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.

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.

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 four 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 four 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.

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”

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.

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge – Liquid

This week’s photo challenge is about keeping things fluid.

Let the imagination flow…Barefoot in soft sand and crystal clear blue water.Reflections in the sea from the sky and a boat.WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge / Liquid

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!!

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

Soft Sunday…

Instead of Silent Sunday. But the pictures may speak for themselves anyway.
Today we spent another day at Majjistral National Park in search for the way around, more to come…

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

A Special Flower of the day

I’ve never seen these flowers before but there are thousands of them growing in Ta Qali Park right now.
When I first saw them, I thought they were some kind of fungus.

Apparently, insects are attracted to them too.I found similar but in a different color and my dear man picked one for me. I have no idea what kind of plant these are but I’m sure some of my blog friends know.

The joy of insects

Is it really possible to feel joy when watching small insects while most people try to wave them away.Yes, if you have a camera and if you are really eager to learn more about macro shooting and the amazing world that you can explore through your camera. Just wish I started to learn this earlier in my life.Maybe too close, but I really had fun!!
In my next life I´ll be a photographer specialized in macro, a botanist and entomologist.
Until then, I continue to practice, learn and have fun…

Flowers & Colors

Above, you see flowers from San Anton Gardens in Attard where I was last week. All planted but so beautiful and full of colors. Click on an images to enlarge. Below are some wild flowers from Ta Qali National Park. Yesterday I came home with more than 300 pictures in my camera after visiting the park for a few hours. There are hundreds of different wild flowers and trees in the park, many of which I never seen before, plus insects… …so it’s likely that there will be more wild flowers here, from my little corner of the blogosphere.

WPC – I’d Rather Be…

Where would I rather be, I asked myself when I was sitting in front of my computer and worked last Friday. I decided to take a day off and went to Majjistral National Park a second time to explore and enjoy the nature. Just me, Fanny and my camera. I’d Rather Be out there than sitting on my office chair.

In the park you´ll find wild flowers and different plants everywhere. Most of them are quite small so you have to look for them. Now I also got the chance to try my new macro lens but sadly, it was very windy and for some reason, my M mode setting doesn’t work anymore. But it was a lovely day, where I´d rather be…

Click on an images to enlarge.

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge  / I’d Rather Be…

Majjistral Nature Park – Malta

Yesterday we went to Majjistral Nature/History Park, the only natural park in Malta that includes coastal cliffs and a rich ecological and rural heritage. Thanks to Fanny, we discover new amazing places here on the island.Mimosa blossoms.It was a lovely day with blue sky and a temperature of 20 degrees. My dear husband and my lovely dog, always by my side, waiting patiently while I’m constantly taking new pictures.

There are around 430 different species of plants in the park and during spring, the best time to visit the park. I saw hundreds of flower and different plants. These, I believe, are Maltese Pyramical Orchids. Guess if I was a bit sad that my macro lens is broken. But not too bad, now I have a reason to buy a new one!!

Friday’s thoughts…

Sometimes, I get a feeling of not knowing why or for whom I post my pictures on this blog. You’ll find that some of my pictures are posted without any special intention. I’ve no inspiration to take part in photo challenges at the moment. Right now, I’m just trying to keep my blog alive but…

Weekend in Greenery

Some pictures from Malta in early March.

I have a little too much around me right now but tomorrow I’ll take the time to visit You!
You are my inspiration, take care out there!

Spring Flowers

Just a few scenes from last weekend. All from Ta Qali National Park here in Malta, except the last one.Some trees are blooming now……while most are still bare.

This flower is a bit special, I’ve shown it before but have no idea what it’s called..This yellow one is very common in spring, often seen blooming all over the meadows like a carpet of flowers.Another small and colorful flower and that’s all for today. Now I’ll go for a walk with Fanny… …and today we will walk along this path.

CYW – 18-24 February

21. Outrageous Orange.
I love this one painted by my husband. Colorful in thoughtful simplicity.18. Forest Green.
Some greenery from Ta Qali park here in Malta19. Pacific Blue.
Fisherman at the clear Mediterranean waters of the Mediterranean Sea.These are the week’s colors in Jennifer’s Color Your World Challenge.

Dogs!!

Dogs! I know that some of you aren’t interested at all, like me when it comes to sport. But this weekend when we let Fanny run freely without leash for the first time she was exceedingly happy, and so was I!!

I have read so much about letting Basenjis run freely. They completely ignore you and take the opportunity to search for their own adventures. That´s not true, she ran away but not too far without being aware of where we were.There were also exciting meetings with other dogs in Ta Qali National Park.

Suzy was friendly, just trying to scare you with her ugly smile while another dog just laughed. At home  after a fantastic weekend!  She´s now seven months old and I love her so much…