The Best of Summer

“Summertime is always the best of what might be.” (Charles Bowdan)

Recalling summer days is the most rewarding activity. It brings a broad smile to my face and a playful sparkle to my eyes. I felt a surge to reproduce the best of my summer and demonstrate it to you. I do miss my summer. It occurred to me that I did not say goodbye to the hot season when everything or anything is possible. So now let me tell you, dear Miss Summer, a couple of warm words.

anro-presents

“Summer, after all, is a time when wonderful things can happen to quiet people. For those few months, you’re not required to be who everyone thinks you are, and that cut-grass smell in the air and the chance to dive into the deep end of a pool give you a courage you don’t have the rest of the year. You can be grateful and easy, with no eyes on you, and no past. Summer just opens the door and lets you out.” ―Deb Caletti

sunset-paints-the-sky

Summer does open the door to the brightest world ever. There you can enjoy the longest days and shortest nights, you can taste a variety of fruits and vegetables, and you can relax and let yourself being silly. Sometimes summer might be a bit wearisome due to extremely high temperatures that drank the water from our bodies. During such period our brain melts and we feel not so happy. All we need then is to leave everything and escape to some perfect place where the body and mind will dance in harmony.

http://www.redbubble.com/people/anrostudio/works/23283287-perfect-place?asc=u&p=greeting-card&rel=carousel

perfect-place

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.”―John Lubbock

http://www.redbubble.com/people/anrostudio/works/23283422-swimming-to-orange-sunset?asc=u

swimming-to-orange-sunset

The place for being idle found me and I could not resist its beauty and calmness. My feet freely walked on the grass, between apple trees and flowers. My eyes caught the joyful glimpses of sunrise and sunset. My hands touched the gifts of the generous season. My mind was emptied from any thoughts. Or perhaps these thoughts were so natural that they were invisible or unreadable. A pretty awesome feeling when your mind is easy and light as a summer butterfly.

http://www.redbubble.com/people/anrostudio/works/23283536-busy-as-bee?asc=u&p=throw-pillow&rel=carousel

busy-as-bee

I can fly

I can fly

Without wings

My weightless mind

Helps me to touch the sky…

“But when fall comes, kicking summer out on its treacherous ass as it always does one day sometime after the midpoint of September, it stays awhile like an old friend that you have missed. It settles in the way an old friend will settle into your favorite chair and take out his pipe and light it and then fill the afternoon with stories of places he has been and things he has done since last he saw you.”― Stephen King

http://www.redbubble.com/people/anrostudio/works/23283619-gifts-of-summer?asc=u

gifts-of-summer

 

 That was a good time. That was the best of our times. Those were you and I, my dear Summer, old Buddy, and that was the time for us!

 Hold on…it is not the end of my story. Now everything what you read is going to be put in several scenes, edited and shown to you. Stay in touch!

 Also let me invite you to my souvenirs photo shop where you can find many lovely presents for you and your loved ones. 20% off Use TOOTH20. Thank you for your attention and time!

http://www.redbubble.com/people/anrostudio/works/23283745-squirrel?asc=u&p=greeting-card&rel=carousel

squirrel

Love you all!

 Yours Ann

The Mountains Are Calling and I Must Go

Mountains in my Heart

“The mountains are calling and I must go” (John Muir)

It is Monday and the beginning of new week full of challenges for us. Right? How are you doing? 

Mountains I saw in Poland still haunt me. I constantly imagine them in my head and recall days spent next to them. The pictures presented in the postcard above are made  on the territory of the Tatra National Park on the way to Morskie Oko lake (be patient to see one of the most beautiful lake in the world). It was one of cloudy days that make you feel the mystery even stronger. It is a very big park with long distances to walk. Even the most demanding hikers can be satisfied, however, I shall not be so confident as I do not belong to their group. On the contrary, I am the laziest hiker who may choose a ride in the horse carriage other then a 9-km walk. However, dear hikers, do not frown, during my first time here I did conquer this route, thus have some faith in me. It was marvelous and I am still so proud of myself, though my feet were of the opposite opinion. Anyway, finding myself there again was so great I hardly can describe. High Tatras, a very clean and peaceful lake and…thousands of nosy tourists sitting, walking, making pictures everywhere and you have to go around lake somewhere further to the forest to find some place to eat your sandwich. Huh! This place is very popular among tourists, you probably won’t be able to stay there completely alone. Anyway, it is still charming and magical!

Mountains call me 

I must go 

Road is chosen

Swept off by nature flow

Yours Ann

P.S. As always all my little designs can be found at: http://www.redbubble.com/people/anrostudio/works/22546002-mountains-in-my-heart

PhotoThoughts Abroad: ZAKOPANE

Poland is the neighbor country to the west of Kyiv which influence has spread all over. A long border line separates nation’s minds and makes them feel strangers. What does it mean being Ukrainian? Or being Polish? Can you look for the meaning in your vocabulary? Certainly not. However, you will find the meaning for the “citizenship” and that is what exactly important. Belonging to the Planet, World, and Universe. We need to be part of something, always, as loneliness can kill us. That is why I refuse to accept borders between countries, language barriers and mind blockades. I would like to get as close as possibly to life without any of them and understand why we still remain different mentally and so identical physically. There is a strong wish to inhale this beautiful city and print it in my soul!

Polska Symbols

PhotoThought 1: Main Scenes

Welcome to Zakopane

I hope you are not tired of my postcards yet (I see your little cunning grimaces). I am not tired of designing them for you in some crazy hope that one day you might need them. It is also a terrific way to gather several photos at once and create a new common picture. The same as assembling a puzzle. Every piece takes its right place. And you look at the entire picture differently, right? The same when I look at the picture above. This is the collective image of Polish city called Zakopane. A very nice city situated in the southern part of Poland almost at the border between Slovakia and Poland attracts every hiker’s attention. You will find there so many routes to walk and so many breathtaking views to capture. In my postcard I decided to focus on little details such as local parks, monuments, and houses. They do not belong to the main attractions, however, they represent local habits and traditions better. Seeing these scenes brings me closer to Polish culture and people. I am eager to catch its specific mountain atmosphere. Air is different here; nature is different as well as atmosphere. It is a typical mountain city where tourism is the most popular occupation. A number of hotels, villas, cafes, restaurants and souvenir shops goes off scale. It is a real tourist resort crowded most of the time. However, there are some narrow streets that can draw the curtain and let you peep through secret hole. Then you are lucky to observe a completely different picture!

 

PhotoThought 2: Mountains 

White Mountains

Only mountains can be better than the mountains.  This is the love from the first breathe. Air in the mountains is fresh and intoxicating.  

It is always the same with mountains. Once you have lived with them for any length of time, you belong to them. There is no escape.’ (Ruskin Bond) 

And you would not like to escape from them, you prefer staying there forever, just to look at them endlessly. Here there is no time, no distance, no hurry, only they and I. There is almost intimate bond between us. This is a teaser for you, my little Friends, as I made a lot of pictures about mountains and so many breathtaking views.  Be patient!

PhotoThought 3: Countryside 

Zakopane walks

In this postcard I am particularly fond of two goats: white and black. Aren’t they look cute? A couple or two family members. They seem to be curious about me and my camera. I can’t stand not taking a snap of them.  I suppose they suit the entire atmosphere perfectly…

 I saw rivers, small houses, fields and gardens. This city is very different from any mountain city in Ukraine. It is visible that people here live much better. While sitting in the local cafe I saw Polish happy faces and felt a bit envy. Please forgive me for being too honest with you, but I wish I could see my Ukrainians the same happy and free one day. Surely, my country is not that hopeless and if everyone does its best it can be really changed for the better, however, it will be a long way. And I would not like to wait so much. Unfortunately, I am a realist as well and see not too much positive. In fact people, my Ukrainians, do surprise me every day with their indifference and rudeness. Even worse, they make me also being indifferent and rude…and that scares me the most!

PhotoThought 4: Houses

How about sit comfortably in these red chairs and enjoy the…houses? I confess I have never seen such a gorgeous and unusual style. These houses drew my attention at once. I could not go by without shooting them. And those windows with colorful flowers and designed yards. Owners prove they are skillful at design. They are proud of beautifully decorated yards. As you may see almost all houses are wooden, a distinctive sign of the mountain region. It brings us back in time: when people could not afford themselves anything better than a humble wooden house. They made their houses from wood found in forests. There were too many forests at those times. On the contrary, nowadays these mansions are a privilege for people with impressive bank accounts. I would not refuse to settle in one of them and you? Just imagine a romantic scene near your fireplace…hmm…I bet you won’t refuse!

Houses in Zakopane

And now tell me something interesting about the city where you live. I am hungry for your comments, impressions and stories. Only one problem – this time I cannot promise you any reward, since your writer was not so successful recently. In my heart I would like to present you something every time you share with me your wonderful story, but I have no good sponsor or investor…yet.

In case you have no good idea what to present your friends or you need to find something special for somebody, here is the link to my designs available for you: 

http://www.redbubble.com/people/anrostudio/works/22497628-kocham-polske?asc=u&p=classic-tee&ref=artist_shop_grid

http://www.redbubble.com/people/anrostudio/shop?asc=u

Also if you like any of my postcards design, but in your head you imagine your own photos in them, please let me know and I will design for you.  I am also eager to help to design some special card for any special occasion. Give me a hint in the comment or in twitter ann021814 (facebook Ann AnRo) and I’ll contact you as soon as possible! 

Stay in tune! To be continued…

Happy weekend, my little Friends!

Yours Ann

P.S. As I was writing this post world has gone crazy… I have friends from France and I am in deep grief with them. One day France, the other night Turkey…I am lack of appropriate words…just a wish for all of us not to loose being wisdom!

You Won’t Drink More Than a Bucket of Horilka

There is a good Ukrainian proverb that “man is not a cow, he won’t drink more than a bucket of horilka“. Isn’t it funny! Can you drink a bucket of horilka? I bet, you won’t be… otherwise you will be walking out of my kitchen horizontally, or will be staying there till tomorrow as minimum, but in the morning during breakfast you might receive a new glass of horilka to help you deal with hangover and then everything repeats. So, be careful it is a tricky alcoholic beverage.

Horilka With Cucumber

As you may recognize the talk is today about traditional Ukrainian beverage- horilka (vodka in Ukrainian language). In my country, since we speak Ukrainian, we differentiate between vodka and horilka, let’s not mix them. It can be explosive!

I chose such a topic for my post, because many of you expressed a wish to hear about it. And you know that I cannot turn down your requests. Moreover, I thought that it might be pretty interesting to find out more about this well-known beverage. That’s why I prepare two glasses of horilka for you and waiting you to join me in this fascinating alcoholic trip.

Bottle

 Cheers (“Bud’mo” in Ukrainian), but I will probably say after something like “guys, how can you drink it? It’s awful?”. I should confess that I almost don’t drink any alcoholic beverage. I just don’t understand its taste. Sorry, folks, can’t do much. However, as a person who likes discovering this world I would like to find out where does horilka come from and what is behind…

Ancient

 The word ‘alcohol’ comes from the Arabic ‘al-kuhl’. Arabs borrowed the technology and carried it to western Europe. In western Europe, distilling alcohol from wine was practiced in Italy in the 11th century, but generally this was done secretly by alchemists. Distilled alcohol reached Poland probably from Germany in the 15th century and it is recorded that the term ‘wodka’ was known from at least 1534.  It is believed that distilled alcohol spread from Poland via Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine, and only then to Russia. So, see, my dear polish Friends, we should thank you for having horilka as one of our beloved spirits. Who is our Big Brother now! Niech Zyje, Polska! Na zdrowie!

Nalej Zdrowje

Our chronicle mentions that mead was brewed for the funeral wake which Princess Olga held for her husband. With the introduction of distillation flavored horilka appeared. In the 19th century a ‘nalyvka’ was made by steeping fruit in 25% horilka, while a ‘nastojanka’ (‘nastojka’) was made by steeping herbs and spices in a similar strength horilka. Later, when it became easier, sugar was added for sweetness. The term ‘nalyvka’ was also used for a type of sweet fruit wine made by fermenting fruit and berries without added water, but with sufficient sugar to provide a residual sweetness. This was naturally weakly alcoholic, and to increase the strength, horilka was added. A stronger variant, was called ‘spotykach’, the name derived from the Ukrainian verb ‘to tumble’. Who is the tumbler? Wow, I got to know so much new, friends. Even I feel a bit drunk from all this information and you? How about one more glass? Na zdorowja! (“for good health” in Ukrainian).

Two Glasses

You can be more surprised to hear that Ukrainians are very good at cooking homemade horilka, which is called “samogon”. I am sure you never heard this word before and have never tried samogon before. It can have a more tricky effect on you, since samogon can be even stronger. At once, I had a funny experience. I was much younger, at university yet. I went to a trip to Mountains for summer holidays. I had an infection spot in my mouth and it was painful. During celebration of Ukrainian Independence Day our company had horilka and since I usually don’t drink, they decided to seduce me in other way. They offered me not to drink it, but take a sip of horilka and keep it in my mouth to cure my infection. I followed their advice…don’t you guess what was the result? You are right, Ann felt drunk, eyes are funny, and I wanted to sing…la-la-la-la!

Candy and Glass

If you do not smile yet, then another story for you. Did you know that alcohol content in our horilka is measure with the help of nose? Nope, you are not mistaken. A usual human nose. Are you confused? It is pretty simple. There are three stages. First one – after drinking a sip of freshly brewed samohon your nose has not changed its color, at all, it means that samohon is not ready yet, it is too close to beer, concentration is too low. Second –  brewing longer and gain tasting, the tip of your nose gets pink just a bit similar to rosy cheeks of a young lady who is blushing. Third – after one more sip your nose is already red like a red-rip tomato, which means that alcohol concentration is almost the maximum. Samohon is ready to be served. Who is ready to taste?

Collage of Bottles

One more glass of horilka? Cheers…Nazdravlje! Skål! Proost! Kippis! Santé! Prost! Egészségedre! Salute! Na zdrowie! Saúde! Noroc! Salud! Будьмо! I have no idea I am a polyglot, after several glasses of horilka I started to speak so many languages. It is a magical liquid!!!

Apple Glasses Art

See you after one more glass! Happy Weekend!

Truly yours,

Ann

Light vs Shadow

My Shadow

Light is the primary tool of the photographer even for Lily. Light for her was not only the magical tool of photo-exposure, but also the source of her internal energy. She seems to be lack of light, since it gives her life a meaning, when everything revives around her and results in a life-altering chain of events that make sense.

Shadow Dance

Lily lived in her or her parents’ shadow most of her time. All her family members were very talented and successful, while she became their bad luck. She seems to be not so lucky, however, in reality she was protected from large disasters. Her angel has a very unusual sense of humor; nevertheless, he did his job very well. And being a witness of the passionate kiss between Eros and Rose brought her back to the shadow.

Walk in the Shadow

She was caught in panic. Shadow embraced her and left her in total darkness of the night. It seemed like the air was getting darker as she walk passed multiple trees. Lily did not see anything, it was pitch dark. Why she felt like that – this question tormented her day and night. At the same time she was afraid she was jealous. The light was actually coming from this couple. This light helped Lily to go through the darkness of her thoughts and look at this-supposed-to-be-happy world. A kiss is the connection of two souls that is usually accompanied with unbelievable divine light similar to a rainbow. Rose and Eros seemed to light Lily’s world. She found her light road.

Road of Light

With these thoughts in her head Lily was slowly walking along her light road. She wanted to find her perfect spotlight and was fully immersed in it that did not recognize a silhouette approaching her. Only through her camera lenses a familiar shape started to come into sight. It was a great surprise to her, Lily made two steps back and awkwardly felt not on her soft body part.

LightTree

It was quite painful!

“Ouch”, she hardly uttered a word and started to feel how pain spread through her legs. She did not pay attention to that known silhouette who was already by her side .

Between Shadow and Light

“Miss Lily, what are you doing here?” seriously asked he looking directly into her eyes. Suddenly Lily fixed her eyes on him. This clumsy girl gasped for air. Lily Crown was staring at Eros in the most inappropriate way. “Men should not have such beautiful eyes, it is not fair” was buzzing in her little head. 

Leaves

“Halloo, are you all right? Say something…” worriedly Eros continued asking her. At that instant Lily realized that she has to answer. She wanted to say a joke or something clever, but…

Hiden Between

“Interesting, you usually ask people questions as soon as you meet them, why not  just say “hello””, Lily was curious. She tried to get up, but sharp pain paralyzed her moves.

Play of Light and Shadow

” A well-timed remark considering that you currently suffer from pain since your landing was not so lucky”, smiled he and filled her soul with magnificent light. Her life was a shadow yet, however, inside she felt intoxicating light that was creeping deeper.

Sun On Leaves

Today Lily wanted to play with light and make her perfect pictures. In reality she received something else. 

Light is Found

Lily was in physical pain from falling directly on coccyx, while her state of mind was filled with fabulous blue-eyes-light.

Undercover

Similar analogy can be found in life. Sometimes there is a harmony between our body and soul. The other time, one of them is out of happy circle. Then light is in a conflict with shadow.

Walking Through

It can be pretty good if light can always win over shadow. Just imagine! Well, it may be hard to accept and to take in, but everything is in our hands and depends on us.

Light Magic

Lily was in Eros’ hands now. She could not walk, she desperately tried to avoid his help, she failed. He lifted her up like she was a feather. What a strong man!

Yellow Composition

However, they did not go home at once. Lily insisted on stopping every time when she saw her perfect light.

Background

They made a quite funny picture. A tall and strong man was bringing a lady with photocamera in her hands. Every five minutes she asked him to stop to make a picture. What could he do? He was not able to find any argument against it.

In the Shadow

She was too decisive to capture that special moment when light penetrates through darkness, shadows vanish, and beauty sparkles with sun light. Lily’s ideal light moment…

Shining on You

Wish you more light in your life!

Yours Ann

Svityaz Wonderlake Relaxation Sketches

Svityaz

I am an Aquarius and I love water. I had never before seen that particular shade of blue just for today, this perfect and first day at the Lake Svityaz. I am standing now at the shore of this wonderlake and holding my camera as well as my breathe…The haze of atmosphere between heaven and earth had thinned and I stood closer to the edge of the universe than I had ever had before, so close that I felt almost as if I might be sucked into that blue right away from earth…

Wonderlake

Svityaz Lake is the largest freshwater lake in Ukraine. Water surface of the lake is 27,5 square km with maximum depth of 58,4 meters. The lake is karst origin and fed by artesian groundwater. The water in the lake is amazingly clear and soft, rich in silver ions and glycerol.

Bridge to Nowhere

Svityaz Lake is famous of the island that is situated inside of it with area of 7 ha. This island was known as a mysterious place since ancient times. It looks very exotic and even mysterious.

I need to water my soul and body where I clean myself from everything unimportant. Water is my internal source of energy and balance, and being in it, near it and around it makes me feel connected to spirit. Water covers an array of my emotions. It’s literally a source of my life.  I need a plunge during which I can dissolve like a cubic of sugar in a hot tea… 

Sunny Day at Wonderlake

There are many legends associated with appearance of Svityaz Lake. One of them said that in ancient times on site of the lake was a beautiful city and there was noble and kind king. Once one of neighbors asked him for help to serve an enemy attack. Quickly got a king in the way with his army leaving residents without protection. Meanwhile the enemy attacked the city. Then the beautiful and proud daughter of king asked Gods to ruin the city so it does not get the enemy. Before she could utter the last word as all around swayed and went underground. And at this point there was a lovely clean Svityaz Lake with amazing colors.

Orange Sunset at Wonderlake

Every lake has its mystery…the mystery of its origin…you imagination can create thousands of them and you still will not be sure what exactly happened. 

Reflection

Water helps to clear our brain. Every day life exhausts me from the top till the bottom, it sucks from me vital flows. I am in a constant struggle for a better place under the sun and I hardly see what is around. I belong to the society where we all are the actors. Life is a game for me…

Forests Around Wonderlake

Svityaz Lake is surrounded by forests is fabulously beautiful. It is rightly called the pearl of Polessye. Air here is so fresh that you become drunken! During seasons you can hunt here for wild fruits and mushrooms.

Fishing at Wonderlake

When my brain races with unhappy thoughts I need to slow it down…looking at water and fishing can be both entertaining and relaxing…and if I catch my golden fish I can ask for three wishes…

Wonderlake Fish

One of them is  to take a nice boat and  drift through this Wonderlake again…

Boat at Wonderlake

Hope my relaxation sketches helped you to catch some relaxation minutes during this weekend! I enjoyed sharing with you my deep thoughts, it was a real pleasure, my dear Friends! Stay in touch and have a productive and magical working week!

Yours Ann

P. S. I wonder what three wishes you can ask if you catch a golden fish? Looking forward to hearing you soon….