snacks and picnics are allowed inside the park. There are quite enough open spaces and huge picnic grounds ( with endless numbers of banks, rest areas, and recliners) for everyone to sit on.

There are plenty of carry buggies that you can borrow to put on your stuff if you have many things to carry.

Don´t forget to bring your camera, extra cash and lots of good mood!

Plant lover and have plenty of time to kill?

Are you also daydreaming of visiting a Spring Garden full of thousand od Tulips and admiring tropical paradise full of Orchids? or what about seeing for real a suspended Garden ?

Or what about a Botanical garden with Parrots with a castle in view in Münich? or just killing time trying to figure out how to walk into your own Labyrinth?

Enjoy the sun ,until then, Stay safe and be kind. Tschüss!

Wordless Wednesday

A Penny for my thoughts and a legion of Kois

Hungry Koi Fishes waiting for feeding time in Nuvali Park, Santa Rosa, Laguna

From time to time, I love to share about some fascinating places I´ve been whenever I visited the Philippines. I think I´ve been away for too long and sometimes I couldn´t even recognized the same streets that I´ve walked into. Funny and feeling odd, I get a mental block.I laugh when I heard our native language and it seems like a stranger´s voice to me whenever I hear the diction and the local accent. The buildings have been renovated and more infrastructures have been built, and yes, commercialization is always there. There has been lots of shops that opened for business, mostly unfamiliar brands that I never heard of, but some still thrive and lasts up until now.Familiar sights brimmed in my eyes were the line of tricycles, pedicabs , shuttle buses, jeepneys, and stand shops. The streets is always full of people walking around.As usual,the weather is hot and humid and as expected,I am always sweating .It´s an old habit of mine to go inside the shops to cool down since it´s the only place with air conditioning.

Here in Germany, it´s very seldom that I´ve been to places with air conditioning. Only at work, in the car, or I can´t even recall…!

Anyway,some places still looked familiar, and whenever I remember the fond memories, I couldn´t help but to smile.One of them is a nature park called Nuvali. It is one of my family´s favourite place to go. There are plenty of restaurants, shops, play areas and picnic areas nearby so it´s a one stop place for everyone.Nuvali´s amenities includes a lake with lush nature surrounding it. I personally enjoyed the scenery and the quiet walks in the park.Within the vicinity, a unique attraction is the KOI fish feeding area.

Koi feeding in Santa Rosa, Nuvali Park

When I first saw photos of it, I got really curious to see it with my own eyes.To tell you the truth, there were Lots of Kois! I have no idea how many Koi fishes were cultivated here.

The whole sight was really overwhelming in number that it looks scary. Kois are jumping, swirling with their mouths open, gaping, and waiting for fish food. There´s a legion of carp fishes that swarmed into the lake and looking at them is quite exhilarating especially the sound they make.I am just not used to see them in herd like that. Pre Covid, people flock to this place every single day, especially on holidays and weekends just to feed the fishes. It´s really a magnet for kids, and also for adults! It is forbidden to feed the fishes with other types of food, only the one being sold at the ticket entrance.There is a shop that sells fish food so everyone can really enjoy the experience of feeding the hungry Kois.

Santa Rosa became quite famous because of these Koi Fishes. The location is ideal , it is very near to exressway so its a popular stop over for those who are travelling south-bound.I´ve heard Nuvali even become the Koi capital of the Philippines.I´ve seen quite a number of Koi ponds in many gardens here and in the Netherlands but nothing compares to the Kois in Santa Rosa.I brought my daughter here but I guess she´s too young to remember all these.

Koi Fish feeding in Nuvali, Santa Rosa, Laguna

Koi fishes are omnivorous, which means they feed both on plants and animals including insects, crustaceans, and meat proteins.One positive thing about it that despite it´s commercial purposes in this place, these Fishes help to make the lake waters clean.This whole experience of Koi feeding have taught me that these fishes can actually detect if someone wants to feed them!You can really see their eyes , and wide open mouth as if they really recognize the arrival of food.

There are countless laughs heard at the background plus the amazing sound which the Kois made. The shops are full of hungry guests, each one trying to sample the day´s offer. Filipinos are always been hospitable and costumer service is always on top.

These Kois would never learn to do social distancing!

Feed me, Feed me..!

Koi fishes are really special, no wonder they are one of the beloved aquarium pet in south east Asia, especially in Japan.Having a pond in a zen garden is perfect for little Kois to swim around. In Feng shui, a spiritual form of organization and placement of objects, says that having the spirit of the koi near you will attract good luck, fortune, and spiritual benefits. Aesthetically speaking, they are really beautiful.

Tropical Garden with Kois

Excuse the nostalgia, but it was a great day to remember.

Until then, Tschüss!

Life in Colour- Purple

This month, Jude is looking for Purple, the shades and hues from red to blue.When I think about Purple, I can´t help but to think of my Oxalis Triangularis plant and one of my favourite Rock band “Deep Purple”.My Oxalis are my lucky gem in my indoor jungle and I have already handed away so many babies from it. It´s magical to watch them close their leaves as soon as it´s gets dimmer and open it once greeted by sunshine. For me,purple is an ambitious colour, it is solid and whimsical, and always makes an statement. I love to use this hue in my abstract paintings and Galaxy Artworks. Personally, I love wearing purple nailpolish and yes, I have purple sweaters and as a kid I love eating Aubergine which is also of deep purple shade.

And what´s the perk of getting up early in the morning for a run? It´s view like these….purple dawn! better than Prince´s “Purple Rain” !

Lovely purple skies never fail to amazed me, too bad they are fleeting and gone in seconds.I must admit that I dared to be eccentric and love to try to wear purple hair, but then my hair was so dark that it turned into burgundy!

Purple can be yummy too, a favourite homebaked of mine, a slice of delicious Blueberry cheesecake dripping in purple sauce, anyone? One of the most beautiful sights I´ve seen in Purple is when they lighted up Kuwait Towers in shades of Purple and over here, we have a Winter Lounge in Christmas which is solely lighted in Purple lights!

Though Purple is the last color of the rainbow, what would a rainbow be without it? Running on purple pavements is a win but a bunch of purple fresh figs makes me happy.And of course, I can´t complain for the wide array of Purple flowers and blooms, they are notorious of their beauty, scent and they make every garden an envy.

Compliments to Life in Colour series by Jude for inspiring this Post. Tschüss!

Spring Adrenaline rush

I am going to try to pay attention to the spring. I am going to look around at all the flowers, and look up at the hectic trees. I am going to close my eyes and listen.Anne Lamott

This week is Holy Week.
Schools are having their 2 weeks Easter break (Osterferien) so we are stay at home and trying to survive each day.We visited the Library few times to get more books.We need to get the girl her new big bike and for her to master her inline skating skills.We need to plan and prepare something for Easter but I haven´t figured it out yet.
The number of Corona cases are still rising up so tight restrictions are bound to be implemented over these days.Hard to think that it´s almost been a year since pandemic started and we are still in the same situation.I don´t think travelling is encouraged over here in Germany, we don´t have anywhere to go to. Since most of the shops are still closed and Easter celebration is coming, I guess we make something at home.The only luxury that we can afford during this time is out in nature, playgrounds, and social distancing.

I said to myself that there´s no need to fret and rush.

While on the other side, at least there´s a lot going on. There´s a kind of “rush” that is going on, the kind that I like.Every morning, I am awaken by continous singing and chirping of the birds, there´s much sunlight now as we entered the “Sommerzeit“, or summertime over here in Germany. Sunny days, and finally it feels warmer now.I can tell you that it is indeed Springtime.I know that for sure, I never doubted Nature, its true to it´s course.

Somehow this Gallery shows the Adrenaline Rush that Spring brings us.Just like Marty Rubin´s words–

The deep roots never doubts, Spring will come….”

Coming up is BBQ and grilling season.There´s nothing cozier than having warm grilled meals in the garden.We don´t mind the rush, but it´s awesome.We just take a long bike ride and run just in case we eat a lot!

It´s still chilly in the mornings but in the midday, the sun is really enjoyable.Most of my neighbours are working hard on in their garden as we did. We did new flower beds and I planted seeds for our elevated garden. I hope I succeed in propagating carrots, radish, and more herbs.Mind you, Germans take gardening seriously. In my trips in the garden shops, people swarmed over buying pots, soil, seeds,plants, fertilizers and wood and more gardening things. Almost all supermarkets here sells different kinds of plants and flowers. I spent almost a day repotting and transplanting all of my indoor plants. I was personally amazed at its amount, it´s exhausting to care for them but then it´s all worth it.I never regret that I have become a plant-lady, it´s not a prestigouos achievement, but the rewards are incomparable.

There is really a kind of green rush when Spring comes.It feels great to feel the chilly wind and not cringe anymore for fear of frost, to smell the dirt from the soil, and the simple genuine pleasure of decorating balconies and terraces with plants.Anything that blooms and grows signals life..For me, the sight of “Reincarnated gardens ” are amazing!

With all these, I am just grateful that we have a small garden to tend to.

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade. “– Charles Dickens

Indeed, Spring had sprung and we are not complaining.

What about you, what kind of “rush” are you into right now?

I don´t have anything grand to share, just wishing you all to be safe, healthy and enjoy some time under the sun!Until next time.


Soaking up in Natural Light

Watching the sun rises in a glorious morning.I couldn´t freeze this moment but then at least I took a snap of it and put in my memory bank.

“Natural Light uses the sun as the natural light source..”

The theme for this week´s LAPC is natural light.I love this theme since I am fond of watching sunrises and sunsets.It´s one of my favourite subject to photograph.Photo above is my very first encounter watching a naked sunrise before my eyes, up close and personal.I managed to get up at 4am and did some hike to Kiltepan Peak then watch the skies turns into dancing palletes of different colors.This is truly special for me.I remember this time I haven´t had a good camera, only my old Sony phone I think.But then, I can´t trade this experience for other thing.

A gentle Tropical sunrise and the clouds slowly descending from the mountain peaks to the valley.(Kiltepan Peak)

Sunset in Arabian Gulf, Kuwait

Oh we had a such abundance of natural light from the sun in Kuwait.I´ve been wearing sunglasses everytime I get out since I can´t help but to squint since rays is too strong for my eyes.

There´s not much nature to photograph there since it has a dry, arid desert climate but then I love watching the sunsets & sunrise there.Because of its soaring hot temperatures, enjoying the sun is not as favorable as here in Europe or in Asia. We have dark curtains and windows are often closed because of dust. Thank God I was living 5 minutes away from the beach and yes, I do miss the views of the beach from our bedroom. We have abundant scorching sun even past after 7pm, together with humidity and heat as high as 49 degrees in summer. During sandstorms, the skies are totally grey, dark and sickening.

Endless Horizons in the Arabian Gulf

Here are some of my favorite spots where I spend countless times walking and watch the skies turns into orange, and pink to purple.So many golden precious hours….my favourites were taken from the Marina, and the endless seafront along the 5th Ring Road in Salmiya.

In the broad daylight, natural light brings bright colors from Kuwait´s unique marine and aquatic architecture.The displays of Dhows and marine life becomes so alive and the culture itself is so enticing. Mind you, it seldom rains in Kuwait, I think only 2 times in a year and it´s like a light drizzle compared here in Germany. Kuwait´s skies is often cloudless, clear and blue .

Lovely sunrise in the Arabian Gulf

A magical sunset in Bavaria, southern Germany
There´s a quaint light at the end of the path

The first time I saw this rippling orange purple skies during Fall here in Germany.It was quick but it was definitely worth the wait! I took this photo just outside our bedroom window.Amazing!

Just watching this pink skies in my neighborhood

Soft bright light turns an ordinary view from the Danube River into like marble slate finish.

The dancing Date Palm trees in Kuwait creates a wonderful backdrop for a purple blue skies.

I think light portrays a vital part in this cascading greens in Munich, Germany.Natural light gives nature more power to affect us and makes us better storytellers.

The rugged hills in Mittenwald on a crisp, bright morning and during dawn it looks like flaming mountains.

Below photos are taken from my neigborhood where I spent countless running and walking.Ordinary places becomes special and go through into a metamorphosis depending on the season and weather.

The Glacisbrücke in the warm tones and cold light during a quiet Autumn morning.
I think without natural Light, these Red Poppies won´t shine bright as it is. ( Take me Back to Summer )

This view is the reason why I never stop exploring and wandering.Afterall, the light is there to guide my steps…

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #138 : Natural Light

Until then, Tschüss!