Posted tagged ‘seasons’

Weekly Photo Challenge: Changing Seasons

December 13, 2012

I was born and grew up in a country that has been celebrating the four seasons for centuries! Spring was always beautiful with little flowers peeking from under the snow, and so was autumn with nostalgia of the falling leaves in Warsaw. Majestic winter, generously spreading its white fluffy blanket, could beautify anything. But my favorite season was summer! It represented freedom from school and a lot of fun with friends on the Baltic shore. The warmth of the sun was unforgettable.

My life in this country started on Cape Cod where I settled for “quite a while” raising my two sons and working professionally. All four seasons marked the rhythm of our life there. Again, summer was my favorite and compensated for the grayness of winter.

It was on the Cape that I defined the color of my parachute. And that is how I landed in Tucson, Arizona, a place where summer never ends…well, almost never. Actually, there are some changes of season here in Tucson. And that is the point of this photo essay.

Saguaro Bloom (c) Alicja Mann

2) Lilies

Southwest plants are blooming all year round – just different ones in different (calendar) seasons. With the flowers, the blue sky, and the warmth of the sun, every day seems like a summer day.

3) African Daisy

4) Durable Verbena

5) Orange Trumpet

 After the hottest days of June the monsoon season is greatly anticipated. Dark clouds signal its arrival. The heavy, warm rains are welcomed and celebrated.

6) Before the Rain

7B) Monsoon Rain

7C) After the Rain

Even in December the patio plants look as if it were summer.

8) Geraniums

9) Yellow Trumpet

10) Spike and Window

I know it is winter when our neighbor, Joe, decorates his orange tree with large, colorful lights to celebrate the Holidays and keep the tree warm at night. That is the sign for me to be ready to cover our plants to protect them from the occasional touch of frost. It also is the time to hang the Holiday wreath and acknowledge the arrival of winter.

11) Joes Lights

12) Winter Wreath


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Text and photos copyright © 2012 by Alicja Mann.

When Summer Ends on Cape Cod…

September 23, 2010

For most people on the Cape this summer ended on Labor Day, but according to Mother Nature on this year’s calendar it ends on the 22nd of September. In the past, while living on the Cape full time, I had my very own way of detecting the end of summer. It was always one of the last days of August, different days in different years, but the feeling was the same and I recall it well.

That end of summer for me would come on a warm, sunny day when trees looked royal with the sun’s golden touch. It was the day when I could detect that the sun’s warmth was different than on the day before — I could sense it with my skin. That warmth was not as intense, but soft and not reassuring of its arrival the next day. The air was a bit hazy and one could hear the characteristic insects’ buzz announcing the season’s change. I knew that the very next morning crisp air would arrive — autumn’s messenger. So I would sit for a while on my favorite rock in the yard near the house, wrapped in that soft warmth, and watch things around me. I would imagine leaves falling from the trees, cold winds blowing into the walls of our home, and snow covering the driveway. And I would become sad counting how many months would have to go by before another summer would arrive again.

Well, I do not feel that kind of sadness anymore since I have ‘my’ Tucson. As much as I love Cape Cod and as much as I know how charming the autumn can be here, the end of summer is my time to go southwest. And now comes a different type of sadness, sadness of parting with friends, sadness of saying good bye to things I love. But every departure has also the joy of arrival and I am looking forward to that.

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The last days of summer are quite special on the Cape. The weather is fine, flowers are still blooming, and beaches are spacious again.

Sporadic spells of cold and rain — a good reminder to prepare the house for the coming fall and winter days.

For me, who does not like cold weather and never really was able to learn to like it, it is a reminder of getting ready for departure to Tucson, a place where summer almost never ends.

So it is time to walk out of this house which will welcome warmly new winter tenants soon. It is time to say good bye to the woods and the neighbors.

Time for a farewell lunch at our favorite restaurant in North Falmouth with its Reuben sandwiches and great quahogs that I will miss greatly. A last photo opportunity for me and my son whose time is also divided — between Boston and Cape Cod.

Two people in front of the sign for The Silver Lodge, North Falmouth, Massachusetts

Finally it is time to cross the Bourne Bridge over the Cape Cod Canal (which separates the Cape from the main land) and ‘plow’ across this vast country — going west this time.

Bourne Bridge over the Cape Cod Canal, Massachusetts

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Copyright © 2010 by Alicja Mann

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