Midsummer at the cabin

The first thing to greet us as we approached our middle-of-the-forest paradise was a startled reindeer that obligingly ran alongside the car so I could document it.

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The second welcome came from the wealth of buttercups that dotted the entire lawn.

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The first day was lovely and bright, the kind of day when the sky is white and endless.

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On my walk, I was accompanied by a fearless butterfly that fluttered along in front of me and landed to let me snap dozens of closeups. Look how the light filters through those gossamer wings.

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And look at its tiny, furry face! How often do we pay attention to the faces of butterflies? We’re too seduced by their colourful wings.

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In this one it looks like it’s stumbling home after a night on the town!

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The lingonberry bushes were flowering.

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Back at the cabin, we made a miniature maypole in the garden.

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Dinner was served on the fire. 🙂

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The buttercups glowed in the light of a torch.

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And afterwards I went up to where the forest used to be and watched the clouds blush at the setting sun.

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And somewhere here, among the fallen trees and under the dramatic sky, I lost my battery charger, so the rest of the weekend went undocumented. Maybe it was for the best. It rained the entire time and I needed some rest – the kind of rest I call non-days, that is days when time passes from your first coffeecup to your final glass of wine without even touching you; when you somnambulate through the afternoon like a ghost through the grey gauze separating us from eternity; when there’s just a big Nothing where you usually live your life.

Sometimes I resent these days, because I like to pretend that I can live two lives at once, at the speed of light. But after a period of high activity, I always find myself in these empty slumps, as if they’re the price I must pay for living too much, for hoarding time and experiences. It’s a balance sheet, and I never get away with too much greed – or too much work. I guess it’s my body’s way of making sure I don’t exceed my ‘income’.

And today I took the bus into town to buy a new charger. It’s as symbolic as it gets. 🙂

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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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En route

A lake full of swans and geese against a sombre autumnal background.

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A bird in flight – my first! In the local dialect, it’s called “skwakan”, which is actually sort of onomatopoetic and corresponds to the English “squawk” – ie “the squawker”!

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A last stop before leaving us for warmer climates. The water looks so cold!

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These damn swans

Or should I say, “This damn telezoom that’s all I could afford and that’s NOT living up to any kind of expectations”?

Weeell, never mind. Photography is more than crispness (I’m told, but…). And it’s not the lens’s fault that I stubbornly left the ISO on 100. But oh, how I would have wished this one to be sharp!

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But who knows, maybe in a while, I’ll even think these are quite nice, with that Constable vibe they’ve got going.

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Spring in Sweden

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The north of Sweden is a tough lover. Most of the year, she is cold and silent. When spring comes and she melts a little, there’s none of your fancy flowers or lush greenery. There are pines and firs, stretching their needles towards the light. There are dry twigs and rough bark. For the longest time, there’s only grey, brown and light yellow. Last year’s grass, last year’s leaves.

But if you take the time to get to know her, she gives and gives. If you wander her woods when the sun filters through the canopy, if you stay still and watch the subtle play of light on the cold water, if you accept the austere palette and appreciate the pangs of bright colour that do exist… she will welcome you with open arms.

You just have to really look.

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