Ta’ Qali Park – After the rain

A few weeks ago there was no greenery at all in Ta Qali National Park. After the summer heat it was very dry. Then the rainy season began and nature woke up again. Although it’s October and the winter season awaits, it feels almost like spring is here. Fanny can merrily run around in the high grass again, surrounded by yellow flowers.

In Malta you will not find colorful autumn leaves, but cones may also have autumn colors.I haven’t seen these beautiful flowers since last spring.

This is Malta in October.
In January it becomes colder before the real spring begins in February when the almond tree blossoms.
A pretty pleasant winter awaits.

Everyday Life…

Everyday life in different parts of our world. Above you see a family at the market in Kota Kinabalu in Borneo, Malaysia and then a woman selling Pancake Crepes along Patong Beach in Phuket, Thailand.

All of these pictures are from my archive and memories from different trips. The images speak for themselves but you may be able to guess where they were taken. A few clues, three are from Malta one from Singapore, one from Sicily and the rest from Borneo, Stockholm and California. Click on an image to enlarge.

On the Way…

Here we are on the way along the Mediterranean Sea where the sculpture “White Shadow”stands. A marble cut-out of human figures walking together. Designed by Maltese Architect Richard England in Sliema 2002.On the way by car to the countryside.

…where we meet these happy riders.Suddenly the road ends. Which way I chose then I’ll let you know in a later post, without high heels.

This is my second post for Son of a Beach’s Which Way Photo Challenge

Which Way…

In Ta Qali National Park, there aren’t only lots of different kinds of plants, trees, birds, insects and picnic areas.There are also many stairs, leading to nowhere, except from where you came.Posted for Son of a Beach’s Which Way Photo Challenge

Roses…

I just couldn’t resist buying these roses, for no special reason at all. Three pink and two white. It doesn’t show but they are twice as big as usual and they still last after five days. I love the soft colors, I love pink…It’s told that pink is not just a color, it’s an attitude. Either you love it or hate it, but there must also be something in between depending on the shades and where the color is seen. Who doesn’t like flamingos…

Clouds in the sky…

We have variable weather now here in Malta with sun and blue sky and gray days with rain, while the first stormy weather has passed. (Please click on a circle to enlarge, each image has a short text.)…and when it’s gray and rainy, there are always colors to find that can brighten our days.Autumn is here to stay but we have varannandagsväder as we call it in Swedish. Yesterday I had to bring my umbrella while walking with Fanny, today it’s clear sky and 27 degrees. Wish you all a wonderful weekend!

In search of Autumn

When the prickly pear cactus fruit are ready to eat, it’s autumn. This delicious fruit has a sweet, melon-like aroma and grows wild throughout Malta and Gozo. Tasty and said to be healthy but with a prickly skin. This giant flower, like the other images in this post were chosen for their colors, to give a sense of autumn. First of October and yet few signs of autumn while the temperature slowly drops, today we have 28 degrees. Did you know that Malta enjoy around 3,000 hours of sunshine per year, one of the highest rates in Europe!

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”
Albert Camus

Simplicity

Creating an illusion with simple means has been used by artists for a long time and the varieties are many. Here the artist has used plant parts for his composition. The flowers become a woman’s face and the leaves form the impression of a bird. These motifs are found in many variants. Here I’ve photographed two paintings and edited them to get a white background. Wish you all an enjoyable weekend! Love from Malta 💕 🐕The original artist of the woman face is Octavio Ocampo and the painting is called “Mouth Of Flower”.
  The original artist of the bird is Oleg Shuplyak, an amazing surreal optical illusion painter.

In a World of Colors

In this weeks photo challenge, Frank like us to share some insights into “Our World”.
How we see it or something that can catch your eyes or someone else’s eyes.The colors of these traditional fishing boats are usually painted in bright colors while the bow has a pair of eyes. These Luzzus have existed since ancient times and is often considered as a symbol of Malta.I can’t imagine living in a world without being surrounded by colors.

Imagine if Our World only could be seen in different shades of grey. Colors are part of our lives and we need to add more bright and vivid colors into Our World. These boats represent few colors but colors are everywhere. Look around, it will make our existence more joyous, fulfilled and full of positive adventures. Let’s paint Our World in a variety of colors. Tuesday Photo Challenge – Our World

A Sense of Blue

If you’re feeling blue, try painting yourself a different color”
Hanna Cheatem-
“Every drop in the ocean counts”
-Yoko Ono-The worst kind of sad is not being able to explain why

“Color is to the eye what music is to the ear”

The importance of Insects

Insects, flowers and pollen. A fantastic combination for reproduction, created by nature.“If we were to wipe out insects alone on this planet, the rest of life and humanity with it would mostly disappear from land. Within a few months”
-E.O. Wilson-

Genuine Joy!

Can you see her? For me this is pure joy. To see when Fanny with great delight runs freely on the rocks. She loves to run and she loves to run fast. This is a huge area along the Mediterranean, near Marsalforn in Gozo.

Here you also find the Salt pans. The production of sea salt has a long tradition in Gozo and the Salt pans found near Marsalforn are still used today. Click on the link and read more if you are interested.The salt is stored in caves carved into the coastal rock and I see a happy face!It’s amazing how nature has been shaped through the years! Some rocks looks more like soft sand dunes.

Obviously, this is not the place to visit in search of plant or insects…

…but you can run, you can bike and if you’re brave, take a dip in the sea from the high cliffs.
Notice the ladder and don’t forget to click on an image to enlarge.With love from Anita & Fanny, my beloved Basenji! 💕

Autumn?

No autumn feelings so far here in Malta.

We have some flowers left on our roof terrace and have planted new ones on the lower one.We are in the middle of September and it’s still warm but yet, not too hot. In the Mediterranean it’s 27 degrees.No rain has fallen and what you see is not water from the sky.
No, I’ve no feelings of autumn, yet…

Remember in November the lovely September!Try to remember the kind of September
When life was slow and oh, so mellow.
When grass was green and grain was yellow.
When you were a tender and callow fellow.
Try to remember, and if you remember,
Then follow…
Try to remember when life was so tender
That no one wept except the willow.
That dreams were kept beside your pillow.
That love was an ember about to billow.
Try to remember, and if you remember,
Then follow…
Deep in December, it’s nice to remember,
Although you know the snow will follow.
Without a hurt the heart is hollow.
The fire of September that made us mellow.
Deep in December, our hearts should remember
And follow…
American original text: Harvey Schmidt 1960 –
Slightly shortened.

Angels & Lines

Yes, I’ve been away, again. This time I went to my hometown in Sweden for a few days. I had lots of ideas what to do and what to see, but in three days I didn’t make much of it. I met my three sisters and I met a blog friend that I never met before. Thank you Annette 💕we had much to talk about and time flew too fast.

The images above has nothing to do with the text except that they are two of very few I took during my visit in Stockholm and the fact that these are not to be found in Malta. What you see are two chimneys, lines, signs, a blue sky, colors and angles. No remarkable about that, all depending on how you look at the pictures.

The Caterpillar Story…

Lovely butterflies! I’ve not seen so many of them this summer. I used to capture a lot among our plants on our roof terrace, which is now gone. These are from Sicily while those in the circles were taken in Malta.

Thank you! I’ll will reply and I’ll visit your site, as soon as I catch up with my time. You are all precious!! Take care out there. Love from Malta 💕

 

Away from it all…

We went to Sicily for a week, to get away from it all. Here we rented a villa, Villa Cristina, located in a rural area, but not too far from Siracusa. Simple yet cozy accommodation. The garden was huge and there were orange and olive trees, banana plants, grapes, tomatoes, chili peppers, herbs and much more. I love basil!Sweet tomatoes! I can eat Cherry tomatoes like candies!These bananas were not edible but the flowering herb was both decorative and exotic.
Did you know that banana plants are the world’s largest herb!

Above you see some images from the garden where we could pick and eat whatever we liked. There’s more to find in the garden and we did some trips with our car to a few towns and secluded beaches. More to come from Sicily in Italy!

It was a long time since I felt as relaxed as during our stay in Sicily. Away from it all, away from the outside world. Perhaps something we all need from time to time, completely without any internet access.

Every picture tells a story…

…I walk, I look, I see, I stop, I photograph!

Every picture tells a story, even though the viewer doesn’t always know what lies behind.

Selmun Bay

Last weekend we went to Selmun Bay after we heard that there should be a nice dog-friendly sandy beach. Getting there was quite challenging, this is NOT a one way road! Fortunately, we didn’t meet any cars.Here we are! Looks nice and very dry up here, but we have to climb down a steep slope to reach the beach.

We soon realize that the water and the sandy beach is black! Black and full of seaweed! And where the water is clear it’s very rocky and slippery which makes it difficult to walk, especially when holding Fanny in my arms.But we manage to take a quick dip and a few meters from the shore the bottom consists of soft sand.Back from the water and Fanny has decided that it’s enough for today. No more swimming, now I just want to relax and observe what others are doing on the beach and in that black muddy water.

Fanny is obviously not the only one who prefers to stay on dry land.

All pictures in this post were taken with my digital camera Panasonic Lumix TZ100 that I rarely use for the reason that I still haven’t learned how to use it. I used only P-mode but I’m pleased with the quality and will try to use it more. The weight is only 300 gram compared to my Canon 1,5 kilo.

Summer shades…

It’s very dry now here on the island.These are seen on many dry plants right now, I’ve no idea why.A glimpse of Selmun church is seen in the background.Fortunately, there are some plants that survive the heat.On a Sunday in mid July, most people here in Malta choose to have fun on the beach, 30 degrees or swim in the sea, 26 degrees. I think I’ll do the same. Wish You a great Sunday, wherever You are on this planet. Splash!!! 

Happy Birthday!

Today is Fanny’s birthday and she’s now one year old. We have had here since she was three months and this post is dedicated to my lovely Basenji. A clever engaging breed with great personality and a strong own will……and with a very special tail.Here she’s only three months old and just arrived from Sweden to our home in Malta. Today she runs free in Ta Qali without leash, always coming back when we call or if we hide.

Click on an image to enlarge. There are a short text to every image.Did You Know?
*The Basenji, whose name means Bush Thing, is one of the most ancient breeds of dog.

*Basenjis have been around very long, they hung out with the ancient Egyptians. In fact, there is evidence of the dogs existing as far back as 4000 BCE. Each is different and unique, and each breed provides dogs that have their own personality traits.

*Well known as the “barkless” dog from Africa, the Basenji attracts admirers with his short coat, small, muscular body, alert manners, erect ears, and tail curled tightly over one hip. A wrinkled brow gives him a quizzical and sometimes mischievous expression.

*In Kenya, the dogs are used to lure lions out of their caves, as Basenjis not are afraid of bigger animals. Masai hunters use about four of these dogs at one time to find lions and get them out in the open. Once a lion leaves the safety of its cave, hunters form a circle around the big cat to take it down.

*Like cats, Basenjis like to lick themselves clean. They shed very little and have no undercoat, so they do not tolerate the cold very well. They tend to find the sunniest spot to take a nap.

*Basenjis love to play and play. They act like puppies even into old age. They are very comical to watch and provide entertainment for their owners.

*Basenjis are very intelligent and quick learners but that does not make them easy to train. They are very independent and usually have an agenda of their own.

 

Beetle

This little cute beetle stayed on the flower for quite some time so I had time enough to photograph at least one of all insects I’ve tried to capture recently, without success.When I take my camera with me I always have to choose between my macro or zoom lens depending on where and what I plan to photograph. I chose “wrong” lens this time but the pictures became pretty good anyway.I was going to add at the end, “…as long as you do not enlarge them” but my mind said no. We all try to do as good as we can and must be proud of our efforts to learn, give and share. Gratitude is a valuable gift.

Maltese Architecture

When I moved to Malta in 2000, there was no such modern architecture on the island.

The old houses are often well-preserved with a genuine Maltese architecture. Today, modern structures at Tigné Point strongly contrast with the buildings in Valletta as well as with most of the towns on the island. The only building that had a modern style when I moved here was the Portomaso Business Tower which opened in 2001. With its 97 meters it is still the tallest building in Malta.

The construction industry is currently booming here in Malta and new high-rise houses are being built almost everywhere. Hopefully they are also thinking of preserving as much as possible of the old houses, otherwise Malta will lose a lot of its charm.

Winged & Colorful

Winged and colorful but so hard to capture with my camera.Pride…Tough and stubborn.Looks like this one wants to say something, I’m colorful and I can fly.

Weekly Photo Challenge by Frank / Dutch Goes the Photo’s

Happy Midsummer!

In the midsummer’s eve, according to Swedish tradition, seven kinds of flowers should be picked and put under the pillow. If you like to know how to celebrate midsummer in Sweden Click here. Two very special flowers from a very special blog friend.
Thank you BP, they are still in my kitchen after four years.“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…
it’s about learning to dance in the rain”

Seventh Heaven On the 7th Floor

It was on our roof terrace I took my first macro images.A few years ago we bought seeds in an attempt to grow rhubarb. But it didn’t succeed.

Spiders! Click on an image to enlarge.

It’s early in the spring and my dear man is cleaning while I take a selfie in the window of our office.

I’m not sure how many different kinds of flowers we have had but these are some of them.

One of my husband’s many fun experiments. Can you really fry an egg in the sun? Obviously!!Our terrace as it once looked and below, what it looks like right now. Yes, added some color. Our office, my dear husbands atelier and our dining room that we use every summer are gone after twelve years. Of our flowers and plants there are only a very few left and so are the butterflies and other insects. Looking at the stars in the sky and the moon that shine but this is not my Seventh heaven anymore. Fanny, Yeah, come on!!! Rock ‘n’ roll!!!

All images in this post have I taken on our roof terrace over the years gone by…
…apart from the last one.

Let’s Have a Drink

 Cisk Lager Beer has been brewed in Malta with all natural ingredients since 1928 and was awarded top prize in the International Lager Category at the 1995 Australian Beer Awards. I rarely drink beer myself.

Cocktails of different kinds are common in summer, with or without alcohol. When it’s Happy hour you get two for one. Mojito, my favorite at the top consists of club soda, rum, syrup, lime juice, mint and lots of ice. Very refreshing!!Italian wine is very good and these bottles are from Sicily.Malta may not be renowned like its larger Mediterranean neighbours for wine production, but northern European markets are just beginning to discover the secret of Maltese wines.  Grapes grown in Malta’s hot and humid climate ripen much quicker than their counterparts further north. I always buy the local or Italian wine.Water……the most common and healthiest drink during the day!!

Shades of Red

Today I just want to spread some color!  My favorite flower and color, the Bougainvillea on top.A Flower fly is looking for nectar in the flowers of Ta Qali National Park.Color & flower.

Splash!!

Come with me and take a dip in the sea, said the bigger dog when we were at Manoel Island last weekend.
It’s nice and cool, 22 degrees!! Come on Fanny!!!I don’t know if I dare I’ve never swam before but it looks fun. Fair enough, I’ll try!! Splash!!!! This may not be the best way to get up from the water but I’m a brave, strong and very stubborn Basenji who never gives up. I will certainly try again but may need some assistance from my leader.

Hopefully Fanny and I will soon swim together in the Mediterranean where it’s now 22 degrees. Some dogs may have the physical capacity to swim, but a mortal fear of the water. We’ll have to start on shallow waters and I’ll try to make her feel safe and encourage her to enjoy it. If that doesn’t work I’ll will never force her.💖Who knows, within a week or two, she may be a real water lovers.💖

Follow me to Valletta…

It’s not often that I visit Malta´s capital but last week I a took the ferry and spent some hours in the city. Valletta is designated as the European Capital of Culture in 2018.Some tourists and one of the public art installations depicting Maltese proverbs.To the left you see the new Parliament Building in Valletta.The architecture of Valletta’s streets and piazzas ranges from mid-16th century Baroque to Mondernism.And the entire city of Valletta has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1980.

Here are some more of the public art installations. You must click on an image to enlarge. It is an exciting city worth exploring. But after a couple of hours walking in the heat it’s time for an ice cream.Republic Street is the main street of Valletta. It is about 1 km long and extends from the City Gate towards the granaries at Fort St. Elmo. It is mostly dedicated to pedestrians, with highly limited vehicle use.Beyond the old Opera house, it’s often crowded with people due to large selection of small shops and cafes. Daphne Caruana Galizia, the journalist who was killed in a car bomb on 16th October 2017. The memorial located at the foot of the Great Siege Monument has been wiped out more than once. But as activist Pia Zammit said: “They can remove the flowers and candles but the truth remains.”Unlike the main street, most of the streets in the city are narrow, the houses are old in a typical Maltese style.Time to take the ferry back home to Sliema. It only takes a couple of minutes and I think I´ll return quite soon.