As we get further into the spring season more flowers are making their appearance as each day goes by. And while I wait for more to appear I just can’t help taking photographs of those pretty little white apple blossoms.
Apple Blossom Detail
I plan on getting a lot of photos of these flowers while they’re around because before you know it summer will be here and these flowers will be long gone.
And of course, I can’t forget another of my favourites – the spikey seed. I’m waiting ever so patiently for these to start growing so I can see what they are. Seems spring is not their time. At least, not yet.
I did find something new today – the weeping willow tree catkin.
In my research about the weeping willow tree, I found out that way back in 1763 a British minister, Edward Stone, did experiments on the tree’s bark and leaves. He found a substance called isolated salicylic acid. This was used to treat headaches and fever but was quite harsh on the stomach. In 1897 a chemist named Felix Hoffman created a synthetic version that was gentler on the stomach. He named this new version “aspirin” which he produced for his company, Bayer. Nature is pretty darn amazing.
I had a lot more time this evening to explore Claireville for a good autumn shot. As I was chatting with my friend Nigel and angling my camera to take a photo of this wooden bridge with the sun shining through the trees this man and his dog came by. I happily snapped away as they walked by.
A Walk in the Park
It was the perfect opportunity to photograph them as they walked away into the sunset.
Hiking a little further in the park Nigel and I got up close and personal with some very tall grass.
When I loaded this photo into the computer it looked more of a painting rather than a photograph. There’s just something about it. When I photographed it I felt much the same way about the shot but I didn’t think it would come across the same way. Luckily it did!
I’ve been back home for over a week, my jet lag is gone and I’m ready to get my hike on. Today that hike is at Bognor Marsh.
It was a bright day and not really that great for photography but hey, there is always something you can find to photograph, just not this sign in the middle of the bright marsh. So deeper into the woods we go to find something a little less glaring.
This boardwalk had some beautiful light coming through the trees so I gave that a go. And you know what? It’s one of my favourites from the day.
And then there were the mushrooms. It was, after all, the season to find mushrooms. Although they appear all year autumn is when you find so many different kinds no matter where you look.
I ventured out a little further today to the streets of Bairro Alto and Estrela. I set off just after breakfast to see as much as I could before the heat became too hot to bear. Walking uphill into Chiado and then back down towards Bairro Alto and Estrela I found myself at the Basilica da Estrela. Venturing into the church I snapped a shot of the interior before quickly exiting as it seems that mass was about to begin and I didn’t want to disturb those in attendance.
Basilica da Estrela Interior
Across the street from the Basilica is the Jardim da Estrela. This park provides a haven from the sounds of the bustling city just outside its walls. The central point of Jardim da Estrela is the green wrought-iron bandstand decorated with elegant filigree and where, I hear, musicians play during the summer months. Seems I’m a little late to the party (or possibly just too early) as no bands were playing today.
Bandstand in Jardim da Estrela
The park has numerous exotic plants and trees, ponds and various sculptures for visitors to enjoy. My favourite part of this park was a small pond where a statue of a girl sits in the water. I’m not sure if she is feeding the ducks or just gazing into the water to see her reflection.
Statue in Duck Pond
Exiting the park on the opposite side from where I had entered, I headed back downhill (didn’t I already do that?) and continued to explore the streets of Bairro Alto and Estrela. As usual, I find the funniest things when I explore. Today I discovered a door with dog door handles (or possibly wolf?). Where does one get door handles like these?
Walking back uphill (does it ever end?) I came across another park, Praça do Principe Real which sits at another high point in the city where you can look out over the rooftops of the city below. In Praça do Principe Real there is a large cedar tree whose branches rest on a trestle and casts its shade on the benches below it. A nice break from the heat the sun beating down on you.
Praça do Principe Real
There are so many treasures here in Lisbon and just not enough time to see them all. I could spend weeks and months here just exploring. Luckily I still have a few days left to try to see more. Tomorrow I go back to Alfama and explore Castelo Sao Jorge.