Thursday Thoughts – An (extra)ordinary morning

Frosty mornings are a joy. I walk in the garden, taking in the soft light…

…then I feed the birds, who are patiently waiting for me. If I am late, the little blue tit is the first one to sit on my window sill, pecking on the window and reminding me he is hungry.

Our national bird is the Blackbird, and I have several of them living in my garden. Favourite food? Apples. They get some every day.

Then it’s time for a walk with Milo. We walk just around the corner, crossing a couple of streets to find the path into the forest.

An ordinary day being extraordinary because of the frosty light. Both Milo and I hope we will get some more of this before winter is over.

Lens-Artists Challenge #183 – Memorable Events

This week you will have an opportunity to show us some memorable events – new ones or delightful memories! I had to reflect upon it for some days before I knew what to choose…because life gives us quite some of these very special events, doesn’t it? Happy Birthdays, surprising hikes, meetings with faraway friends, interesting exhibitions, travels to special places…

Finally, I chose our two days in the Sahara desert in Morocko, an event that is often on my mind, and will stay with me forever. The silence, the beauty of the dunes, and the many surprises along the way….I am sure you too will find a favourite or two to post, and hopefully also enjoy this challenge.

I have always loved the desert. One sits down on a desert sand dune, sees nothing, hears nothing. Yet through the silence something throbs, and gleams…
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, from one of my favourite stories: The Little Prince

After some jeep driving, we reached our dinner camp – and I was happy to find rag carpets on the sand – they made me feel very much at home in a place so far from home!

Our tour guides and transportation – camels – were patiently waiting for us. No stress in sight. We were only about ten people, nobody said anything, and the silence was tangible.

The glorious day promised we would have an unforgettable desert sunset. And yes, we had. But, even more beautiful was the blue hour light, slowly filling the endless desert sky.

That night we slept incredibly well in the camp bed, under thick layers to protect against the cold.

In the early morning I went out walking on the dunes again, hoping to see some interesting animals. The day before, a fox had been following us, and I saw quite some scarabs (the first picture below) and their significant paths in the sand. But now something else caught my attention – a hole in the ground… and someone digging and sending up splashes of sand. I kept still and quiet, and was rewarded with a glimpse of this little creature – a Tarabul’s gerbil! Length about 10cm and tail about 15cm. He really kept an eye on me..

I greatly enjoyed both the evening light and the morning light – and the atmosphere of stillness and lack of sounds.

Late evening dunes in warm chocolate waves, and morning dunes almost serenely cold.

I hope the camel – the “ship of the desert,” will continue to cruise the sand sea of the Sahara – and I am very grateful to once have been aboard. It is good to know, that there is still something of Arabian Nights in the world…and shimmering tales from olden days.

Have fun finding Memorable Events – or making new ones! Please include a link to my original post and use the Lens-Artists tag.

Last week, we enjoyed learning about and exploring Interesting Objects. Thank you Patti for hosting this interesting challenge! Next week, it’s Amy’s turn to lead the challenge, so be sure to stop by her beautiful site and join in the fun! Until then, stay healthy and have an inspiring week!

Lens-Artists Challenge #181 – Double Dipping

This week we’re suggesting that in addition to our challenge, you explore and link to some of the other creative opportunities our friends and fellow challengers make available in the WP blogosphere (or any other sites where you post images). I’ve opened with a flower from my garden, and I’m linking to Cee’s Flower of the Day Challenge.

Callistemon is one of my favourites, and as I finally got a glass house, I can now keep this plant safe all year around. It is a wonder to see its very special flowers unfold every year.

Maybe my Bottlebrush also would qualify for Jez Braithwhite’s Tropical plants in his Photo’s by Jez, Fan of… but this Bromelia I caught from the top of a Kapok tree in its true home, the Amazon, Ecuador.

Finally, I chose an image for Weekend Sky – Blog of Hammad Rais. The deceivingly soft light of a very cold winter evening. The low sun at its highest, you will find in the light blue opener with our neighbouring farm huse.

Please be sure to include the Lens-Artists tag with your responses, and to link to Tina’s original post as well as any other challenges you elected to feature. I’ll close with a sincere thank you to all who
shared your wonderful images and stories in last week’s 2021 favorites challenge. Your joy and positivity brightened our days. Stay tuned for next week’s challenge, hosted by Patti. Until then, stay safe and be kind.

Lens-Artists Challenge #180 – Favourite Images of 2021

Our team is back and we wish you welcome to 2022. This New Year comes, again, with much hope for the future –

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 this year too. For me, this year meant continously living in my bubble, but a bit more freedom than 2020. Still much less camera…and much less energy – but, here’s my year through lens and sense. Sometimes maybe not the best image, but the one that stirs up feelings of joy and happiness.

I begin with my absolute favourite image for 2021 – the fabulous, snowy landscape a late evening in February. the opener though, is from yesterday – the frosty landscape we had the last days of December.

We were lucky to get some ”real winter” this year – and vivid memories of my childhood came back.

The feeling of Spring and early Summer is always the highlight of the year – and my backlit tulips represents that to me.

If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. – Cicero

Macro moments and surprising views are also much appreciated. A walk by the brook in a special light,

– and a close look at one of the last insects seen outdoors this year – too slow to get away from my curious lens…

My husband turned 70 and we celebrated all summer…one of the highlights was a visit to ARoS museum in Aarhus, Denmark.

Another one was the fact that the biggest wandering sand dune in Europe is to be found – in Denmark.

The beginning is always today.—Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

A visit to Tjolöholm Castle was a real treat this summer. A Tudor castle in Sweden! And the most modern things in those days – unknown to ordinary people – were brought here from England. Showers that sprinkled you all around, and Roman baths on every floor.

Every moment is a fresh beginning. —T.S. Eliot

My daughter’s exam, and the most beautiful Lotus flower.

Autumn now just around the corner, but the colours were slow to arrive this year.

It was a joy when they finally fired away and had me using the camera again.

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

And lovely new things were revealed and enhanced by the late autumn fog – the delicacy of the leaves and trees, and the little things that inhabit the forest floor.

Yesterday’s captures were frosty sheep in -12 degrees C, sticking together despite their thick coats…

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

The low sun and the soft light this winter makes it such a joy to walk with Milo. He loves the snow just as much as I do. And, as not many photographs are taken or images made in this cold weather – he is content not having to wait for me…

The Lens-Artists team is excited to announce that we’ll be welcoming several new members beginning in 2022. In addition to those of us with whom you are all familiar, we’ll be joined this year by


Sofia Alves of  Photographias 

Anne Sandler of Slow Shutter Speed

John Steiner of Journeys with Johnbo 


Those of you who have followed us for some time will be familiar with all of them as they have all been regular participants and each has Guest-Hosted for us in the past. We know they will bring their marvelous photography, extensive travel experiences, close-to-home adventures, and fresh insight to our weekly challenges. We are very much looking forward to having them with us. Please be sure to follow their blogs to be certain you don’t miss any of our upcoming Lens-Artists challenges. 

Finally – may 2022 bring peace, health, and happy moments to us all. We look forward to seeing Your favorite images of 2021 and understanding why you’ve chosen them. Please 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.

Happy New Year!

I wish us all peace, freedom and joy. Please be kind to our Mother Earth and do not take from her anything but photographs – leave nothing but footprints.

Lens-Artists Challenge #179 – Serene

Patti suggests Serene for the last challenge of the year. A timely choice, as that is what many of us need today, serenity. The hustle and bustle of December makes for contemplation – is this what we really want?

I hope my chosen images all speak for themselves as to what serene means to me.

Serenity is the birthplace for creativity, wisdom, and meaningful productivity.

– Jane Nelsen

He who loves nature loves peace.
― Michael Bassey Johnson

Serenity lies in solitude.
― Lailah Gifty Akita

Meditation takes you to the place inside you which is the most calm and serene place in the universe.
― Purvi Raniga

Like water, we are truest to our nature in repose.

– Cyril Connolly

And, we all strive to reach the light.

Thank you for treating us to a variety of choices last week – a true delight! This week we invite you to join us and show us what serene means to you. In your post, include a link to Patti’s post and use the Lens-Artists tag. We’re looking forward to seeing your photos!

We have two important announcements as well: There will be no new challenge from us on Saturday, December 25th, but we will return on January 1st, 2022 for our annual Favorite Photos of 2021 challenge. The number of images is up to you.

Until then, I wish you Happy Holidays and a happy and healthy New Year!