Monet’s home and garden in Giverny

Monet's home in Giverny

Monet’s home in Giverny

Monet entered my consciousness as a college freshman taking up the elective subject of Humanities.  His paintings of water lilies from his garden in Giverny were special favorites.

Fast forward to over two decades later I would be in Giverny, admiring his amazing gardens and being inside his home which gave me a glimpse of his life way back then.  Unfortunately, taking pictures inside his home was forbidden so I could only commit to memory the lovely and cozy atmosphere of his family home.

Giverny is a short distance from Paris and a one day side trip is what many visitors to the City of Lights do. Pretty popular, it is advisable to go there a bit early in the morning to avoid the big crowd of tourists who come in huge touring buses. We took a lazy approach to our sightseeing, staying two nights at a lovely bed and breakfast in a village that’s about 10 minutes drive from Giverny.

Water lilies at Monet's garden in Giverny

Water lilies at Monet’s garden in Giverny

Bridge over a pond of water lilies

Bridge over a pond of water lilies

Water lilies - inspiration for his many paintings

Water lilies – inspiration for his many paintings

Yellow water lilies

Yellow water lilies

Our family

Our family

Well tended garden with flowers carefully organized to bloom from spring to fall

Well tended garden with flowers carefully organized to bloom from spring to fall

Monet's garden is paradise to butterflies

Monet’s garden is paradise to butterflies

My little girl

My little girl

Pink blooms

Pink blooms

zinnia

zinnia

Roses

Roses

One of the many summer blooms

One of the many summer blooms

Monet's home from his garden

Monet’s home from his garden

Flowers everywhere

Flowers everywhere

Water lilies

Water lilies

Pink zinnia

Pink zinnia

Dahlias

Dahlias

Monet's home from the garden

Monet’s home from the garden

My little girl

My little girl

The Mr. outside Monet's home

The Mr. outside Monet’s home

Moi

Moi

Water lilies pond

Water lilies pond

Monet's garden

Monet’s garden

Yellow blooms

Yellow blooms

Monet's garden

Monet’s garden

Bamboos

Bamboos

Monet's garden in Giverny

Monet’s garden in Giverny

Cheap date in the flower fields

Hubby and I always love our cheap spring date where we would normally drive around the bulb field areas in the Noordoost Polder, have coffee by the flower fields sold by some enterprising farmer’s children and have lunch of fries and kroket in a snack bar that we would find open in one of the village centers along the flower route. We don’t see the need to go to any fancy restaurant for what can we ask for when already surrounded by so much beauty that we are literally drowning from the sight of millions of tulips in full bloom.

It is kind of funny that this activity that we do every springtime comes as too corny and tacky to a lot of people. Many Dutch would not want to be seen in the flower fields, more so, to have their pictures taken in such a setting. I don’t mind being branded as corny and tacky in my appreciation of this incredible beauty. To me, seeing this amazing wonders of nature every spring is a testament of God’s existence and infinite love for us.

Hubby enjoying his coffee sold by an enterprising farmer's daughter who had a thermo of coffee and biscuits for visitors like us. A cup with a piece of cookie costs a mere Eur 50 cents.

Tulips (part 3)

We are still to have that annual visit to Keukenhof and our usual foray to the flower fields. Weather lately has been pretty weird as the disturbance up north sent chills our way these last couple of days.

Still, spring is here and frosty nights and chilly days haven’t dampen our spirits. I share with you more tulips pictures from last year.

Tulips (part 1)

Busy time right now preparing for tomorrow’s Easter egg hunt. The little ones are already so excited. We will have the egg hunt in the sand dunes of Soesterduinen which is just a few kilometers away from our place. It sure will be a lot of fun because there is so much space to run around for the very energetic and hyper kids. Lots of secret places to hide the eggs as well.

Nonetheless, let me share with you these tulip images which I took last year from a showcase of various types of tulips which we chanced upon while driving through the Noordoost Polder.

My little girl’s first ever foray in the tulip fields (Spring 2008)

She’s half Dutch and living on Dutch soil so she should connect with everything Dutch. That’s the point I raised to the Mr. when dragging our little girl (she was 6-month old at that time) to the flower fields for this photo shoot 4 springtimes ago. ;-)

What a great spring weekend it was! We were at a nearby family reunion and we could combine a little escape to these flower fields to take some gorgeous pictures.

I will be going down memory lane in the next few posts, showing the springtime metamorphosis of our little girl as we hit the flower fields year after year.

The love for flowers is something that would become natural with her. These days she finds pleasure at picking flowers and have them assembled in a vase at home.

Looking at ordinary things in extraordinary ways – Nature shots from late summer 2010

Ladybug

For not knowing any better then, there were moments in my childhood which I look back now with sadness. Those moments when I did not give Mother Nature the reverence and respect she truly deserves. As a child growing up in the countryside in Philippines, I was one of the kids who went around with slingshots aiming for birds and insects. We would collect the sap from the jackfruit tree to turn it into a sort of glue when we hunt for crickets in the trees. We would play with those crickets and they would end up on sticks pretending they were barbeques when we play pretend store or restaurant. I’m glad that I would be separated from those kids in the neighborhood when I went to a different school in another town when I was nine. I learned that there was more to childhood fun than being mean to creatures especially the small and helpless ones from human cruelty.

As a grown up and having learned more about nature, I just wish that I could undo the damage I caused way back then by educating the little ones now about reverence for anything that the good Lord has given us. The environmental degradation that we see nowadays is caused by ignorance, greed and in many instances, also by sheer indifference. The education about appreciation for nature should start from childhood because that is the time when values are being formed. The kids who hunted those birds if not led to the right path, will go into big-time poaching in later life. The ignorant ones will be easy prey to the greedy ones who will take possession on the bounties of nature that they are endowed with. And the indifferent ones, if they are not affected, will simply let the whole environmental abuse go on.

Teaching a child the appreciation of nature is shown by example. With my daughter, we would go out looking for insects to observe them in their natural world. These days, we would bring old bread to feed the birds rather than the slingshots of my childhood. As parents, it is our primordial task to instill in our kids that being stewards of nature for the generations to come is their responsibility.

Armed with my camera, I now look at these seemingly ordinary things…insects, flies, butterflies, spiders, flowers, weeds in extraordinary ways. These pictures were taken one late morning in our neighborhood late in the summer of 2010.

Red poppies among yellow blooms

Butterfly

Dandelion

Butterfly

Fly

Poppies after flowering

Spider in its web

Clover flowers

Little lake beside our home

Lotus flowers in the lake

Ladybug

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