Lens Artists Photo Challenge #137 – Soft

Have a strong mind and a soft heart. – Anthony J. D’Angelo

In fact I consider being soft a virtue and an asset. Maybe not always…but almost always!

Now, after all the incredibly creative S’s from you for Patti’s alphabet challenge… we’ll continue with another S – Soft. (Hopefully you haven’t run out of images on Soft for Patti…) So many things are Soft…to look at, to touch, to listen to… we even have software for our technical devices. This challenge is all about how you want to interpret Soft – we are looking forward to seeing your choices! Please link to my post and add the Lens-Artists tag.

I just have to start with Snow – as we have had so much of it this year. Snow envelops you in a soft and silent world. It was many years since I did some serious skiing, but I am not afraid of falling in the soft and fluffy snow.

Soft, almost creamy snow on the old ship setting from the Viking Age.
Soft landscape with clouds, hills and autumn trees. A favourite dogwalk.
Have you ever touched a bumble bee? They ARE soft! Unless you get stung…

I also have a spring ”softie” on my table every year – acacia, or mimosa, as we call it. Its yellow flower balls always make me smile and walk into that room as often as possible… I wonder if acacia will be possible to grow in my glass house? I certainly will give it a try!

Finally – thank you again for inspiring us every week! Next week, March 6, Amy will be hosting Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #138 and as promised, we reveal the theme already: Natural Light. Be sure to pay her a visit and hopefully join in.  In the meantime, have a lovely, creative week! And… please stay safe.

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!


Thursday Thoughts – Glory Days

I thought you might want to walk with me in an area I seldom walk. It is always very windy here, and the open waters make the wind chill you to the bones. But …

…not today! Several degrees below zero, but sunny and no wind. Absolutely still.

There were more than me walking here today…

I met some dogs too, but not many. Summertime this is a very popular area for walkers.

As I had anticipated, there were no birds in sight, but I knew where to find them…
Just follow the snow covered path…

…and you will reach the small pond with warmer waters. Here we find several species of ducks, swans and cormorants.

A very sunny, uplifting day for us all! Thank you for walking with me ♥

Thursday Thoughts – Morning Walk

Some mornings are better than others…

Crisp air
Happy dogs –
– and people!

Thursday Thoughts – Real Winter!

For a couple of days now, real winter is on visit…and I cannot say how happy I am. I will let you wander around in my neighbourhood to hopefully enjoy the white serenity. Last year we had no snow at all, and it is exactly ten years since we got this much.

Sheer Happiness! And the children are out everywhere skiing and building snowmen. So Grateful, so Thankful.

First view in the morning – my garden
Second view – the Spindle
Out walking the dogs
On our way home again

Lens-Artists Challenge #129 – Favourite Photos of 2020

Our team is back and we wish you welcome to 2021. This New Year comes with much hope for the future. Maybe more than ever –

It was as if the land opened its lips and breathed again, and was made anew.
― Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Our “Favorite Images of the Year ” challenge will be a bit different – as this whole year, 2020, has been different. No visits to foreign lands or faraway places. Instead it opens for images that tell something of our own journey for 2020. For me, this year meant living in my bubble, struggling to stay reasonably sane. So much less camera…and so much less energy – but still, here’s my year through lens and sense.

I begin with my absolute favourite image for 2020 – the broken window with wine leaves and the last rays of sun. From here I will travel backwards in time, down to when it all started, somewhere in January/February.

Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.
― Oprah Winfrey

A friend of mine said to me, ”…this image is like a symbol of 2020: restriction and restraint for everything beautiful.” Maybe so, but, being a person who constantly seeks beauty, I will always try to find it, and to portray it – no matter what.
Letting ourselves and the dogs as free as possible – giving room and space for more uplifting thinking. We are fortunate to live near nature and the possibility to spend several hours a day in the great outdoors.
One of the few sunny minutes this autumn. For several years I have tried to catch this road in its Autumn glory – and finally, the golden moment arrived. Unfortunately this happened on one of my ”low” days, so, I felt… nothing of the expected joy. Still, here it is – the once much longed for image…
This year brought many opportunities for close-ups and macro photography – finding new worlds in small spaces. Never has William Blake’s words rung more true to me:

To see a World in a Grain of Sand

And a Heaven in a Wild Flower 

Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand 

And Eternity in an hour

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. —Lao Tzu

In September my mother left us. Unexpectedly and unforeseen. And Autumn darkness at the door. After the funeral I went from feeling low to feeling exhausted and powerless. No recharging at hand. Even on our hikes I seldom brought my camera.

And now let us welcome the new year, full of things that never were.”
—Rainer Maria Rilke

A highlight in the autumn darkness was the visit to IFÖ center and the artists’ studios there. I brought my camera… Creativity is contagious – not dangerous.
If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. – Cicero

My garden was a special joy this summer. And I finally got my glasshouse – hopefully there will be new plants in spring!
The beginning is always today.—Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

New life is slowly growing where my forest once was. I clearly remember this uplifting day watching the clouds sailing low, like cottonballs dropped from the sky.
NO treat beats an outing with my daughter and son.
This year I discovered the swirl through some other bloggers – and loved juggling with it. I even made a none favourite animal look more handsome. (Still not a favourite though…) So, swirling became a distraction from the nightmare situation in the world.
Every moment is a fresh beginning. —T.S. Eliot

A new hiking area – we walked all familiar areas and even some new ones this Spring. Nothing compares to Mother Nature when it comes to healing. A sunny day, open fields, lovely old houses – the closest we could get to an ordinary day and a normal life.

Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. – Khalil Gibran

In the sandy soil of southwestern Skåne…you will find the most beautiful of spring flowers – the Pasqueflower. Only about 7 centimeters high, but abundant here. It felt comforting to lie down and touch the earth, knowing it is still there…

I was fortunate to attend a spectacular event – letting two young Eurasian eagle-owls take off for freedom! And how I wished I could just fly away with them.
Waiting for the train in Stockholm. On that train home from Umeå, I learned about the new Corona virus’ arrival in the world. Everything turned sci-fi, and I was shivering to the bones. My husband was traveling somewhere in Asia, and I texted him to return home immediately.

A lovely winter’s morning before the world changed… before everything we knew as normal was … gone.

In retrospect, I realize I have made more images than I knew of… despite this invisible invader and its impact on all our lives. Now we can only wish the vaccine will help us come back to easier and brighter days. The wiser. The first thing I would do… is go to a café for a nice cup of coffee and a tasty piece of cake – and quietly sit down to watch smiling people passing by.

We are excited to announce that next week’s challenge will be guest hosted by Slow Shutter Speed’s Anne Sandler. Do stop by her blog this week to see her beautiful photography and don’t miss her post next Saturday at noon EST.

May 2021 bring peace, health, and happy moments to us all. We look forward to seeing Your favorite images of 2020 and understanding why you’ve chosen them. Please link them to Tina’s original post, and to use the Lens-Artists Tag to help us find you. As always, we greatly appreciate your continued support of our challenge and the inventive creativity of your responses.