Lens Artists Photo Challenge #103 – Surprise

Thank you to Patti for her lovely challenge #102 –  ”A Quiet Moment”, and all your beautiful responses! We certainly need our quiet moments, and it feels so good to share.

This week I have been pondering over the impact of not knowing how our situation in general will develop. We really – don’t – know. Even if we never can know in advance how life and things will turn out… we want to have some kind of schedule and feel in control.

Somehow, over these last months, I have tried hard to accept the fact that not knowing will be the normal thing for the future. Less planning – I have decided to adapt.


Would you like to know your future? If your answer is yes, think again. Not knowing is the greatest life motivator. So enjoy, endure, survive each moment as it comes to you in its proper sequence, a surprise.     

– Vera Nazarian

This young lady was surprised by a happy call yesterday – getting that new job!

For many of us, June, July and August are the starters of vacation time. This year is of course without any scheduled far away travels, but small surprises usually occur in our everyday life. It could be surprising meetings, incidents, or maybe eye openers. In fact anything you feel surprise you!

I start off with a missed coffee break (Swedish ”Fika”) in the opener. We quickly had to find another place to eat our sandwiches… not sharing any!

Then – eye openers and great surprises are everywhere in nature. Last year I met this little creature – an insect looking exactly like a tiny twig – here together with a real twig. Can you tell which is which? This camouflage must be very effective!

Surprise is the greatest gift which life can grant us.     

– Boris Pasternak

But then there are surprises both negative and positive…Two days ago I found this battered 4cm butterfly dead on the garden stones. I could tell it must have been a beauty with those emerald/mother of pearl blue spots on the white wings. I wrote my colleagues in the biology group – and the answer was: Zeuzera pyrina, a blue spotted tree butterfly. A rare species where I live. The experts told me that my old apple trees could have been its home. And it might be that more of these butterflies are here. Let’s hope for a live meeting!

This is what it looks like in a fresh costume – wing span 35-75 mm.


Another big surprise – a minor shock in fact –

– was this Digitalis with a mutated top flower – a so called Peloria.

(This photo with my Samsung phone.) I had never seen one before. It reminded me of those dragon lizards running in the desert!

Have you seen these from Patti’s challenge?

Nes Felicio – The quiet has to come from within

From Hiding to Blogging– Yan is chasing sunstars

Pat, of Living Life Almost Gracefully finds quiet in the sense of gentle colors and order

Anne of Slow Shutter Speed – stunning quiet moments

Also –

The team has a special “surprise” for July. We will be hosting the theme “Seasons” for the entire month, and are announcing the sequence in advance. The schedule will be:

July 4  Amy  Summer
July 11 Tina  Spring
July 18 Patti  Autumn/Fall
July 25 A-C  Winter

Lastly – stay well, and don’t forget to use the Lens-Artists tag to easily be found in the reader!

201 reaktioner på ”Lens Artists Photo Challenge #103 – Surprise

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  8. Hi Ann-Christine. Tour commentary and chosen quotations were very moving and spot-on. Not knowing the future is a gift… Some of us with serious illness, however, do have glimpses of our futures, and that ‘knowing’ can be a gift, too. For me, it has been freeing.

    Here’s my submission for this week: Unsurprisingly, another Great Blue Heron

    Thank you and the other Lens Artists for your continuing inspiration!
    Best, Babsje.

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    • I don’t seem to be able to leave a reply on your site? I loved your entry and great natural surprises! I just wonder – were there any babies

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  14. You have a great collection of photos for your ”Surprise” theme, Ann-Christine. Do you think those cows would have eaten much? Or were they just curious? I really do love that butterfly and that Peloria was quite spectacular. Congrats to your friend on the job news too. 🙂

    • Thanks a lot – and yes, I think the cows were just curious – in general cows are! At least when dogs are around, aren’t they? the Peloria thing was a bit scary I think – might be the spots that did it. And so lucky they called Ghia that day so I could capture her surprise!

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    • Well, Irene – this was a total surprise to me – never seen anything like it before. I agree it was stunning, but also, somehow, a bit scary.

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  26. A-C, I’m one week behind …. I just finished of 102. That top image is priceless … and of course the twig. Fun and interesting post this week. Great topic.

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  46. I have to laugh since you brought back memories of a camping trip I went on several years ago.
    I was tidying up – not something to do when camping – when I picked up what I thought was a twig. You guessed it a moving twig. ~~~~ : – )
    Great selections for the challenge. I love the floral plant. It’s odd-looking but that’s what I like … unique.
    Have a lovely week … Isadora


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  61. Wow the twig insect is amazing. Only the little legs give it away. And the cows, delightful but I understand your reluctance to share. 🙂

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    • So glad they pleased you this week – and I totally agree about feeling startled when seeing the foxglove. I thought the flower had got a virus. Some tulips have.

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  75. From the moment I saw those cows I knew this would be a good post. The insect that looks like a twig with feet – and I have never seen a foxglove/digitalis do that. And – Peloria, what a great word to be introduced to, thank you.

    • Happy to have delighted you with the diversity! My greatest surprise was that ”twig”, and the Peloria was new to me – rather shocking in appearance I thought.

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  79. The feet gave it away for me with the insect but great camouflage! Lots of good surprises in this post and we’re in need of good news right now, so thanks for that. That foxglove is really unusual.


  80. Thank you, Anne-Christine, for linking my entry last week in your post. It’s a pleasant surprise. 😊
    Interesting challenge this week and your photos are intriguing!
    Nice to also announce the “seasons” theme in advance.
    Have a great weekend!

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  82. Another great challenge. I know of but have never seen the moths that look like twigs. As for the mutated foxglove flower I did have one of those in my own garden🙂

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  84. I love this surprise post, it’s beautifully expressed.
    The insect is incredible, the butterfly well captured. And, I’m in awe with the last image. 🙂

  85. I love your surprise post, it’s beautifully expressed, A-C.
    The insect is a wonderful surprise, the butterfly is very lovely. I am in awe with the last image! 🙂

  86. What a beautiful and wise post, Ann-Christine. Your thoughts on dealing with the surprises in life (and covid) are so apt. A perfect theme for these uncertain times. I love your beautiful butterfly image. Gorgeous and rare. Take care and enjoy the present moment. I’m trying not to think too far down the road–because–as you say–so much is uncertain and it’s exhausting!

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    • Thank you, John! Yes, I do love cows, but I want my sandwiches…..to myself. That ”twig” – it was sooo soft to touch too. Simply amazing what we find in nature!

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