Dawn or Dusk

Sometimes it’s hard to tell which it is, dawn or dusk. Getting brighter for a sunny day, or darker for a long night? How to tell the difference? Obviously, it all depends on the direction you’re facing. In this case, I was facing east. It was a dawn that was coming up all soft pinks…

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Long Shadows, Long Light

We’ve had a break from all the clouds, torrential rain, intermittent hail and nights of snow – so I went for a run. At this time of the year, the sun is low at 4:30 in the afternoon and sets only 20 minutes later. It casts long, reaching shadows from its last point of illumination…

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Frost Love Note

The past few weeks have been a feast of fog and frost. Thick fog lingers, the moisture freezes to every surface outside, the world is held in suspension…and then a couple of rays of sunshine break through and within minutes, the hard days of frost quite literally evaporate. I’ve a fondness for this season, a…

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Sly Fog And Moon

The Lake Geneva basin is known for its foggy autumns, when weeks can pass beneath a layer of thick brume with little sunshine. And when it breaks, it does so with suddenness. It simply parts like a fragile veil and you realize the sun has been blazing away up there all along. Our little corner…

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Hoarfrost Quietude

Throughout winter, our little village can often be found directly on the fog line of the milky┬áblanket that covers the Geneva basin for weeks at a time. We are just high enough in altitude (490 m/1600 ft) to catch a glimpse of blue above, not quiet high enough to see out over the fog itself.…

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Rare Snow, Rare Rant

It’s one of those days that confirm the thinking of both climate change deniers and the other 98% of us. I wanted to go out for a run, and ended up wearing my spring running tights, a winter running jacket, and gloves. A fierce wind has been blowing from the north-east. The sky looks like…

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Soft Palette Distraction

I was hustling to get a run in before nightfall – my usual loop has a couple of kilometers that are uneven farm track, stony and rutted, perfect for the occasional sprained ankle due to inattentiveness. So I run, eyes on the rutted road just a few strides ahead, avoiding the rocks and grooves misplaced…

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New Arrivals

The first snow of winter, marching towards us across the Jura. The sun was shining in a final burst before a major storm that was due to hit overnight, and I had to go for a final autumn run in the last bits of warmth, even as I could see winter’s approach. No images here…

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Just Passing Through

A flock of homing pigeons has taken up residence on our roof. How do we know they’re homing pigeons? They’re all banded, they’re very sleek and well-fed, and they seem a bit lost. They stand on our skylights and look down at us with beaky expectation, as if we know what to do better than…

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Speaking the Language

I went to bed late last night, it was easily midnight or beyond, and as I lay there on the edge of sleep, I heard an unaccustomed sound. It sounded like…birdsong. I listened closely. It was, indeed, birdsong. And not just little chirps or the otherworldly radar sounds of an owl. There were two birds,…

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