2018 Adventure session: Botanical

Botanical-3
La dee da

I have fallen in love with the Botanical Gardens in Meise. Located just northwest of Brussels, the garden rolls out before you on this huge property. There is a castle (obviously!), walking paths lines with flowers and a huge range of plant life, a small cafe and of course the highlight, the green house. The greenhouse was built in 1853 and contains a huge variety of plant species. Over 18,000 which represents 6% of the world’s know plant species. The collection is one of the biggest in the world and is organized by geography and environments including the African Savana, the jungle, the desert and on and one. If you think you are just going to show up and look at plants then you are in for a pleasant surprise. It really is a joy to explore.

Being in this gorgeous surrounding I could not help but be inspired. With luck, I am now in the process of organizing a very special Adventure session inside the green house. Dates to come. ūüôā I am happy to share some of our images from out last little adventure there. Looking at these pictures nearly gave me a heart attack. My god how these children have grown!

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In the jewel house
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Sweet and spiky ūüėČ
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Tropical
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The devilish one
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Mirror me
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Madame Butterfly
Botanical
Us three

 

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Fall is coming – fa la la la la

Kristin Zinggeler proofs-6
Just us

Yes! I love fall. Really, really love it. All the yummy things to eat that come from a fruitful harvest, Halloween dress-up, cozy sweaters, brilliant leaves and acorns. Of course, photographically, it doesn’t get much better. Belgium knows how to show off big time in the Autumn season and everywhere you go you can’t help but appreciate the riot of color.

I am just getting organized for the two fall Adventures (mini sessions). This year I will be holding “A Walk through Time” at the gorgeous Rouge Cloitre and “Sea of Leaves” in the iconic Parc Cinquintenaire. Stay tuned for dates next week. In the meantime, some of my favorite fall images of the last few years. Yum. ūüôā

Beams
Beams
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Tiny world
fall-3
Wreathe
Tessa Gonyea - sea of leaves - edited-30
Hanging out
Sarah Conners Sea of Leaves for websharing-9
The wonders of youth
Sarah Conners Sea of Leaves for websharing-4
Catch!
Sarah Conners Sea of Leaves for websharing
Imp
Roxana Laiu for websharing-19
Belle
Amy Harker 2015 for websharing-12
Float
Kristin Zinggeler for websharing-11
Coil
Heli Niit 2015 for websharing-7
Play
Anita Baldwin walk through time for websharing-14
Autumn’s frame
Anita Baldwin walk through time for websharing-9
Warm and cozy
Kristen Banks Card images-2
Tickle time!

Things to do with kids in Brussels: Gaze at the stars at the Planetarium

 

planetarium-3
Echo

Its space fever over here at Life of Bear & Dragon. Talk of planets, stars and trips to the moon have taken over dinner conversation and evening story time. Somehow, the fact that there is an actual Planetarium in the greater Atomium complex had escaped me, until now!

Though small, the Brussels Planetarium (aka the Planetarium of the Royal Observatory of Belgium) packs a fun punch for the 3+ set. The big draw is of course the large projection dome where you can watch a number of beautiful shows projected across the metaphorical heavens. Narrated through headphones in French, English and Flemish, it was both fascinating and impressive to watch. The kids loved it though if you go with an approximately 10 month old baby, he will try to crawl back inside you to safety. Best left with a second parent if possible. There is a schedule of shows on the website.  Check when your favorite will start before you go.

Apart from the projection, there were a surprising number of interactive activities such as a rotating globe delving into a range of topics from ocean currents, facts and visuals of the different planets and even climate change related topics. We also rode a “space bike” between the planets and drove the Mars Rover.

Overall it was a really fun outing. I can see us heading there a couple of times per year and the kids getting something new out of it each time. If you have a fellow space head on your hands, it is for sure worth the trip! And with the highly realistic summer heat, a nice place to cool down and learn something new. Bon voyage space invaders!

Where: Avenue de Bouchout 10, 1020 Bruxelles. Right in the shadow of the Atomium but with its own parking.

When:
– Monday to Friday from 9 am to 5 pm
– Weekends, public holidays and school holidays from 10 am to 5 pm

How much: For individuals:
-Adult: 8 ‚ā¨
-Child, student, senior: 7 ‚ā¨

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Voyager
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Global
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Just a little space cruide
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War of the worlds
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Hmm, about as interesting as my right foot
planetarium
Its criminal what those space helmets do it your hair.
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The heavenly dome
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Space

A day in the life: Wild and Free

elemental
Pathway

I used to not like the wind. Restless making and loud. It was a strong cue to make tea, hop in bed and wait it out. Now, wind means more. It means movement and freshening. A whipping sea of summer stems, raw and elemental. Inspiration. And I let this inspiration take me to the swaying fields just a few minutes away for a little fun with my crew of adventureers.

Just this week, my long awaited new camera arrived! I have already been blown away by the power of the the newest member of the canon family, the 5D Mark IV. I can’t wait for this weekend’s sessions to keep on playing!

Do you love this location? Looking for something a little out of the ordinary, a little wild and free? I am looking forward to holding some sessions here this summer. Gorgeous setting for family, maternity or a love session. Especially to catch the lovely evening light. Contact me at bearanddragonphotography@gmail.com to book your Wild and Free session.

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Lead
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Strong
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Filous
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The mighty
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Stride
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Boys
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Breezy
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Escape
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Open
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Hide and seek
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Float

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Apple of our eye
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Possibilities
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Bounce
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Earnest

Happy birthday (merry christmas) to my little man! aka the bunny sessions

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Happy birthday bunny rabbit

Its better late than never, no? Second baby guilt was setting in over a month after Babatwo’s first birthday came and went and still no photo session. Sorry little man! So I took a pause from my business editing schedule  (you know who you are) and had a blast with my little man playing with some Christmas goodies, laughing and carrying on like we do.

Ah my little man, you are such a big personality. Like momma in so many ways and sure to be a driving force in our family. Love you more than words bunny rabbit!

Peep
Peep
Snuggle with me
Snuggle with me
Yeah!
Yeah!
Berries
Berries
Angel cheeks
Angel cheeks
Eeeee
Eeeee
All of my heart
All of my heart

First look: Iconic Brussels session with Tori and Beckett

On an adventure
On an adventure

Brussels is a crossroads. People are coming and going all the time whether on short or long-term assignments. The fact of people turnover is unavoidable! For many, Brussels is an experience, an adventure and especially so if you bring or start your family here. Here are the parks we played in, this is the house we lived in, these are the streets we walked each day. No matter where you came from or where you go, Brussels touches you forever.

So not surprising that many people contact me to immortalize their Brussels experience during a photo session in an iconic Brussels location. When Tori reached out recently, we kicked around a few ideas but ultimately settled on Place Royale which has a truly gorgeous view over Brussels. Also up for celebration was Beckett’s big #4 birthday. Cheers!

We beat the tourists with a 9 am start and had a fantastic time running (literally) all over the surrounding park, stairs and fountain. Beckett was a blast and absolutely one of the sweetest boys I have ever worked it. We made a jolly trio indeed. ūüôā Great location, great weather and great subjects. Enjoy!

Happy birthday boy
Happy birthday boy
In good company
In good company
Hide and seek
Hide and seek
Up and up
Up and up
Your reflection
Your reflection
From the heart
From the heart
Running
Running
At the crossroads
At the crossroads

Things to do with a toddler or child in Brussels: Harvest at Marie’s Garden

Marie's Garden-8
Sprouts – obviously

If you have been following along with this blog, you might have noted my almost unhealthy preoccupation with the changing of seasons. Apart from the transitions of light quality, I would say the thing I look forward to the most is the coming and going of favorite seasonal fruits and veggies. After many a nudge, I¬†finally¬†managed to get myself and the littles out to Marie’s Garden in Overijse to get our hands dirty and take part in the bountiful harvest of fall.

A beautiful day and such a wonderful time wandering the 10 hectares of land. We discovered so many of our favorites. Butternut squash, late summer raspberries, rhubarb, leeks, gigantic sunflowers and of course PUMPKINS! When you arrive, you get a simple set of instructions: harvest where you see a sign, no eating in the fields (oops!) and off you go with your wheel barrow, bags and scissors.

In addition to having a great time in the fields, I was truly in awe of the beauty of the surroundings. So inspired that I am now in the process of confirming (fingers crossed)¬†Marie’s Garden as a very special¬†photo session location. It will likely be an upcoming Sunday this October. Drop me a note if you would like to take part.

Either way, either by bus or car, find your way to this slice of heaven and partake in the many splendors of fall.

Where: Marie’s Garden:¬†Valkenweg 116,¬†3090 Overijse,¬†Belgium (just 10 minutes outside of Brussels)

When:

– Mon : closed
–¬†Tue : 13.30¬†– 17.00
–¬†Wed : 13.30 – 17.00
–¬†Thu : 13.30 – 17.00
–¬†Fri : 13.30 – 17.00
– Sat : 10.30 – 17.00
– Sun : 10.30 – 16.00

Pumpkin girl
Pumpkin girl
Hard work
Hard work
Belgian gothic
Belgian gothic
A touch of home in the golden poppies
A touch of home in the golden poppies
Make a wish
Make a wish
Jewel
Jewel
Sunshine
Sunshine
My two

My two
A day's harvest
A day’s harvest

You’re Two!

 

 

zoe 2-7
The look

My, my how time flies. My little darling bababoo is TWO. She amazes me every day with her fun spirit, artistic flare, commitment to yellow and pink clothes. She is my joy, my inspiration and the giver of all my future grey hairs. Here are some snaps to celebrate her second birthday. Love you dear!

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Everything is coming up tulips
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I ordered roses…
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Blooms
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Lets get out of here
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Seated
Image
Where the looks come from