Category Archives: nature

Autumn leaves

The last leaves are still hanging on the branches of various deciduous trees.

autumn leaves

Though not for long, because of their destination. They have a duty to fulfill!

autumn leaves

The spectacular display of the colorful foliage and  the shedding leaves on the earth add an interesting artistic element in the landscape.

autumn leaves

The season is changing. Autumn is finally here and oh, do I love autumn walks!

 

Cactus flower

The huge beautiful flowers of this specific cactus Echinopsis oxygona, with common name Easter lily cactus, drew my attention. I found  the contrast of the flower size with the cactus, very interesting.

Cactus Echinopsis oxygona flower (Easter lily cactus)

Another fascinating particularity of the flower is that it opens in the evening and wilts the next afternoon on hot days. On cool days it will last longer.

Cactus Echinopsis oxygona flower (Easter lily cactus)

I remember that my uncle, who brought us this cactus, was very charmed with its flowers. Now I understand the reason!


This post is part of the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Evanescent

Nature trail in Kakopetria

The last time we visited Kakopetria – our favorite village as you know by now –  we walked for the  first time in the nature trail ‘Monopati tis Vateris’. It is  located alongside the old town of Kakopetria and the river Klarios.

If you ever find yourself in this charming place, I highly recommend to walk the trail. It’s just a kilometer long with a breathtaking scenery. You can sit on the wooden benches that are placed in various locations, take in the wonderful surroundings and let your imagination run wild.  Walking by the stream you can hear the sound of the running water, the tweeting of the birds and the loud song of the cicadas.

We really enjoyed our walk and the calming effect it had on us. Looking forward to going back soon.

Spring transforms nature

Last week, while I was taking my daughter for a walk, I randomly noticed this small offshoot on our pecan tree so I rushed to grab my camera and take photos. At the same time I was playing peekaboo with my daughter to keep her occupied. We both enjoyed the activity!

offshoot of a pecan tree in spring

I have to say, it is amazing how the same object looks so different if you shoot it at a different angle and perspective when combined  with the lighting conditions, the direction of  light, the background and your position.

offshoot of a pecan tree in spring

I think that the photos above are a representative example. All of them were taken on the same day and time.

A beautiful flower

It’s really impressive that, this year our garden has more species of  wildflowers than before, such as the Wild Garlic, Allium Ampeloprasum, Muscari Parviflorum, Gladiolus Italicus, Narcissus Tazetta, Cyclamen Persicum and, last but not least, this beautiful flower called Gynandriris Sisyrinchium.

Barbary Nut, Moraea Sisyrinchium, Gynandriris Sisyrinchium

Barbary Nut is the common name of Gynandriris Sisyrinchium (syn. Moraea Sisyrinchium) which  is native to the Mediterranean region. The flowers don’t open unless the day is warm and often not until late afternoon and they do not last very long.

Barbary Nut, Moraea Sisyrinchium, Gynandriris Sisyrinchium
Gynandriris Sisyrinchium (Barbary Nut) | by karafc

Don’t think that I became a flower expert all of a sudden. Quite  recently, I found  a book in my mom’s library called The Medical Flowers of Cyprus. It is a wealth of information about the flora of Cyprus, so finally I can gather information easier 🙂

Wild garlic

In a cactus pot in our garden a wild garlic has sprouted and its beautiful white flower drew my attention. I had to shoot it several times because it was windy for a few days but since I knew what I was looking for, I could gather up information easier.

Allium ursinum is a wild relative of chives native to Europe and Asia. It is known as ramsons, buckrams, wild garlic, broad-leaved garlic, wood garlic, bear leek, or bear’s garlic.

Wild garlic leaves are edible and they can be used as salad, herb,  boiled as a vegetable, in soup or as an ingredient for a sauce. The bulbs and flowers are also edible.

The leaves are also used as fodder. Cows that have fed on ramsons give milk that tastes slightly of garlic.

Despite the fact that I don’t like eating or using garlic in my cooking, it is a beautiful plant and beautifies our garden.

The lake

Looking recently in my drafts I found it and I decided to publish it. This post was supposed to be the first one on my blog but somehow I never uploaded it.

For a short period of time, in 2014, I lived  in Bratislava and I used to go for long walks around the city to take pictures. Not far away from where I was, there is a small lake called Kuchajda, which I loved visiting  because it’s beautiful and close to the city centre. Since I am a summer person I thought I wouldn’t like it in winter; nothing seems nice to me when it’s cold. I don’t like winter that much and I believed that I wouldn’t find anything interesting to photograph because everything would be covered in snow and the lake would be frozen. My goal was to go there, shoot the landscape with my new camera and not expect anything spectacular. You cannot imagine my surprise when I saw the results. The photos turned out really good, well at least in my opinion!

Here is a small sample of my photos from the lake.

I was satisfied with the whole experience despite of the freezing weather and being unable to move my fingers at the end, even though I was wearing gloves.

Winter Paths

On one of my long walks with my camera in Bratislava, I had the opportunity to take photos of the winter scenery; something I can’t do easily in Cyprus.

Sad Janka Kráľa Park, Bratislava, Slovakia
Sad Janka Kráľa Park, Bratislava | by karafc

I found the paths that were created by the snow very fascinating,  so whenever I spotted them I took a shot.

Hviezdoslavovo Namestie, Bratislava, Slovakia
Hviezdoslavovo Namestie, Bratislava | by karafc

With the snow blanketing the landscape it’s very easy to find these wintry paths and walk through them. But the thorn in the roads of this beautiful scene, was the cold temperatures that made it impossible for me to stay out longer.

winter at Sad Janka Kráľa Park, Bratislava
Sad Janka Kráľa Park, Bratislava | by karafc

 

This post is part of the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge:  Path

Wildflowers in our garden

We have a garden full of seasonal and non seasonal plants and flowers and I still get surprised with the random flowers that happen to sprout – courtesy of the birds, I am sure. This fall I was intrigued with these small wildflowers that bloomed in different places throughout our back yard. Don’t be misled from the close up photo below, they are so small that someone might not even notice them.

Muscari Parviflorum, Autumn Grape Hyacinth - wildflower

I had a hard time, not only shooting them because they are so tiny, but also figuring out what they are called.

Muscari Parviflorum, Autumn Grape Hyacinth - wildflower

Autumn Grape Hyacinth is the common name of Muscari Parviflorum which is a very fragile and delicate plant that moves with the slightest breeze. I tried several times to photograph them but with no success. At first it was my fault; I was always in a hurry or occupied with other things and I wasn’t able to focus on them.

Muscari Parviflorum, Autumn Grape Hyacinth - wildflower
This time was different. I decided to devote my attention to them, but  even though I was at it for two days, few photos came out well. Despite my disappointment, I won’t give up. I will  try again another day!