Atmospheric optics

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The view from our Kitchen this morning.

After grey skies and rain almost everyday, I was surprised to watch something different this morning. The colors of the sky is just too beautiful for me to ignore. While everyone was still sleeping and the cold wind is creeping into my pyjamas, I put on my jacket, get my camera and through my sleep deprived-eyes– I watched in silence as the sky shows its atmospheric optics. I began to take some photos,and savor the fleeting moment.

Watching this particular sunrise made me wonder what is Atmospheric Optics? Red, orange and pink clouds occur almost entirely at sunrise and sunset and are the result of the scattering of sunlight by the atmosphere. I have written about my amazement when I witness an hour of Fireworks display but this one beats that Guinness world record, mainly because this one is natural, uncontrolled, raw, and genuine work of nature. As every sunrise is different everyday, a beautiful sunrise is already a  Priceless world record.

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Beautiful sunrise today right in our neighborhood
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Priceless world record : Atmospheric optics today Nov. 18,2016

I have already shared many times  my reasons why I love sunrises and sunsets, and even now that I’m living here in Germany, I still do. It is my habitual habit to always look from the window and check the skies. I would always get up early just to witness anything like this. It’s really worth it, because some things are really not!

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My own private party in the sky this morning

I feel sluggish waking up so early but this beauty is so overwhelming. It’s like a free slideshow, doesn’t cost anything, and all I have to do is get out there and witness it. What If I decided to wake up til my alarm goes up? For the past days I am feeling gloomy because of the weather and today I had been out for a treat. I don’t know about you but gazing up and sun-gazing provide healing for me–not in a way that I am sick, but it just made me feel better, about myself, and of the world. Now I know why our ancestors worship the sun for so many reasons.

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The tiny houses looks out-of-place from the beautiful trivalent backdrop caused by atmospheric optics display.

What’s the first thing you do upon waking up and before going to work? If you respond by taking shower then you are definitely missing out on something.

Take time to look outside from your window–even for a brief moment,your inspiration might be there. I just did.

Goodnight my friends and thank you for stopping by to read! Hoping that you all have a wonderful weekend!

 

 

Magical Evergreens

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Magical  Evergreen – the only plant that has leaves that stays green all throughout the year.

Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful. ~ Norman Vincent Peale

The days are getting colder & colder. I am now enrolled in the course and art of layering. There’s a sharp chill that I am not used to but I am getting through it beautifully. I grew up in a tropical country and spent almost a decade in one of the hottest country in the world, so cold is not something that I am not familiar with. The same thing with real Evergreen plant, or the tree used for famous Christmas trees or as Germans called it Weihnachtsbaum or Christbaum. We all know that Christmas is one of the biggest holiday celebrated by Germans and now I know why.

I didn’t know that there are so many types of pine trees here in Germany– right in front of our garden stands a giant one, almost every 400 meters I see  beautiful shrubs, line of  Evergreen conifers, my favorite so far, and there’s the spruce, pine, fir and all others that I don’t know the names! Among all the bald trees now in the woods, they stand proud, lush, resilient, like a wizard who awaits for his time to shine.Its leaves stays green all through out the year,no matter what the season is.I remember arriving in Germany last summer and these Evergreens already enticed me. Seeing them for real is like walking in the field of dreams.

Now my dreams are slowly coming into reality.

The market square slowly turning into a magic land– building the Christmas stalls and ice skating rink, all in preparation for the upcoming Christkindl Markt or Christmas Market. Call me crazy but the sight of these and pine trees gives me pure excitement like a kid.When I looked into the shops last week, I ogle and drooled at the beauty of the ready-made Christmas tree and decor displays, all so gorgeous! So hard to choose, and also so  very expensive.

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Finally, our Evergreen conifers

But now, I love the fact that we can have real Christmas tree, I can make my own wreaths, and garlands made out of real Evergreen conifers and pine cones. There’s something about its needle-like leaves, its scent, and the feel beneath my fingers that I haven’t experience before.

Pine trees, Evergreen shrubs or the special  Weinachtsbaum, or whatever you call it, during this holiday season, they become special and transform into something magical.

When was the last time you had a magical moment with  SIMPLE things you have seen for the first time?

This post is in response for this week’s Daily Post photo challenge |Magic

Did you enjoy this post? Let’s hang out, make sure to follow me in my Instagram to follow my Expat life in photos in our first Christmas here in Germany! Thanks!

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.

Feuillemort & Lessons from dried leaves

F e u i l l e m o r t

(adj.)  Having the colour of a faded leaf.

French- feuille morte a dead leaf

Earlier today , I’ve learned something deep from simply looking at the bunch of brownish-coppery shades of dried leaves,  it’s Feuillemort. Looking at the trees around me, I watched the dried leaves  falling one by one to the ground with a gentle sway of the wind.  In a rhythmic motion, they dance to the call of gravity. It’s the call of the hour. It struck me as Letting go.

What if the trees itself refuses to let go of its dried leaves during fall ? What difference does it make?

Letting go makes room for growth.

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Autumn is the season of letting go, letting go enables us to grow.

A time to toss the clutter, the insignificant “part”of our lives that blocks us from growing.

I admit that I have the feeling restlessness these past weeks. Being in a new place with so many new things around me, sometimes my body & my mind refuses to comprehend.Transition takes time. Integrating on a new culture is a pain in the ass.

Do you know how hard it is when you can’t say what you want to say?  It’s like being in a bubble. You feel trapped. On the other hand, this momentary  black hole gives me time to reflect, to listen to myself. A time to change.

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Letting go gives us a given benefit, the means to focus more on our core–on what really matters to us.What matters to you the most?

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For us, it’s not leaves. It’s dried up love. Crumpled relationships. Shriveled plans. Browning dreams. Something’s died, and we have a choice: will we hold on to it, season after season, while it saps our energy, stunts our growth, and strangles our beauty?

I decided not to.

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Expats are known for packing their luggage. Sometimes ‘living out from suitcases & boxes’. We roam around and travel like nomads looking for greener pastures. Off to next destination. It’s very easy to fall into the trap of packing the “dried leaves” from our past so in the present, it’s still with us. You can change places, but you ‘re still  “unchanged” within. What is your color?

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I hope you find inspiration from the dried leaves as I did today. Let’s take a lesson from the trees, from autumn, and let that old, unhelpful stuff in our hearts fall away. Trees don’t choose to let go, but we can. Any season of the year.

Focus on letting go of negative thoughts, letting go of patterns of behaviour which do not help you, letting go of doing things you think you should but don’t really want to…

Let go of that which you no longer need and give yourself permission to nurture yourself.

Let go.

Are you having a hard time to let go ?

Do you find time to reflect and meditate?

 

 

ExpatsBlog.com - Where Expats Blog

Echinops Ritro’s charm | Details

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Echinops Ritro platinum blue with its white-wooly stem

Have you ever met one of these babies?

Yes, I know what you are thinking, they are like small globe-thistles. When I saw them, it reminds me of the Kuwait Towers ,they are so alike in form & shade!From afar they are like the beautiful Chihuly  sculpture  displayed in 360 mall in Kuwait aside from of course they are not hand-blown and that sculpture is gigantic compared to these babies.

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Certified pollen -Butterflies attractive! Terrific showstopper!

These Echinops Ritro platinum blue caught my eyes while we are strolling yesterday in Klanzepark while celebrating “Die Welt is Bunt “ festival.I find them so unique and beautiful!Did you know that they are salt/seaside tolerant?

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Echinops Ritro-blue charming lollipops

 

This compact species has cobweb-like, woolly foliage. The unique spherical flower heads appear steely blue before maturing to a brighter blue. The late summer flowers add the charm of form and texture to a mixed border.Just look at her fine petals of mini- florets hanging in bunch of beautiful mirage! Who could ever wonder how many florets just one Echinops hold?

This is the close-up shot I could get with my iPhone and yet I love the way nature shows its pure details and intricate identity.

Did you know that Deers tend to avoid this flower?

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Echinops Ritro platinum blue in Klanzepark,Ingolstadt

I could enjoy gazing at this beauty for quite some time. They attract so many wasps, bees and other insects. I was trying to take a photo with my phone while the butterflies surrounds them but at the same time my hand is busy with my daughter trying to pinch these lollies.There’s something very pleasing about a big, fat bumble stuck on a pincushion of a flower.

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There’s so much loveliness if you just look around.

This is my humble take on my first try on today’s Photo challenge | Details using  iPhone only. Nature doesn’t need more filters, its details are enough.

Details

Solar Eclipse in our Living Room!

Have you ever witnessed a Solar Eclipse?

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* 1999 Solar Eclipse viewed in Salzburg,Austria  (Photo Credit to my amazing Dutchie  Husband)

I did, but I was too young to document or even photographed it. I remember in grade school that we are advised to wear dark sunglasses and spread ourselves outside to watch a solar eclipse.Then we need to write something about it just how we have seen it. I grew up in South Pacific area where there are notably numbers of Solar eclipses have been visible. It was a great childhood memory.

An eclipse is a natural phenomenon. Nevertheless, in some ancient and modern cultures, solar eclipses have been attributed to supernatural causes or regarded as bad omens. A total solar eclipse can be frightening to people who are unaware of its astronomical explanation, as the Sun seems to disappear during the day and the sky darkens in a matter of minutes.I remember that when I was small, we have stories that monsters appears during Eclipses!!

My husband spent his holidays mostly in Austria. Other than skiing, He just enjoy it there and a pure wanderer. On his vacation, it just happened that He was one fine lucky Dutchie who witnessed the Solar Eclipse in Salzburg, Austria last 1999 among thousands of tourists who flew over just for this event.

This is one of the most-viewed Solar Eclipse in the history !

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The DOM in Salzburg where reflection of the sun  can be seen during partial eclipse,1999,Salzburg Austria

It was the first total eclipse visible from Europe since 22 July 1990, and the first visible in the United Kingdom since 29 June 1927.It lasted of about 2 minutes and 23 seconds from Romania with the greatest Eclipse point.

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The view of the partly hidden sun in the walls of the cathedral. (Photo credits to my awesome Husband for capturing all these photos!)
The solar eclipse was seen in a central part of Europe, such as Southern Germany, Austria and further eastwards.
He chose to be going to Salzburg for that day, knowing that the solar  eclipse would be totally 100% visible there, unlike further north and south where the eclipse would be partial. Like many others , He was lucky enough to find a spot  on the bleachers in front of the Dom in Salzburg. The bleachers were placed for the annual ‘Festspiele’.
The weather that day started with some drizzle, but the time the eclipse was about to start, the sky was clear.Then the show begins.
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1999 Solar Eclipse (Photo credit to one lucky Dutchie)
During the time the eclipse was not yet 100%, it was possible to see the reflection of the partly hidden sun on the Dom, as it was not possible to look directly at this without special glasses, which are like extremely dark sunglasses. During the few minutes the eclipse was 100% is was possible to look at the ” WONDER” of seeing the
 Moon passes between the Sun and Earth, and the Moon fully or partially blocks (“occults“) the Sun. This can happen only at new moon, when the Sun and the Moon are in conjunction as seen from Earth in an alignment referred to as syzygy. In a total eclipse, the disk of the Sun is fully obscured by the Moon. In partial and annular eclipses, only part of the Sun is obscured.
Only for those who have been so lucky or fortunate to have seen a full solar eclipse can understand why people fly over the world to experience one. Sighs!
Indeed witnessing something as spectacular as this could change your view about astronomy, space, the earth and your own life.
This is indeed  one beautiful experience that is just worthy of remembering every now & then. In our new living room now hangs 4 of the fine shots of this wonderful event that would be remembered forever. My husband framed it and now we have a full view of it everyday!
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Framed memoirs of a Solar Eclipse ,Salzburg-Austria 1999
Do you like this idea? How do you keep your travel memories alive?
It’s still in my wish list to watch another Solar Eclipse like this with my daughter. I’m sure it’s going to be a great experience as well.
For those who wants to have this kind of experience, The next Solar Eclipse will be on August 21, 2017. The total solar eclipse will be visible from most locations in the United States. This eclipse will be the first total solar eclipse visible from contiguous United States since 1979.
You can check out Here to find out more.
Again, thank you for reading my friends!

Why do you love watching Sunrise & Sunsets?

 

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Arabian Gulf Sunset ,never the same,always fascinating.

T H E   B E A U T Y   O F  A   S U N S E T

Are you an early riser? a nature lover?

Do you make an effort to wake up early just to watch the sun rises?

When was the last time you let your eyes wander at the changing palette of the skies when the sun sets?

“Someday you will find the one who will watch every sunrise with you until the sunset of your life.”

Personally, I think that you don’t need to be a romantic or a poet to be able to appreciate the magic of watching the sunrise & sunsets. This is one of the most amazing things in our world that we can appreciate everyday, the best things is- It is  FREE!  Life gives us a wonderful slideshow of beautiful nature that is displayed for all of us to see.

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One of my favorite Dusk photo of Kuwait,watching the sun sets 

“People are just as wonderful as sunsets if you let them be. When I look at a sunset, I don’t find myself saying, “Soften the orange a bit on the right hand corner.” I don’t try to control a sunset. I watch with awe as it unfolds.”

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The beauty of Sunset in Philippines  is also incomparable

“When I admire the wonders of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in the worship of the creator.” ~Mohandas Gandhi 

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Changing colors of the Sky..Nature’s palette.

Many times that I felt like my eyes are filled with worries about life, I try to watch a sunset and suddenly my mood changes.  It’s a proven mood booster. Then I make it a habit to appreciate the sunrise every morning and gaze with a grateful heart at the sunset at the end of the day. I promise to myself that whenever possible, if I have a chance, then I strive to be an agile sun chaser. I should know where to find the sunrise and sunset times and note how the sky looks at those times, at least once. One of the things that I do whenever I am in a new place is to watch how the sun rises or catch a sunset. It’s the perfect souvenir I am taking in.Watching the sun sets relaxes me and it gives me enough inspiration, enough reason to be grateful to end a healthy day & look forward for another day. Living as an Expat allows me to see different horizons where in the sun creates a natural painting that no artist can ever replicate. If you would check out my camera roll, photos of sunrise and sunsets are abundant. It really become my most favorite subject for photography.

Nowadays that we live in a smartphone era, it is very hard to take away our eyes from our phone that we neglect the beauty that readily awaits for us to see. May your busyness leads you to right vistas, to lasting beauty of sunrise and sunset.

“If your eyes are blinded with your worries, you cannot see the beauty of the sunset.”

~Jiddu Krishnamurti 

Where was the last time you watch the sunrise or the sun sets?

Any thoughts about this post? I would appreciate your comments and your share of your own sunrise/sunset moments! Thank you for dropping to read.

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The Kite Runner

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Throw your dreams into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back, a new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country.

~Anais Nin

Veiled Women

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Veiled Women

  Veiled Women mural.I saw this in one of the murals inside Kuwait National Museum.

Three Days Quote Challenge (Pt.2)

 

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N a t u r e    i s    n o t    a   p l a c e     t o   v i s i t  ,  I t   i  s    H  o  m e –Gary Snyder

Q  U  O  T  E    F  O R   T O D A Y 

“N a t u r e ’s  f i r s t    g r e e n   i s   g o l d, H e r   h a r d e s t   h u e  t o  h o l d.
H e r  e a r l y   l e a f ’s  a   f l o w e r;
B u t   o n l y   s o  a n   h o u r.
T h e n   l e a f   s u b s i d e s   t o  l e a f.
S o   E d e n    s a n k  t o  g r i e f,
S  o    d a w n    g o e s   d o w n   t o  d a y.
N o t h i n g   g o l d    c a n    s t a y.”

[―Robert Frost, “Nothing Gold Can Stay”}

The Challenge

Something beautiful happened ! Recently, I was challenged by Frank ( Jansenphoto ) to take on the ‘Three Day Quote Challenge’. Just in case you don’t know, Dutch goes the Photo is a wonderful Blog. If you want a daily dose of kick-ass photos ,then head on to his page. Get to know Him. Just click Here.

Anyway, This challenge is one of the things that I would love to take on since I love the idea of a Photo + Quote combo posting marathon for 3 days.

The rules of this challenge are quite simple:

  1. Post in three (3) consecutive days.
  2. You can pick one or three quotes per day.
  3. Challenge three different bloggers per day.

I would love to nominate & pass on this challenge to my beautiful friends here namely ;  ( Drumroll please! )

  1. Wordsmith
  2.  Seagirll  and
  3. Super Jan

Guys, I hope you have  time to accept this challenge. But even if my challenge won’t be accepted, I still want you to know that you  are all awesome and I am grateful to have found your wonderful Blogs and got to know you through your posts.

Have fun & Keep on writing.  Once again, Thank you Frank for the Nomination!