lens-artists

Six word Saturday

Azores?  Impossible in just six words!

See the cone shape in the background?  That’s Pico, a volcanic island with the highest mountain in Portugal.  We could see it from our bedroom.

Hard to say which was my favourite island.  Probably Pico or Sáo Jorge, but we had another great bedroom view from Horta, on Faial.

Just the tip of the iceberg.  Come to think of it, that’s a great Six Words! (or maybe, the volcano?)  The captions will help.  Happy Saturday!

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Silves- a winning formula!

Where should I be the other day but in Silves, showing my friends from the north east of England this lovely city.  Once I’d spotted another alluring electricity box, playfully painted, the hunt was on for some more of these beauties.

If you remember from Street Art in Silves, the colours are vibrant and the subjects very endearing.  I might have cheated a little with some of these but they completely reflect the character of the place.

Ian really got into the spirit of things, didn’t he?  They’ve gone home again now, but I know they enjoyed themselves.  And, boy, did they love cake!  Have you added any Street Art to Patti’s collection yet?  There’s still time.

Jo’s Monday walk : Back lane beauty

Captivating?  He was very cute.  Desperately eager to get through the fence to us but, when he did, a little shy.  On a warm and cloudy afternoon, a couple of weeks ago, we decided to leave the car at home and explore our back lanes.

We live on the northern edge of Tavira, and beyond us the countryside sweeps gently away to the Algarve hills.  It’s about half an hour’s walk to a rather nice pottery and garden centre, with an exceedingly nice café.  This was our destination, but by a rather more roundabout route.  You wouldn’t want to get to the cake too quickly, now would you?

Such a moody sky!  Almost a collector’s item with the boundless blue we have experienced lately.  Capelinha!  That’s the name of the area, and a rather lovely farmhouse still bears the name.  We turn down a path edged by stone walls and the journey of discovery begins.

The almond blossom is long gone, but firm pods of almond are ripening everywhere.  We puzzle over a creeper with unusual blooms, the leaves well-chewed in places.  Did you spot the culprit?  Vibrant loquats vie for our attention, while the Hottentot fig escapes gracefully over a garden wall.

Rows of orange trees march off into the distance, trailing fragrance behind them.  We cross a river bed and find, among the dry bamboo shoots, lilies glowing like pallid candles.  A young man and his lady, pushing their bikes up the hill, pause for breath and smile.

A meadow opens out before us, a sweet symphony in green, orchestrated with notes of pink and lemon.  A butterfly flits ecstatically from one to another and I wait, and wait, for that moment when the wings are still enough to capture.  I almost make it!

I could have played all afternoon with that butterfly, but there were other distractions.  A soft haze of pink, with a tiny snail.  A zing of cornflower blue.  More orange trees- mature this time.  I have to restrain myself from reaching out for a handful of luscious figs, temptingly close.

The leaves are such interesting shapes.  Then a dense orange flower, heralding pomegranates in the autumn, and a ladybird astride a wall.

A cluster of houses, and a bike or two.  A potato vine, prettier than its name would suggest.  And a flamboyant blossom.  Pretty rural scenes.

In such agricultural country a paddock full of horses and a donkey is no surprise.  Nor is the tinkling of bells and the sheepdog herding his flock home.  But one sight did make me look twice.  What a fierce-looking captain!

Tina talks this week about what constitutes Harmony.  Nature provides it effortlessly, don’t you think?  Perhaps someone should tell Mr. Billy Goat!

Doing my best to restore harmony.  Well, everyone likes cake, don’t they?  Feel free to indulge because I won’t be around to walk with you next week.  I have some lovely friends arriving from Newcastle.  I suspect we’ll be eating lots of cake!

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Meantime, please do read and share!  And thanks to all of you for your continued support.  It wouldn’t be Jo’s Monday walk without you!

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Jackie managed to be first this week, and so, of course, …

It’s Coffee Time

A choice of 3 from Natalie- and all beautiful!

3 Walks to take in Slovenia

I absolutely love these windows, so thanks, Debs!

Rambling around another Rabat

Serious, full-on walking with George!  I could only gaze in admiration.  Don’t miss it!

A Big Day in the North

Janet enriched my life with a little ‘forest bathing’ this week :

Monday walk…on the wild side

It sounds a bit like a sitcom, but you will be charmed.  Thanks, Susanne :

The Ducklings of Clark Lake

And there are few sights more beautiful than this!  Thanks for sharing, Sandra!

Tiptoeing through the Tulips – #MtVernon, WA 

Although Jude is offering lots of temptation this week.  And we’re not talking cake!

The turn of the rhodies

And funnily enough, so is Rupali, though they are many miles apart :

Weekend 77: Rhododendron

More Camino with Cathy, though she’s actually in Tuscany right now.  Lucky girl!

(Camino day 15) Santo Domingo de la Calzada to Villamayor del Rio

Nice to welcome Lady Lee back :

Bremerhaven

May will be very low key on the blog while I have company but I should be walking with you again on 20th.  At the end of the month I’m off to the Azores- a long held dream- and I most definitely will not be around.  Take good care till then!

Celebrating life at Easter!

I cannot think of a better way to celebrate Easter than to attend the enormous street party that is Festas das Tochas Floridas, in São Brás de Alportel.  At around 5 in the morning the process begins of laying more than 3 tons of petals and flowers in a winding carpet through the centre of town.  More than a kilometre in length, by 9.30am the streets are ready to be opened to an excited public.  Yet another year in which this small town in the Eastern Algarve opens its arms to the world, to join in a celebration of Christ’s resurrection.

Nobody is left out!  From tots to teenagers, young adults to us older generation, all are welcome to come and participate.  I join the earlybirds in the streets, marveling at the patience and imagination, the pure creativity that has gone into making this a joyful day.

The Easter Day service takes place at 10.00 in Igreja Matriz in Largo São Sebastião, and while this is happening the streets begin to fill.  Faithful and simply curious, no-one is turned away.  I wander, camera in hand, along with many others.  Most, but not all, are respectful of the flowers and the occasion.  Needing 10 minutes peace before the procession begins, I retire to a back street for coffee.  There I observe a mini procession, of the young men from all over town, bringing their flower torches to assemble at the church.  Full of smiles, they are happy to pose.

Patterned bedspreads flutter from open windows as the excitement builds.  In front of the church a little jostling for position begins, and television interviews are held.  This is São Brás’ big day!  A last few stragglers with flower torches make their way through the crowd, the congregation leave the church and try to find a vantage point, and suddenly it all comes together and the procession begins.

Led by the priest and clergy, they wend their way slowly into the streets.  Everyone cranes to get a good view, but only the hard of hearing could miss the choruses of ‘Hallelujah’.  Every few yards they pause, the flower torches are brandished high in the air, and accompanied by a rousing chant.

I watch, spellbound, as it moves past me, hardly aware of what I might have captured on camera.  But there are ample opportunities for photographs on this day.  It takes around 2 hours for the entire circuit of the old town to take place, and I join and rejoin the procession at different intervals throughout the streets.

There are so many wonderful moments!  The small child hoisted on Dad’s shoulders, just a little tired and bored for the ‘selfie’; fathers, sons and friends embracing and beaming at their shared memory; and that young man in the band with the shy smile, who reminds me so much of a Polish nephew.  I love it all!  And it’s been a privilege to relive it with you.

A nicer person you will not meet in the blogging world than Ann-Christine, or Leya, as her blog is known.  Why that name, I often wonder?  The only one I know of is a princess in the Star Wars movies.  Not only does she find time to co-host the Lens-Artist’s Photo Challenge, but she also goes out of her way to congratulate me on being featured in Discover.  I might not otherwise have realised, despite the hike in my stats, so thanks, hon, and many thanks to WordPress too.

I hope you enjoyed sharing Creativity with me.

Jo’s Monday walk : Zoo, zoo, Zoomarine!

There are few worse feelings than that waving goodbye at the airport, but I’m gathering up some happy memories to share with you this week.  This was our third, and possibly last, visit to Zoomarine.  There’s something so endearing about a dolphin.  You’d sacrifice your bath for a week or two if you were offered the loan of one, wouldn’t you?  I know I would!

It’s great to be surrounded by smiling faces, and the zoo-themed water park has taken a leaf or three from the famous Florida parks, including a ‘catchy’ tune.  It’s not something I would recommend for every day as it’s quite a costly business and in full summer would be far too busy for enjoyment.  At this time of year, though, the sunshine can be quite warm and the water parks themselves are not yet open, so you can quite effectively kill 2 birds with one stone.  But please don’t talk about killing birds around here.  They do have ears, you know!

Talking of birds, isn’t this the most wonderful tropical plant ever?  I always have to stop to admire the Bird of Paradise.

The flora and fauna create a pleasant environment for a stroll, and you can always spice it up with a ride or two.  The wave maker was none too rough, but you could whoop your way down the water chute, as mine did.

A particular favourite with small person was the rollercoaster.  ‘Hands up’ as you swoop downwards.  He quite liked being high above the park too.

The sea lion show was in the process of being revamped, but there were crazy pirate acrobatics to compensate, and some hefty dinosaurs were being craned into position for a future Jurassic feature.  Zoomarine has all the makings of a great family day out.

I suspect Patti knew I wouldn’t be able to resist her Delicious post this week.  I almost met the lovely lady when she passed through Portugal earlier this month, but it didn’t quite happen.  Hopefully another time.  She and the Lens-Artists are doing such a good job.  And for those of you who care about these things, the one on the right was my choice.

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Time to catch up with a couple of weeks worth of walks.  Please do visit any you’ve missed.  And many thanks to all of you for continuing to follow along on Jo’s Monday walk.  It’s much appreciated.

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Why not let Janet tempt you with an almond croissant?  Or even a small absinthe…

Monday walk…in the Franche-Comté

Monday walk…the green fairy garden

You’ll be full as a gun when you’re finished over at Jackie’s!

Warm and toasty

Debbie I can always rely on to find me a view I’ve never seen before :

Roaming ’round Rabat

And Suzanne to sing lovely New Zealand’s praises loud and clear :

Hiking the Whakarewarewa Circuit

But I could almost be homesick for England when I look at some of Jude’s posts :

Around Trencrom

Penlee Park

And then Tish really made me wish I’d made it to the Malverns :

Stepping Through Time and Space in the Malvern Hills (cue Edward Elgar)

Margaret seduced me completely by taking me back to Staithes, an old haunt of mine, and then disaster struck :

Ragtag Saturday: The Cleveland Coast

Les demoiselles de Caraybat, daffodils and gentians : revisited

Lisa, meanwhile, had her eye on a young eagle :

Jo’s Monday Walk

Life on the move.  Drake knows all about that!

Day on the go

Where did Irene get to this week?

Walk Along The Trails

Soft and gentle Spring time, with Rupali :

Weekend 76: Spring 2019

It’s fascinating seeing the world from different perspectives.  Susanne shared close to home :

A Walk through Fairhaven and Western Washington University

And Cathy… well, she’s always wandering  🙂

(Camino day 11) a day in Logrono

(Camino day 12) Logrono to Ventosa

But you could create your own Algarve walk, with a little help from a friend.  Many thanks, Becky!

A magnificent hike in the Lower Guadiana

It’s Easter next weekend and I hope to share with you some of the magic of this special time of the year here in the Algarve.  It would be great if you could join me.  Meantime, have a happy and peaceful week!

Six word Saturday

Is it ok to spoon here?

Spoonbills seem to love this patch of the Algarve, rich in algae as it is.  I do too, and the interesting Shadows it creates.

Some of us have seen better days!  This is my 300th Six word Saturday.  Maybe time to retire gracefully?

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Here’s lookin’ at you, kid!

What is it about something that makes you just stop and have to take the photo?  I’m not sure, but this little guy and his crab friend have it.  I was heading into our railway station when the mural caught my eye.  I’ve created a small square to fit Becky’s challenge, In the Pink.  It’s such a very nice representation of Hartlepool Headland, with its pastel houses.  Below you can see the whole.  Am I pushing my luck to say Small is Beautiful?