Thursday Thoughts – Summer Dreaming

Nature at its utmost splendour – is Now in Sweden

So – grab your bike

Head for the nearest castle

And enjoy your ride!

Happy summer!

Lens Artists Challenge # 155 – On the Water

This week we are happy to have John as our host, with the theme On the Water – please visit his inspirational post to get started! And he writes:

The theme “On the Water” encompasses whatever manner of water floats your boat (or doesn’t).

We all know that Water is the centre piece of all life. No water – no life. And whenever I listen to the murmur of a brook, the cascading waterfall or the rolling waves of the sea – I must agree with Octavio Paz: The sound of water is worth more than all the poets’ words.

Water can carry Light

– carry Ice and Snow.

It is alive in Rain
Mist

Dew

Water gives Life and a Living

It is a source of Energy – so this old mill tells us

Water is for Sports and having Fun

But also a source of Natural Beauty – On the Water

May we remember that We forget that the water cycle and the life cycle are one.— Jacques Yves Cousteau

Sincere thanks to those who responded to last week’s “One Photo Two Ways”. It was really interesting to see the many interpretations. Now we look forward to seeing your responses to John’s challenge this week. Please remember to link them to his original post and to use the Lens-Artists Tag to help us find you. Finally, a reminder that next week’s guest host will be Anne Sandler of Slow Shutter Speed who will challenge us with Black & White. Until then, please stay safe and be kind.

Note: I’ll spend some time in our summer house – with no internet – for a couple of weeks but will try to stay in touch!

Thursday Thoughts – Morning and Evening Light

We all know the difference…but how to put it in words?

Images don’t need words

There is a difference between showing and telling. Every writer knows …and so do photographers. In order to tell a good story you need to practice showing too.

Can you tell me what I have shown you? Light – mornings or evenings?

Thursday Thoughts – The Best Part of Spring is Over…

The lilacs are gone now…but we had some glorious days in May and the beginning of June.

The loveliness of newborn, soft green leaves is fading…replaced with stronger and thicker greens.

Early morning after the farmer’s work in the field. Lovely, rich lines…

And some weeks later – we are coming up!

As the rapeseed is glowing for a couple of weeks…we have glorious days awaiting.

Showers make them lush and even more attractive.

But summer is on the march – in fact it is already here.

So, how is your summer coming along?

Thursday Thoughts – A walk in my garden

Time for a short walk in my garden – things are really happening every day now that real summer has arrived.

If you have got some spare minutes…welcome for a short glimpse into my world.

In the evenings, the heliotrope sends its dreamy scent where I sit in my chair outside the glass house, sipping a glass of red. Or enjoying a mug of coffee. Life is good.

But let’s go for a tiny tour, looking for some of my favourites.

Then we will have to peep into the glass house of course. Last September it finally arrived – after many years of longing to have one of my own. In the end, it was Corona that made it happen. Staying at home for such a long time, I would not miss adventures that were not to be.

My view from the chair – sitting on Totti’s favourite blanket – gives me harmony and satisfaction every day.

Now, as the soft evening fills with clear blackbird tunes, we can sit together and feel – that for the moment, Life is good.

I hope you found some joy in coming with me, even if it was only a short walk. I much appreciated your company.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #150 – Wild

Guest host this week, and our natural guide through the wilderness is Dianne Millard of Rambling ranger – ”I don’t want to see groomed gardens or animals in the zoo. No people or signs of people. I want to see and revel in the natural world in your posts. Where’s the wildest place you’ve ever been? Where do you go to let Mother Nature regenerate your spirit?”

Most of you know I am a great nature lover and I always do my best to protect her and … taking only photographs, leaving nothing but footprints.

But love of the wilderness is more than a hunger for what is always beyond reach; it is also an expression of loyalty to the earth which bore us and sustains us, the only home we shall ever know, the only paradise we ever need – if only we had eyes to see.

Edward Abbey

Seeing how Dianne lives her life, I can only admire and love her for what she is doing. I share her love of the wilderness, but I guess I was not made for such a tough life that she is living in Alaska… Go see her amazing adventures and photography!

We can all find and love pieces of wilderness at home – but this time I went back to one of my wildest and most loved adventures. Ecuador, the Amazon and Galapagos. I will start like Dianne – with my morning view, of the Napo river.

Every morning after breakfast we went by canoe into the jungle – for a new adventure.

Most significant were the playful monkeys – jumping in the canopy above, curiously swinging down to watch us marvel.
The silence of the gliding canoe, and then all the sounds of the jungle. The diversity in tangled plants and the absolute love and gratefulness of being there… It’s really impossible to describe in words or images, and the feeling impossible to imagine if you haven’t been there yourself.
The light in the darkness under the trees – and us waiting for an anaconda to swim up beside the canoe…
(Luckily?) No anaconda appeared during these days, but every detail was a beautiful gem. Only occasionally it was possible to take decent photos. Low light, no open landscapes, only dense jungle.

Climbing to the top of the canopy, we could hear and see many birds – but from a distance only. We spent our last night high up in a Kapok tree, watching the sunset over the Amazon basin. And I was also enchanted by all the glorious wild orchids residing in the trees.


To really get close encounters with the wild life – we then went for almost a week on a sailing boat to the Galapagos islands.

Here a close-up with one of the most special animals connected to these islands – a giant!

Other special, endemic wildlife here are the Land iguanas –
– and the Marine iguanas. You never forget their faces once you have seen them…
Seals were everywhere of course. This male had a big harem, and he kept a close watch on all the females…

So many adventures we had together, mostly on the water, and incredible close contact with the animals! We met so many lovely faces, and if we only kept a two meter distance, everything was OK. My favourites here are the little yellow warbler and the Mocking bird…they used to come up to me and look me in the eye. The mocking birds tried to steal things from my bag. Paradise is not having to be afraid of one another ♥. We spoke softly together.

Late evening, and both the iguanas and the boobies seemed to love the last rays of sun – just as much as we did.

Every island has its special landscape. Grey, dead trees? Take a closer look…

And every island has its own endemic inhabitants – blending in perfectly. A survival kit we all need.

Thank you so much for sharing last week’s wonderful colours with Tina and the rest of us! And thank you Dianne, for letting me return to another wonderfully wild place on planet Earth. We are looking forward to seeing more wild things, from home or on travels, linked to Diannes original post.

Next week, Patti will be offering LAPC #151, so be sure to check out her site then!  Her theme is From Large to Small.  Pick a colour and take several photos that feature that colour.  Start with a photo of a big subject in that colour (for example, a wall) and move all the way down to a small subject in that same colour (for example, an earring).

Thursday Thoughts – Late Evening Walk

After a really cold and wet spell, we’ve had som glorious evenings. I’d love to have you with me for a late Spring walk.

The light is magical in the forest now, so soft, showing off the details as well as the whole picture.

It seems never is the light perfect for photography 24 hours a day – but, right now it is.

The marshes are alive again, but it is still too cold for the mosquitos. I know the swallows are here – but do they find any food? And all the other migrating birds – how are they managing this cold and wet spring?
Milo is walking alone now –
The scent of the Bird cherry envelops the forest in an almost tangible golden dream…
…where the nightingale throws his spellbinding tunes as the sun is slowly setting.

The numerous marsh- marigolds shine in the darker areas…

…and in the last sunlit meadow, buckbean stand like candles along the path.

Time to return home before it gets too cold – thank you for letting me borrow some of your delightful company!

Thursday Thoughts – Hiking Gedaryggen

We went with a hiking group last weekend. We always walk alone otherwise, but were invited by a friend to join in. 20 people in the big forest. All vaccinated except me. A great day.

Normally, the beeches would have been green by the first of May – but this year has been very cold so far. Today the Maiden Fall and the Maiden Stone were the two main attractions – besides walking in the forest of course.

Do you see the eaten cones on the stump? Never in my life I have seen this many! We saw one every 5th meter. The forest must be a complete mice den…but, we did not spot a single mouse scuttling around.

Our eminent guide, Bo, is a real nature’s man – and a natural forest man. He sleeps in a hammock under the canopy several nights a month – and he asked how many of us who wanted to try it in June…and got some three – four positive to the idea!
This was really a great hike, and the resting places were beautiful. Young and old had their imagination filled with new mysteries, and climbing through the stone was an adventure. The sites have their own story about the young maiden, Elsa, hiding there and staying in the forest to escape followers during the Scania war 1675-1679. Nobody knows if there was a happy ending though…the story does not tell…
After 6 hours of hiking Gedaryggen (”The Goats Back”) we were rather tired and some had sore feet. My left foot (operated on a couple of years ago) told me this was enough for the day.