The Changing Seasons – August 2019


It’s time again for the wonderful challenge The Changing Seasons hosted by my dear friend Su from Zimmerbitch!


First of all I want to apologize for having been quite absent from blogging and for not having visited all your wonderful blogs as much as I wanted to.

The reason for this is that I’m dealing with some rather annoying tinnitus since the beginning of this month. Frankly it’s more than just annoying, it’s terrible.

I used to have troubles with that during my years at university, and there’s more or less always a tiny bit of it going on in my ears but at a minimum level which doesn’t bother me this much.

But this one is one hell of a tinnitus – it’s a very load buzz or drone, like a fat fly or wasp trapped inside your ear, that heavily interrupts my power to concentrate on things and that keeps me from falling asleep at night.

It more or less feels like you’re on a continues battle throughout the day, that starts as soon as you wake up and won’t leave you until fatigue finally wins over.

I’ve been to an ENT specialist but there’s not much that they can do. There are multiple possibilities for its cause, the most likely being tension problems with my jaw and neck. Since I’m already wearing a night guard because of my tendency to gnash my teeth when I’m sleeping there’s not much else that I can do except for some stretching and strengthening exercises that so far failed to help.

My only refuge is to distract myself from the noise going on in my ear by either putting the telly on, listening to the radio or audio books on my MP3 player. Funnily putting in earplugs at night also helps a bit, although the source of my tinnitus comes from within.


Means to help me with my tinnitus (August 2019)


As you can imagine, I haven’t been much creative as a result this month, managing only one small pencil drawing:


Portrait of a Lady (pencil on paper; August 2019)


What I did however manage is practicing daily on my new digital piano that I got myself as a reward for having repaired my washing machine in July. 🙂

The last time I played somewhat regularly was about 8 years ago, so I’m still a little rusty. But it’s getting better on a daily basis and the most important thing is that I’m having so much fun at it!


My new digital piano (August 2019)


I also went a lot to the Berlin Zoo to make the most of my running out annual ticket and were really lucky to make some nice shots of the animals and their visitors.


This laughing elephant welcomed me one day and I couldn’t help but had to smile back. (Berlin Zoo August 2019)


Berlin is the only zoo in Germany that keeps not only one but two pandas! They’ve grown quite a bit over the last year and weigh about 90 kilos now.


Jiao Qing, the male panda, having an early lunch (August 2019)


And there are awesome news to share: Meng Meng (which means “Little Dream”), the female panda is pregnant!! So we can look forward to some cute baby panda pics in the near future. 😉


As you can see, pandas don’t just eat the soft bamboo leaves but also like to gnaw on the big stalks (August 2019) 


Jiao Qing (which means “Darling”) looks a bit like he’s picking his teeth in this one, don’t you think? 😉 (August 2019)


Other animals like the sloth, who even though they’ve got some mighty claws are not dangerous, get sometimes fed by hand.


Sloth stretching to reach a leaf of dandelion (August 2019)


I had a feeling those two would have loved for the window to disappear…


Orangutan and baby in touching distance (August 2019)


We can all use a helping hand from time to time…


Can you give me a lift? -Sure, no problem! (August 2019)


This Asian Black Bear looked like he was daydreaming…

… or simply posing for my camera. 😉

Asian Black Bear (August 2019)


These visitors were waiting for the hippos to peak out of the water.


Reflections (August 2019)


But instead they were gliding gently and silently underneath it:


Eye to eye with a hippo (August 2019)


This vulture seemed to like me, we were having a little tête-a-tête through the fence and he let me take lovely close-ups. Isn’t he/she a beauty?


Eye to eye with a Griffon vulture (August 2019)


Admittedly it has been very dry this year but no, this is not a sign of the drought but simply the vultures’ lunch and dinner. 😉


Picked to the bones (August 2019)


And here’s proof that you simply can’t watch monkeys and don’t want to join their party…


Little boy trying to imitate the monkeys he was watching (August 2019)




If you’re interested in participating, here are the guidelines for The Changing Seasons Challenge:

The Changing Seasons Version One (photographic):

  • Each month, post 5-20 photos in a gallery that you feel represent your month
  • Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots.
  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so that others can find them

The Changing Seasons Version Two (you choose the format):

  • Each month, post a photo, recipe, painting, drawing, video, whatever that you feel says something about your month
  • Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!
  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so others can find them.

If you do a ping-back to Su´s original monthly post, she can update it with links to yours.




Published by Sarah

Artist & Illustrator

75 thoughts on “The Changing Seasons – August 2019

    1. Thanks so much! 🙏💕 I knew you’d love the orang utan. 😉
      Tinnitus is still there unfortunately but at least it’s less loud at times. 😊


    1. Thank you!! 😀 Yes, the pandas must be really happy here. 😉 They do have a very lovely enclosure, very large with lots of hiding places, little river beds… honestly it looks a bit like paradise! 😀 You must come to Berlin and visit the Panda twins!! 😉 Happy weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. So sorry to hear you suffer from tinnitus and it’s a loud this time round 😦 Some things there really isn’t a straightforward cure or solution. Everyone’s body and health is different, and we each respond to treatments in different ways. I hope you find something to minimise it, and best it just goes aways on its own. You won’t believe it, but I have that exact Sony MP3 player in your photo 😀 I have been using it almost everyday for so long now and it’s so amazing. It’s a bit old and I don’t think they sell it anymore here.

    That looked like a nice trip to Berlin Zoo. Great shots all round – wideshots, close ups, photos of visitors, seems like you were taking everything in 🙂 My favourite would have to be the monkeys trying to climb up over the rocks 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Mabel. Still buzzing. 😦 I’ve been trying out magnesium supplements as they’re supposed to help relax your muscles, which it does but so far that didn’t discourage my tinnitus. Ah well, I hope that it will just go away on its own sometime (preferably sooner than later 😉 ).

      That’s amazing that you have the same MP3 player!! 😀 I love it too even though it has only 2GB storage but that’s enough for a couple of audiobooks. I don’t think that they sell it here anymore either and hope it will keep working for a long time. I can’t see myself using my phone instead, especially since I often fall asleep listening to an audiobook and I don’t think the phone would be as forgiving when I roll upon it in my sleep as is the player. 😉

      It really was a nice trip to the zoo, and I’m thinking of getting myself a nice tele lense for getting better close ups of the animals that don’t come as near as that vulture did. 😀

      Wishing you a beautiful and creative weekend! ❤


      1. Awww no, your ears are still buzzing. So annoying 😦 Hopefully it goes away very soon and leaves you alone. Maybe a change in environment or being in a quiet place without stress triggers might help.

        Haha, I also can’t see myself listening to things on my phone. I rather use my phone for just calls, messages and some browsing internet and listening to music completely separate. I find listening to music and even audiobooks on my phone drains the battery super fast.

        Here’s to hoping you get a better lens or even better a new camera at some point 😀 Have a good week ahead, Sarah ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  2. gosh I’m so sorry that you have tinnitus. I can imagine it would be awful to have that constant buzzing in your ears. I hope it gets better. your pics of the animals are great xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Gill! It really is quite awful, especially since I’m not good at concentrating at the moment, which s*/(s. 😉
      Hope all is well with you and I look forward to catching up soon! xx

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sarah. I am delighted you are back but I so want to give you a hug. I know the hell of tinnitus only too well and I know how exhausting and energy-draining it is. It is also a catch-22 because the more it makes you tired and tense, the worse it gets.

    I once considered hypnotherapy as I have read some cases where it makes it easier to ignore the noise. I never followed it up because my tinnitus eased once I reduced my stress a little. It rarely goes away totally but it does relent if I keep busy or I feel relaxed.

    I loved your photos as always.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Darren! Believe me, I can feel the hug! It helps a lot knowing there are people who know exactly how you feel, even though I wish no one had to go through with this. It’s exactly like you say, energy-draining and exhausting. I could do nothing but read a book and still feel like I’ve run a marathon when I go to bed.
      I know that stress only increases it but how the hell are we supposed to reduce it – quit the job and move to the Bahamas?! No wait, not a good idea what with the hurricane and all.
      I will have a look into hypnotherapy even though I’m a bit scared of the idea of being hypnotized!
      Wishing you a beautiful and creative weekend, dear friend! Sending an enormous hug back to you! x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am sure there are places to escape to that don’t have hurricanes Sarah😊. If I win the lottery all my buddies will be able to give up work!
        Meanwhile – look into the hypnotherapy. My own tinnitus has had bad days this week despite my being off work and relatively unstressed.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m so sorry to hear that your tinnitus has taken a turn for the worse this week, Darren! 😦 I’m feeling in swearing mode right now but will refrain from sounding like a mad GI with Tourette for your sake. 😉
        Take care and try to bury it with some good music! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I think Tish may be on to something. I may try that myself. No apologies are necessary. I haven’t posted in 2 months now. ;( Loved the photos and the captions. Unfortunately, I understand how afflictions in our bodies minimize our ability to concentrate. I’m sure you’ll find the trick to cope with it, Hang in there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for your words of encouragement, Marlene! And I’m so sorry to hear that you also struggle with tinnitus. I think Tish might be on to something too, acupressure makes a lot of sense with tension problems.
      I’ve been noticing that you haven’t blogged in a while now and hope it’s only because you simply have too much to do during the summer months?
      Not being able to fully concentrate is a real bugger, I really hate it as I usually enjoy silence , especially when making art or just reading a book.


      1. Mine has been going on for so many years that it’s just part of me. I don’t grind my teeth any more but acupuncture and massage were always helpful. I can’t afford it anymore though. I hope you find some relief somewhere. I have had a lot to get done this summer and I’m slower at it than in years prior. Something had to give. It wasn’t going to be me. 😉 Thanks for the visit. Glad you are back too.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’ve heard that a lot about tinnitus becoming a part of you, and I also have one very tiny one that I don’t notice as much for years now, but this new one is a bugger.
        Massages sound great but like you I’m not sure if I can afford it. Health insurance would cover only 7 sessions a year. I’ve been trying out taking magnesium supplements to enhance muscle relaxation and it seems to work with my neck muscles, at least a bit.
        I’ve been successfully avoiding to do any more household chores this summer and simply spent most of the time outside. 😉
        Wishing you a lovely weekend, Marlene!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m so sorry to hear about the tinnitus! I wear a nightguard too, but just for the grinding. I can’t imagine how hard that is to live with! But I do love your zoo photos, and I’m glad you’re able to distract yourself, at least a little bit. I hope you are better (no more ear-ringing) soon!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Ann! I’m so glad you enjoyed the photos, going to the zoo is a lovely distraction anytime but especially now. And the animals show themselves from their best side, as if they knew I could use some cheering up. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. What gorgeous pictures. Balm for yur ravaged head. I have tinnitus–not as bad as yours. They tell me it is hearing loss and there’s nothing to do about it. An Internet search turned up the same sad story. We’re stuck with it. Some say a hearing aid helps. No one has any cure. Let me know if you find on!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Jacqui! And I’m so sorry to hear that you also have to struggle with tinnitus. A lot of people seem to have the same problem – it would be nice if they came up with a cure one day. In the meantime we have to find ways to distract ourselves the best way possible. I will let you know if/when I find a cure. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks very much, Liz! And I’m so glad you enjoyed my pics and captions – it’s such fun taking them and then to think of something to go along with. 😀
      That bear really does look pensive, doesn’t it? Maybe he was thinking of honey. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh, I hope your condition is better now or you find way to manage the condition that does not disturb you too much and have good rest. I can understand you can feel when you have illness that stays.

    The picture of the young kit on the rail and looks just like a monkey at play too is so funny. I had exactly the same feeling as your caption says.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much! I try to be patient about it and keep doing the exercises in the hope that it will help sooner or later.
      That boy had a lot of fun and it was also fun watching him have it! 😀 The monkeys were equally fascinated – I bet they would have loved to play together. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I am so sorry about your tinnitus that affects your daily life and sleep. Hope you will get better soon Sarah. On another note, your new digital piano looks really cool and I am happy to hear that you take some comfort and pleasure playing it daily. Your shots of the zoo animals and their visitors are priceless. I love your great sense of humour. You are really funny. The one of the little boy trying to imitate the monkeys got me laughing hard. Take care my dear friend. Sending healing thoughts your way. xx ❤️❤️❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much, Dominique! I’m really happy with my new digital piano, it’s much better than my old one – which I have gifted to the grandchildren of my neighbors now, so they can have fun with it. 😀
      I admit there was a part of me envying that little boy having fun at the rails – I’m nowhere near as athletic anymore! LOL!
      Have a lovely day and an even more beautiful week, dear friend! Hugs! xoxo ❤

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I bet your neighbor’s grandchildren are thrilled and who knows? Perhaps you’ve sowed a future passion for music in these kids. This is very generous of you. But I already knew that this quality is predominant in you. I am not at all surprised by your gesture. Your photo of the young boy who imitates the monkey is sublime. We tend to forget as we grow older how much fun it is to do this kind of thing. My last attempt was last year and Darren immortalized the pose in photo. Unfortunately, I look like a koala in distress. Lol Have a beautiful week too Sarah. xx

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I really like the idea of maybe having sowed a future passion in these kids, Dominique! 😀
        And I would so much love to see that pic of you!! Since koalas are one of the cutest creatures ever you couldn’t look anything but cute as well. 😀
        Have a fabulous weekend, dear friend! xoxo

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m very sorry to hear about your ear problems. Lately, I’ve been listening to sounds of nature from YouTube, like water running, raining, birds, and I wonder if that could provide a nice ‘interruption to help you concentrate and relax. I hope it goes away soon. Enjoyed your zoo pics 🙂 Hugs from Thailand.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Lani! That sounds like a great idea with listening to the sounds of nature! I will have a look at it right away – any links you can recommend?
      So glad you enjoyed my pics from the zoo!
      Many hugs back to you! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t have a channel to recommend, in this case I went by views, the most popular were popular for a reason 😉 I hope you found something you like!

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh my dear friend, I am so sorry about your tinnitus. A chiropractor I know confirms what Tish and your ENT specialist are saying about the connection with neck and shoulder tension. Have you seen a chiropractor, or osteopath? I hope you can get some help and relief from it soon.

    Your zoo photos are absolutely wonderful. I love the mix of beautiful shots of the animals alongside those of their human visitors. I have never seen a giant panda in real life — the only ones in the Southern Hemisphere are in Adelaide Zoo, apparently. Hm. I’ve always wanted to go to Adelaide. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much, Su! Then you really must go and visit Adelaide – or come here and visit me. 😉 The latter is especially recommendable since our panda lady gave birth to two babies this past weekend!! 😀 I can’t wait to take pictures of them!

      I haven’t been to a chiropractor in years since the one I used to go to retired. So I would need to find someone new who I could trust shaking my head around. 😉 But I think I will look into that if the problem doesn’t solve itself on its own. Do you know someone? I might hop over. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Visiting you is definitely my preferred option — shame my bank balance disagrees ☹️ I will have to be content for now seeing your panda photos.

        I do know several chiropractors, including the boy-child’s godfather. His wife, brother, sister-in-law, niece, ex-girlfriend and the ex’s ex-husband are all chiropractors too, so you’d have a choice. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  11. It’s always delightful to hear from you, Sarah. Sorry to learn about your terrible case of tinnitus. Mine started several years ago; I’ve had to learn to live with it. I was unaware that it could be related to tensions within the neck and jaw. A writing friend said that her severe case of tinnitus ended when she moved out of her mold-infested apartment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Rosaliene! And I’m so sorry to her that you’re struggling with tinnitus as well. How awful that your friend got it from her apartment, but how wonderful that it disappeared as soon as she’d moved out! I think there are all kinds or reasons why people have to deal with it, even some kind of medicine can cause it.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I really enjoyed the zoo pictures. It looks like a fun time. It must be difficult having the tinnitus. I appreciate the effort that went into your drawing. It’s beautiful. I hope the tinnitus leaves you soon. Cheers!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much, Chris! The zoo really is a lot of fun and I love taking pictures of the animals and their visitors alike. 🙂
      The tinnitus however is no fun sadly, but I will keep doing my exercises and hope for the best.


  13. I’m sorry to hear about your tinnitus, Sarah. It sounds awful. I hope it goes away before too long. Congrats on the piano! What a great reward for fixing your washer, and something to listen too instead of the buzz in your ear. Finally, thanks for the zoo photos. Your captions make me laugh. I hope your September is amazing and filled with music.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Diana! I’m so glad my pictures and captions made you laugh. 😀
      And you’re right – listening to me playing the piano, even though I’m not very good at it, is much better than to that buzz!
      Hope all is well with you and your parents, going to check in on your blog soon. In the meantime wishing you a lovely week! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  14. The zoo photos are precious–as are your captions. Tinnitus….I am sorry to hear. Two of my coworkers had that. Doctor put them on a table and wobbled them all over to loosen something in their ear. Sounds great, right? I’m sure everyone is different, though, and doctors all have different treatments…..I do hope you get some relief….and soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Lois! It’s a lot of fun taking pictures in the zoo and thinking of captions to go along with afterwards. 😀
      That does sound interesting – being put on a table and wobbled all over to loose something in the ear of your two coworkers! Why did my doctor not think about it? 😉 I had a similar treatment last year when those tiny crystals in the inner ear went loose because of a little accident I had, and developed nausea afterwards. I had to do those silly looking exercises where you kind of throw yourself around to make them go back to their original place. That luckily did the trick.


  15. That looked like a fun trip to the zoo. The little boy monkey was so cute.
    That is definitely the most gorgeous vulture I’ve seen. It looked so clean! Beautiful eyes.
    I’m sorry you have tinnitus. I’ve got it too. It screams at me all day. My ENT doctor told me it was due to hearing loss. Too much loud music as a youngster. I hope yours eases off.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much, Tracy! And I’m so sorry to hear you also suffer from tinnitus. It seems a lot of people do. But since it’s not a life threatening condition – unless someone feels like suicide because they can’t handle it anymore – doctors don’t really invest a lot of attention to it. 😦
      I really am in love with the vultures in our zoo which is bizarre – I’d never have thought that possible. But since I’m spending more and more time visiting the aviary I’m more and more amazed at their beauty. They have fantastically large wings with feathers so beautiful it takes my breath away. And as you’ve seen in this shot, really beautiful eyes (with just a hint of blue eye-shadow 😉 ).

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I noticed the same thing about my tinnitus.
        Isn’t it great news about the panda cubs!? We’re all pretty excited here. 😀 For now they stay inside with their mum but it’s been said that we can expect to see them in Autumn. 😀


  16. Some great shots here, Sarah. Commiserations with the tinnitus. I’ve had it myself since the ’90s (though not as disruptive as yours sounds), mine possibly related to taking anti-malarial tablets while living in Africa. There have been brief interludes when it switches off completely, i.e. during and after shiatsu massage (acupressure) around the shoulder, neck and jaw. Thought I’d pass that on.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Tish! And I’m so sorry you’re struggling with Tinnitus yourself, and that the malaria tablets you had to take are probably the cause for it.
      The shiatsu massage sounds wonderful, I think I will definitely try this out. I’ve been trying to relax my neck etc with applying pressure myself and also with stretching but so far it didn’t work out for me.
      Wishing you a lovely day and thanks again. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: