Monday, October 20, 2014

Hutovo Blato is a nature and bird reserve located in southern Bosnia and Herzegovina that me and my friend Selma visited this past weekend. We had a great time, and in this two-parter I want to show you the sights.

The reserve is on the list of BirdLife International's Important Bird Areas. It is the largest reserve of its kind in the region, in terms of both size and diversity. It is home to over 240 types of migratory birds and dozens that make their permanent home in the sub-Mediterranean wetlands surrounding Deransko Lake.

This is a two part photo series, for more check out the links below:
Part One: Inside the Nature Reserve
Part Two: The Outer Wetlands

click on the images for a bigger view

This reserve is located 57 km (35 miles) driving distance south from Mostar.

A sign with "Nature's Prayer" written on it, telling you that we are all part of nature, and that we should respect it.

Upon arriving you will find a small Motel, where you can spend the night. We also had lunch here.

Other visitors are parked on the lot, and spread out through the reserve.

We make our way into the forest.

I really like the light in these woods.

Our path through the forest begins. There is no paved road here, just a small walking path.

Unfortunately I wasn't able to photography any birds on that day, but there are many people who come here to observe them.

Feeding stations can be found along the path.

The whole zone is well protected from human impact and functions as an important habitat for many plants and animals.

When you come to the wetlands, you can take boat rides on them, but our journey took us somewhere else...

End of Part One
To be continued

In part two we will explore the outer wetlands, see more of the inside of the forests surrounding Hutovo Blato, and have lunch!

Thank you for visiting. I hope you enjoyed the sights and stories.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

If there is one thing I haven't done in a while, then it's resting. It seems like one short trip is following the other, and with work closing in tightly over the week, these small getaways have become a real treat and pressure reliever.

One of those trips my friend Selma and I undertook yesterday was a field trip to Hutovo Blato. It is a nature and bird reserve located in southern Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is primarily composed of marshlands that were created by the underground aquifer system of the Krupa River.

click on the image for a bigger view 
Since 1995, Hutovo Blato has been protected as 'Hutovo Blato Nature Park'.

I am posting this single image as a preview (I am still editing the rest), and the two-part trip starts on Monday.
So please come back tomorrow for part one.

Friday, October 17, 2014

It's a just a little while longer until Halloween arrives, but why not get in the mood, with today's images. The family on my mothers side has a small graveyard near the town of Jablanica, which we recently visited.

Of course, there are new gravestones here, but photography wise I was more interested in the older gravestones, some of which date back to 1882 and even older!

click on the images for a bigger view

 Let's take a stroll through the moody sights.

Do you like photos of graveyards?
Do they creep you out or are you interested in seeing them?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Today is Beni's 6th birthday, and I wanted to share some images of his life with us, so far. He's always there with us, and a constant source of joy. It's interesting how it takes an animal to show us unconditional love. Over the years, the notion that dogs are better then humans, has reared its head more then once. So, for all it's worth, here are some images to bring you joy today.

click on the images for a bigger view

The first day in our home, and he already tries to show us who's the boss.

First time playing in the snow.

The first bath.

Cozy days in the house are a regular part of everyday life.

Playing in wet, freshly cut grass, did the following to him:

Always wondering around.

 Of course there are hundreds and hundreds of images of Beni, but I wanted to show some of my favorite over the years that show a little bit about his life so far.

Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Although Charlie Brown would argue with me on the grandness of this pumpkin, I would nevertheless want to take an image of it. While on a recent shoot (that had nothing to do with pumpkins and fruits of the autumn season) I saw this, big guy, tucked away in a vegetable garden.

click on the image for a bigger view

I love the fall season, for many things, and one of them are pumpkins for sure. Weather they are decorated for Halloween or cut up and made into a soup. And on that note, I want to share with you this awesome recipe for pumpkin (it's actually a butternut squash) and potato cream soup I posted a while ago.

Here is the link

What are your favorite gifts of the fall season?

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Autumn has arrived into these corners of the world, and lovely deep orange, dark green and yellow colors are to be seen everywhere. I took the following images on the upper stream of the river Neretva.

The river is naturally green here, because of the green algae that inhabit the river bed. I hope you will enjoy these and I wish you a happy Sunday.

click on the images for a bigger view

Behind the hill, you will spot a train bridge.

The colors of autumn have taken over the mountains.

A reminder of what was...

How is the autumn season progressing where you live?

Friday, October 10, 2014

At the beginning of the week I posted a Greek Baklava Recipe that we made recently. On the same day my friend Selma also baked a Cherry Strudel, which turned out to be very delicious. Since I had the making-of images from the baking session, I decided to post those images today.

If you scroll down to the end of the post you will find the complete recipe with measurements and instructions!

click on the images for a bigger view

You can use any cherries you like for this recipe. We used the cherries that come in jars. You need to drain the liquid the come in, before using.

The ingredients are few and basic. First you make up a paste that you will use later on to glue the sheets of Phillo dough together and to give some sweetness to the cherries.

Selma, happy about her business.

The technique of preparing the dough sheets. (More in the recipe at the end)

You make these individual rolls and put them on an oiled sheet.

A final layer of the semolina mixture goes on top.

Hot out of the oven! It's best eaten when it cools down.
Obviously we didn't wait :)

Cherry Strudel Recipe
For the filling

- 640 gr (5 and 1/3 cup) cherries, pitted
- 180 ml (3/4 cup) vegetable oil
- 360 ml (1 1/2 cup) sugar
- 540 ml (2 and 1/3 cup) firm yogurt
- 250 gr (1 cup) semolina
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp vanilla sugar
For the dough
- 1 package of Phyllo dough (in sheets)
1. Preheat your oven to 200 C (400 F).
2. Drain the cherries if you are using the ones in jars, or defrost if using frozen ones. If you are using fresh, pit them. Set aside.
3. Combine the oil, sugar, vanilla sugar, yogurt, semolina and baking powder in a bowl. Stir together.
4. Lay one sheet of Phyllo dough in front of yourself and smear the semolina mixture all over the sheet. Take another sheet and lay it on top of the previous sheet. Put another layer of the semolina mixture on top of the second sheet. Take some cherries and put them vertically on either the left or right side of the sheet (see images above). From the part where the cherries are, roll the sheet of dough up, until you have a tube. But the tube onto a greased baking sheet. Repeat until you run out of cherries or semolina mixture (We ended up with six strudels)
5. When you assemble all the strudels on your tin, spread some of the semolina mixture on top (you should have some left)
6. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until golden brown on top. When it's cooled down you can sprinkle some powdered sugar on top for decoration.

Thank you all for stopping by. I hope you'll make this over the weekend. It's really delicious. We ate most of it before I had the chance to take more images of the finished dish. :)

What is your favorite sweet treat?

Linking to: Friday My Town Shoot OutFriday Photo JournalFriday Finds, SkyWatch Friday, Little Things ThursdayShare the JoyAlphabete Thursday (U is for Utensile), Weekend Reflections,
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