Thursday Thoughts – A Forest Man
Our old apple tree lost one of its trunks in the storm some weeks ago, maybe that was a sign. Time to go.
My father was a forest man. ( In the header a photo from a walk in Fulltofta, where he worked) Since early childhood he roamed the forests, watching birds, collecting eggs (this was 70-80 years ago, when it was not forbidden to collect eggs) and learning about nature around him. He passed away last Friday. I had hoped for him to stay through spring, but at least I was fortunate enough to be with him his last hours.
We always talked about the forest and his work there, and what he had seen and observed during all those years, 50-60 all in all. He had witnessed many stories from the animal world, but also stories from the many young men he guided and taught. Sometimes he found dead people in the forest. A rugged story was about a 10 year old girl, Helen, who disappeared on her way home from school, in 1989. She was found a week later, murdered.
My father saw the car in the forest the day she was kidnapped, and as the car passed him he heard a child screaming from the trunk of the car. Unfortunately he did not get the number, and this haunted him for years. The police got his description of the car though, and it was sent out in media all over Sweden. My father cooperated with the police for some years after this, and he became friends with the head investigator. Not until 15 years later, they finally found the murderer, and the car fitting my father’s description.
This was one of the most talked about murder histories in Sweden. I remember it well. Nothing like this had ever happened here before.
He was a forest man, yes, and what he did not know about forests and its inhabitants was hardly worth knowing. I only wonder – who will I call now with all my questions?
I am not a bird photographer, but I sometimes try when they come to one of my feeders. I know my father would have liked them. So, here’s to you, sweet dad! Birds from my garden this winter.
Starlings were one of his favourites – and mine too. Nowadays some of them stay as the climate is changing for the warmer.
A brambling waiting for me to fill the feeder.
The Western jackdaw is a very intelligent and social bird. They often visit our garden to pick up what the smaller birds have left on the ground.
The hawfinch usually visits when there is snow and the temperature has fallen some degrees below zero. His company here is a European greenfinch.
A beautiful bird, only seen in my garden during winter.
At the end of my post, I want to share a story from his best friend, living in Canada and for many years a ranger in Banff national park. He is also the author of several nature books, Halle Flygare, Alberta:
When I was young, your dad and I roamed fields and forests looking for birds’ nests to collect eggs. One day we went to a big oak tree, where we knew a tawny owl had her nest. Your dad climbed the tree and found the nest, but the owl flew out and attacked me, hit my head and took my red cap. We found it later in the forest. We only took one, white egg for our collection.
Thanks to your dad I became interested in the natural world, collected eggs and bought myself bird books. This bird interest has stayed with me throughout my life and I have travelled the world on numerous guided bird adventures. My list of birds is now containing more than 3000 species.
Thank you, Hälle, for calling him every week, all these years, and thank you for sharing this story with us!
Lens-Artists Challenge #225: Wildlife Close to Home
”Stop. Look. Listen. Doing those three things will help you discover the abundance of wildlife you have nearby.” I will follow Anne’s advice…
This summer we were fortunate enough to have a couple of Hummingbird Hawkmoths in our garden – guess if I was happy! An astonishing little creature that is not often found this high up north.
I love my bees and bumblebees of course, and since I planted even more flowers favourable to pollinators, they are increasing.
This little friend is a guest every summer, and while our plumtree was still alive, the hedgehogs feasted on the fallen fruit.
This Grass snake met a harsh destiny due to climate change. The sun warmed up too early and the snake was lured to wake up and venture out of its winter home. They go stiff when the cold returns, and there is no food either. I couldn’t do anything for him.
It is always a joy when this golden gem, the green rose chafer, visits my garden. Its flight is rather clumsy, but the sight of him is a true joy.
I am no spider enthusiast, but in a net of pearls it is OK with me.
This beautiful red kite was lying under a log in the forest. I don’t know how he got there, but they say this species often fight each other, so I guess that might have been his story. We took him to a gamekeeper, but he could not be saved. His wings were too damaged and he could not fly properly after a week, so he was unable to feed himself.
The nearest lake has its beautiful inhabitants, and of the mute swans there are several pairs. Cold winter mornings make them something extra.
”From squirrels to birds, wildlife is around us. What non-domestic animals live in your neighborhood or nearby?” Let us see your wildlife. Remember to link to Anne’s original post and use the Lens-Artist tag.
And, special thanks to Sophia for her interesting Exposure challenge. I hope you had fun with it – I certainly had! Next week we are pleased to tell you that our guest host is Jude of Cornwall in Colors. Visit her beautiful site for more inspiration.
Looking forward to seeing you – until then, stay kind and cool.
Lens-Artists Challenge #173 – Interesting Architecture
Tina’s challenge this week is all about interesting architecture. As I guessed you would all have fantastic examples of modern buildings, I decided to focus on the birds and the bees…and only a little about human buildings. The opener shows weavers’ nests in the Amazon, Ecuador.
I am always impressed by magnificent woodpiles – and my grandfather was an excellent builder of these. But, while they often are set behind houses or hidden in a barn in Sweden, I found this special display in Switzerland. Elegantly leaning against the house and beautifully framing the window. One of a kind.
To me, one of the most interesting Nordic building is Hállgrimskirkja in Reykjavik, Island. It looks almost like a spaceship icicle with smaller icicles attached to it. Everytime I visit Iceland – it is a must see again.
In Sweden we only have one skyscraper – Turning Torso by the famous architect Calatrava. I never liked it – despite it being beautifully built, it doesn’t fit in among the older buildings in Malmoe. I believe storks have better ideas about how and where to build a high rise building…Modern too – electrified!
Magpies often build high as well, and their nests are very intricate. They are durable, domed structures made of sticks and twigs and contain an interior mud cup and lining. Every nest has got two entrances – one close to the top and one from the side or under – and it can reach more than 1 meter in height. Not the nest to the far right though, that is a small but sturdy bird’s nest found during a winter walk.
The three middle pictures show the enormous European hornet’s nest we had in our summer house last summer. A fantastic and elaborate construction. Finally, my last image is from Bhutan and a monestary covered in bees’ ”pouches”. As the Buddhist monks care for everything living, they were happy to have the bees and their nests hanging there.
We thank you for your beautiful responses to last week’s “A Day in My Week” challenge – what a terrific variety of amazing days you shared with us!
We hope you’ll join us this week with some interesting architecture from around the corner or around the world. Be sure to use the Lens-Artists tag to appear in our reader, and to link to Tina’s original post.
Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #144 – Taking Flight
Birds, butterflies, bees and other insects, airplanes, balloons, bubbles, kites….well, this week, Tina invites us to be creative and choose whichever flying objects that catches our imagination and our lens. Go to her amazingly beautiful post to visit Kiawah!
I don’t have a perfect long lens, so I will stick with the Galapagos Islands, where you have no need for a long lens, but get to see and love all wildlife close-up, just by your side. And, they do have one of the funniest birds for taking flight…
Also called the waved albatross, the Galapagos albatross (Phoebastria irrorata) is the largest bird in the Galapagos, with a wingspan of up to 250 centimetres (8.2 feet). They breed exclusively on Española Island.
In nautical lore, albatrosses are a sign of good fortune, and killing one is meant to bring bad luck. As in Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.
Thank you for your responses to last week’s Colorful April challenge – you shared some amazing examples of April’s incredible beauty. We look forward to seeing your interpretation of this week’s Taking Flight challenge – please remember to link to Tina’s original post and to include the Lens-Artists Tag. We hope you’ll join us again next week when we welcome our Guest Host, Priscilla of Scillagrace . Be sure to check out her ever-thoughtful and interesting blog.
Stay safe and well.
No snow on This twig…phew…
Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #135 – A Glimpse into Your World
Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy. – Anne Frank
This week, we welcome Sheetal as our special guest host, with the theme A Glimpse into your world. ”Show us the things you love that makes your world spin or things about your world that make you delirious with joy.” Sheetal tells an interesting story of music and travel – and of The Beatles!
Many things in life fill me with joy, but few things make me ”delirious” anymore. I guess that comes with age…but I always strive to keep my eyes and mind fresh and open. My most enchanted moments are always with Nature and all its living creatures, with Flowers and Light. Together they make my world complete and whole. I must live close to nature and just like Monet, “I must have flowers, always, and always.” And Light. With these few images from my Nordic home, I want to show some of the moments when I felt totally immersed in the beauty and wonder of our planet.
One of the strange things about living in the world is that it is only now and then one is quite sure one is going to live forever and ever and ever. One knows it sometimes when one gets up at the tender solemn dawn-time and goes out and stands out and throws one’s head far back and looks up and up and watches the pale sky slowly changing and flushing and marvelous unknown things happening until the East almost makes one cry out and one’s heart stands still at the strange unchanging majesty of the rising of the sun–which has been happening every morning for thousands and thousands and thousands of years. One knows it then for a moment or so. ― Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden
Nature is so powerful, so strong. Capturing its essence is not easy – your work becomes a dance with light and the weather. It takes you to a place within yourself. – Annie Leibovitz
Give light, and the darkness will disappear of itself. – Desiderius Erasmus
I really just want to be warm yellow light that pours over everyone I love. – Conor Oberst
By almost any measure, Iceland is one of the world’s most unique lands. – Roger K. Sandness
And the Nordic Light – is purely Natural.
Remember: Always walk in the light. And if you feel like you’re not walking in it, go find it. Love the light. – Roberta Flack
Thank you for last week’s fun challenge from Tina – and thank you All for showing us more useful tricks to enhance forgettable pictures! Very creative. As always, please remember to link your responses to Sheetal’s original post, and to use the Lens-artists tag to help us find you. Until next week, stay warm, well – and even a bit delirious with joy? We are looking forward to seeing what makes Your world spin!
…on the dock of the bay…
Sitting… for Debbie’s Six Word Saturday here.