Nature’s stained-glass windows


I’m settled in from Esteban’s and my almost-three-week-long vacation — and finally I’m catching up on my backlog of blog-reading.

Among the many wonderful posts was Sóla’s ode to her love affair with flowers. “I’d love to hear about your favourites,” she wrote at the end of her post. My mind immediately went back a few days earlier, to Paris.

 Paris 1720437 BLOG
This ancient well is in the Square Viviani, behind the church of St. Julien le Pauvre.

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It was a whirlwind tour of my favorite city, during which time and light were both in short supply. (Don’t despair. I did get a few good shots, in spite of the somber skies.)

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But on one glorious morning the sun shone so brightly that it literally ripped me out of bed. Yes, literally!

We were lodging just blocks from the Jardin des Plantes, so I scampered along the Seine to the gates of the great garden and waited patiently with a small crowd of joggers and strollers until the groundskeeper let us in at 7:30.

Long beds of delicate, translucent poppies lined the central path.

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The only selfie you’ll ever see from me:
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If nature was my cathedral, these were her stained-glass windows.

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So there you go, Sóla. The favourite flowers I promised! Thank you for inspiring me to dig into my photos and pull out this favorite memory.

77 Responses to “Nature’s stained-glass windows”

  1. Ahh, so beautiful. Glorious, sumptuous photos as always, H. What a pleasure to be able to see them for once! (We are still lurking in a cafe to access their internet!)

    • 2 hmunro

      You made my day with your kind words, DB. Thank you. And please pass on my greetings to your lovely family, and whoever else at the café may be within earshot. HELLOOO FROM MINNESOOOOTA!!

  2. Stunning. The picture of clouded Paris looks like a painting.

    You have got really long model-legs.

    • 6 hmunro

      I thank the low angle of the sun — and the angle of my lens, too — for those model-long legs! 🙂 Just as I thank YOU for your kind words.

  3. The photos are stunning. Thank you for taking me back to Paris!

    • 8 hmunro

      Ah, Paula … brace yourself, because there’s much more to come! 😉

  4. You got good yellows. I find so many cameras struggle with yellow.

    • 10 hmunro

      Yes! That’s been one of my consistent frustrations with digital. The older Panasonic micro-four-thirds I was using had a really strong magenta cast, so it was almost impossible to get a “pure” bright yellow. But whatever they did to the sensor or processing on the GX7 really worked — and now I love shooting flowers again. As you can see. 😉

  5. Thank you for fantastic photos! I love flowers and specialy poppy flowers. My day become much better thanks to your blog.

    • 12 hmunro

      What a sweet note. Thank you! It makes me so happy to think I brightened your day.

  6. I always love your photos.

  7. Reblogged this on jannaupc and commented:

  8. LOVE this! You have such a great eye. Flowers and Paris… I can’t imagine anything more inspirational than that! I can’t wait to see what else you shot. Beautiful!

    • 18 hmunro

      Aw, Julie … your kind words make my day because I know you’re an awesome photographer in your own right. Thank you! (PS: I can’t wait to see what else I shot either. I honestly have no idea, it was such a blur! 😉

      • Thanks!!! You always make me smile!!! I can’t wait for my kids to be off for the summer so that HOPEFULLY we can hit the road for a change of scenery. I need some inspiration. I haven’t shot anything in ages. I’ll live vicariously through you! I can’t even imagine how much awesome you have to share!!!!

        • 20 hmunro

          Oh, I do hope you’ll be able to travel with the kiddos this summer! I love your travel posts, too. 😉

  9. 22 Hanna

    This is a truly beautiful post ❤

  10. Thank you for putting the flowers of Paris, in a beautiful bunch, onto my laptop. You seem to have a magical, light-inhaling camera.

    Your photos reminded me of that Iris Murdoch quote: “People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us.”

    • 24 hmunro

      Oh, how your comments make me smile! I loved this one for your typically wry way with words (“light-inhaling camera” — indeed!) and that beautiful Iris Murdoch quote, which I’d somehow never heard before. May I always find such wonder in the world. Thank you for inspiring me!

  11. 25 pmmiller1

    Poppies! Beautiful, H!

    • 26 hmunro

      I found them beautiful too, Pamchenlein. I may have to get us some so we can enjoy them in our own little respective Jardins des Plantses.

  12. 27 Madhavi Singh

    I’m new to the blogging community. Please visit.

    • 28 hmunro

      Thank you! Loved your piece on being introverted. Hello from a fellow “innie”! 😉

      • 29 Madhavi Singh

        Hello to you too. Thank you for taking time to visit my blog. 🙂

  13. Your photos are beautiful!

  14. Beautiful photos…

    • 33 hmunro

      Thank you, Terry! I really appreciate your taking the time to comment.

  15. Sadly, I’ve never been to Paris, but it looks very attractive as a backdrop in one or two of the photographs here. Perhaps one day… The stars of the show, though, have to be the flowers. They really are gorgeous. 🙂

    • 35 hmunro

      Your comment really got me thinking about Paris … very astute and insightful, even if you’ve not (yet) been there! The city really is like a backdrop that helps me notice things I might otherwise walk past — like flowers, people on the street, and tiny architectural details. I think that’s one of the reasons I feel more alive there than anyplace else I’ve (yet) visited. All of that said, I must agree with you: The flowers really stole *this* show. 🙂 Thank you for stopping by, and taking the time to comment!

      • You’re very welcome. I’m always happy to look at beautiful photographs. One of these days, I’m bound to get to Paris. It seems that almost everybody does eventually. 🙂

  16. Simply beautiful! I love the light you captured surrounding, and through, the poppies.

  17. Gorgeous photos H! Quite cheered me up! 🙂 xx

    • 40 hmunro

      It makes my day to know the photos brought a bit of cheer! Sending you another big hug. xx

  18. Just beautiful! Thanks for sharing. P.S. I love the new gravatar!

    • 42 hmunro

      You’re so sweet Rochelle! Thank you. As for the new gravatar: Some friends miss the little rodent, but Little Miss Exasperation so perfectly expresses my dismay at the state of politics in the U.S. that I couldn’t resist. 🙂 xx

  19. How gorgeous are those poppies?! and the sun came out at the perfect time to capture their striking colours too. I’m so glad to hear my post on My Love Affair with Flowers inspired you – you’ve seriously brought a huge smile to my face. Your collection of images are just super. I hope you enjoyed your time in paris – its one of my fav cities too. ☺️

    • 46 hmunro

      Aww, you are too sweet! Though I should thank YOU again for the inspiration. Usually it takes me months to get around to editing my photos, but thanks to you I’m diving in in record time. I think you’ll enjoy some of what’s to come if you like Paris … 😉

      • Oooo I can’t wait! Yes I was recently there too so I’m looking forward to seeing the wonderful city that is Paris all over again through your eyes. 😉

    • 48 hmunro

      PS: About the light … I was lucky! The quality of the light is one of the few things you can’t really control in photography, so I was thrilled to be in the right place at the right time on this particularly brilliant morning.

      • Tell me about it! lighting can either make or break a picture. I sometimes struggle with that depending on the look that I’m going for but practice makes progress right?! Your images came out very well. 😊

  20. 50 hmunro

    The flowers are called “poppies” in English.

  21. Beautiful photos!

  22. Beautiful photographs. Take care, Dolphin xx

  23. I like your posting then get some idea about this post.
    So I will expect from you will do this type work soon. I quite enjoyed reading it, you can be a great author.

  24. Reblogged this on younger669 and commented:
    thank you

  25. I’ve been lucky enough to visit Paris once so far but I rue that I was such a young, inexperienced traveler and not able to see things through the lens of maturity. I have many fond, personal memories of moments and places there but your writing and photography about the city are from a place I never saw. I would love to go back someday! I really like your pictures of the poppies, they’re wonderful. I felt particularly smiley when I was looking at them because a neighbor’s poppies have gradually spread into our yard and this year we have our own bright, fluorescent orange patch!

    • 59 hmunro

      As annoying as it can be when a neighbor’s plants wander uninvited into one’s yard, I think I would welcome the bright, fluorescent orange patch you describe. Just the description makes me feel the warm sunshine on my skin!

      As for Paris … well, it’s a pity you rue being so young. I can relate a bit, I think, because I wish I’d been better able to appreciate my grandparents. But I have to remind myself that I’ve done the best I could with the knowledge and skills I had at the time. We may have profited more from our experiences as adults — but there’s also something to be said for experiencing Paris and grandparents with youthful wonder and curiosity. And anyway, Paris will always be there for you, anytime you decide to go back. (And I really do hope you get to go back.)

  26. 60 bethanyk

    Gorgeous pictures! The flowers are breathtaking.

  27. Smiles…voyager 🙂

  28. 64 Cris Sanchez

    so pretty 😉

  29. These are stunning photos! Very inspiring.

  30. 68 Jade

    These photos, are like…… no words. Once again, I’m amazed!

  31. Your photos are stunning! Do you sell them? I am wondering about the image of the table and chairs, I would love that for my kitchen!

    • 71 hmunro

      What a kind comment. Thank you! I’m honored that you like my photo enough to want to buy a print. Please send me a note at hmunro dot wordpress at gmail dot com and we can chat about sizes and finishes. 🙂

  32. I love Paris! Thank you for reminding me of it on this gloomy day in the UK

    • 73 hmunro

      I love Paris too! It’s the perfect antidote to gloomy days, isn’t it? Cheers to you from a very gloomy and rainy Minnesota!

  33. 74 lyrasdreams

    You use such beautiful words.. I love the bit about stain glass windows!

  34. Reblogged this on MENSCH und NATUR.

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