Cracking

Winter has received its final blow. It may not look like it for those of you who don’t have experience with winter, but despite the remaining snow, the air is warm and the sun sets later and later. Even in the middle of the night, the sky isn’t completely black.

Last night we went for a walk in the evening haze, both of us armed with a camera for the first time in forever.

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When this amount of now melts, there’s nowhere for it to go. Drowned trees gleam in the waning light.

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And drowned lamp posts!

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The sun was too bright to look at. To photograph it, you had to take a quick peek through the view finder and then close your eyes.

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Spirits awakening.

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Just a few more lilacs

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There’s a Swedish saying – “between hawthorn and lilacs” – which means a really, really short time. Legend has it that a Stockholm cobbler put a sign on his door that his shop was closed between hawthorn and lilacs – maybe to enjoy this brief but heavenly time of changes and delicate foliage just before summer settles like a green and sleepy giant.

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It’s such a transient beauty, and maybe that’s part of the charm. The lilacs explode on the trees in white and pale purple, and then wilt within days. But while they flower, nothing smells more divine. Well, apart from the man in the pic below. 🙂

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Strings in sunlight

Tonight hubby had his final guitar lesson for the semester with his group of new learners, and my presence was kindly tolerated. 🙂 We grilled sausages in a hut built in traditional Sami style (grillkåta) and played and sang together in between bites.

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It’s always fun to see hubby in teaching mode. He really was born to do this – and I don’t know if that’s a blessing or a curse! In any case, he’s really good at making people sort of perform at a higher level than they really should be able to – to create circumstances and show the exact things they need to immediately apply brand new knowledge in relevant and inspiring exercises. They get to feel that they can do things instead of staying at a very basic level and rehashing the same old stuff again and again. I don’t know, it’s hard to describe, but I really admire his ability to bring out the best in people.

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It was such a lovely evening – windy but sunny – and the hut we sat in was cozy and warm with a fire in the middle and benches covered in reindeer pelts.

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Blushing blooms

This week has seen our national day come and go, and also the end of the school year. I haven’t blogged about it because I didn’t have anything to tell you about it (or couldn’t be arsed to), but these images can stand in for everything I didn’t say.

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The trees grow in front of the church where we always have our end of year ceremony with the students, and when they flower it’s absolute magic.

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Nights in white satin…

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I know ours are later than almost everybody else’s, but that doesn’t take away from the breathless beauty of these apple blossoms.

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Rebirth in neon green

I almost want to apologise for how fake these photos look, but if anything, they’re less intense than reality. Wherever you go, the sun pierces through millions of breaking birch buds, creating tiny explosions of green light. Like chlorophyll stars, fallen to Earth.

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Sick of birches yet? 🙂 Here’s a closeup.

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And one of a felled tree whose leaves haven’t died yet.

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The lower the sun sinks, the more intense the contrast between that neon green and the darkening background.

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Or if you half close your eyes, it turns into a yellowish fuzz.

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The stream is still overflowing with melted snow.

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We ended the evening on our new balcony – where we still don’t have a door, so we have to climb out of a window! But who cares when the view is 360 degrees of hilly forest? A taster:

Hubby is quite contented. 🙂

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First day of summer

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Yes, I’m branding this a summer’s day, because I wore a dress after nine pm and wasn’t cold!

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All the snow has melted and the lake is swollen with water.

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It was 25 degrees during the day – too hot to function, but it made for a lovely, sunny evening.

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The birches are covered in a light green mist. Soon they will be heavy with leaves that give shade and hide these views.

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A sunshiny day

And finally we got a glimpse of what May should be – on a Saturday, no less, and on the weekend when we decided to pay a visit to the cabin. Couldn’t have asked for more.

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We moved a bit of stuff from the house that hubby’s mum is selling to the barn by the cabin, not only because there’s room for it there, but because we’re planning something big for that place.

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Right now the interior looks like this:

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But a space like that can be made into something cosy, and a kind of museum where you can also sit on warm days and eat. So in the future, when all our other million projects are done, we’re going to clean it up and put olden thinges on the walls!

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I really long to do these kind of really physical, concrete projects. I guess five years of living exclusively in my head does that. It’s so nice to see things take form in the real world as opposed to just a text.

And that’s probably why I still so enjoy snapping pictures of natural beauty as well – of which there was an abundance this weekend. First out, the forest floor. New grass struggling out of the old, and moss, moss, moss.

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The sun cast a whitish glow on the pale yellow grass from last year.

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Later it turned into gold and copper.

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Merging into coral and purple as it dipped below the horizon.

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Sunset 4

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Wow.

Spring skyscapes

I’ve just realised that I’ve never really noticed the turn of the seasons. Sure, I see the big things – everyone does – but I’m not talking about snow melting or buds bursting. I mean the more subtle stuff, like what the clouds look like.

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I bought my camera last April and started photographing a lot of sunsets, but as time went on I shifted to other things. Now that spring has arrived again, I sort of understand why. As I look out of the window in the evenings, there it is again: the dramatic sky I remember from last spring.

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This time of year also has a specific palette. When the sun sets the clouds turn golden, and then a coppery-salmony red that’s unique to spring. I would never have known if not for my camera. I even have evidence from last year on this very blog.

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Hubby seldom takes walks just for the sake of it, but spring gets to him too. So tonight we went for a stroll through the village, just to smell the wet mud and last year’s grass, and to see the last rays from a sun that will grow ever stronger as the Earth turns.

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I’m so grateful to have found a way to experience the more subtle signs of the turning seasons – the small things that you don’t see unless you make a project of it. It makes me think there are probably a lot of other beautiful things that we fail to notice just because we don’t have a reason to really look.

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