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

Thursday Thoughts – Happy Birthday Sweet Mum!

Photo from last year’s birthday, when you turned 84.

 

Today you turn 85, and you two have been married for 55 years! The sun is shining, and we will make it a memorable day for you – despite the difficult times we are living in.

Thursday Thoughts – Thankfulness

Camera and binoculars packed – an Easter walk one of these beautiful mornings. The stillness in the air promised some lovely hours in my favorite place.

The old sallow stands waiting for its summer guests again – a different spring for us this year, but not so for the birds. Nature is still out there for us whenever we return.

The giant beech with sweet wood anemones at its feet. A joy that they managed to survive the freezing cold nights we have had for weeks. Down to 8 degrees below zero.

Glorious blackthorn in the sun! They grow everywhere here in the meadows, and I always walk up to the top fields to see them basking in the open air. They Are Sunshine.

Today the farmer was out too – his growling tractor the only sound disturbing the merry flute tones of thrushes, chaffinches and robins.

In April I always walk to the wetlands looking for the first marsh-marigolds. In 2018 many of them were lost because of the heavy drought. This year another blow came from the numerous wild boars. But I found a couple of them. When I was a child I tried to pick some for my grandmother, but alas, I soon learned they drop their petals immediately put in a vase. Grandma’ just smiled, saying they only love the outdoors.

I am so deeply grateful to be allowed to walk in the forest this spring too. I know that this year not all of us have this possibility – but there Will be more opportunities for us to go. We just have to be patient. Mother Nature will open her arms when we arrive.

Stay safe, stay well and stay in contact with each other.

 

 

Lens-Artists Challenge #53 – Your Choice

New Zealand is not a small country, but a large village – Peter Jackson

There is real purity in New Zealand…It’s actually not an easy thing to find in our world anymore – Elijah Wood

Today is a very special day for us here at Lens-Artists – the one year anniversary of our Challenge. While we were all initially saddened by the discontinuation of the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge, for us it became an opportunity to expand our blogging horizons and to create some amazing new friendships.

I feel that New Zealand is my second home.  – Luke Evans

On our end, we have transitioned from four independent photography bloggers to a tightly-knit team that supports, encourages and helps each other as we develop and create our weekly challenges. We’ve also been fortunate to have expanded our follower base thanks to bloggers like you who support and inspire us.

Toitū te whenua (Leave the land undisturbed).

As a result, our challenge has become near and dear to each of our hearts. We’ve gone well beyond being individual members of a team and have become four good friends.  We are tremendously thankful to you for your appreciation of our efforts; and for making us smile or feel touched by your responses.  As our thank you for your support and encouragement, we’re suggesting that you respond to today’s challenge with any subject that’s near and dear to YOUR hearts, as we’ve done with our images today. If you’d prefer some guidance, choose any of the four subjects we’ve selected this week (Friendship, A country that’s special to you, Imagination and Connected).

We are a proud nation of more than 200 ethnicities, 160 languages, and amongst that diversity we share common values. – Jacinda Ardern

Each of us has included several captures that are special to us in some way.

Mine are from a country and people that occupies a special place in my heart – New Zealand. Aotearoa is the Māori name – and the most popular meaning usually given is the ”land of the long white cloud”. A strikingly diverse Nature,  warm-hearted People with strong Environmental care and – an insane sense of humour! It is also the country in which JRR Tolkien’s characters so naturally belong. New Zealand opened its arms to me – and I immediately felt at home there.  I would never have guessed that our blogging community could feel like ”home” too – but it does. It is a privilege to host this challenge once a month.

I’ve learned that home isn’t a place, it’s a feeling.
Cecelia Ahern

Thank you again from the bottom of our hearts for making this such a terrific experience. If you have a subject that you feel might inspire us, please feel free to suggest it – we’d love to hear from you.  Should you be new to our challenge and interested in joining us, please click here and be sure to include the Lens-Artists TAG so we can all find you. Happy Blogging to all of our loyal followers and friends, and Happy Anniversary to us!

Whatungarongaro te tangata toitū te whenua

(As man disappears from sight, the land remains) This demonstrates the holistic values of the Maori, and the utmost respect of Papatuanuku, Mother Earth.

 

Have you seen these

Each week on Lens-Artists, we highlight several responses from among our followers. This special week we’d like to thank ALL of our followers for their thoughtful, funny, often-feisty and always wonderful posts. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do, and will continue to join us as we move into year two of the Lens-Artists Challenge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday Thoughts – Treasured Moments of Joy

Tonight, after a lovely day out, hiking and enjoying the sunshine, I was contemplating what really made me happy and in a good mood these last weeks. Do you often reflect upon what makes you happy? We should. At least reflection brings me more harmony.

To experience things together with my children is a great joy. In Umeå, we had some really bright and crisp days with much snow. The walks were gloriously fresh and beautiful. We laughed and talked and had Swedish ”Fika”.

My son and I had an excellent guide – his sister. Here admiring the sculpture ”Green Fire”

I loved seeing David without a skateboard too…but keeping his skate shoes on of course…

Two saints – for a day…

This bench was warm…I don’t know if it was because of the two saints sitting there, or… obviously it also could have been warmed up by its previous guests – who left two empty bottles in the snow…But I do believe the answer lies inside the concrete…

Meeting lovely people is another great joy. Umeå seems to be the place where many of them live… – this lady looked really sweet, and had left her home knitted mittens on top of the bag. It’s warm today, she said,  – last week we had – 25 C.

Passing by this balcony, we could not help stopping to admire the bird house. As the door was open, the lady came out and said hello – all smiles and waving to us.

”Imagine Peace”

Finally, I must return to the homely book store once more. It holds still another answer to what brought me great joy those days – Imagine Peace.

 

 

 

Thursday Thoughts – Season’s Greetings

Thank You for keeping me lovely company, sharing and exchanging thoughts and feelings throughout 2018 – Hope to see you in 2019 as well! Let us make it a year of joy and peace, of good hopes and work for a better world. Our way.

Chinese (Cantonese) – 祝聖誕節快樂

Chinese (Mandarin) – 祝圣诞节快乐

Danish – Glædelig Jul og Godt Nytår

Dutch – Prettige feestdagen

Fijian – Bula Vinaka

Finnish – Hyvää Joulua ja Onnellista Uutta Vuotta

French – Joyeuses fêtes

German – Frohe Feiertage!

Hindi – uoo”kZ dh ‘kqÒdkeuk;sa

Icelandic – Gleðilega hátíð

Italian – Buone Feste

Japanese – メリー クリスマス

Korean – 즐거운 연휴 되시길 바랍니다.

Lithuanian – Linksmų švenčių!

Norwegian – God Jul og Godt Nytt År

Persian (Farsi) تبریکات فصلی

Portuguese – Boas Festas

Romanian – Crăciun fericit

Spanish – Felices fiestas

Swati – Tilokotfo taKhisimisi

…and the same message in the 6787 other languages in the world!

 

Amazon Lily

This year my Amazon lily has got 6 stems with 5-7 flowers on each one of them.

I fell in love with this flower at first sight – when I was in my twenties.

I bought a bulb in the 1980’s when we had a very good plant shop in the nearest town – where I worked then.

I have always loved flowers, and very seldom fail with new ones – I am always well prepared. But the Amazon lily – no. The first bulb did not ever come up above the soil.

The second one did. But only never to set flowers. Then I got an upcoming pot plant from an old collegue of mine. Or in fact, from his wife. He grows orchids and she loves plants too –

On their porch she had 5-6 Amazon plants – and she gave away one of them to me. With a piece of good advice…

Let them stand outdoors during summer – and they will shoot flowers.

They did, already the first year.

Now they stand out there from May to September – and they grow marvelously beautiful flowers – with scent like a dream.

They stand below the grapes – getting ready now to eat. They really match – the grapes and the Amazon lily. In outdoors beauty. And eating – with eyes as well.

 

 

Searching for Summer Beauty

Tonight I went out to search for flowers in the nearest marshland.

And what joy to find they are still there!

Even by the road some have survived –

In the stillness of the late evening

Sommarkväll blommor och grodor 2018 087-2

– I rejoice in their presence

Sommarkväll blommor och grodor 2018 041-2