It’s almost that time of year again! It’s almost time for the wonder that is the Hallerbos (Bois de Halle or Halle Forest) in the spring, when the bluebells bloom and the forest floor is transformed into a carpet of gorgeous purple. But although at this time last year the flowers were all abloom, and a few purple flowers have braved the cooler temperatures of this spring, we are still a week or two away from the big show. My husband and I took a stroll through the forest today to check the status of the flowers and were delighted to witness a sort of pre-show.
In the week or two preceding the bluebells, the forest floor is first carpeted with the blooms of the wood anemones. While it doesn’t have quite the same effect, it is still very beautiful. The forest itself is peaceful (usually!) and makes for a great day in the outdoors no matter what time of year you visit it.
Stadshal at Night, Ghent
This week I showcased my work at the US Embassy in Brussels and I have really enjoyed talking to my peers about photography, travel and Belgium. Going through my portfolio so many times has brought something to my attention though. I MIGHT be a little obsessed with Ghent! It seems that every other picture is of some building, some church, some alley – IN GHENT.
Winter Stroll in Oostende
So I decided that this summer I will make more of an effort to branch out a little more and spend more time in other parts of Belgium. There is so much to see that I should have no problem finding great subject matter. There are war memorials and monuments, beautiful parks and forests, beaches, more churches than my children ever want to see again in their lifetimes, festivals, monasteries (and beer tours!), universities, and more chateaus than you can shake a stick at (stay tuned on Observations of an Okie for pics of Denver shaking a stick at a château…). I look forward to getting out there and really exploring more of this awesome country and I promise that I will be careful if I happen on to some haunted, deteriorating building that just begs me to explore it – ahem. There is also that suburb of Antwerp, slowly being abandoned that is covered in graffiti/street art. The list is truly endless.
Unknown Soldier at Flanders Field
But dear Ghent, fear not! I am unable to abandon you completely. You are so close and I can pop up for a stroll through your beautiful streets, visit with your lovely citizens and do some great shopping any time I want (I might even bring you new visitors and take yet another picture of St. Nicolaus’ Church).
I made an initial pass through my archives and finally created a page for photographs from Luxembourg and The Netherlands. I have also made the discovery that my dearth of website worthy photos from Amsterdam makes a return trip an absolute necessity! With any luck, as the weather warms up and the sun shines a bit more, I’ll make the pilgrimage back to these places with my lovely family so that they, too, can enjoy the sights (and I can get some shots of these cities that aren’t quite so grey!). Enjoy, and let me know what you think!