A walk in a lavender field

Hello friends!

This year was not the best, we all know it. Early in winter I planned to visit a lot of beautiful places in nature, but that was definitely not possible because of lock down and I missed all the wild flowers of spring. Hopefully next year we will live happier times and things will go back to normal. Everything we know we can have for free, it can be taken away by night, so it’s important and necessary to became more grateful.

In a much happier note, I want to share with you some photos from one of my first road trips after lock down. I went to visit a lavender field here in Romania. It’s not like the ones you can find in Provence, but for the Romanian climate, the lavender was very well grown. Also, after so many days spent in the house, this trip was like a visit to heaven. There is not much to say about it, words can’t describe the beauty and the feeling that you have in a lavender field after so many days with no contact with nature. The smell is divine and the atmosphere is like a fairy tale, I couldn’t get enough of it.

My favorite thing about this flower is that it has a powerful meaning beside its beneficial properties that are very well known. Lavender flowers represent purity, silence, devotion serenity, grace and calmness. Also, its purple color comes with great symbolism. Purple is the color of royalty and speaks of elegance, refinement and luxury. The color purple is also associated with the crown chakra, which is the energy center associated with higher purpose and spiritual connectivity. After a walk in a lavender field, I can tell that all your ‘batteries’ are fully charged, personally I felt better mentally and spiritually. Sometimes a simple thing like a bouquet of lavender is enough to feel a bit better. I hope you are all healthy and happy.

Elderflower cordial-traditional recipe

Hello friends! It’s summer and finally the weather is warm again, so it’s the perfect time for a fresh homemade drink. Today, I will show you my favorite spring/summer drink, the traditional recipe of Elderflower cordial.

Elderflower cordial is a soft drink, made from Elderflowers (Sambucus nigra) perfect for a hot summer day. People from North Western Europe may know this recipe very well, it’s common in this region, easy to make and that’s why people still do it in the traditional way. It’s one of a kind drink because the real taste can’t be replaced by chemicals, so I personally choose the natural one over those artificial. This drink was popular in Victorian times and nowadays can be found in almost all the former Roman Empire territory, predominantly in England, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Romania, Hungary and Slovakia. For me this drink taste like childhood because my grandma used to make it every year and now I make it myself keeping alive the family tradition. For those who do not know about this drink, I hope you will find it interesting and if you tried it, please tell me what you think.

Grandma’s Elderflower cordial recipe

Ingrediants: 3 l water; 300 gr sugar; 6 fresh Elderflowers (8 dried flowers); 2 lemons

Preparation: Mix the water and sugar, add the lemon juice and a few slices of lemons. Finally you need to add the flowers, mix them slowly and let the mixture for two days in the sun light, in a big jar. You can make more or less the quantity, but keep the proportion 1 l water and 100 gr sugar. Very simple, very easy to make and taste deliciouse! Enjoy!

La Vie en Rose

Hello friends! I hope you are still here. I know that it’s been a long time since my last post on this blog, but now I’m back and ready to post again more often. For those who are new here and do not know me, I will tell you a few words about myself and my blog.

My name is Adela and I am a biologist. My passion for nature started a long time ago, when I was a kid and since then never stopped. I love to spend time in the woods, hiking and enjoy nature in all its shapes. Over time, this passion and curiosity about microorganisms, plants, animals and wild life has turned into study and ongoing research. Now, I’m a biologist in love with everything that this world can give us. Biology is not just a science, it’s everything that surrounds us and defines us as living beings. The study of life is the most amazing thing for me to do and because I love it so much I decided to share with you what I know or what I’m about to learn. This was the start of my blog and the goal was to write interesting articles and make as many photos as I can, to show you the beauty of nature and the mysteries of wild life.

Now, things are changed and I want to create something else. Beside biology, I’m very passionate about painting and art in general, also I love to study history, to read, travel and cook. Because in the past some of you asked me to create articles in personal manner, not just from my biologist point of view, I decided to reorganize my blog and transform it into a journal. So, I invite you here, once in a while, to read about nature curiosities, art, history, recipes and many more.

I now that everyone got through some difficult times in the past few months, I’m very conscious about the problems that this world is facing right now, but I don’t want to talk about this. On my page you will never find articles about personal opinions on politics, religion or social issues. All I want is to create a media platform where everyone can relax and see the beauty of this world not the dark side of it. I personally need a place where I can be myself and where I can write about everything that goes through my mind. So, I imagine this blog as a cozy living room where we can drink a cup of tea or coffee and talk about interesting subjects. I hope you will follow me on this new journey!

I named the new version of this blog ‘La Vie en Rose’ because no matter what, we can still see the light and the ‘life in pink’!!! Also, as a celebration of reopening the blog I will show you some photos with roses from my garden.

See you soon!

The power of Sage

Hello friends! This will be the last article of this year and because it is the last one before Christmas holidays, I wanted to make it special, interesting and magical to fit with beautiful winter season. I will write you about the history of sage, the beneficial properties of this plant and some of its secrets and magical powers.

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Salvia officinalis or Sage, it is a herb used by people all over the world for different purposes. Actually, a perennial, evergreen shrub, with woody stems, grayish leaves, and blue to purplish flowers. It is native to the Mediterranean region, but it has naturalized in many places throughout the world. Since ancient times, this plant was used to treat different disease, as spice for food or tea and it was used in magical cleansing rituals as well. It was consumed only for its minty taste and fresh perfume or it really has beneficial properties for body and soul? We are just about to find out.

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The scientific name of this plant tell as almost everything about it. `Salvia` came from the Latin word `salvare` which mean salvation or healing and `officinalis` refers to the plant’s medicinal use, the `officina` was the traditional storeroom of a monastery where herbs and medicines were stored. The sage was first used more than 5000 years ago and since then people take advantage over its beneficial because they are real. Ancient Egyptians mostly used it as a remedy for infertility, but could also be used in the treatment of serious diseases and epidemics like the plague. The Romans referred to sage as the `holy herb` because they said it was good for everything. Also, this plant is known as a plant that gives eternal life. According to the legend, the Virgin Mary hid with the small baby Jesus in the sage bush during the fight to Egypt from Herod. Even today sage is one of the plants that is dedicated to Our Lady when celebrating the Day of Assumption. It is also believed that this plant can protect us against magic, fire and hail, as well in easing the birth and conception.

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Sage is one of the oldest and most important medicinal plants, all ancient medical writers mentioned it in their writings. Beside the legends, myths, magical rituals and old stories, this herb has some special properties for sure, and they are been proved by scientists. This medicinal plant has an incredibly broad spectrum of activity that is very nice described in this old axiom originated in Salerno that says: “Cur moriatur homo, cui salvia crescit in horto?” = “Why should a man die, whilst Sage grows in his garden?”. So, the most important properties of sage are: powerful anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial and anti fungal activity, powerful antioxidant and probably the best cleanser and stimulant of the lymph, boosts circulation and acts as an expectorant, great hormonal regulator (especially in womenbecause of its estrogen-like activity), lipolytic, astringent and antispasmodic action, has good analgesic effects and so much more. Also, The latest research has shown that sage reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and improves memory.

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The most interesting thing about this plant is that was known not only as a medicinal herb, but as a sacred plant as well. In many cultures this plant was used for cleansing rituals. The native Americans, Celtic people, Romans, Egyptians and many more used this plant in the practice of the sacred ritual of Salvia apiana or white sage. This ancient solemn ceremony comprises the ignition of a bunch of dried leaves of sage, to improve the overall well-being by clearing the environment from any negative energy, purify or bless people, calm stress, fight anxiety, sadness, and clean crystals. Probably this ritual is the most known magical ceremony, maybe because it actually works and it has a scientific explication. Because sage has antimicrobial properties, its smoke helps the air purifying from some microorganisms that might be in the atmosphere. Of course, as a biologist, I can say that for this process to work it is needed a lot of sage and smoke, and we don’t want that in the house, but if you burn sometimes few leaves of sage, the minty perfume will make your room feel fresh and clean.

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I can’t tell that all of the information about sage, found on internet and different articles is true, but I can tell you that I tried the sage tea and I felt very good after. The taste is very fresh and it helps the digestive system to work well, also this tea is good for the hair. Clean your hair with sage tea and soon will look really shiny and healthy. Sage is a really special herb and it must be something magical about it because too many physicians and biologists wrote about it through the centuries. What I forgot to tell you is that the symbols of this herb is wisdom and immortality, I think the conclusion is obvious.

I wish you all a beautiful winter and magical holidays!

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The Art of Japanese Bonsai

The Art of Japanese Bonsai is well known, they are very popular all over the world these days, but I feel like there history and symbolism is kind of left behind. Many people have in their home a bonsai tree as a decorative plant, but very few of them know exactly what is the meaning of it and what spiritual benefits brings to their home. The bonsai is one of the most authentic connection between the nature, art and spirituality in Japanese culture. bonsai-3125722_640Bonsai utilizes horticultural techniques along with artistic applications to cultivate miniature replicas of trees as they’re found in nature. The tradition has been refined over the last millennium to reflect the aesthetic qualities found in nature through balance, simplicity and harmony. The bonsai tree is not just a decorative plant, is a true form of art with deep and powerful meaning. In Japanese culture, people use the bonsai tree to worship the connection between the man and nature. bonsai-62862_640The Bonsai tree symbolize patience, balance, and harmony. Also, age plays a significant role in the aesthetics of a bonsai tree. The characteristics of the tree’s roots, trunk and branches symbolize different stages of life. The balance is very important in a bonsai aesthetics. The shape of a triangle is used in overall design because this shape symbolizes strength and stability. There are a variety of styles and types of bonsai and each one has a distinct meaning and symbol, each small detail sends a message that contributes to the larger story found in the ongoing creation. Even the container and the accessories are carefully chosen to represent the hues found in nature. In conclusion, a bonsai is more than a tree, is a form of fine art that can express the story of a lifetime.

Source:https://www.bonsaitreegardener.net/,https://www.bonsaiboy.com/,https://pixabay.com/bonsai-3125721_640I would like to end this article by introduce you to my new oil painting, called Japanese Bonsai. I feel like this painting combines very well two beautiful forms of art with the love for nature. 20191019_160151[945].jpg

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Scarisoara Ice Cave

Hello friends! Today I present you another beautiful and unique place that I have visited this summer. The Scarisoara Cave is located in Apuseni Mountains, Transylvania, Romania and it is the biggest ice cave in these mountains.

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To get to the cave you need to walk like 15 min in the woods, from the parking place

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The entrance of the cave

The cave is known as a glacier cave because it is formed on top of a big glacier (ice block). The cave is located at an altitude of approximately 1,150 m. The entrance shaft, gives access through metal stairs to a large chamber, the Great Hall, which includes an ice cliff nearly 18 m tall, which overlooks a pool called the Pool of Ice. The ice within the cave has an estimated volume of 75,000 cubic meters, the temperature is up to +1 °C in the summer and down to -7 °C in the winter, but in the part for tourists the average temperature is around 0 °C.

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The Great Hall

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The Church – chamber decked with ice stalagmites a few meters long

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The landscape is very unique because the external walls of the cave are covered in earth moose and wild flowers and as you go down the stairs you can feel the cold of ice and the grass gets covered in snow, even if outside are 30°C. The atmosphere is so fresh and the view is magical, like out of this world. Personally, I’ve never experienced something like this before, but to get the real feeling you have to visit this place at least ones in a lifetime.

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I hope you enjoyed this little travel story about Scarisoara Cave. I wish you a very nice week!

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The kites garden-A legendary place

Hello friends! It’s been a while since I wrote you something, I hope you are still here because I have an interesting travel story for you. This summer I visited many beautiful places and I’m going to show you some of them in the following blog posts. Today I’m telling you about a legendary place in Romania, not very well-known, called The kites garden.gradina zmeilor (3)The kites garden is a natural protected reservation, located in Salaj county, Transylvania. This `garden` is a forest where we can find groups of giant stones with irregular shapes. They were formed in many years by the water, wind and different natural phenomens. This place is unique for our country and because of that, local people gave interesting and funny names for each stone in the forest and some legends, as well. Now, I invite you to walk with me in the garden and meet the beautiful and magical `kites`.gradina zmeilor (1)gradina zmeilor (5)gradina zmeilor (6)The pathway in this forest is really interesting because the ground is covered in sand. This environment was formed thraugh many years and this sand was formed because of the water that washed the stones every year. It is not an actual sand, is more like a calcarose mud which creates a unique pathway in the forest. At the end of this path, we will find the giant stones (the giant kites). From the edge of the cliff it can be seen ` The Kite and the Kitees (the kite and his wife)`. The legends said that this is the home of the kites and also the place where the kites bring young girls which were stolen from their parents.

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The Kite and the Kitees

Going further in the woods, we will find a path full of a beautiful and very big kind of fern. On this fern are hidden little animals like the common lizard which you can see if you’re quiet because they can get scared very easy. Following this path, it leads us to other two giant stones, called `The monks`. This place is like a desert in a forest, all of the trees are grounded in sand and between the stones we can walk through a tiny path with no vegetation only chalk and rocks.gradina zmeilor (9)gradina zmeilor (7)gradina zmeilor (10)

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The monks

gradina zmeilor (11)There are many stones in this reservation with different names that local people gave them, like The Catana Girl, Old man, The Captain, Eva, The Thumb, The Sphinx, but we had a short time to visit this garden, and we couldn`t find all of them. Maybe next time I will show you multiple images. I hope you like this little hike in a beautiful and wild region of Romania.Watermark in Full Color

 

 

 

 

The power of Marigolds

Hello friends! Today I invite you in my garden and kitchen to find out the secret power of Marigolds and how to use it.

The Marigold (Calendula officinalis) is a very common flower in Europe, that grows almost everywhere. Calendulas are considered by many gardening experts as among the easiest and most versatile flowers to grow in a garden, especially because they tolerate most soils. In temperate climates, seeds are sown in spring for blooms that last throughout the summer and well into the fall. The Latin specific epithet from its name, officinalis, refers to the plant’s medical and herbal uses.

20190720_142015.jpgCalendula was named by the ancient Romans, who observed that the plant was in bloom on the first day (Latin: kalends) of every month. They looked upon the plants nonstop-blooming as a symbol of joy, and cultivated it in their gardens to spread happiness. Ancient Egyptians valued it as a rejuvenating herb and in India they are used to decorating temple altars. During the American Civil War, doctors on the battlefield used the flowers on a large scale to treat open wounds. It proved effective as an antiseptic, staunching the bleeding, preventing infection, and speeding the healing of wounds. Today, this plant is still used in many ways, mostly in pharmaceutical industry and I will show you how to use them at home.galbenele 1Marigold oil recipe

The marigold oil is used for multiple purposes, such as healing wounds, skin allergies, sun protection, acne.  Basically, calendula oil is an alternative remedy to treat various skin conditions as well as improve the quality and appearance of the skin. This oil is alsovery easy to make at home.

galbenele 6Ingredients: dried marigold flowers and regular sunflower oil (optional you can use olive oil or grapeseed oil)

All you have to do is to put some dried flowers in a glass jar and cover them with sunflower oil (1/2 flowers, 1/2 oil). Then let this composition in direct sunlight for 7-14 days. When the infusion is done, keep the oil in a dried and cold room.

Marigold cream recipe

Now, that you have the marigold oil, lets use it to create a special cream with many beneficial uses. You will want this cream in your house, because as my grandma used to say `it is good for everything`. Personally, I use this cream especially in winter for skin as a cold protection, for open small wounds because it has natural astringent and antibiotic properties and also, I use it as a lip balm and let me tell you, is the best you will ever try. As the oil, this cream is very easy to make and you will need only natural organic products. There are two recipes, one is a very old one used by most of our grannies and the other one is a new-ish recipe with more ingredients. I prefer using the second one because is no needed to boil the ingredients and in this way are kept all the natural properties.

galbenele 9Ingredients (old recipe): 500 gr lard, 5-10 cups marigolds (not dried). The ingredients are mixed together and boil for 20 min, after that you put the whole composition is some small jars and keep it in a cold room, maybe in the fridge (6-12 month).

galbenele 8Ingredients (new recipe): 100 ml marigold oil, 20 gr bee wax, 5 gr honey, lavender essential oil; Optional: olive/ grapes/ argan oil, coconut/ cocoa butter, essential oils (different flavors), just keep in mind you have to put 20% bee wax. Also, you will need some small containers (glass jars or recycled empty cream container). Now, lets make this cream together.

galbenele 10First you need to prepare a `bain marie`. In a pot with boiling water I put a ceramic dish on a large cookie cutter as a support (you can make any improvisation you like). After that I put the first two ingredients, the oil and the bee wax. When they are melted and mixed together is time to put the honey and a few drops of lavender oil. We put lavender oil not only for its flavor and scent, but for its beneficial too, this oil is a natural antibiotic and also, anti-fungal which means that prevent the cream composition to mold. Mix everything well and put the composition in the containers. You need to work fast because the bee wax strengthens rapidly. The cream is done, now you can keep it in a cold place for 6-12 months and use it as you wish.galbenele 15I hope you liked making creams with me and until the next time, I invite you to enjoy a cup of Marigold tea with honey and lemon (is the best)!

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New oil paintings – Tropical collection

Hello friends! This summer I was very creative and managed to finish my first oil painting collection. I chose to create a tropical collection because summer inspires me the most and I love the fresh and vibrant colors of a tropical beach and rainforest. So, I will present you today, 5 oil painting that I created with all my heart.

  1. Plumeria dream – Is an impressionistic flower painting and represents the plumeria flowers. You may know this flower by the name Frangipani and it is native to Central America. Is one of my favorite tropical flower and the one that inspired the entire collection. I wanted to paint this flower because is unique, delicate and interesting. I wrote an article about this beautiful flower some time ago, if you want, you can check this link: Plumeria. The symbolic meaning of this flower and painting is: new beginning, new life, charm, gracefulness, beauty.

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    Plumeria dream – Limited edition, no. 1/5, Size: 24×18 cm (9,5×7 in)
  2. Sunset on the Island – This painting is one of my favorites. Everyone asked me why I keep painting these palm trees. These paintings are images of a dream. I love to travel and my dream is to visit a Caribbean Island some day. I had a vision of my self standing under a palm tree on a tropical beach at sunset and every time I think what to paint next, the only image I had for the first time in my head is a palm tree. Also, the palm tree symbolize honor, truth, value, vitality, protection, fertility, resurrection, aspiration.

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    Sunset on the Island – Limited edition, no. 2/5, Size: 40×30 cm (15,7×11,8 in)
  3. Hawaiian hibiscus – This flower is also named Chinese rose and is native to West Asia. It`s a very common plant that grows almost everywhere, and they have multiple colors. I chose to paint it because even if it`s an exotic plant, I grew up with it and always reminds me of home. In culture this plant symbolize true love, sincerity and long term relationships. If you like to see more pictures with this beautiful plant, check this article: Hibiscus

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    Hawaiian hibiscus – Limited edition, no. 3/5, Size: 24×18 cm (9,5×7 in)
  4. The bird of paradise – This flower is named Strelitzia or The bird of paradise, because it looks like a bird with the head down and opened wings. The birds of paradise are well-known for there beautiful colors, but none of the looks like this plant, the name was just a figurative form. The flower is originated in California and it`s the official flower of Los Angeles city and it is also the official flower for a ninth wedding anniversary.

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    The bird of paradise – Limited edition, no. 4/5, Size: 16×16 cm (6,3×6,3 in)
  5. Toucan – The last painting from the tropical collection is a beautiful exotic bird. We can find this bird in the Amazonian rainforest and this is a `true` paradise bird. This creature represents communication and self-confidence since this bird is one of the noisiest and loudest creature of the forest.

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    Toucan – Limited edition, no. 5/5, Size: 18×13 cm (7×5 in)

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7 interesting facts about Lily

Lily is a flowering plant that belongs to the family Liliaceae. The Lilium genus, from this family, has 80 species of bulbous plants that are generally hardy and few species require the protection of a greenhouse. In the wild, lilies are found in a broad zone encircling the Northern Hemisphere. The flower of a lily has 6 petals with prominent stamens, which makes this flower really easy to study by the botanists. Flowers are available in different tones of colors from white to dark red, except blue.

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7 things you might not know about lilies:

  1. Some species (Lilium brownii, Lilium pumilum and Lilium dauricum) have edible bulbs.  They are cultivated for food in Asia, specifically in China, Korea and Japan.
  2. We can find many colors of lilies and some of them have different color tones on the same petal. Often we can see some dots in a darker tone than the rest of petal, these dots are called simply `freckles`.
  3. Lilies have different meanings all over the world. The Chinese believe they bring good luck, whilst in the Assyrian civilization, they were considered to be a holy flower. Greeks associates the lily with motherhood and Christians believe this flower to represent chastity and innocence.Lily (5)Lily (3)
  4. There are many kinds of flowers which have been called “lilies” but many of these such as the day-lily, water-lily, and arum-lily, actually belong to other groups of flowering plants.
  5. In history is said that the Greek God Apollo presented the Lily of the Valley to Aesculapius, the great healer. Today, a number of lily species have health beneficial properties, and certain species contain compounds that are used in medicine. These medicines treat depression, heart disease, angina and anxiety. Additionally, many parts of the world use them to treat a variety of other illnesses, usually in the form of an essential oils or balms. Beauty-wise, certain extracts from the lily can brighten the skin and reduce scars.
  6. Lilies have an extremely long vase life, this can be increased even further by removing the pollen found in the flower. Those who choose to display the lily in their office or homes should embrace this tip.
  7. This plant is highly toxic for some animals. Even small amount of pollen can induce poisoning and can be deadly, especially for cats.

Lily (2)Lily (1)If you want to find out more information or see more pictures, there is another article on my blog about the lilies. Check this link and use the translation button from the right corner of the page: Fleur de lisWatermark in Full Color

Source: Encyclopedia of Garden plants and Flowers by Richard C. & co.