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I turn to see Henrik smiling at something on the ground. I walk over and peer down at the carpet of tiny white petals. “Ah, the arctic starflower.”
“Chickweed wintergreen,” he playfully corrects me.
“I prefer the arctic starflower. It sounds so….” I gesture vaguely. “Mysterious,” I settle for, but it sounds so ridiculous that I blush. It makes Henrik laugh, but it’s not a mean laugh. It sounds knowing. As if, once again, we share something.
“Yeah, it’s supposed to be seen in twilight, isn’t it?” he says.
I squirm. “Perhaps. It’s just… it’s such a small and unassuming flower. You can walk right past it and not even notice.”
Henrik raises an eyebrow that looks disconcertingly flirty. “Is that a metaphor?”
I give him a look. “You think I’m small and unassuming?”
His gaze flickers down to my belt and then back up. “Well, you do kind of apologize for existing.”
Christer is too old to believe in fairy tales. He’s not the kind of guy to pick the proverbial seven flowers on Midsummer’s Eve so he can dream of who he will marry, and he certainly isn’t the type to fall for someone he’s just met. Especially not a womanizing blogger named Henrik.
Besides, Christer’s previous marriage didn’t end with a happily ever after. Therefore, he has no interest in gifting his heart to someone who lives five hundred miles away and probably isn’t even gay. His family is right: it’s time he grew up and stopped dreaming.
But Midsummer’s Eve in Sweden is a magical night, and Henrik won’t stop flirting. As the midnight sun shines down on the misty woods, maybe there’s room for one last dream.
First day of what I guess is the first ‘autumn month’. It didn’t feel like it, because it was seriously warm and sunny – I almost regretted wearing trousers – but now and again, a flash of red caught my eye in a ditch or a shrubbery, and I knew that yes, autumn really is approaching.
The willow herb is among the first to greet the new season. Its leaves turn a red that’s sometimes hard to believe is real.
Each leaf, in its own time.
I love how they curl at the edges, as if snuggling into themselves to sleep.
Some seeds are still clinging to the stem, afraid of where they’ll end up if they allow the wind to bear them away.
This year is a bumblebee year. They’re everywhere. Small, round and fluffy, they bumble about (well, they would!) and raid the summer flowers of their sweetness. This one seemed to be resting after the rain, nestled on the underside of a half overblown tiger lily.
Look how it almost seems to grab the petals and hold the entire flower together!
I just came back in from a spur-of-the-moment photo walk. I simply had to go out when I saw the mist gathering at the edges of the forest.
It was magical. The air itself was pink!
As I walked along the exercise trail, the wet grass swished against my calves and the mosquitos hovered around me. All around me, there was mist, forest and willow herb – the Swedish summer flower. It’s considered a weed here, and yet it’s so beautiful!
More pink. I couldn’t believe it was real. All alone out in the woods at midnight, with only the bright summer sky to watch over me.
As I returned home, twilight had sunk over the creek. I went out onto the jetty and placed my tripod at the very edge to take these pictures. The jetty bounced gently beneath my feet as I clicked the shutter and captured this scene of utter calm and quiet.
Finally, I’d like to give cred to my greatest inspiration Jonna Jinton, who recently went viral with a cow herding call. 🙂 If you haven’t checked out her awesome photo blog, do yourself a favour and head over therenow. If not for her, I might not have bought a camera at all. Anything I do, she can do better!
I’m developing a bit of an obsession with these flowers – probably because A) they’re kind of hard to photograph since they grow just at the shoreline, so ideally, you’d have to wade out into the lake/creek, and B) they make for such a pretty, glowing contrast with the dark brown water.
Also, I’m writing a scene in my upcoming Midsummer story where these little darlings figure prominently. Someone wants to pick one, and accidents occur.
Plus, I’m learning about this big deal called bokeh, and the sun spangles in the water provide it to a certain extent (not trying to achieve it yet, but I can’t help but notice).
They’re a bit camera shy, though. Mostly they just want to gaze adoringly at the sun (on the other side of the water, which means wet sneakers for me).
I was only going to photograph the furry buds of this bush (osier?), but then the ants stole the show. They walked towards each other, stopped and high-fived (that’s what it looked like!) and then went on their way.
The water is cold. Very cold. But so beautiful.
This type of lichen is everywhere. It mostly hangs off half dead tree branches, and it looks like hair. We call it beard lichen.
These little darlings are practically the only spring flower we have. The rest come when it’s already summer. But since these are the first sign of spring, they spark a tiny explosion of sunshine in your heart when you see them.