Thursday, October 29, 2009

Autumn colors in Meise

This is my favorite season of the year. Nature at its best. As I am constantly progressing deeper into the 'seniors' demographic and see my own kids growing to adults and dealing with adult challenges themselves (building a family, paying the mortgage, looking for a well paying job), things that seem to have happened to me only 'yesterday', I am feeling I'm getting closer to the inevitable conclusion of the final act, whenever it might come... More so as I see the season greens turning to yellows and reds before vanishing into the dark browns and blacks, at the end of autumn into the upcoming winter. In the words of Jim Morrison: This is the end, beautiful friend...

I love the view and smell of the colors of the fall, and I must have shot thousands shots of autumn scenes in my life. Especially in this country, with its rich plantation, woods and fertile ground, it is a pleasure to the eye to walk in parks and feel the passage of time reflected in the colors of plant leaves, from spring to winter.

It was my spouse's idea to visit the National Botanic Gardens at Meise, a northern suburb of Brussels, right off the A12 near its junction with the peripheral highway of the city. The both of us, accompanied by a dear friend who knew the place quite well, have since long planned our visit here, yesterday October 28th. I've heard of Meise and certainly seen the name on roadsigns and milestones, often driving past, but never heard of the botanic gardens in more than 30 years I live in this country. What a moron?!

It seemed like the garden of Eden in autumn, much richer than the Royal Gardens in Laeken, and always open to the public for a modest entry fee. A huge park, that we could only walk thru for one third in three hours, thus we are definitely coming back! There was also a castle, a shop and a tropical garden grown in a greenhouse; there were two greenhouses in fact, but we only visited one of them. We even saw fairy looking yellow orchids and flesh eating flowers inside a reincarnation of the Rain Forrest  in one of the conservatories! Spooky! One of the rooms was kept under high temperatures and humidity that I didn't dare enter for fear of ending like a slaughterhouse sweated pig... There was also that chamber with thousands of different sorts of cactii, if you happen to like them.

Check out the pictures I shot there for a better feeling of the experience.

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