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.

Monday’s Malta pics

Macro photography is always fun and I guess this is a hornet, Vespa crabro, or Bålgeting as we say in Swedish. I see many of them now among our hibiscus on the terrace. Sadly, with fewer plants the butterflies are gone.The plant blooms but the leaves are more yellow than green. Perhaps more care and nutrition are needed. Finally, there are lots of spiders to find in Ta Qali National Park, this one is about two inches. More to come…

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.

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.

Away for a while…

I’ve been away for a while, away from it all, again. This time we went to Gozo, Malta’s sister island which is completely different from the main island. Gozo is known as a tranquil haven for a tempo and scene change.

This little island has its own special charm. It’s greener, more rural and with life’s rhythms dictated by the seasons, fishing and agriculture. I love this little island in the middle of the Mediterranean. These images may represent tranquility and life’s rhythm, at the sunset of Dwejra.

I’d like to thank Ben Humberman at WordPress.com who once again highlighted my blog in the Reader under Discover. Thank You so much Ben and thanks to all of my new and old followers!!
You are my inspiration. ❤

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.

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.

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.

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.

Butterflies that Surprise

Macro photography are challenging and exciting. This butterfly was hidden behind tall grass a windy day in Ta Qali Park and rarely stopped for more than a few seconds. I suppose this is a Wood White (Leptidea sinapis).I didn’t notice that it actually were two butterflies until I came home and downloaded the images to my computer. A happy surprise that often happens when shooting with macro. If these really are Wood White, I can always ask Brian. He knows a lot about different butterfly species and his blog is well worth visiting.

Floating in the blue…

How blue can it really be up there in the sky?Can blue be just for fun?

Compare the blue color in the sky with the sea.And you’ll find same blue color but in fifty shades of…
No sense with this post, just to keep my blog floating.

Happy Macro Friday!

If all insects on Earth disappeared, within 50 years all life on Earth would end.If all human beings disappeared from the Earth, within 50 years all forms of life would flourish. Quote by Jonas Salk

Cliffs haven

When exploring the nature in Malta you often see cliffs, cliffs, I see cliffs everywhere. And a clear blue sky.It makes me dizzy and instead of looking up, I take a look down, to find a busy bee.When I look up again, I see someone sitting on top of one of the high cliffs.Must be a great view up there while I got an amazing view from down here.Finally, for those who wondered if there aren’t any restrictions in Majjistral Nature Park. Here you are…

Walpurgis Night

Walpurgis Night is the last day of April and a traditional non-religious holiday in Sweden. Especially in the City of Uppsala where there are huge student gatherings to celebrate the arrival of the spring.

Here in Malta April 30th is an ordinary day and my images have no connection with Walpurgis Night, or Valborgsmässoafton, as this evening is called in Swedish.

But I like to wish you all a wonderful evening wherever you are on this planet, no matter if you celebrate or not. Remember, even a small fly is part of our nature. Take care out there and enjoy every moment!!

Majjistral Park Plateau

I’ve shown some pictures from Majjistral Park but not so many from the plateau that is high above sea level. From here the views are amazing but it’s real steep at the edge of the high cliffs. Do not walk too close!Most of the plants up here are small, you can see the ant. These grow individually……whilst these blooms together and forms like small meadows on the plateau.A symbol of the Navy.A very special flower that I’ve never seen before. To me they look like soft corals.

Finally, Fanny on the run, full of energy 💖 …until we are back home. More to come…
Meanwhile, wish you all a great Sunday 💖

Hiking in Majjistral Nature Park– Part 2

Last time, we went along the narrow path to the small buildings that you can see in distance at above image. From there we continued our walk in search for the staircase up to the plateau, where we got lost.Here we are still on our way to the buildings by the sea and the path is easy to follow. My dear man carries my pink bag with water, my macro lens and some snacks. Fanny is the leader while I, as usually, walk behind.Surrounded by huge cliffs……and the Mediterranean Sea below.

The scenery varies quite a lot but we just have to follow the narrow path and there’s no risk of getting lost.Finally, by the sea to rest for a while. I dip my feet in the water before continuing our walk around the corner.

Water and some chicken for Fanny…

…while I take a look at some of the pictures I have in my camera that I’ve taken along the way. Now I realize that even this post will be too long so I finish as last time with a picture of my beloved and brave Basenji Fanny. Part 3 will come later but to give you a clue, there were no easy paths around the corner…

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge – Prolific

This week, Krista asks us what “Prolific” makes us think about. The most prolific must be the earth itself as home of all known life. Water, microorganisms, oxygen, mammals, dinosaurs, flowers, insects, humans…
A never ending process, of which these images are just a tiny fraction from my little corner of the earth.The nature, not always easy for humans to explore, but we are attracted and we are curious about it. …and we are part of an amazing landscape and scenery. In search for life and color.We all know that behind the clouds the sky is always blue but rarely think of the valuable air we breathe. And when the sun sets, another day is gone and life on earth continues in an eternal circle, constantly prolific. With or without homo sapiens…

All images are from Majjistral National Park here in Malta April 2018.

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge / Prolific

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge – Awakening

This week, Jen asks us to show an image/s of awakening or some kind of renewal.
While enjoying the awakening of nature after winter……seeing a butterfly is an obvious proof of that spring is has arrived……and when you see these you know that even this summer, you can enjoy eating fresh figs……while a wild cat yawning, renewed with energy after a few hours sleep in Independence gardens.

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge / Awakening

Poppies

Poppies, or Vallmo as we say in Swedish, are one of the most beautiful wild flowers I know and very common during spring here in Malta. Looks like this one is dancing, despite some lost petals.I always think about Princess Cakes when I see the pistil of these flowers.Stamens and pistils along with amazing colors create a beautiful flower. Nature is a wonderful world.

Hiking in Majjistral Nature Park– Part 1

In my last post, I mentioned that we went hiking in Majjistral Nature Park last Saturday. We walked for about three hours and we got lost. These are just a very few of all the pictures I took, just to give an impression of how it looks in the park. You can choose between walking at the flat plateau which we did the first time… …for more adventure you can choose to walk along the slopes on narrow winding paths, and that’s what we did this time. Me, my husband and our brave Basenji Fanny. Here at the beginning the walkway is quite wide.Our first stop will be at the small buildings by the water. When we were here last time we thought this was a dead end but on our way back we meet a couple who said that you can continue around the corner and further up there are a stairway where you can get up to the plateau. No need to go back and just a few hours walk.

This trip can easily be a very long trip since I stop all the time to take pictures. Here´s the second butterfly I seen so far this year. Sadly, my macro lens was in my bag, but I managed to take some close ups anyway.Now the paths have become more narrow and the slopes down towards the sea are steeper.We will soon arrive at the small buildings where we will rest before moving on to see what’s waiting around the corner. It became quite exciting, but I’ll leave that until part two. Before I finish, I have to mention my beloved four-legged friend. She’s soon nine months old, still a puppy but very clever and so brave. She proved that on several occasions during the next part of our adventure.💖💖

I think this post may fit well with the theme of breathe with its breathtaking views, the breathtaking adventures, and our deep breaths when we were exhausted after climbing and when we realized we were lost. If that’s not enough then it’s obvious above how Fanny breathes.

Photo Challenge by Frank / Dutch Goes the Photo’s / Theme: Breathe

 

Macro time

I think this is a Vinbärssnäcka. That´s what it called in Swedish but I´m not sure about the English name.

Here I let the pictures speak for themselves.This is the first butterfly I managed to capture so far this year. It flew among the flowers in Majjistral National Park. This one was not easy to catch with the camera, but I’m very happy that I found it.

WPC – Smile

This week, Ben invites us to point our camera at something or someone that puts a smile on our face.
Happy people jumping of joy a cold day in January here in Malta. Keep smiling, regardless of image quality. “There are hundreds of languages in the world, but a smile speaks them all”

A child’s spontaneous drawing, natural colors from flowers and even the strict but yet colorful stained glass found in many churches. “A smile is the universal welcome”An unexpected smile during last weekend’s walking in Majjistral National Park.

💖If you meet someone without a smile, give one of yours💖 

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge / Smile