The Beauty of Thistles

If your thoughts is a rose, you are a rose garden; and if it is a thistle, you are fuel for the fire
– Rumi –

All my life I’ve tried to pluck a thistle and plant a flower
wherever the flower would grow in thought and mind

– Abraham Lincoln –Everything has beauty but not everyone sees it
– Confucius –

Which Way…

This is my entry for this week’s Which Way Photo Challenge

Bee, Yellow, Blue & Jump to Pink…

The mimosa flowers shines like small suns.A grasshopper rests on a blade of grass……while a bee searches for nectar among some flowers.Spring is here after a winter that has been too long and too cold.

Another weekend is waiting, on Monday I fly to Spain. It feels like it’s time to move on…

A day in Marsaxlokk

Last Sunday we went to Malta’s largest fishing village Marsaxlokk.

Sundays are most crowded when many people flock to the Sunday market where street hawkers set up their stalls selling souvenirs, clothes and all kinds of things. And of course they sell lots of fresh fish.

But we were not here mainly for the market but for the colorful boats……and the genuine and lovely atmosphere among the locals.

We also found a dog friendly beach but it was quite small and rocky. Fanny just relaxed and enjoyed being in a new place while she was curiously looking at what happened in the harbor among the colorful boats.Before heading back home we stopped at Ta Qali Park to let Fanny have fun and run freely. Lucky me found spring’s first Poppy, my favorite and no, I didn’t pick it but needed a helping hand because of the wind.

Balance & Harmony

You may not feel or see any balance between these two images,
but I tried to put some harmony in both of them, then I found a balance.

Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance and order and rhythm and harmony”
Thomas Merton

Spring is in the air…

Back home and back to my usual routines here in Malta.

Last Saturday we spent the whole day in Majjistral National Park.It’s not often that I see mushrooms growing here in Malta, but here is one.

The nature, the plants, everything are so different from what you find in the rainforest in Sarawak, Borneo. Very soon the mimosa blooms as seen in one of the image above. The very best about coming home is to be close to Fanny again. Away is good but home is best.

Depth of Field

Some images from last weekend in Il-Bajja tal-Ġnejna, Gnejna Bay in Mgarr.

I hope the depth of field can be seen in some of these pictures.Last but not least, my beloved Basenji Fanny, always by my side, a precious part of my life.

For Nancy Merrill’s A Photo a Week Challenge: Depth of Field

Some Fun Growths & Fanny

There is a lot of growth to be found in nature now here in Malta.

Here are some of more or less funny plants that I saw last weekend when we visited Il-Bajja tal-Ġnejna. Another exciting nature park we never visited before. But thanks to Fanny we still find new places to explore.I’ve never seen anything like this. Looks edible! Wonder how this one will look when growth ends.A cool growth hairstyle.For me, the most precious growth, when Fanny became part of our family.

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Growth

Spring Fever!

I felt so happy when I saw almond trees already blooming here on the island! But when I downloaded the images to my computer, I realized they weren’t that good. I used my macro lens and have taken better images. What did I do wrong?

Now I know what went wrong, and I learned something. An image doesn’t always have to be perfect for being good. Being happy is the greatest form of success. I’m very happy and my heartfelt wish is, that so are You.

Let the New Year Begin…

Yes, I know, we are all almost back to our everyday life again and it’s the third day of the New Year 2019. Some may have noticed that I let my blog rest during the festive season, that was without any special reason.Above, two typical images of Malta. Greenery all over the island and yellow flowers, even though it’s winter. And when you see the different colored balconies in the cluttered but yet charming surroundings, it’s easy to guess where you are.

From yesterdays visit to Il-Gżira Manoel / Manoel Island in Gzira. I also noticed that the mimosa trees got buds and they will soon bloom, in February.But, it feels colder than cold, especially when I walk with Fanny on the cliffs along the Mediterranean sea. Strong winds, 12 degrees but luckily the sun shines. The forecast says it will drop to 4 degrees at night!The new year has just begun and we know nothing about the future but it looks bright with lots of love and joy. Take care out there!!!
Anita & Fanny

Majjistral National Park…

Last Friday we went to Majjistral National Park in Il-Mellieħa. We haven’t been there since spring. It was 18 degrees, and a bit windy but it was really nice to walk on the cliffs again along the Mediterranean Sea.

Fanny really enjoyed running around freely in the green countryside.

I came home with more than hundreds of images in my camera.These were just a part of them, there will be more from the park in my next post.
Hope you enjoyed!

Friday Photo Fun – Splash

A Splash of Color from Malta’s typical fishing boats…

A Floral Color Splash…A Splash of Joy…

Click this link and find more Splash on Kate’s Friday Photo Fun.

The realistic lifesized painted-bronze work by J. Seward Johnson Jr. depicts a man about 30 years old carrying a boy, about 4-years old on his shoulders. The boy has taken the man’s hat and is about to put it on himself as the man’s left arm reaches for the hat and his right hand grips the boy by the right ankle. Behind the work is a mural of a carousel, leaving the impression that the pair are at a fair or carnival.
Santa Barbara, California, United States.

Fanny in Ta Qali Park..

During the Second World War the Ta Qali National Park was used as an airfield. Today the park is very popular with Maltese people and a busy place on Saturday afternoons when many families gather for picnics.

There are many wild cats in the park and Fanny loves to chase them, luckily she never manage to catch any. They run too fast or climb on a tree. But when they lie down or humps, she’s scared of them.Dogs are allowed to run freely in the late afternoons but must be kept on leash all other times. This image with the green grass was taken after the rain, compared to the one above which was taken before. Within a few months, the grass will be so high that Funny is not visible. Then we play hide and seek.
My lovely stubborn and curious Basenji 💕

Friday’s thoughts…

It’s hard to believe that this creature will transform into a colorful moth. I’ve never seen such a big caterpillar. It’s about 15 cm/6 inches. Could be an Elephant Hawk-moth, Deilephila elpenor but I’m not sure.

 Now, that caterpillar was not yet colorful so here’s some sunshine from Ta Qali……where the grass was wet with dew.A spider’s web along with dew create a nice pattern. Nature is an amazing world to explore and we must all do what we can to preserve it. “We are in danger of destroying ourselves by our greed and stupidity. We cannot remain looking inwards at ourselves on a small and increasingly polluted and overcrowded planet.”
—Stephen Hawking

Food for thought can be that earth is home to millions of species, but just one dominates it.
Wish you all a lovely weekend!“If the bee disappears from the surface of the earth,
man would have no more than four years to live.”

—Albert Einstein

 

 

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.

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

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-

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.

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.

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!!!