Thursday Thoughts – Sallow, a Keystone Species

The old sallow (salix) standing in our summer garden is slowly ageing – and decaying. They seldom reach 100 years, but this one is even older. These trees are very important for the biodiversity, as almost 200 species of butterflies are dependent on it for feeding their larvae. And, so are many other insects too, like bees and bumblebees – in spring they can find food there during the first harsh months of the new year. Salix trees are also home for birds, mushrooms, lichen and mosses.

When we arrived in Spring 2019, our old man was still in one piece, standing in a pink field of sea thrift – but in autumn the same year, the middle part of him had fallen down.

This year we had to take down another of the oldest and longest arms from the trunk as it would not have made it through the winter.

But, as you can see, he is still standing there…overlooking the sea. And there is a new little one shooting up from the trunk of his old master. We hope he too will be a survivor when the old man is gone.

Lens-Artists Challenge #169 – The Ordinary

As you get older, you want less from the world; you just want to experience it. Any barriers to feeling emotions get dismantled. And ordinary things become beautifully poetic. – Richard Linklater

Our theme this week is The Ordinary, hosted by I. J. Khanewala. There are many places, moments, things, etc. that we would say are ”ordinary”. But, we humans often use this word or concept differently. I find it interesting how easily ordinary things can become remarkable…In my examples, light is often the difference, and the combination of colours and an open mind. I guess many of us who photograph, write or paint – or are involved in similar activities, recognize the feeling and can easily appreciate the beauty of our ordinary surroundings.

Two days ago, we went to our summer house to close it down for the winter. It was an extremely foggy day, and I was walking Milo (our dog) back to continue packing. Unexpectedly, as from nowhere, the sun shone through the dull hedge on my right hand side, revealing the intense beauty of backlit leaves.
In my own garden, the mist and cold continued when we picked the last grapes, where some of them had ventured up on the roof. While climbing down with my basket full of grapes, I admired the red autumn vines clinging to the walls, windows and ladder.

Then, on my way up to the house again, my eyes followed the adventurous vine climbing along the laundry line. I believe I have one of the most intriguing and beautiful laundry lines in the neighbourhood… an ordinary Monday.

We hope you will join us this week for the interesting Photo Challenge #169: The Ordinary.  Please include a link to the original post from our guest host of Don’t Hold Your Breath, and use the Lens-Artists tag so we can all find you in the Reader.

A sincere thank you to all who responded to last week’s “Seen Better Days” challenge. It clearly shows that most photographers love to focus on the beauty lingering in old, worn or dilapidated places and things. Finally, we hope you’ll join us next week when Patti brings us challenge # 170. Until then, please stay safe and be kind.

Thursday Thoughts – The walk to Grenen, Skagen

A two hours’ walk to reach the top end of Denmark, where the two seas meet – The North Sea and The Baltic.

The Skagen lighthouse – looking back when we started walking. We hoped to reach Grenen before sundown.
We could see the land’s end from our starting point, but as usual, the eyes do not tell the truth about the distance…

Tough winds and soft sand made the walk feel even longer. But the play of light and shadow over land and sea had me intensely occupied.

Sand finds its way in if you don’t wear the right clothes.

Finally there – some people running to get to the last tiny spot of land… and some even braved the waves for a photo.

A tough walk for small children – happy to have a strong dad at hand! And, we all made it just before sunset.

Lens-Artists Challenge #164 – Looking Up/Down

Sofia of Photographias is our host this week – welcome! In a way, she continues Amy’s lovely ”Keep Walking” by wanting us not just to look around ourselves, but also to look up and down:

”So, what have you discovered when you looked up or down? Were you surprised?”

My garden is still filled with fluttering wings and buzzing bees this autumn. Sunny days with no wind – and I go out in the mornings to enjoy the last colourful flowers, butterflies and bees. My Buddleias have grown very high, about three meters, so I mostly look up to find the little beauties eating breakfast in the warming sun.

I was surprised to see a common brimstone – they haven’t been here since Spring. Hundreds of butterflies come to my garden every day, but now in September mainly red admirals, peacock butterflies and small tortoiseshells. The occational comma and cabbage butterfly.

When I look down, I find the hydrangeas are already fading into their new beauty – laced and plumcoloured. I don’t really know which way I like them best…but these silent, warm Septemberdays, I so love them.

On our trip to Denmark some weeks ago, we walked to the northernmost tip of the country to see the North Sea and the Baltic Sea meet. The sky was spectacular, and we remembered the 19th century Skagen painters who used to come here because of the magical light.

Time to look down as we reached Grenen, where the two seas meet. A tough walk in the strong wind, but beautiful waters awaiting. Quite a special feeling to stand there in the flying sand to the sound of clashing waves. Michael Ancher’s famous A Stroll on the Beach seemed a bit far away though…

They say the two seas meet in different colours. It was rather dark when we finally got to the point where they do meet – but maybe you can see a faint difference in this photo if you look closely? Anyway, it is time to look both up and down when you come to a special place like this.

Please go to Sofia for more inspiration, and if you join us, please include a link to her post and use the Lens-Artists tag so we can all find you.

Patti at Pilotfish will be our host next week, 11th September. Until then, we are looking forward to seeing your ups and downs. Stay kind and cool.

Lens-Artists Challenge #162 – It’s All About the Light

Tina has chosen Light for this challenge –

I am forever chasing light. Light turns the ordinary into the magical.

Trent Parke

The most crisp and serene light ever, is to be found in Iceland. So, for a starter, an image from north western Iceland, that I have posted before. I have done nothing to enhance or change the original. It has it all – natural, clear Light.

I could have chosen so many images from Iceland – but only one more pick – the graveyard. There is the light, and the beauty of flowers, mountains and water. A well chosen place to rest.

A couple of days in Denmark last week was refreshing. We visited the biggest sandcastle in the world (- now in the Guinness Book of Records). It was raining when we arrived at the sculpture park, so I took a photo before it would get even worse… The second photo was taken about two hours later – as when we were leaving the park, the sun came out! The most significant difference is the colour of the sand, and how much more alive the feeling is in the second photo.

In Aarhus we wanted to visit their famous art museum, ARoS – but also the harbour area with its modern architecture. They were still building new there, and at a traffic light I opened the window and photographed some of the constructions. The next morning we went there again to see more of this interesting area. This time we parked the car…To our great delight, now the light and the clouds made the visit an almost surreal experience.

I leave you with a favourite image made at the Fluela Pass in Switzerland. At our hotel they featured a big poster of bikers riding along the spectacular pass road, and we were eager to see this the following day. While we were aiming for a couple of interesting villages, we were also on the lookout for ”The View”. To our great disappointment, there was no ”view”…there was only a lake and a mountain. Quite ordinary. But, when returning to our hotel in the afternoon, taking the same road, this magnificent view suddenly opened up. Magical! The right time of the day, the right angle, and the right light. I learned something that day. About patience, and waiting for the magical moment to arrive.

We hope you will join us this week for Tina’s inspiring theme for LAPC #162: It’s All About the Light. Many thanks for last week’s fun Feet and Shoes. There were many smiles as we saw the variety of your responses! This week your challenge is to share images that illustrate the power of light – even better if you also include the same or a similar scene at a different, somewhat less beautiful time. Remember to link your post to Tina’s original, and to use the Lens-Artists Tag to help us find you. Finally, we hope you’ll join us next week as Amy leads us on her Share and Connect post. Until then, please stay safe and be kind.