Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #142 – You Pick It!

”Like robin’s song or bluebird’s wing

Or throats that make the marshes ring,

Her beaming face and winsome grace

Are greetings from the heart of spring.”

– From John Burroughs’ Hepatica

I really believe there are things nobody would see if I didn’t photograph them.
— Diane Arbus

This week it is my turn to host You Pick it! And, I have chosen different faces of Anemone Hepatica. This tiny flower is the first one to appear in our forests in spring, and it is a much loved beauty. Many people go out looking for her already the first sunny day of March. The flower has got many names – as it usually is with loved ones…She is also named the common hepatica, liverwort, kidneywort, or pennywort, and belongs to the buttercup family Ranunculaceae, native to woodland in temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere.

Anemone hepatica grows 5–15 cm (2–6 in) high. Leaves and flowers emerge directly from the rhizome, not from a stem above ground. In Sweden I have never seen them grow higher than 7-8 cm.

I am not interested in shooting new things – I am interested to see things new. – Ernst Haas

The flowers are blue, purple, pink, or white. The white variety is not common in Sweden, but in my forest all the others grow and they are flowering simultaneously. If they grow mostly in the shadow, their colours are darker – the sun makes them turn purple.

The Hepatica is protected in Sweden, and so are all our orchids. In this photo we can see two stems broken – but I do hope the flowers were not picked. They would have been too short to have in a vase too…
Only photograph what you love.
– Tim Walker
And finally, a lovely surprise when this photo was opened on the computer – a thin spider’s thread making its way between the two flowers. It made me smile.

I am grateful for this lovely morning alone in the forest. I was mostly lying on the ground, but it was very rewarding. And I was very hungry when I came back home again! This day the temperature reached 15 degrees C. But it lasted only for two days, so, now we are back at 7 degrees again. Nature’s wonders are still with us though – and I want them to be slow…

Thank you for all small and big geometric examples last week for Patti’s challenge! We quickly realised that geometry is to be found everywhere we look, and there were so many surprises with things never thought of before!

Last time Tina started off You Pick It by saying …”we hope you’ll share a subject that is near and dear to you, that you find interesting, or challenging, or perhaps that shows us something new or unique to you.”

So, this week it’s all up to you – choose your subject and share whatever it is about it that you find interesting. We are looking forward to seeing your interpretations. Please use the tag and link to my original post. Next week, Amy will be your host.

Lens-Artists Challenge #139 – Special Moments

This week, we will look beyond the life-changing events and share some other special moments and what they mean to us, Tina says. I think we all have so many of them…It will be hard to choose, but I will try to pick some unforgettable ones …

A moment of solitude and contemplation on this small crater island of the Azores. Walking up the mountain, we did not know what to expect when turning around the bend… but the scenery was breathtakingly beautiful – The feeling of floating free in this silent universe. Blue hydrangeas, blue sky and blue ocean – and us flying on a green, tiny spot in the middle of it all… Otherworldly.

The Pothala palace is representing the Dream-Come-True moments in my life. I have been so lucky as to have a few of those. So, I finally arrived in Tibet, after some 40 years since I read about Shangri-La in Lost Horizon, the 1933 novel by James Hilton, and saw the movie Lost Horizon from 1937. They represented the enigmatic and enchanting world out there…far away from my home and far away from any landscape I had ever been. I was lost for words – and breath – in the thin air.

April 2017, and I met Michael Lindnord and Arthur. The Swedish multi sport team were in Ecuador 2014, trying to win the world championships. Instead the team leader, Mikael Lindnord, found that in the middle of the jungle, his team of four had got a fifth member…Arthur. Mikael had never had a dog of his own and never thought of getting one – he was a tough athlete and a determined leader for his team. But, all it took was one meatball…

King Arthur. He owned the place from the first second he entered the room. I loved every minute of being close to him, touching him and listening to their story. Seeing the very special bond between Mikael and Arthur.

Mikael himself says that Arthur stands for Hope.  The Lindnord family have also started a fund for homeless dogs in Ecuador – There is hope for many ill treated and abused dogs with people like Mikael, who was prepared to even let go of his team’s victory to save this dog’s life. Mikael says he recognized himself in Arthur that very first day…they both stand tall, they never give up. So, how could he let Arthur down, when the dog put all his trust in him ?

December 9, 2020, Arthur passed away from an aggressive cancer, 13 years old. 2021 is the startup for shooting the Hollywood movie – ArthurThe King, with Mark Wahlberg starring together with a not yet chosen dog to play Arthur. I am looking forward to seeing it – hopefully cinemas will be open by then…

I can honestly say, that no other journey in my life gave me more special moments than the one to Arthur’s home country, Ecuador. Sailing along the Napo River in the Amazon and in the Galápagos Islands.

I could not stop watching them, all these little seabirds following our sailing boat in Ecuador. They could actually walk, run and stand still on the water! This is the smallest seabird in the world – an Elliot’s Storm-Petrel. Another enigmatic fact is that no nesting site for these birds has ever been found…

The stay at Sacha Lodge on a quiet lake – open to all the sounds of the jungle – still echoes in my mind today, 5 years later. Silent canoing through the tangled forest, watching swarms of monkeys foraging in the trees, jumping and playing. And the tiny Paradise Tanager – shooting veritable neon lightings in the trees – (I only managed to capture a couple of them in a photo) The first glimpse of the flock was very special – they moved faster than Chip ‘n’ Dale juggling around with the colourful Christmas baubles – and Pluto trying to handle the situation…

So, I will end with the late evening climb up in the Kapok tree, staying for the day’s last hours watching the sun set over the Amazon Basin. Imagine the sounds, the light, the soft warmth, the birds and the monkeys calling each other…I have never slept better in my entire life, than I did in the Amazon jungle.

Finally, a big Thank You for the inspirational set of Natural Lights, and hopefully you will join in for some special moments too! Please link to Tinas original post, and add the Lens-Artists tag.

Next week we’re excited to announce Beth of Wandering Dawgs as our Guest Host. Be sure to stop by and check out her always-interesting blog. Until then, stay safe and be kind.

Thursday Thoughts – Hiking Vedema

I guess this was maybe the last lasting snow this year – a beautiful day for us and the dogs. Start in soft sun and finish in the cold of the evening. Put on your warmest clothes and come along!

Thursday Thoughts – Foggy Days Forever?

Can you feel it?

The need for crisp air and eyelifting skies? Totti enjoying a frosty morning some years ago – so fresh in the air…so easy to walk.

Right now I don’t need any more grey days – and Emma is not here to brighten them up…

Today was announced on the news, that November and December were the darkest ever in Sweden since they started measuring hundreds of years ago. So little sun and so little light. Stockholm didn’t have a single sunny hour in these last 7 weeks.

Grey can be beautiful – but not every day for two months – and there are three more to go before early Spring.

But in less than two weeks The Winter Solstice will be here. I can’t tell you how much we need it!

Lens-Artists Challenge #122 – The Sun will come out Tomorrow

Last week, you shared beautiful, creative, and interesting photos for Patti’s “Focus on the Subject.”I think we learned something new all of us! This week Ana of Anvica’s Gallery is our guest host – be sure to visit her inspiring blog and get even more inspired!

Where I live, in Sweden, winter is very dark, and for many months there will be a constant lack of light and energy. November is the starting month of this seemingly endless period. Some people even use light therapy, spending hours in a totally white room in order to cope with the everyday darkness. There has been more of this since the winters do not provide us with enough snow anymore.

One may not reach the dawn save by the path of the night.

– Germaine Greer


My own solution is spending time outdoors as much as possible during the few hours of light, soaking up sunrays for the pineal gland. But with the last leaves gone, so are the bright colours. ”How to survive November” is a common struggle for us Nordic people every year.

The evening sings in a voice of amber, the dawn is surely coming.

– Al Stewart

If you have extra to spare, share some of your sunshine with others. Those who are in a dark place may just need that small break in the their clouds to see some sunlight again.
― Christine E. Szymanski

Just living isn’t enough”, said the butterfly, ”one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower”.

– Hans Christian Anderson

I believe this year, these days, this butterfly’s statement is more accurate than ever. So remember – the sun is still there, somewhere behind the clouds. And it will come out tomorrow.

Now we are looking forward to seeing Your part of the challenge! Don’t forget to include a link to Ana’s post and use the Lens-Artists tag so that everyone can find you in the WP Reader. Next week, I, Ann-Christine, will lead the challenge on Saturday, November 14th. Until then – stay safe and well.