Thursday Thoughts – Spring Hikes are…

Sheer Happiness!

This hike we do every spring or summer – and it is always a treat. It takes about three, four hours, walking among old and strange trees planted here from all over the world … and it is close to the sea.

This place is home to numerous orchids (a meadow of them in the header) and Pasque flowers – just as beautiful when they are over!

The last flower blooming could also be the last hideaway for a little bug…

This hike is a perfect outing for schoolchildren – but, today we had to step away from the path for several hundreds of kids. Smiling and cheery ones though.

Blindworm or slowworm – I see them quite often. In fact this is a lizard, but legless. This guy was a beauty, about 30 cm long, slim and well fed.

Driving home on old roads to enjoy the flat and open views of the southern part of Skane. A good day we had. And the light lasts far into the night.

Thursday Thoughts – Mushrooms I have met…

I think this was the last walk of colours – two days ago the first snow arrived. Grey November has taken over our days, so I will post some golden autumn memories while there were still leaves on the trees.

As you can see, there were not many colours this year, but still some gold. And sun! Now we have almost forgotten the feel of sunlight. These are some of the shortest days of the year.

The hidden gems are there if you look for them, and I have grown more and more a mushroom lover. But almost only for photography…I am too afraid of picking something poisonous.

This is a tiny gallery from my walk. I find mushrooms intriguing. One day they are not there – the next day they have just popped out of the ground. A little rain will bring them out.

So many textures again… multiple shapes in tiny landscapes. The low sun is making miracles in the dark of the forest floor. New worlds unfolding.

And a cat musing in the grass – not happy to be disturbed by Milo…

He was happier though – a ”friend” to chase! The story does not tell of the outcome…but we can guess…

Thursday Thoughts – Enjoying the Last Autumn Colours

I walk as much as possible in the forest before the last colours are gone. I know too well what is waiting – grey November. This walk was last week – and there was no wind or rain. Only stillness and the occational, faint, sound of a bird. Mostly robins now.

I love the way the colours change with the light and the surroundings. Inside the denser parts of the forest, the leaves are still green. Closer to the meadows, the light is brighter and the yellow and brown colours dominate.

When I walked out of the forest and onto the gravel road, the sun came shining through and the slender young birches glowed. They are waiting for next year’s Spring festival.

On the right side of the road, an old gate is standing alone, protecting a seemingly abandoned house…

…immersed in a haven of colours.

A few days later, most of the leaves were gone. I am grateful for this day of harmony – something to remember in grey and moody November.

LAPC#222 – Mountains are Calling

Amy is our host this week, and she hopes we will share our joy and pleasure of visiting/climbing  mountains. I know many of us are mountain lovers, so we are looking forward to seeing your responses! Be sure to link to Amy’s original post and use the Lens-Artists tag.

In the mountains, there you feel free.

– T. S. Eliot

Let’s start close to home, in Scandinavia, with green summer mountains…

…blue glaciers and

mocca coloured, volcanic Iceland. They are calling to me with their special light and fresh air.

The Canary Islands offer more than beaches, we usually hike the mountain areas. Pico de las Nieves in the faraway clouds, and the pinnacle in the middle is called Roque del Fraile (monk)

On top of the world is the Himalayas, an impressive mountain range. Here seen from northern Bhutan.

More from the Himalayas, now seen from the Tibetan Plateau, where we went by train to Lhasa.

A holy lake in Tibet. The landscape is vast and it took some time for my son to walk down to the water. Lower mountains here, but still impressive. The clouds seemed to hang right above us, almost touchable, and the contrasts were bright in the thin air. This is about 3000-4000 meters above sea level.

The mountain meadows of Switzerland are a haven of summer flowers in July. I think this image shows the essense of this week’s challenge – “The mountains are calling and I must go.” – John Muir

Hiking mountains is so much more than the spectacular views – it is meeting other hikers, photographing flowers, animals, and different landscapes.

Chasing angels or fleeing demons, go to the mountains.

― Jeffrey Rasley

Many of us seek the mountains to be alone. To shut out the world and just BE. Silence is rare in this world.

Go where you feel most alive.

– Unknown

So, mountains are calling me because of their beauty, for peace of mind and soul…for moving my body at a pace that suits me, for spending time in the glory of nature. And for photography.

I will finish with other ways of loving mountains… bungyjumping, kiteflying, skiing, rafting, aso…today there are endless activities to try in the mountains if hiking is not your thing. In New Zealand you can get it all.

I cannot thank you enough for last week’s explosion in flowers! You sent us just what I had hoped for – an abundance of glorious flowers! For once, you could indulge in lovely flower images without regret (!), and many of you pointed out the impossibility in chosing favourites – because we love them all! ♥

Next week, John will host LAPC #223. Be sure to visit his site for loads of inspiration. Until then, stay safe and be kind.

Thursday Thoughts – Hiking Stenshuvud

A spring hike is never wrong. Here I am sending some highlights from one of the most beautiful protected areas in Skåne, where I live. It is known for its biodiversity and its many pasqueflowers. My Silent Sunday was photographed there too.

The area is 300 hectares large, and consists of forest, meadows, marshland, beaches and sea.

In May it is of course a dream to walk here, but Autumn too is very beautiful. We usually visit twice a year. Milo loves it.

The paths are mostly easily walked, but maybe not for everyone.

The marshland is fascinating and can not be reached all days of the year. Spring is often OK, if the rains are moderate.

Orchids are frequent, as are all spring flowers – gently nodding to you from both sides of the path.

Some of them are secret charmers…

About three hours later, we are back at the gate. This part of the hike goes through an area with foreign trees brought here from all over the world.

So, hope you enjoyed the tour, thank you for walking with me! These few images hopefully show some of the National Park’s great diversity.

Thursday Thoughts

I had two wonderful hikes last week – one of them was my usual morning walk turned into a dreamy, yet colourful walk in the fog – and the other one an afternoon walk in a sunny haze. The first one posted on Lens-Artists, the other one here today.

I have always wanted to follow paths and roads to see where they lead to…don’t you too? This day I did. The forest road looked very inviting – and I decided today was the day to find out where it led to.
I knew I had a couple of hours to myself before sunset, but already at 3 pm it would have been too dark to find my way in the forest.

No Milo on this walk – otherwise he would have loved the many interesting stops I made. But the road did not lead to where I had expected…

It finally led down to the lake, where we use to swim in the summer. Now I wished the sun would stay until I got there – it would have been a nice finish to the day.

And I was lucky – a beautiful day came to a beautiful end. Thank you for walking with me again!

Lens-Artists Challenge #163 – Keep Walking

Amy says: ”This week, our theme is “Keep Walking”. Let’s share our walking and/or hiking experience.” I have always been a walker, and hopefully I will keep walking – just like the two elderly gentlemen in Segovia. I walk to see and feel – to come close to everything living on our planet. I walk to think and contemplate. Why do you walk?

Why not start with a pair of beloved shoes – my young son’s batman shoes… Shoes are very important to keep you walking. For longer hikes, I mostly wear hiking boots, but my other family members prefer ordinary walking shoes.

Our children are used to extensive walking. As soon as they could wear more solid shoes, at the age of three or four something, they walked with us in the forest and on our vacation trips. The Swedish mountains in the first image, then Madeira and the Azores – all favourite hiking areas. The first time they walked the levadas in Madeira, they were three and four years old. The Ribeiro Frio-Portela route is the most popular one with us. We visited Madeira five times, and that hike was always a must. My mother liked it too. In this photo she had just turned 75.

The Azores are constantly on our list – one day we would love to go back for more hiking. The last photo is from Norway, also a favourite hiking area. I am on my way to Svartisen glacier.

We were fortunate enough to visit Bhutan in 2018, and walked the famous path to the Tiger’s Nest. A strenuous five-hour-hike, but worth every step.

Pilgrims from the whole world walk this path and we met many wonderful, smiling people. This family offered me small treats to make me feel less tired. (The dog got one too – everything living is to be cared for.) I learned that the elderly lady was 75 years old, but she just swept past me like a wind and soon disappeared with light steps… while I kept struggling in the thin air.

Finally – a walk I still dream of for the future – if there is one. The walk to Santiago de Compostela. The way of St James. A walk through the whole of Spain, for many a way to find out more about themselves, and how they want to live their Life. In 2016 we drove parts of the Camino, and walked small parts of it. Talked to people and found ever so many different reasons for making this pilgrimage. I guess today we can find even more reasons to walk the Camino…

Many thanks to Tina for “It’s all about the light” last week. She gave a series of comparisons about the power of light, and through your beautiful thoughts and images, we have learned even more about the importance of light.

This week, we invite you to share your walking adventures and photos on trails, streets, gardens, neighborhoods… Remember to link your post to Amy’s original, and to use the Lens-Artists Tag to help us find you.

We’re excited to announce that LAPC #164 will be hosted by Sofia Alves on September 4th. Her theme is “Looking Up/Down”. Be sure to visit Sofia’s site.

Thursday Thoughts – Summer Dreaming

Nature at its utmost splendour – is Now in Sweden

So – grab your bike

Head for the nearest castle

And enjoy your ride!

Happy summer!

Thursday Thoughts – Morning and Evening Light

We all know the difference…but how to put it in words?

Images don’t need words

There is a difference between showing and telling. Every writer knows …and so do photographers. In order to tell a good story you need to practice showing too.

Can you tell me what I have shown you? Light – mornings or evenings?