Waterlogue Wednesdays: Signs of Spring in Paris

Julia Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Waterlogue, watercolor, France, Paris, florist Paris, fleuriste Paris, Julie Willard
Julia Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Waterlogue, watercolor, France, Paris, grand mostuée de Paris,  Julie Willard
Julia Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Waterlogue, watercolor, France, Paris, Julie Willard, Jardin des Planes

A few days ago, I passed through Paris ever so quickly, but still managed to see some signs of Spring throughout the city. I have been so aware of the warm weather and it’s inevitable effect on the upcoming Spring blooms, that I planned all my walks around my favorite blossoming trees, just so I could be sure to return in time to see them explode with color.

Images brought to you by moi and Waterlogue.

Thankful Thursdays – Blossoms

Julia Willard Falling Off Bicycles photography
There’s nothing to analyze today. I just wish to celebrate the pure beauty that is Spring blossoms. Yes, they are especially beautiful with the lace of the ironwork on the Eiffel Tower or a charming Parisian façade in the background, but they are also astonishing beautiful sitting gently on each branch as they do. Spring always helps me appreciate the present moment and the incredibly beauty that surrounds us at every turn. We need only pause and reflect on it.

Spring won’t let me stay in this house any longer! I must get out and breathe the air deeply again.
~ Gustav Mahler

Thankful Thursdays – Springtime ~ Paris Version

It’s probably no mystery by now that we are currently in my favorite season. I’ve well established how much I love bright colors and flowers. But there’s also the feeling of the world coming back to life that gives so much more to love about this beautiful season. Spring is a time of rebirth, a time to nurture the small seedlings of wishes and goals you planted within the last few months. Everything in nature follows a patter; it’s only right that we do the same and bring our best selves to the world at this time!

“I am following Nature without being able to grasp her, I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers.”

~ Claude Monet

Thankful Thursdays – Observing Nature Take its Course



A few years back, I discovered the most spectacular tree I had every laid eyes on in the Jardin des Plantes. I visited this tree several days in a row, as it was such a marvelous sight to see. Although these photos look just like a dormant tree, make no mistake – in a few weeks this tree will burst into glorious splendor, and the photos I will share will blow your mind on what nature is capable of. I promise I’m not trying to be hyperbolic; I really think this tree is positively spectacular, even as it readies itself to blossom (both literally and figuratively). Just wait!

So thankful to get to see what Nature will bring us every Spring, and to appreciate the nurturing of the plant as well as the fruit, itself.

M. Mauvais, My New Friend

A couple of weeks ago I wanted to check on my favorite tree, so I headed off to Jardin des Plantes in the 5th arrondissement. It was a Saturday, so the garden was bustling with children playing about, gardeners sowing new seeds, and people strolling through enjoying the beautiful day. When I can’t get my preferred shots with no people in them – or at least only unidentifiable people in them – I like to look for interesting characters that I can get to enjoy taking a few shots or to sneak of few.

falling off bicycles

Well, that particular day, I found a charming looking man sitting alone on a bench facing the Galerie de Botanique. He had two props in his hands that only added to his charm. I snuck a few shots his way, then quickly turned toward something else to make it look like I was shooting all kinds of things. And indeed I was, I just preferred him as my subject. He looked toward me once or twice and I thought I was surely busted. As I turned to start walking in away, he approached me and struck up a conversation with me. He said he had seen me taking photos in that direction, pointing toward the galerie, and wondered if I knew what was over there. Was I interested in knowing more about a “curiosity” over there? Of course I was!


As we walked slowly over to the section of the large boulder sized rocks, I listened to him tell me about how the one we were headed for was made of talc and did I know that talcum powder comes from a rock? As we toured through that section of the garden, he told me that he was 92 years old, lives in “à deux pas” from the garden and he often came here on nice days. It was clear to me that he did indeed frequent this place, as his knowledge about the trees and plants and rocks was pretty astounding. When he used a word I wasn’t familiar with, I gave myself up as being une américaine, he informed me that just inside the newly opened Galerie there was a giant sequoia tree from the United States. Concerned that his was bothering me with all this information, he kept asking if I had someplace to be. Indeed I did have loose plans in a little bit, but his company and enthusiasm for everything in this garden had me hooked. He invited me to the Galerie de Botanique, where he showed me all kinds of interesting things I wouldn’t have paid attention to otherwise.

falling off bicycles             sequoia

Eventually he took me to the library across the street to see the view over the gardens. Although the trees weren’t in bloom yet, I was thankful to know about this rather secret spot to shoot from above. So often I find myself looking for a new angle for a shot that is very beautiful but that has been done a million times already. I’m so happy we met and that I got it from a 5ème local.

magnolia fallingoffbicycles


Signs of Spring

Falling Off BicyclesI didn’t go to Jardin des Plantes for the first couple of years I lived in Paris; it just wasn’t on my radar at all. One Spring a few years ago, I went there with my boyfriend only to come across the most beautiful display of Springtime glory I have ever seen. While it may sound hyperbolic to make such a claim, I would invite and encourage you to make a point to be in Paris for early to mid-Spring some year to see what I’m talking about. Paris has flowering trees all across the city, and timing is of course key when it comes to these things – especially if you wish to see the magnolia trees, which bloom early on and for a short period of time.

When I got there, I was somewhat relieved to see that the tree was not yet in bloom, but the buds were showing signs of soon being ready to burst open. There is something truly magical about seeing nature in its rebirth stage; for me it’s the most wonderful season as it welcomes us to contemplate the power that brings us all life. Naturally, being intrigued with this state of being, I shot lots of bud photos. Enjoy!

Falling Off Bicycles

Falling Off Bicycles