Lens-Artists Challenge #139 – Special Moments

This week, we will look beyond the life-changing events and share some other special moments and what they mean to us, Tina says. I think we all have so many of them…It will be hard to choose, but I will try to pick some unforgettable ones …

A moment of solitude and contemplation on this small crater island of the Azores. Walking up the mountain, we did not know what to expect when turning around the bend… but the scenery was breathtakingly beautiful – The feeling of floating free in this silent universe. Blue hydrangeas, blue sky and blue ocean – and us flying on a green, tiny spot in the middle of it all… Otherworldly.

The Pothala palace is representing the Dream-Come-True moments in my life. I have been so lucky as to have a few of those. So, I finally arrived in Tibet, after some 40 years since I read about Shangri-La in Lost Horizon, the 1933 novel by James Hilton, and saw the movie Lost Horizon from 1937. They represented the enigmatic and enchanting world out there…far away from my home and far away from any landscape I had ever been. I was lost for words – and breath – in the thin air.

April 2017, and I met Michael Lindnord and Arthur. The Swedish multi sport team were in Ecuador 2014, trying to win the world championships. Instead the team leader, Mikael Lindnord, found that in the middle of the jungle, his team of four had got a fifth member…Arthur. Mikael had never had a dog of his own and never thought of getting one – he was a tough athlete and a determined leader for his team. But, all it took was one meatball…

King Arthur. He owned the place from the first second he entered the room. I loved every minute of being close to him, touching him and listening to their story. Seeing the very special bond between Mikael and Arthur.

Mikael himself says that Arthur stands for Hope.  The Lindnord family have also started a fund for homeless dogs in Ecuador – There is hope for many ill treated and abused dogs with people like Mikael, who was prepared to even let go of his team’s victory to save this dog’s life. Mikael says he recognized himself in Arthur that very first day…they both stand tall, they never give up. So, how could he let Arthur down, when the dog put all his trust in him ?

December 9, 2020, Arthur passed away from an aggressive cancer, 13 years old. 2021 is the startup for shooting the Hollywood movie – ArthurThe King, with Mark Wahlberg starring together with a not yet chosen dog to play Arthur. I am looking forward to seeing it – hopefully cinemas will be open by then…

I can honestly say, that no other journey in my life gave me more special moments than the one to Arthur’s home country, Ecuador. Sailing along the Napo River in the Amazon and in the Galápagos Islands.

I could not stop watching them, all these little seabirds following our sailing boat in Ecuador. They could actually walk, run and stand still on the water! This is the smallest seabird in the world – an Elliot’s Storm-Petrel. Another enigmatic fact is that no nesting site for these birds has ever been found…

The stay at Sacha Lodge on a quiet lake – open to all the sounds of the jungle – still echoes in my mind today, 5 years later. Silent canoing through the tangled forest, watching swarms of monkeys foraging in the trees, jumping and playing. And the tiny Paradise Tanager – shooting veritable neon lightings in the trees – (I only managed to capture a couple of them in a photo) The first glimpse of the flock was very special – they moved faster than Chip ‘n’ Dale juggling around with the colourful Christmas baubles – and Pluto trying to handle the situation…

So, I will end with the late evening climb up in the Kapok tree, staying for the day’s last hours watching the sun set over the Amazon Basin. Imagine the sounds, the light, the soft warmth, the birds and the monkeys calling each other…I have never slept better in my entire life, than I did in the Amazon jungle.

Finally, a big Thank You for the inspirational set of Natural Lights, and hopefully you will join in for some special moments too! Please link to Tinas original post, and add the Lens-Artists tag.

Next week we’re excited to announce Beth of Wandering Dawgs as our Guest Host. Be sure to stop by and check out her always-interesting blog. Until then, stay safe and be kind.

91 reaktioner på ”Lens-Artists Challenge #139 – Special Moments

  1. What a gorgeous photo documentation, Ann-Christine! The heartwarming story about Michael Lindnord and Arthur put a big smile on my face again and how well do I understand that The Pothala Palace was a dream come true, let alone your other wonderful memories. ❤

    • Thank you, Dina – precious memories. I was so sad to hear Arthur had passed away and how devastated Michael was. Arthur was his best friend. He says he will never have another dog, This was the only one for him.

  2. What wonderful memories you have! Great photos and amazing stories – as a ranger nerd the bird that walks on water especially intrigues me, and your opening shot in the Azores is simply fabulous!

  3. WELL! What amazing moments and amazing photos. Love the positioning of the woman and caldera. Pothala is beyond unique, as are little seabirds. The story of Arthur is absolutely amazing too. Have I mentioned this is all AMAZING?! And well done.

  4. it never fails to amaze, here and afar and in other places, how much, the human touched landscape looks like a patchwork quilt – once we get done ‘piecing it the way we want’ – :). I still find older hedgerow boundaries prettier than circles made by irrigation pivot machines – but. from an airplaine/in google earth view? same thing – patchwork quilt –

    • Yes, you are right. In the Azores though, everything is patchworked with hydrangea hedges or stone walls – I like both! Those hedges are about three meters high and lavender blue or pink – just lovely.

  5. Photography is the glue that helps hold memories together. It helps bring sharp focus to those events in one’s past that remain in the brain cells in a less precise fashion. You have shared some truly special moments in your life. I’ve enjoyed reading yours and other responses to this most interesting of themes.

    • Thank you so much! I am so happy to share these precious moments…especially these days I love to look back…not sure there is something to look forward to further on.

  6. Such interesting places you have visited Ann-Christine, thank you for sharing these special moments with us. The Storm-Petrel walking on water is truly amazing.

  7. As for the picture, I love the first one of the crater the most. The Tane Mahuta is very impressive to see, I hope that he will live on for many years. I enjoyed your complete story and the treehouse is magnificant !

  8. Wow, some very special moments, Ann Christine… Tibet looks magical, I would loved to have been able to climb to where you were in the Azores, and that jungle hotel – very special indeed

  9. Absolutely brilliant collection of moments. The little bird is amazing. I always wanted to go to the Açores, I hope I manage one day.

  10. I loved your post, Ann-Christine. Some wonderful corners that you have shown us. Maybe I would stick with that end of the day in the Amazon … Wonderful!

  11. The little bird walking on the Napo River is amazing, Ann-Christine. All the photos in the jungle with the monkey, the pretty bird, the sunset are wonderful. They surely were special moments.

  12. Well Ann-Christine, you’ve given us some amazing moments, all incredible. The scene in the Azores, that teeny little bird with its brilliant coloring and that amazing bed looking into the forest beyond. But the story or Arthur and the team truly touched my heart. There won’t be a dry eye in the house once the movie is finished! Thanks so much for your beautiful post.

  13. The opening photo captured my attention so much I didn’t want to move. Then I kept staring at the seabird before reading about it – and then I knew my eyes weren’t going crazy … and then the closing sun was like a delightful dessert after an outstanding meal. Love these, Ann-Christine!

  14. I wish I’d got to Tibet but it wasn’t to be. Your photograph of the Pothala Palace is breathtaking. What a sight that must have been. And as for the story about Arthur – and your photograph – well, words fail me.

    • Thank you, Mari – happy to share my special moments! Tibet was always a dream – but dreams can come true. They can. And it was a fantastic adventure where I cried much because of what the Chinese were doing to the country and its people. It is so sad, and hard to think about. Arthur – I followed his faith intertwined with Mikael’s, until the happy ending. A remarkable dog and a remarkable bond. I can still cry only thinking about the beauty of it all.

  15. Well this is an amazing collection of moments. However the Potala In Lhasa is my favorite. I have always wanted to get there but I think your photo may be the nearest I will get now. I have been in Western China almost to the Tibetan border but not into Tibet. Have you read Alexandra David Neel’s book ”My Journey to Lhasa”. She disguised herself as a Tibetan pilgrim and walked from Western China to Lhasa. She did this when Tibet was forbidden to foreigners and as a woman she was risking her life. Her book was published in 1927. She made the trip in 1924.

    • Glad you enjoyed them, Anne! And thank you for the tip of the book by Neel – I must try to find it, it sounds very interesting. We went to China five times, four times without getting to Tibet. This last time they had opened again for foreigners. You might still get there!

  16. To each their own, as it should be – I so remember following the Arthur story . . . perchance a little different to your other beautiful photographic memories but unforgettable to one who loves the canine world . . .

    • Yes, different but a glorious moment…Arthur and Mikael walking into the room…can you find me in the photo? I found this photo on the Internet, didn’t know I was photographed!

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