Les cieux

IMG_1773‘Sky’ is one of those French words that sounds completely different in the plural form. Le ciel, les cieux. So it is with the skies above us and the summer season – they are transformed into something other worldly.

The advent of summer often finds me outside staring at the sky. So much is going on above our heads and at this time of year it captivates my attention.

thumb_IMG_3739_1024Our house is on the flight path into Geneva. Lac Léman is like a highway for air traffic in and out of the neighbouring Swiss city. Planes landing make me feel relaxed and somehow happy, as if the homecoming were my own. Planes taking off are noisier and more intrusive, yet they often circle so high above us that the sound is very far away, a distant reminder of people setting off to see the world.

I lie on my reclining chair (oh, the wonders of this reclining chair, as good as the dentist’s only without the pain) and watch the silver bullets above. Sometimes it seems the planes are playing tic tac toe as their white tails criss-cross in the sky.

thumb_IMG_5412_1024The birds in these parts are a treat. We had dinner by the lake the other night and these little ones provided quite the spectacle. Although they were with some ducks, I am convinced these are baby swans. Any ornithological experts care to weigh in?

Above us, the constantly circling hawks are mesmerizing. They coast way up high on currents of air, emitting strange high-pitched sounds. Although I suspect they are hunting for prey, it is relaxing to watch them circle and soar. At ground level, swallows swoop and dip into the pool for a drink. Little green and yellow birds flit and peep in the garden.

The clouds have been especially amazing this year. The turbulent weather pattern this spring and early summer has brought constantly changing skies that are a wonder to behold. Each glorious day must be savoured; in winter we often get dull days of fog and cannot see the mountains just across the lake.

Something magical happens to the light around Lake Geneva at this time of year. It glows as if lit from within. Although I am a morning person, we get amazing sunset views.

thumb_IMG_4303_1024What does the sky look like where you are?






  1. francetaste · July 7, 2016

    Beautiful pictures! I have been admiring Mars lately in the night sky. I wish I knew more about astronomy.
    The clouds are so interesting. Today, not a one. The Pyrénnées and the Montagnes Noires both sharply in focus. But some days, we lie poolside and watch the clouds morph from one shape to another and make up stories about them.

    • MELewis · July 7, 2016

      You surely know much more than me – you can see Mars? Where and what does it look like?

      • francetaste · July 7, 2016

        It’s the red one! And it doesn’t twinkle. It’s at its closest point to the Earth in a decade.
        There’s an app to help you identify the stars and planets (I don’t have it, so can’t tell you more).

  2. poshbirdy · July 7, 2016

    Lovely pictures. Summer is such a treat

    • MELewis · July 8, 2016

      Indeed, isn’t it just splendid at the moment?

  3. Piddlewick · July 7, 2016

    Oh, we had such a beautiful star filled night last night. A crisp evening after the days heat and such twinkling over head to close off our day.

    (Yes, I would say they are baby swans)

    • MELewis · July 8, 2016

      Aha! I am vindicated bird-wise. It’s a beautiful week we’re having here, too, although a bit too hot for my liking.

  4. Suzanne et Pierre · July 7, 2016

    I do enjoy watching the sky. Unfortunately, there are too many lights in the city to truly enjoy it. But when we go out of town we certainly indulge. I don’t know if it is the same in Europe but in NA, we have lost millions of birds – cats eat many, they get killed by wind mills, pesticides disturb them and lost of habitats is another factor. We have really noticed the diminution of the bird population when we go hiking…(Suzanne)

    • MELewis · July 8, 2016

      Thanks for pointing out the light problem – which we are fairly free of around here. There are a few street lights that stay on all night just by our house, but they are a soft yellow light that doesn’t prevent star-gazing. Very sad to hear about the diminishing bird population, although I can’t say I’ve noticed it here yet.

  5. ourfrenchoasis · July 7, 2016

    Today the skies are clear blue, not a cloud in sight. The only movement the odd stork flying past, we are in the land of storks! Often he children and I will look up at the trail of an aeroplane and wonder where it is heading, who is on board, are they looking down at us or are they deep in a movie, oblivious to the country they are passing over.

    • MELewis · July 8, 2016

      How interesting, to be in the land of storks. Not sure I would recognize one, are they huge? You and your kids seem to think the same way I do, imagining people’s lives in airplanes high above. May you enjoy blue skies all summer long!

  6. Osyth · July 7, 2016

    Above us only sky …. except that it can’t be ONLY sky – I could happily waste days gazing upwards and watching the clouds, the birds, the planes, the light changes.

    • MELewis · July 8, 2016

      You may say I’m a dreamer….but I’m so happy not to be the only one. Merci Osyth!

  7. Colin Bisset · July 8, 2016

    Oh yes, a wonderful sky truly takes you into another world. And even better from a comfy chair!

    • MELewis · July 8, 2016

      Best of both worlds, indeed. 🙂

  8. Barbed Words · July 8, 2016

    Ooh, I had a moment there where I thought you were about to have the lovely little birds for dinner! Phew, thankfully not!

    • MELewis · July 9, 2016

      What?! We are carnivores, not barbarians. 😛

  9. acflory · July 11, 2016

    Lovely. 🙂 And that chair is nice too!

  10. Antonio · July 12, 2016

    French language has very much grammar as my language and it’s quite difficult.
    English is more simple because it hasn’t much grammar….
    many regards
    (I have several French blogger-friends)

    • MELewis · July 14, 2016

      I hear many people say that English is easy to learn but hard to master. As for Italian, afraid I speak no more than a few menu words!

  11. Mél@nie · July 15, 2016

    @”Our house is on the flight path into Geneva.” – lucky you… 🙂
    * * *
    @”What does the sky look like where you are?…” – I live Airbus City, therefore blue, most of the year, as at 150 km from the Mediterranean and from the Pyrénées… 😉

    • MELewis · July 16, 2016

      May your skies stay beautiful Toulouse blue forever! Merci Mél@nie!

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