Saturday, 5 June 2010

The Dandelions Have Gone to Seed

The sky was flower blue, our skin perspired under the sun's hot rays, and banners of green hung from the trees, while Mother Nature rolled out an impressive green carpet for the Summer premier attend by the who's who in the botanical, insect, and Aves world.

We started our hike in Biel, where a cable car pushed us up the side of Magglingen mountain. To be honest, when we first started I thought, "Where's the mountains?  Is this going to be lame?" You see, I'm a bit of an alpine snob, and the first forty minutes of the hike were spent in the forest.

I was a snow-covered mountains, peaks and valleys, snob.  But not anymore.

It was beautiful!  We walked through leafy forests, wild meadows, and a gully that left my head spinning because it looked like we were in Vancouver.

But my favourite part of the hike were the dandelions that had gone to seed.  Their round softness pillowed the landscape, and I couldn't get enough.  I don't know what it is about that weed (what a terrible word for them!) but I love their sunny brightness that sprinkles any lawn tapestry with flecks of gold; I love how you can braid them into a grassy crown fit for kings and queens of the playground; I love how in early summer the bold yellow gives way to fat, downy puffs that are just waiting to be picked and blown by the wind, by a small child, or a child-like adult.

I've seen it before, but still for the first time.

The dandy lions are on parade.

Just in case the rest of you aren't dandelion enthusiasts like myself, I'll share the other pictures of our walk today.

The only sad thing though is the pictures don't really justice to the landscapes we walked through.  But do they ever?  When you get home and see the pictures clearly, do you ever think, "Oh yes! I captured it all!"  If you do, please keep it yourself because this completely amateur, as amateur as amateur can be, hobbyist picture-taker, never thinks that.

Mother Nature is undoubtedly a photogenic beauty, but she's a little large for the lens and is a plus sized model in every sense of the voluptuous definition.

But for your viewing pleasure, here she is in all her over-sized glory.

Not bad as far as forests go.

Didn't Simon & Garfunkel write a song about this?

A cow and some cherry trees, does it get any better?

You bet it does!  Two cows!

The Swiss, they're just like us!  They forget their retainers on wayward benches.

Am I in Vancouver?

Or Jurassic Park?

Finally after four long hours, we made our way to Twaan where we cooled off the coolest way we know how: with popsicles!

Get that camera out of my face!  If it wasn't for that thing we would have made it here in the 2.5 hours it was estimated to take us!

When you hike in Switzerland, all the trails are marked with times that it should take you to reach your next destination.  But the thing is, I've never made it to my destination in the time the sign says it should take me.  Never, as in, not once.  I'd like to blame this on my insane need to take a picture of every rock and ant that we pass, but I don't know if I can.

Last summer when we were here, for our first hike of the trip we chose one labeled "child's play".  It nearly killed me.  When we got home, we told Dan's aunt that this "child's play" hike had been grossly mislabeled.  She laughed at us and told us that most of the hiking trails of Switzerland have been timed by the elderly.  As in the over sixty set!  So Switzerland's grannies and grandpas are out there blazing these trails in Olympic times while me (in my prime! technically) is struggling to keep up.

So my goal this summer is to complete one hike in the estimated time it is suggested to take.  But Switzerland, if that's going to happen you need to "ugly" up a bit for me, okay?  If I'm going to hike a million kilometers in two hours, I need to just pass right through your landscapes without looking around and being amazed by the general splendour.  I'm tired of always walking around a corner and having my jaw hit the ground; also, my shutter finger is getting calloused.

So can you do that for me?  So that just one time I can keep up with your mountain-goat grandparents.

I really appreciate it. 


Ais said...

Nice pictures, looks like a nice hike! God, no wonder I cant find my retainer from eight years ago! It's on a bench in Switzerland where I left it, ugh!

mom said...

Beautiful are so lucky :-)

Caitie said...

Hahaha--you leave the best comments Ais!

Thanks Mom! I feel pretty lucky!