Monday, July 16, 2012

Provence Lavender

Apart from the Eiffel Tower, is there any image more French than Provence lavender?

Rows of lavender in Provence, France

Each year there are probably 3-4 weeks when the lavender is in its prime. The flowers are fresh, full and an intense hue. After that, the blooms start to dry and the colours become more dusty.

Looking down a lavender row in a field in Provence, France

It's been very warm this summer, so lavender season will most likely be even shorter.

Wheat fields contrasting with lavender in Provence, France

We got lucky the other week on a drive around the Valensole area in the Luberon Valley, coming across several well-maintained fields. (Not all the fields are kept in this weeded, nicely groomed state)

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Walking along the rows is one of my favourite things to do, listening to thousands of drunk bees and smelling the perfume.

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Brushing your hands along the flowers releases an even stronger scent but you have to be careful of the little nectar gatherers.

My daughter walking down the rows of lavender in the field

I had fun playing around with the manual settings on the camera. Which do you prefer - the focus on the foreground lavender?

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Or on the rows in the distance?

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The golden wheat fields make a lovely contrast to the purple.

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Also golden - the occasional sunflower crop.

Sunflower crop in Provence, France
Close up of a sunflower centre

This one was just coming into maturity.

Unopened sunflower in a field in Provence, France.

Lots of bees mooching around these flowers as well.

A bee collecting nectar on a sunflower in Provence, France

We are going home to Australia in January and I'm already asking myself how I'm going to be able to say goodbye to Provence.

A bit of lavender essence in the oil burner just isn't going to cut it. Sniff.

45 comments:

  1. Can I skip your choices and say that my favorite photo is the one with your daughter in that yellow dress. That one is just perfect!
    m.

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  2. Stunning photos! Love the lavender fields...! Enjoy and soak it all in!

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  3. So, so pretty! See and do all you can before January...you will surely miss Provence.

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  4. Beautiful as always! I think I prefer the foreground in focus in theSe two on this occasion, maybe because the proportion of focus is more effective with the way that you've composed it.
    Saying goodbye will be hard, but saying hello will be good -always advantages and disadvantages wherever we live!

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    1. On second thoughts, I don,t know which I prefer!

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  5. So beautiful.

    Dein Bilder sind so wundervoll.
    Lavendel und Sonnenblumen liebe ich so sehr.

    danke für die schönen Bilder

    liebe Grüße von Danny

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  6. Yow have such a talent for expression and photography, not to mention your quilting skills. "Thank you" seems so inadequate for expressing my gratitude for taking me (us) along on your journey.

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    Replies
    1. Aw, thank you Sharon. You make Mondays a lot easier to take. x x

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    2. I second that, Sharon.

      I'm bookmarking almost every photo. So envious of you living there. When I read that you have to leave, I said "NO! NO!" because we'll have to leave with you!

      Personally, I would refuse to pack come January. ;)

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  7. oh no, if you go home how will I ever get my France fix? I enjoy your blog so much and your photography skills are amazing!

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  8. Have you a garden down under? Where you could grow valenders and sun flowers?

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  9. Oh my... the best pictures and flowers ever Kirsty. Love them all! I like the foreground picture best; leaves some imagination about what is to discover down the path.

    Thank you for your support on my blog lately, I winded up about the weird comment and in the end decided to leave it there and not give this negative thing attention. But thank you again, I highly appreciate your text. You are a true and dear blogfriend!!

    love
    Maaike

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  10. I can almost smell the lavender!! What wonderful photos!!! Have you been to Durance? It's not quite a feast for the eyes but I brought plenty of lavender products which help keep the memory alive...... a bit!

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  11. Wonderful pictures! I like the one with your daughter best. I can´t wait for our annual vacation in France later this summer.

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    1. I'm sure you'll have a great time! Thanks for dropping by x

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  12. Gorgeous...just gorgeous! I have one lonely little lavender bush in my backyard, but when you see them en masse like that, the effect is breathtaking. I love the picture with your daughter, the contrast of her yellow dress is so perfect. (I also like the foreground in focus, personally.) :)

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  13. Stunning! Have I just found your blog to hear you are moving away? But you will photograph Australia too, I hope...and still blog.

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    1. Absolutely! I'm looking forward to seeing Australia through the camera lens (seeing as I didn't start my photography journey until I got to France).

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  14. You could try coming to Tasmania in the spring - it's by no means Provence, but there are some wonderful lavender fields in Bridestowe.... They're branching out into edible lavenders these days too - have you tried lavender ice-cream? :-)

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    1. Yes, I've had some delicious lavender ice-cream over here. So glad to hear it's at home too.
      I love Tasmania, it's so green and gorgeous and gourmet - one day we want to do a bike tour around the island. Hopefully the cycling will counter all the wine and cheese!

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  15. ah, scenes of lavender and sunflowers...my absolute favorites...thank you for sharing such beauty.

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  16. Oh no, how am I going to get my weekly France fix! At least I won't open up my reader first thing in the morning and be mesmerised by baguettes, goats cheese, etc!
    I love all the photos especially the one of your daughter in the yellow dress, what a fabulous contrast to the lavender. I prefer the focus on the foreground. Love love the photo of the unopened sunflower.

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  17. Kirsty, the photo of your little girl walking through the lavender might be my favorite photo that you've ever taken! It's perfect!
    And if you get really homesick for France, I'll post G over to you. Just feed him about every two hours and he'll be ok x

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  18. Now do not tell me that you didn't put that dress on Mademoiselle for a reason! I feel like one of the bees after looking at these stunning pictures.
    Home in January? You are too French now to go back to Australia...

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  19. quelle horreur!...... please dont tell me you are now going to be "you had me at G'Day"

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    1. Well, this is the problem - what to do with this blog? I plan to continue blogging once I get home, I'm sure Australia is as exotic as France to many folks. And of course the crafting/sewing never ends. But what to do about the name??

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    2. Keep it! A little piece of you that is forever French!

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  20. I love lavender as well, but have never seen it in such quantities or such beautiful fields. Your shots are as always beautiful! I love the one with your daughter in her sunflower yellow dress walking between the rows of lavender. :-) With the focus, I think I prefer the focused front, but they're both lovely.

    I think you can keep your blog name, even though you're changing countries. Although "you had me at G'Day" has a certain ring to it as well ... :-D

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  21. Keep the name! Our experiences forever shape who we are, and you will always have a bit of France along with you in Australia. Thanks for a beautifful post - we haven't made it to Provence for the lavender and I fear this season will pass without the chance as well. These pictures will have to suffice until next year...

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  22. All the photos are brillant and had me with my mouth open from the very first one (sorry-that doesn't sound too good does it!). Love that those stunning rows of purple lavender complement your daughter's yellow dress perfectly too! maybe you could recreate your own version of provence here in Oz when you get back - lavender, sunflowers and red poppies?

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    1. I will certainly be trying that Helen, don't you worry!

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  23. GORGEOUS!!!! One day I'll go back for the lavender. It's just amazing! I love the foreground focus because, well, to be honest I like the two rocks being the focal point of that pic bordered all around by the purple lavender. Your sunflower in foreground focus is another stunning pic. You'll just have to cover your walls in Australia with a huge photo mosaic of your sojourn in France so you can stand in front of it, sniffing lavender and remembering it all. Sniff, indeed.

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  24. Thanks for the great pictures of the lavender. We have never been in Provence in mid-late summer, but usually in May or December, so we loved the red of the poppies in the fields in May. I did wade into a few sunflower fields in July in the Seine et Marne area.
    Your composition is very excellent and to photograph the lavender at its peak makes the color as intense as the fragrance. I would take one of these photos and have it printed wallpaper size (as big as will fit) and attach it to or hang it framed on a wall in your Australian home.
    Keep the blog name and keep up the good work.

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    1. Thanks Richard, I think a photography shrine to France will definitely be needed once we get home.

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  25. I understand you'll be sad to say goodbye to France Kirst, but I am definitely glad you're coming back!

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  26. Wow! Stunning photos - all of them :)

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  27. Thanks for your reply Kirsty! I look forward to seeing your little bit of provence in Oz on your blog when it all happens. You'll have to savour every breath and second of your remaining time there.

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  28. Lovely, lovely lavender! Your photography is stunning - breathtaking contrast between the purple and yellow. My favourite is of the cherub walking up the lavender rows. You need a book contract sweet! It is a crime if the world doesn't get to see your sublime images :) I had a plan once to establish a lavender farm. I actually planted a trial plot of 20 different varieties. So beautiful! The lavender farm was going to make me rich while I stayed home and reared babies. Ha, ha, ha ... dream on Bloom!

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  29. How did I miss this post? It's so brilliant and so Provence. My favourite is of your own little bumble bee flying down the rows, but that bee in the sunflower is awesome too - did you get a new lens?!! I prefer the focus on the foreground and I'm jealous of the intense colours you've captured. You are such an inspiration. Don't want you to leave but I'm intrigued to see how Australia looks through your lens!

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  30. Hi Kirsty, I stumbled upon your blog through a google alert about lavender in Provence. I write a blog, www.TheModernTrobadors.com, about Provence and am getting ready to write a short post on lavender. Your photos are just lovely. i have to agree with one of your readers who wrote above that the favorite might be your daughter dressed in yellow amongst the purple rows of lavender!

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  31. Thanks Susan, and thanks for dropping by!

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  32. You make me say things I thought I would NEVER EVER say:
    ahhhhhh I want to live in la douce France

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  33. Kirsty, this post is just over the top and took my breath away! I have only seen lavender blooming in Provence once and your photos are more spectacular than what I saw then.

    Your precious child in "mustard" among the rows of lavender could not be more perfect.

    Keep the blog name as it is "so you!" and I agree with Richard E... get a print as large as a mural of the lavender

    Bises,
    Genie

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  34. These photos are AMAZING! All of them, I can't choose a favourite. It's a 'dream' of mine to one day see the lavender fields, one of my favourite colours are purple and I imagine these fields being breathtakingly beautiful. (Well, I can see they are from your photos, but you know, I'd like to see them in real life too.) I am actually coming to Provence in a month's time, will I be too late to see them? By the way, I came over from Sara Louise's blog. Now I'll keep on reading :) Have a nice Saturday!

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  35. Not sure I ever said this, but I love these pictures! Just found the old bookmark I had saved :)

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Hi there, I love getting comments, so let her rip! I do my very best to reply (by email) so please make sure your account is set up to show email, so that I can get back to you. Cheers, Kirsty

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