Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #144 – Taking Flight

Birds, butterflies, bees and other insects, airplanes, balloons, bubbles, kites….well, this week, Tina invites us to be creative and choose whichever flying objects that catches our imagination and our lens. Go to her amazingly beautiful post to visit Kiawah!

I don’t have a perfect long lens, so I will stick with the Galapagos Islands, where you have no need for a long lens, but get to see and love all wildlife close-up, just by your side. And, they do have one of the funniest birds for taking flight

Also called the waved albatross, the Galapagos albatross (Phoebastria irrorata) is the largest bird in the Galapagos, with a wingspan of up to 250 centimetres (8.2 feet). They breed exclusively on Española Island.

The Galapagos albatross engages in a rather elaborate courtship dance, and as our timing was right, we were lucky enough to see this on our trip to the Galapagos Islands in 2016.
Once an albatross has selected a partner, they mate for life.
Albatrosses live much longer than other birds; they delay breeding for longer and invest more effort into fewer young. Most species survive upwards of 50 years, and the oldest recorded was ringed in 1956 as a mature adult and hatched another chick in February 2021, making her at least 70 years old. In fact she is the oldest confirmed wild bird and the oldest banded bird in the world.
These birds weigh between 2.7 and 4 kilograms (6 – 8.8 pounds) and males are typically quite a lot heavier than females. When taking off, albatrosses need to take a run up to allow enough air to move under the wing to provide a lift. We saw them run up to the edge of the cliff and jump off to propel themselves into the air. I was sitting 5-10 meters from the action.

However, landing is also quite tricky for this large bird. Because the albatross has a high stalling speed, the landing can seem rather clumsy. (Who doesn’t remember that Disney movie with Orville the Albatross…?)
Seeing a waved albatross fly is quite the sight, they are amazing flyers, soaring dynamically. They stay in the air for many hours and they rarely stall. That’s why sailors used to believe these birds were supernatural.
Due to their great wingspan the bird glides gracefully while up in the skies. In fact the wingspans of the largest great albatrosses (genus Diomedea) are the largest of any bird, exceeding 340 cm (11.2 ft),

In nautical lore, albatrosses are a sign of good fortune, and killing one is meant to bring bad luck. As in Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.

Thank you for your responses to last week’s Colorful April challenge – you shared some amazing examples of April’s incredible beauty. We look forward to seeing your interpretation of this week’s Taking Flight challenge – please remember to link to Tina’s original post and to include the Lens-Artists Tag. We hope you’ll join us again next week when we welcome our Guest Host, Priscilla of Scillagrace . Be sure to check out her ever-thoughtful and interesting blog.

Stay safe and well.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #135 – A Glimpse into Your World

Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy. – Anne Frank

This week, we welcome Sheetal as our special guest host, with the theme A Glimpse into your world. ”Show us the things you love that makes your world spin or things about your world that make you delirious with joy.” Sheetal tells an interesting story of music and travel – and of The Beatles!

Many things in life fill me with joy, but few things make me ”delirious” anymore. I guess that comes with age…but I always strive to keep my eyes and mind fresh and open. My most enchanted moments are always with Nature and all its living creatures, with Flowers and Light. Together they make my world complete and whole. I must live close to nature and just like Monet, “I must have flowers, always, and always.” And Light. With these few images from my Nordic home, I want to show some of the moments when I felt totally immersed in the beauty and wonder of our planet.

Secret gardens
16000 cranes arriving at Hornborgasjön, early morning, 3 am

One of the strange things about living in the world is that it is only now and then one is quite sure one is going to live forever and ever and ever. One knows it sometimes when one gets up at the tender solemn dawn-time and goes out and stands out and throws one’s head far back and looks up and up and watches the pale sky slowly changing and flushing and marvelous unknown things happening until the East almost makes one cry out and one’s heart stands still at the strange unchanging majesty of the rising of the sun–which has been happening every morning for thousands and thousands and thousands of years. One knows it then for a moment or so. ― Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

Nordic Light – Sweden

Nature is so powerful, so strong. Capturing its essence is not easy – your work becomes a dance with light and the weather. It takes you to a place within yourself. – Annie Leibovitz

Nordic Light – Norway

Give light, and the darkness will disappear of itself. – Desiderius Erasmus

Nordic Light – Denmark

I really just want to be warm yellow light that pours over everyone I love. – Conor Oberst

Nordic Light – Iceland

By almost any measure, Iceland is one of the world’s most unique lands. – Roger K. Sandness

And the Nordic Light – is purely Natural.

Remember: Always walk in the light. And if you feel like you’re not walking in it, go find it. Love the light. – Roberta Flack

Thank you for last week’s fun challenge from Tina – and thank you All for showing us more useful tricks to enhance forgettable pictures! Very creative. As always, please remember to link your responses to Sheetal’s original post, and to use the Lens-artists tag to help us find you. Until next week, stay warm, well – and even a bit delirious with joy? We are looking forward to seeing what makes Your world spin!


Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #112 – Pick a Word…

Pick a word and illustrate it with a photo! This used to be a favorite challenge of mine when held by Paula of Lost in Translation. Unfortunately she is not running it anymore. So – how about a revival at Lens-Artists? It is easy: Choose one (1) word or more – choose all of them if you like! The words available are the following:

Comfortable

Growing

Tangled

Crowded

Exuberant

In the header – Comfortable? Yes! If you are safe and living in the Galapagos Islands!

Swimming is normal for me. I’m relaxed. I’m comfortable, and I know my surroundings. It’s my home.  – Michael Phelps
 

Gunnera

Growing

Growth itself contains the germ of happiness.

 – Pearl S. Buck

19800 Cranes at Hornborgasjön, Sweden

Crowded

In a crowded marketplace, fitting in is a failure. In a busy marketplace, not standing out is the same as being invisible.  – Seth Godin

Double exposure from my windows to make tangled even more tangled…

Tangled

A word garden blooming within the tangled weeds.
Jazz Feylynn

Holland, flower festival at Keukenhof

Exuberant

Exuberance is beauty.

 – William Blake
 

Thank you for a marvelous response to Patti’s Everyday Objects – you really made us all open our eyes and SEE what we have around us!

A new announcement: We have the pleasure of having Rusha Sams  of Oh the Places We See as guest host for September 5, #113. Be sure to visit her! Until then – stay well and safe, and be kind, to yourself as well.

Have you seen these:

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Spread

I had the opportunity to watch two majestic young ones, for the first time spreading  their wings and flying into freedom this autumn. For Frank – Eurasian Eagle-Owl.

 

Friendly Friday – Blue

Amanda ask us for a portrait of Blue. Blue is not my favorite colour to wear, but in Nature it is Green and Blue for me. And the image had to come from Iceland this summer.

 

The ‘Friendly Friday Photo Challenge’ is launched every second Friday here at:

Something to Ponder About, and every other Friday at: The Snow Melts Somewhere.