Sun Flower

 “Sunflowers end up facing the sun, but they go through a lot of dirt to find their way there.”
― J.R. Rim.

“Wherever life plants you, bloom with grace.”
– Old French Proverb.“...and are we not all just wilting flowers in a crowded garden
waiting for someone who will appreciate the beauty of our petals
While it still exists”

– G.M

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

Macro – Happiness in Empty Shells

During my walks in Ta Qali now in September I rarely see any butterflies while the shimmering dragonflies choose to fly high above my head. So I search for other creatures in nature, some barely visible to the eye.
And I found these empty shells.When I first saw them, my camera was at home, but when I came back the next day, they were still there. Luckily, given that they could easily have been blown away by the wind. I’m happy I had the opportunity to take some photos, although I have no idea what kind of insects once pupated from these very thin small shells.

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 ❤ ❤

Today’s Memorable Moment

This amazing animal knows nothing about zoos or fencing.

Orangutans are found only in Borneo and Sumatra, and Sarawak has the wild population of these intelligent ginger apes. I’m very grateful to have had the opportunity to meet these wild animals in real life.
And I believe the quote below by Jane Goodall includes true facts.
Semenggoh Orangutan Rehabilitation Center.
Sarawak, Borneo, Malaysia, December 2019.

“Chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans have been living for hundreds of thousands of years in their forest, living fantastic lives, never overpopulating, never destroying the forest. I would say that they have been in a way more successful than us as far as being in harmony with the environment.”
Jane Goodall.

Fertilized Joy

After four long weeks of waiting, it’s finally confirmed that my beloved basenji dog Fanny is expecting puppies. In the picture above she is only five months old, in July this year she turned three years old.Her mother in Sweden is called Drömma which means Dreaming. Dogs are pregnant for about 63 days or nine weeks. Today it has been 37 days since the first mating.
Although there is now a lot to prepare, plan and think of, I feel pure joy that I would love to share.

Sunset

“Every sunset is also a sunrise. It all depends on where you stand.”
Karl Schmidt

“Nature is painting for us, day after day, pictures of infinite beauty if only we have the eyes to see them.”
– John Ruskin
“Life does not come with instructions on how to live,
but it does come with trees, sunsets, smiles and laughter,
so enjoy your day.”

– Debbie Shapiro

Xwejni Salt Pans – Part 2

Here I’m again, among the Salt Pans in Gozo. Now much later in the afternoon and it’s a bit cooler.
As you can see in the first picture, the dried salt has now been collected in white bags.I wonder how big these caves really are and what might be inside, I guess tools and more sacks.Needless to say, someone taking a bike ride just before dusk.Others choose to fish.I’m curious about the salt, it looks like it hasn’t dried properly yet.
It looks like snow, wet snow.But it’s not snow, it’s too hot for that on this small island in the Mediterranean.
Now the sunset awaits…
🐕
In case you missed part one, you’ll find it here

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.
🐕
More to come from my short vacation in Gozo.

I Wish I Could Fly…

“I wish I could fly,
Sprinkle happy dust from the sky,
take away peoples pain,
by making it rain”
-Toni Payne”Give the ones you love wings to fly, roots to come back and reasons to stay”
-Dalai Lama
Fly me to the moon Let me play among the stars
Let me see what Spring is like On a-Jupiter and Mars…”
– Bart Howard

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
.
Det här inlägget passar ju jättebra till Susan’s Trees on Tuesdays
fast att tisdagen redan passerat verkar hon inte ha insett ännu.

Picture of The Day

An image from my valuable memory archive. When I look at the picture today, I clearly remember the moment when I took it. I was in the restroom at a simple restaurant where the food was spicy and absolutely delicious. The little boy knew he was not tall enough to wash his hands with his feet on the floor.
Thailand, Koh Lanta 2014

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.

Anything to Do with Boats

This week’s CFFC topic is “Anything to do with boats” and since I’ve been to Marsaxlokk recently I show some pictures from this small, traditional fishing village located in the South Eastern Region of Malta.For the sake of the colors and for Horus’ eye which is said to protect the fishermen when they are at sea.

“We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.“There are a lot of mysterious things about boats, such as why anyone would get on one voluntarily.”
P. J. O’Rourke
“The sea is the same as it has been since before men ever went on it in boats.”
Ernest Hemingway
.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge.

Happy Birthday Fanny!

💖Den 13:e juli 2020 fyllde min fina Fanny tre år!!💖
Fick dessvärre inte ihop något inlägg igår och gör därför ett nytt försök. Bilden ovanför har varit med förr men jag valde den för att den känns som en av de bästa bilderna jag tagit på henne, och jag har tagit väldigt många bilder sedan vi hämtade hem henne från Sverige oktober 2017.

Christina Acar målade av fotografiet på en mugg som jag idag använder som pennställ på mitt skrivbord.Basenji’s är inte så vanliga här på  Malta och jag får ofta frågan vad det är för ras.
Basenji är en av världens äldsta raser och härstammar från Afrika. Karaktäristiskt är rynkorna i pannan och den hårt rullade svansen. De har ett kattlikt beteende och tvättar sig själva. Deras främsta särdrag är oförmågan att skälla vilket beror på att deras struphuvud är annorlunda konstruerat. Varför vet man inte men vargen, som ju är hundens urfader, skäller inte heller. Fast tysta är de inte utan har sitt eget speciella sätt att utrycka sig på. Igår kväll hade vi pick nick i Ta Qali park där hon sprungit nästan varje dag sedan hon var valp.
Det var också där hon för första gången fick prova att springa utan koppel.

Att titta på gamla bilder från när Fanny var valp är det nog bara jag själv som tycker är kul. Roligare kanske är att Fanny nu blivit så pass gammal att vi planerar valpar. ❤❤  Basenji’s löper bara en gång per år och en basenji kavaljer har vi redan hittat. Om allt går som jag hoppas på får hon möta Ricky till hösten.

Flowers, Quotes & Thoughts

“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.”
Audrey Hepburn
“Great photography is about depth of feeling, not depth of field.”
 Peter Adams
When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs.
When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.”
Ansel Adams
I don’t trust words. I trust pictures.”
— Gilles Peress

That I like quotes is obviously no secret. I often use them when I myself cannot find the words. I don’t want to be anonymous but my blog isn’t intended as a diary, although I sometimes create posts about my everyday life. Still, publishing pictures without a single word reveals a certain personality of the person who took them.
Cee’s Photo Challenge Flower of The Day

Dragonfly part 2

This is just another attempt to capture one of all amazing and valuable insects found in nature. Some appreciate them while others ignore or see them as a matter of course, they just exist. I myself am no exception, it was not until I started photographing that I realized the value of our nature and its inhabitants.

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

White Beauty

“White has it all, its beauty is absolute, it’s the perfect harmony”
– Coco Chanel“For those colours you which to be beautiful, always first prepare a pure white ground”
-Leonardo da Vinci“If peace of mind considered as pure as white colour then I know why it’s my favorite color”
– Rubeena Khan.
“Let the beauty of what you love be what you do”
– Rumi

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 

Marsaxlokk

Last Sunday we went to the small and picturesque fishing village of Marsaxlokk. The village is famous for its Sunday fish market and its many decorative painted boats.The traditional Maltese fishing boat, luzzu, is usually painted in bright colors, while the bow has a pair of eyes. The eyes are referred to as the Eye of Horus or of Osiris and said to protect the fishermen while at sea.

If you are hungry and like seafood, this is the place to go. Here you’ll find a selection of the finest fish restaurants on the island. Or just sit down and relax with a cold drink after a peaceful stroll in the area.

It’s well worth spending a few hours in this colorful charming village. More to come…
Marsaxlokk, Malta 21 June 2020

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

Spiny Caper – Wildflowers in Malta

I have shown this flower before, its very common here in Malta and I like it a lot because it’s so special.

The plant is actually a bush and each flower lasts only for one day and one night which means you can see a lot of flowers in different stages on the same plant. The flowers bloom from April to mid July. Spiny Caper or Kappar tax-xewk as it’s called in Maltese, grows abundantly here in our Mediterranean climate and even in arid deserts. For me it is a beauty at all stages and it has a lovely scent.I have many favorites when it comes to flowers here in Malta and this is undoubtedly one of them.
And yes, the flower buds, capers, can be used as a taste in different dishes and sauces.
Click on an image if you like to see them enlarged.

Susan’s Flower on Fridays  (a day late)
Cee’s Photo Challenge Flower of The Day

 

Dragonflies

Often when I’m lucky enough to find a dragonfly that doesn’t fly, I have noticed that they put their wings forward towards the head, as if they were trying to protect themselves, or maybe they sleep.Regardless, it is an amazing insect that is usually seen flying by very quickly. Some are really big and shine in different shades of color. Maybe, I’ll succeed to capture at least one of them this summer. Never give up!

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

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.