Marsaxlokk – Part 1

Last Sunday we visited the small and picturesque fishing village of Marsaxlokk which is the largest fishing harbour of Malta and has been so since antiquity. Here, among many other things, you’ll find the colorful and traditional luzzu’z.

The luzzu is a sturdy carvel-built boat with a double-ended hull brightly painted in shades of yellow, red, green and blue. The bow is often pointed with a pair of eyes, “Eye of Osiris”, said to protect the fishermen while at sea.

There’s much more than just the colorful boats to discover in this village, especially on Sundays.
More to come…

Greenery

The other day I took Fanny with me and went to Victoria Lines for a long walk.
The view from here is amazing and in the distance you can see the island of Gozo.

Here, in the scenic lush nature, you can walk for hours.

That’s all for today from Malta!

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January Wildflowers

Ja, alla dessa vilda blommor växer och frodas här på ön just nu.
Som vanligt lägger jag upp lite för många bilder men det är så svårt att välja.

Dessutom är det av olika skäl lite långt mellan inläggen just nu, tid har jag men känner ofta att jag inte vet vad jag vill med mina bilder. Fotograferar mycket och kan sitta i timmar och sortera och redigera, men sen blir det oftast inget mer.

Min finaste lilla Felicia, hon får alltid vara med på ett hörn.
Trots att hon inte är en blomma, är hon ändå en slags blomma, för mig.

Liksom hennes mamma, ett riktig guldkorn i tillvaron. På den här på bilden är Fanny bara något äldre än vad Felicia är idag. Då, i november 2017 var hon drygt fyra månader gammal. Time flies..

Malta 11 January 2021.

Welcome Year 2021

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.
The important thing is not to stop questioning.”

-Albert Einstein

“The past is our lesson. The present is our gift. The future is our motivation.”
– Anonymous

I am prepared for the worst, but hope for the best.
– Benjamin Disraeli

Among wild flowers, colors, thoughts and happy-go-lucky dogs.
Life is a challenge, Life is good, after all.

Close Your Eyes & Make a Wish.

Trust the Magic of a New Beginning.
Malta 01 January 2021

Happiness & Joy!

That was yesterday, when we celebrated Christmas Eve at home.
Today, we went to Ta Qali Nature Park.

A blue sky with few clouds, green grass and plenty of wildflowers. It felt like spring in the air.

While Fanny could run without a leash as usual, little Felicia jumped happily and curiously around in the green grass in her eight-meter-long leash. Within a very few days she will be three months old. Time flies…

Malta 25 December 2020

Flower of The Day

“To see a World in a Grain of Sand And a Heaven in a wildflower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand And Eternity in an hour.

And Robin Redbreast in a Cage Puts all Heaven in a Rage.
A dove house filled with doves and pigeons Shudders Hell through all its regions.”

– William Blake

Cee’s Photo Challenge Flower of The Day

Pembroke Heritage Trail

Mom often takes me to Pembroke, which is closer to where we live than Ta’ Qali Park.
It’s a large barren natural area along the Mediterranean Sea. If you look closely you’ll see me in the image above.

Freedom and Joy!

The weather is still more than great here on the island. 20-23 degrees and no wind even though we are already in November. I have no idea from where the water comes in the images above, it hasn’t rained for a while now.

Feel free to click on an image to enlarge.

Back so sea level. Work is in progress, though not right now!
There are more to find in this area and in my next post I will show some plants and a cute little creature I meet recently. So, more to come…

❤️ In the meantime, here you can see my beautiful litter of puppies, already six weeks old❤️

More from Ta’ Qali

Here are some more images from Ta’ Qali Nature Park.

The weather here on the island is fantastic considering that we are already in November.

It’s the first time this year that I see a ladybug and the berries of the olive trees are ready to be harvested.

Now that the first rains have fallen after the summer drought, it’s easy to get a sense of spring.

I don’t feel I have succeeded so very well in photographing insects this year and now the dragonflies are fewer.
There are many yellow butterflies in the park right now but they are not easily caught.

I end the post with Fanny, an amazing mother who will now slowly but surely spend less time with the puppies so that at the age of eight weeks they are no longer dependent on their mom.

Hello! I’m five weeks old now and still need my mom. I guess I’m the one who’s going to live with my mother while my five siblings move to their new homes. Although she who decides seems to have a hard time choosing ❤️

Lens-Artists Challenge – Negative Space

This week’s theme, Negative Space chosen by Amy feels both challenging and fun. Although at least one of the images I’ve chosen may not fit the theme completely, they all have something in common. The blue color.“There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer.”
— Ansel Adams“Photographs open doors into the past, but they also allow a look into the future.”
– Sally Mann
.“When people ask me what equipment I use – I tell them my eyes.”
— Anonymous“To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place…
I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.”
— Elliott Erwitt

Lens-Artists Challenge #114 – Negative Space

Ta’ Qali, Trees, A Lizard, Resin & Fanny

Some images from yesterday’s visit to Ta Qali. Many of the trees have recently been pruned. I was fooled by the orange spot that from a distance looked like a flower and I even saw some faces. In this fenced area I’ve been walking with Fanny since she was a puppy. Among Olive trees, Mediterranean Cypress and Ancient Carob trees. When the rain comes, the grass turns green and is then covered with flowers.

Sticky resin is now visible on many of the trees.
But how’s Fanny? Now that she is close to the seventh week of her pregnancy her behavior has changed. She’s not as playful as before, a bit melancholic and the walks are getting shorter and shorter while running is out of the question. Here she seeks shade under our car while I try to ventilate away the heat and turn on air conditioning before it’s time to go back home, a ride of about 20 minutes. Home to eat and then go to sleep. I love her so much ❤ ❤

Where am I?

Looks like an exciting place, let’s go down and take a look.Like a moonscape in the middle of nowhere.
Where am I?I really enjoy to run freely along the cliffs, although it looks more like I jump on soft dunes.
It may not be easy to see me at first glance but look closely and you will find me.Now you probably think I’m curious about that cave but I actually need some shade, it’s very hot.Here I am, at Xwejni Salt Pans on Malta’s sister island Gozo, and yes, I’m in this picture too.

These salt pans have been in this region since Phoenician and Roman times,
and the tradition actually continues to be used even today.

Click here and you will learn more about salt harvesting in Gozo, it’s quite interesting. Many people probably think of salt as simply that white granular seasoning found in saltshakers on virtually every dining table.
But it’s far more than that..No, I’m not in this picture but you can see a black dot far away, it’s the car that took me here.
It feels like a long walk back in the heat, but it was well worth the experience.
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More to come from my short vacation in Gozo.

Windblown

Några bilder från en av många promenader i “skogen” tillsammans med fina Fanny.Menar du att vi ska gå hela den där långa vägen tillbaka till bilen? Det är faktiskt 30+!Ja, men vi går i skuggan, mellan träden så känns det inte så varmt.
Fast den där bilden är ju faktiskt från en annan skog.…och vi kan ta en och annan paus, ser kanske lite snårigt ut.Titta, matte lyckades fotografera en fågel!

(S)kottår.Kanske inte den bästa skogen om man vill hugga sig en gran till Julhelgen.Nu är vi framme, nästan, tror jag.
Äntligen! Vi har ju gått i flera timmar, nu vill jag hem.. …fast det verkar som att vi gått lite vilse. Ser du var bilen är?Åhh nej!!Kanske ska vi prova att gå åt det där hållet istället.
Äntligen hemma!
Tror matte blev lite snurrig, kanske fick hon en släng av värmeslag
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Det här inlägget passar ju jättebra till Susan’s Trees on Tuesdays
fast att tisdagen redan passerat verkar hon inte ha insett ännu.

Greenery

“Green is a label for a certain attitude to life, a certain kind of respect
that one might have for the very source of things that we take for granted.”
– 
Annie Lennox
Vespa crabro, a Hornet attracted by some green leafs on our Hibiscus.

“Greenery is the best scenery”
– Arti Sharma
“For in the true nature of things, if we rightly consider,
every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold and silver.”
Martin Luther

The lines seen in the last image are the human impact on nature, but it’s usually worse than that.
It’s a sad fact that more than half of Earth’s rainforests have already been destroyed.
The photo was taken in Sarawak, last year, where there’s still plenty of greenery.

Light as a Feather

This may not be a flower but definitely some kind of plant that over time has become fragile and elusive.Whatever it is, these are abundantly seen in nature now here in Malta.It’s not visible in my images here but these grow on large bushes where the “flower” is light as a feather. The one seen here has loosened from its plant and been stuck in a spider’s web while others fly freely in the wind.
Cee’s Photo Challenge Flower of The Day

Trees on Tuesdays

An ordinary tree full of cones. It is obvious from where the wind usually blows.A tree seen from Victoria Lines where the views of Malta are amazing, especially when the weather is clear.

Some dry leaves and a very thorny tree trunk.Last week, I showed a similar home-made wood construction and there are many of these in nature, too many. Can you guess what they are used for?Compare with this little wooden house that I would love to see more of and it does more benefit than harm.

Susan’s Trees on Tuesdays

Mimosa or What?

It’s getting hot here in Malta now and most flowers fades away and thus all its colors, except this one.

The mimosa trees bloomed here in Malta in April and these really look like mimosa but…

…I really can’t recognize their long sharp thorns.Whatever it is, they give a lovely splash of color in nature, but you have to watch out for the razor-sharp thorns.

Cee’s Photo Challenge Flower of The Day

Trees, Wood & Thoughts

The tree on the top is from San Anton Gardens in Attard while the one above was taken when I was walking with Fanny in Victoria Lines And yes, if you look closely you can see my dog sniffing on the ground.

Cones are an important part of many trees.

Here you can see Figs on fig tree, a tree planted in 2007 and an indication of an upcoming almond tree.
Click on an image to enlarge.I love trees and the wood from which you can create so much. In Sweden, wooden houses are common but here in Malta it seems like they have not realized how useful the material actually is.
But as seen here, we are well on our way.

Susan’s Trees on Tuesdays 

Welcome to The Forest

Welcome to the one and only forest. There are very few forests here in Malta but one that I often visit is il-Miżieb. It takes about 20 minutes by car via the coast road and of course, Fanny always comes alongThe woodland was planted in the early 1970’s and stretches for some two km between Xemxija and Manikata. Here you will find Aleppo pines and a generous sprinkling of the slower growing carob and olive trees.

There are plenty of walkways and narrow paths to choose from and the scenery often changes. Fanny and I usually try to explore new trails and there is no risk of getting lost as we are on a high ridge.

Blue markings like these arrows are often seen but I have no idea where we would end up if we followed them. But, when we see this magical being, we know that we are close to where we started.

Flowers of The Day

When I look at above images, I realize that they would probably fit better in a theme called “Today’s insect”.

So here I show some wildflowers that are found here in Malta, without any visible insect.Finally, Fanny, in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by a stunningly flourishing scenery.

Susan’s Flower on Fridays 
Cee’s Photo Challenge Flower of The Day

Hide and Seek with a Bumblebee

Don’t ask me why but I really love bumblebees and there are many to be found now among the flowers.

But they are not always so easy to capture as they usually hide half of themselves deep into a flower.Thanks for not hiding. Sometimes you’re lucky!

Pomegranate – From Bud to Edible

The healthy and tasty Pomegranate are not yet ripe here in Malta and, like all other fruits, it has to go through different stages before it is ready to pick and eat, as shown above. Click on an image to enlarge.In full bloom.Here the fruit is ripe and ready to harvest. But in Malta we have to wait another few months. This is an image from my archive.Ready to eat!
Anyone who wants to eat pomegranates year-round can buy imported ones.
Although I prefer those who grow here on the island.

Macro Monday

Most of you probably recognize this little insect. Graphosoma lineatum, Strimlus in Swedish, which is part of the family stink bugs, även kallad bärfis. Thanks to Google and Wikipedia for the information.

They are often seen in pairs, especially on this kind of plant.A pretty special plant itself of the family Umbelliferae which looks completely different when it blooms.
Here it almost looks like it’s full of lice but I might show some flowering images in another post.

Flower of The Day

Now the cactus is blooming and within a few months we can pick tasty and sweet Prickly pears for free. When you see them like this it feels hard to believe that they will be edible.

Cee’s Photo Challenge Flower of The Day

Macro photography A Colorful Insect

Photographing different kinds of insects is a fun and exciting challenge. Apart from butterflies and dragonflies which are not always easy to capture I’ve realized that there are a lot more in nature to discover.

I don’t know what kind of beetle this is, there are too many species to choose from. I had some trouble getting sharpness on its head but it shines beautifully in blue-green and has colorful covered wings.An interesting little creature on its way through life.

Cropping & Mixed Thoughts

We all know that sometimes cropping is a must when you want to highlight the main subject of your image.

Other images may look better if not cropped too much or not at all if it reveals a poorer image quality.
Feel free to click on an image above to enlarge and compare them to each other.This one couldn’t be cropped because I was so close but in this case there was no need to crop either. I’ve too many images in my archive that easily could have been thrown away but for some reason they are still there. Some images evoke memories even though they can be seen as meaningless to others. Note to self; crop when you think it improves, throw away when you are not happy and sort out your archive when you have time. Enjoy life, and never give up! The key to learning more about the noble art of photography is curiosity and a sense of joy in what you create.

The Year’s first..

This is the year’s first dragonfly that I managed to capture with my camera a couple of days ago.
It sat on the stick only for a few seconds before it flew away and disappeared. Bye, bye..I also managed to photograph a few butterflies. This is quite common but rarely sits still.
Could it be an Green-veined White butterfly? It has green eyes.This is a colorful beauty and surely it gives you a sense of joy that at least now and then succeed in capture these unique little insects that are such an important part of our nature.

Fanny is always my companion. She’s the best, she’s curious, awake and very funny. We have a heat wave here on the island, almost 30 degrees so now we are heading to Il-Majjistral Park where we can take a dip in the sea. Take care! ❤

Flowers on Fridays

“Let the beauty of what you love be what you do”
– Rumi –Remember to look up at the stars, not down at your feet.
Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist.
Be curious.” 
– Stephen Hawking –

Susan’s Flower on Fridays

Me and my dog

In this post I show some images from my recent walks with my dog in various Nature parks here in Malta. Thanks to Fanny, I’ve discovered amazing sceneries on this tiny island in the Mediterranean.

The greenery, the narrow paths and the deep slopes of Victoria Lines.The barren landscape along the sea in Pembroke.The steep clay slopes in Ghajn Tuffieha.Together we have made adventurous climbs in Il-Majjistral Nature Park.

Besides Fanny, I also photograph the variety of wild plants and insects found in our nature, more of that will come in a later post. And don’t worry, Fanny is visible also in the first image, but you have to look closely.

Just a Small Difference

There’s only a slight difference between these two pictures.
I prefer the last one. The flower itself is very small.

“Small Differences can lead to Big Changes.”

Cee’s Photo Challenge Flower of The Day

“We are Living on This Planet…

I’d be lying if I said I’m not worried.
The worlds ecosystem is at risk over a timescale of no more than a few decades.
“We are living on this planet as if we had another one to go to”
– Terri Swearingen – The Amazon rainforest is nearing a threshold and the Caribbean coral reefs are threatened to die off within a very few years while the world’s warming climate has resulted in sustained glacial mass loss.
“We can help the world live without fear. It is our only hope and without hope we are lost”
– Michael Jackson –Humanity is affected by COVID-19. WHO has declared the rapidly spreading coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, acknowledging — the virus will likely spread to all countries on the globe.
I trust humanity’s willingness to cooperate, what else can we do…

Today’s Plant

I have no idea what kind of plant this is. It can be quite large and it is growing wild now here in Malta.I tried to search the images through google but got some strange suggestions. I know it’s not a broccoli and for sure it’s not a kind of fowl! For me it’s not a beauty but an interesting common plant. Maybe it’s eatable.

“Plants are like people:
they’re all different…
…and a little strange”
– John Kehoe –