Category Archives: Nature

Challenged to post 10 travel photos!

I also live on Facebook! There, my sister challenged me to post 10 travel photos without comments. Of course, I cannot say no, what would it look like, she is my little sister! Such luck that I then have this blog. Here I can publish which pictures I want and comment on them as much as I want. This post’s headline image is from a trip I made to Hälsingland, to a very dear friend’s cozy summer cottage by a small lake. It was a wonderful trip!

The picture above is taken by Tore Huseby. I’m riding a motorcycle on gravel roads on the Algarve coast in Portugal. A wonderfully challenging adventure trip in February four years ago. The nature was very beautiful, the weather was nice and the food and wine tasted fantastic.

The visit to the Auschwitz concentration camp was not as pleasant. I sing in a good church choir and we sometimes travel on choir trips. We traveled to Krakow in Poland and when we were there we took the opportunity to visit the Nazi camp. A very unpleasant but important experience, still!

I have also traveled with the choir to the Cotswolds in England. Although my favorite crime series “Midsomer Murders” is not from the Cotswolds, the feeling in the picturesque villages is the same. I will travel there again even though England is no longer Europe!

I recently had time for another trip to England before Brexit. I assessed applications for postgraduate education for the Wellcome Trust. The picture is from Little Venice, a district in West London, England, around the junction of the Paddington Arm of the Grand Union Canal, the Regent’s Canal, and the entrance to Paddington Basin.

A few years ago, in November, I visited Grisslehamn in northern Roslagen. It is beautiful there even in the autumn. The picture shows the famous artist Albert Engström’s studio on a cliff very close to the sea. He had the house as a studio until his death in 1940 and it has been left untouched since then. It is a building monument since 1975.

My youngest son previously lived in Berlin for a few years. Me and the eldest son once went there to visit. It is not far between Stockholm and Berlin. I actually managed to make two trips there while it was still a divided city!

The motorcycle trip in Portugal gave more flavor and when the tour operator attracted me with a trip to Iceland, I joined. I had never been to Iceland and had heard that it is the nature in the wilderness that is worth the trip. We crossed the island on challenging gravel roads. It was an absolutely amazing trip! There is no point in building bridges over watercourses, so there were many cold, wet passages!

There are many trips to make and you do not have to travel far. I am lucky to live near the Baltic Sea and the Stockholm archipelago. To be able to discover our fantastic archipelago, I have bought my own motorboat. Nowadays, boat trips attract the most! The picture is from Stora Nassa in the outer archipelago.

Oops, there were apparently only nine pictures in this post! You must have a picture credited to my next blog post! 🙂

An excursion to Björnö

The Björnö (bear island) nature reserve is located at the far end of the Ingarö island in the Värmdö municipality southeast of Stockholm. Here you can walk in typical archipelago nature with an open agricultural landscape interspersed in valleys between forests and cliffs. The area, which is located on a peninsula, is easily accessible even without a boat. Björnö is managed by the Archipelago Foundation and has been protected since 1983.

Here you will find living agricultural land, pine forest, spruce forest, pine bogs, deciduous swamps and deciduous forest. There are several bathing sites and meadows with the possibility of camping. At Småängsuddarna there is a lookout tower with a lovely view over the archipelago and the bay Nämdöfjärden.

Today we had time off from work and school and wanted to make an excursion. The fog was dense over the mainland, but out by the sea the sun was shining. The trip to Björnö was perfect. Can be recommended!

The beauty of insights

There are indeed many wise and kind people on the Internet who share their wisdom. It’s just a matter of finding them in all the information noise and among all the loudmouths. Like when I felt abandoned and unsuccessful because I could not find love but found a wisdom that a friend posted (1). 

* * *

It’s not about finding someone to live with, but finding the one you do not want to live without!

* * *

Many before me have probably understood this. To me, that wisdom made all the difference anyway. It gave me the insight I needed. Today a friend wrote about the meaning of life in her blog on WordPress (2). 

* * *

It is not about finding the meaning of life but about finding the
meaning in life. 

* * *

It may seem a very small difference between “of” and “in” but it really made my thinking about the meaning of life evolve to something else. An absolutely wonderful insight!

The links to my friends’ sites:
1. https://www.terapeutjinder.se/
2. https://walkaboutsweden.wordpress.com/

The pictures in this post were taken the other day in an allotment garden nearby.

Experience the island Fjärdlång

Now that autumn has arrived, it is nice to remember this summer’s boat trips. Among others, we visited the island Fjärdlång in Stockholm’s southern archipelago. The island is first mentioned in 1442 having two farms. From 1533, the farms belonged to the lord of Tyresö castle. During the Russian ravages of 1719, Fjärdlång was hit very hard by burnt-down houses, slaughtered livestock, burnt crops and forests, destroyed boats, sheds and fishing equipment. The population survived by fleeing by sea in a hurry.

The island was bought 1802 by a skipper who became rich during the Napoleonic Wars. From 1909, Fjärdlång was owned by the bank director and art magnate Ernest Thiel. He had a magnificent dwelling house built, the “Thiel villa”, on a cliff with sweeping views of islands and the sea. After his son Tage Thiel took over Fjärdlång, it did not take many years before bad business forced him to sell to the state, and in 1986 a nature reserve was formed. Now the villa is a hostel, with the northern part of the island managed by the Archipelago Foundation.

Fjärdlång has several protected natural harbors, of which Mörkviken on the north side of the island is the largest. There is also a guest harbor at the steamboat pier. Whether you travel with your own boat or go out with an archipelago liner, there are cabins for rent, a camping site and the hostel to stay at, as well as a kiosk and a cafe. Once there, in addition to swimming in the Baltic sea, you can take nature walks over Fjärdlång’s dewy mountains and through pastures with curious sheep and cows.

Archipelago memories from Gällnö.

It is two weeks now since my long Swedish summer vacation ended. In many ways, this summer has been different due to the ongoing pandemic. Longer holiday trips have not been possible, but by boat in the Stockholm archipelago, the holiday has really been wonderful. We visited Gällnö, an island in Stockholm’s central archipelago. Gällnö has been inhabited since the days of King Gustav Vasa in the 16th century. The island was ravaged by Danes in the 17th century, and during the Russian ravages of 1719.

Despite the proximity to Stockholm, a visit to Gällnö is as far from the stress of the big city as you can get. The well-preserved old archipelago buildings remind you of another time. Agriculture is still practiced and in the lush meadows the animals graze freely. The pastures are mixed with forest, cliffs and beaches. For those who want to explore the island properly, there are nice walking and cycling paths.

In the summer, Gällnö is in full swing. Guests come to the hostel from all corners of the world and the bay is filled with leisure boats. Stockholmers come out to their summer houses and the otherwise quiet village is transformed into a small metropolis with a bar, shop and café.

You can sit down to eat a piece of food or just have a glass of wine under the apple trees at the bar and the café offers home-baked bread and freshly roasted coffee. The shop ensures that you can get to Gällnö without having to drag the food from the mainland.

We anchored at Gällnönäs near a friend from Paris but who has lived on the island during the summer and regularly has led outdoor Friskis&Svettis exercise. If you know Swedish, there is a lot of information about Gällnö on the association’s “Gällnö Natur och Kulturstig” website: gallnostigen.se

Blueberries of love

Berries taste good. Berries are good for body and soul, both when you eat them and when they are picked. Now is the time when the forest is full of blueberries.

I do not want to claim that I am a persistent berry picker. I’m not a dedicated forest walker either. But still, walking in the woods with good friends to experience nature and to pick the fruits of the forest, it really is a treat for the soul!

The love of well-functioning equipment!

This week I have been out with the boat in the Stockholm archipelago. I was accompanied by my love. When the summer weather is unstable inland, it is often much better out in the archipelago. This was also the case this time, even though the water temperature was a bit low at the beginning of the week. We had great weather and the water gradually got warmer! The evenings are especially wonderful. 

Cooking is not like home but you can always grill. As a result of the generally increasing security thinking, the limit when a fire ban is issued has been lowered. My “Son of Hibachi” charcoal grill is no longer considered safe. I have switched to a gas-powered camping grill that works really well quite unexpectedly. 

My automatic inflatable life jacket also works really well. In a moment of arrogance, I took a leap ashore and slipped on the slippery cliff and ended up in the water. The life jacket triggered perfectly. No harm done.

Warm love!

Summer has really come to Sweden. We have a heat wave with temperatures above 30 degrees (Celsius). The weather was also exceptionally good recently during the important Midsummer weekend. Almost as if nature comforts us in the midst of the ongoing pandemic.

We had a walk on Djurgården, an island in central Stockholm. There, in the middle of the capital, you will find beautiful and soothing scenery with stretches of forest and meadows, in addition to historical buildings and monuments, museums, galleries, an amusement park, the open-air museum Skansen, a small residential area, and yacht harbours.

The Swedish monarch has held the right of disposition of Djurgården since the 15th century. We walked Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel’s love path in the forest area by the marsh “Isbladskärret” on the island’s northeastern part.
There was peace and quiet with cows, herons, trees and wild roses. Finally we reached the channel “Djurgårdsbrunnskanalen” and saw the TV tower “Kaknästornet” in the distance. The Royal Djurgården can be recommended, if you ever come to Stockholm.

More blossoming love!

This post contains no deep thoughts! I don’t have a lavish garden but my little townhouse lot with its small flowerbed was so beautiful tonight when I got home. My chest was filled with love like little bumblebees buzzing in there. I got the urge to take some macro pictures.

With compliments to Ernst Kirchsteiger

Flourishing love.

When I browse my own Instagram site, I see many pictures of flowers. There are also quite a lot of flowers here in my blog. I appreciate flowers, I love flowers! Now it is spring and there are more and more flowers everywhere.

Spring brings out all the beautiful flowers! Flowers are created by nature. It is true that what is created by nature is beautiful. Humans are also created by nature! Spring also brings out the beauty in people.

This year’s spring has been cold. Finally, the heat came and my camera had to follow me on the weekend’s walks. I saw spring flowers and my beautiful love.

Fear and Love

We all carry inner fears. I think that when we recognize them and know them, we have the conditions necessary to reach the final stage of our ”adult development”. In our minds we have an idea of who we are. We have learned the idea of ourselves during life. Thoughts about ourselves have been shaped by success and adversity. We have learned to live our lives. But even if the thoughts, once formed, were appropriate, in adulthood they may have become an inner fear, a fear that complicates life.

We are happy to defend our inner fear of discovery. Wouldn’t it be awful if someone discovered that we are inadequate and not worthy of love? Whenever we are in a defensive position, we really are not in our favor. The notion of ourselves and our inner fear is then easily confirmed, especially in love relationships.

I know, it sounds hopeless but you can actually learn again. It’s hard to get rid of the inner fears but you can stop being afraid of them. Recognize them and learn to deal with them as a fully-grown person. Do not be afraid!

Love and trust.

Trust is the foundation of love, and we can only truly love someone that we can trust. Love by itself isn’t enough, and really does not conquer all. I now know that I have to trust the one I Love. To have a healthy love relationship, I must have the guts to believe in my partner. Trust is necessary.

Trust is a feature of love. Trust enhances love. A real love relationship is built upon trust. If your partner tends to break your trust in any way, it simply isn’t true love. Building trust requires commitment, and trust must be maintained. Trust requires listening to and communicating both our desires and needs. Most importantly, trust requires honesty.

Once the trust is broken it is hard to avoid doubt and fear of trust and love being broken again. You become more cautious about whom to trust, and to love again. Fortunately, trust actually can allow us to love again! When you are aware that trusting someone is a risk, and when the falling in love comes with a hope that your lover will deliver on all the promises the earlier relationships failed to fulfil, you must dare to take the risk. That risk can create a wonderful, everlasting love!

Reciprocated love

Some say unrequited love is real love but I can’t disagree more. Some say the less reciprocation there is, the more desire we have! I do believe they are horribly wrong. I would argue, however, that love without response is like an important question without an answer. I have been in love when I haven’t had the same reciprocated emotion, and it hurts. Not a pleasant soul pain like a sliver of autumn depression, but a nagging and joy-killing.

Love has now suddenly arisen in my life and I feel that she really cares. She seems to see the imperfect me perfect. The love is mutually answered.

The pictures are taken some years ago in Stockholm at Skansen, the world’s oldest open-air museum with farmsteads and a zoo.

Almost completely thoughtless!

This post did not come about after a deep thought or emotional insight! I simply had a need to photograph and was offered a walk. The fall this year started early. It has been quite warm and it has been raining. It is said that there is a lot of mushrooms this year. I myself have not been out and picked any.

I feel that autumn this year is extra colorful. It is very beautiful and is pleasant to photograph. I like the picture motifs.

I put on the macro lens and aimed to take pictures of withered flowers. I am not versed in botany and have no idea what plants I have photographed.

Still, it was really nice when I found plants that still bloom with beautiful petals. I couldn’t resist a grazing horse in an autumn-colored pasture.

Someone had missed picking the raspberry in an allotment I passed. The rowan berries hung heavily in the trees. It will probably be a cold and snowy winter.

Autumn Melancholy!

In the autumn it is easy to feel sadness, yet many people like the autumn. Nature changes color and the air becomes cold and clear. It gets dark in the evenings and you can crawl up on the couch under a blanket, and light candles. It’s cozy!

Even if you have everything important in life, and life is good, you can always find something to feel sorry for, if you really want to. Sometimes it may even feel cozy to feel a little sorry for oneself. Is it perhaps so that the cozy thing about autumn is because it attracts one to self-pity. When it is cold, dark and rainy outside, and when the green vegetation has died down, when the candle flame flutters, when the sofa is comfortable, and when it is warm under the blanket, it feels extra cozy to feel a little sorry for oneself. Is that why many people think autumn is cozy?

To experience the beauty of autumn, I went to Rosersbergs slott, one of the Royal Palaces of Sweden situated on the shores of Lake Mälaren, on the outskirts of Stockholm. The palace was built in the 1630s and modernized in the late 17th century.  By the palace is an English garden with winding paths. Autumn is looking particularly good in the park!

In the park, I was inspired to plant flower bulbs. I have grown tired of feeling sorry for myself and am already longing for spring. I want tulips, crocus, and daffodils. Lucky for me to remember that it is now in the autumn that I have to plant the bulbs. In the evening I lit a candle!

To exercise, or not!

I regularly travel by bus to work. It’s nice to sit and think while I look through the bus window and listen to the sounds around me. By the way, smartphone headphones just fall out of my ears.

It is convenient to ride the bus but I do not get much exercise. Regular job commuting by bike would definitely increase the chance of good health and a more attractive body. I have several times decided to cycle the almost 14 kilometers to work but it has never become a habit.

I find great pleasure in technical gadgets with good features and a nice design. Furthermore, whenever I feel a little down, I have the ugly habit of comforting myself with a new technological gadget.
Since I do not only intend to devote myself to growing roses, I have now figured out that with a technically advanced electric bicycle, the pleasure of cycling would increase dramatically. After all, I’ve been a little sad and a consolation purchase always works.

Today I took my brand-new electric bike to the nearby nature area. It was a lot of fun and there the sunflowers bloomed. On Monday, I take the electric bike to work. Bathing season 2020, here I come! 🙂

The second bloom!

It is wonderful in the early summer when the roses bloom, but the second flowering in late summer is also lovely.

I myself have for a long time tried to bring about a second flowering in my own life. I know, you should be careful about whining and appearing unsuccessful in social media, but this is not Facebook, and I write what I want in my own blog!

Depending on how you look at it, I know I actually have a very good life, but I do miss a love partner and that lack occupies too much of my thoughts and feelings. My youngest son tells me I think too much!

Probably I have tried too much to find love. It is much easier to get roses to bloom again!

Fear is the new safe!

We live in a time of security mania. Taking it safe before the uncertain seems to be an increasingly common mantra. But, putting yourself at risk does not necessarily have to be fatal.
Lack of trust in a relationship can lead to an awkward feeling of insecurity. But, in order to build trust, we need the courage to be in uncertainty for a time.
The saddest thing in this context is that the feeling of insecurity is often imagined and comes from one’s own inner fear. We need control over our inner fears to have the courage to live.

Pictures from the boat trip with Adam, my youngest son, the last week-end.

https://fored.se/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/joined_video.mp4
Adam – Svanhopp!

There are many paths to the goal!

You can reach nature in the Stockholm archipelago in many different ways. One is to hitchhike with a boat owner.

When sailing, the journey often becomes the most important part of the destination. While going by motorboat, I have learned that the journey itself becomes less important for the overall experience.

It is fun to discover the islands. Recently I visited Bullerö in the outer archipelago. The celebrated artist Bruno Liljefors’s studio and hunting lodge is located on this island.

In the early 1900s, Liljefors regularly invited his famous artist friends, like Anders Zorn and Albert Engström to the island, for partying and hunting. Today a museum is dedicated to older archipelago life and to Liljefors on the island, and there are several nature tracks.

There is a hostel and a sauna available on the island, but neither a restaurant nor a grocery store.

You can find more information at:
https://www.visitstockholm.com/stockholm-archipelago/bullero-viveca-sten/
https://www.stockholmarchipelago.se/sv/137425/Bullero-Naturreservat/

Comforting archipelago nights

Nights can be scary. You might feel alone and left out to dangerous and alien beings. In the archipelago, on the other hand, at night there is a calm tranquility and you never feel alone. You feel like part of nature and the nature takes care of and protects you. We are all part of nature. Unfortunately, many of us have forgotten that insight.

I think that’s why we enjoy staying in the nature. Why we feel safe at sea or in the woods, even at night. We feel that we are part of nature. We feel a connection.