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!


LAPC #236 North Meets South

It’s never the differences between people that surprise us. It’s the things that, against all odds, we have in common.
― Jodi Picoult

Thank you to Amy of The World is a Book, for hosting this week’s interesting challenge. She asks us to explore, East Meets West or North Meets South. Read her creative post here to inspire your thoughts. Remember to link to her post and add the Lens-Artists tag so we can find you.

I must declare this was a difficult task for me – how to? I hope my solution is OK with you.

Because, I have focused on North meets South, and two very different countries with much in common. Just like we humans, wherever we come from – we have got so many things in common.

I guess you already know from the first images which the two countries are…

Both have got spectacular natural phenomena as volcanoes and hot springs, and ice and snow in beautiful nature.

They have got similar houses too…(!) even if one of them only is from some famous films made here.

So, how do we use their natural resources, the hotsprings? We can bathe in them…

cook in them…

or maybe just love the sight of them as a tourist. For energi they are outstanding and sustainable resources.

Both countries also boast spectacular natural layers of stone.

In one of the two countries, there are no forests – in the other one the jungle lives side by side with the glaciers.

If you follow me, you know how close to my heart these two countries are. They carry the clear light of a natural world less spoilt. One of them is called the land of the long white cloud, while the other one, if you look at the images above, maybe is the land of the short white cloud…

A special thank you to Patti as she made us look at Shadows and Reflections in Monochrome last week. Once again, the interpretations to the challenge were creative, fun and inspiring.  This way, we also learned something about what photos work best in monochrome.  Next week, we welcome Bren as our guest host.  She challenges us with: ”Lowering That Clarity To Bring Softness.”  We look forward to more learning next week!

Interested in joining the Lens-Artists Challenges? Click here for more information.

LAPC #235 – Shadows and Reflections in Monochrome

Many of us love reflections and shadows, and many of us photograph them frequently. I am one of them. This week Patti has challenged us to show some of our images in monochrome. Shadows and reflections are even more mysterious and enigmatic then, as you will find them changing our perception of the image. Some images more than others, but, they all draw us in for new lines and details, new perspectives.

I have always preferred the reflection of the life to life itself.

– Francois Truffaut

Art is a direct reflection of the life you live. What you experience comes out in your work.

– Dianne Reeves

Glass reflects light in different and special ways. This glass piece from Kosta Boda was displayed on fur – very attractive and innovative opposites.

A visit to Library of Water in Stykkishólmur, Iceland, will give you another perspective of water. The reflections of the outside world as well as of the inside of the columns show how water refracts light differently.

Tblisi at night by the fountain cascades. Water, water everywhere!

Lodz, Poland, Light Move Festival.

A feast for the eye.

I found these fun shadows at a vineyard east of Porto, Portugal. These two containers were so big, that you had to have a ladder and a bridge to use them.

A garden is a reflection of you, it’s your presence in the world. Share this Quote Julie Newmar Read more at

A garden is a reflection of you, it’s your presence in the world.

– Julie Newmar

This week, Patti is challenging us to show photos with reflections and/or shadows captured or processed in monochrome. ”Feel free to process your image in different shades of blue, green, brown, or gray. You can also shoot your image in a setting that’s predominantly one color–like a blue sea and sky, for example.” Be sure to include a link to Patti’s original post and use the Lens-Artists tag.

If you’re new to LAPC, here’s a link that explains how to join us.

Last week we had a lot of messages… Donna’s theme–Messages. You found them everywhere–in nature, on buildings, at home. A special thanks to Donna for hosting a lovely challenge.

Next week, it’s Amy’s turn to lead us, so be sure to stop by her site on Saturday at noon EST. Until then, I hope you have a week filled with joy, inspiration, and photo opportunities!

Thursday Thoughts – Driving Home

I just wanted to send you some winter magic we found along the road last week.

It was darkening fast, so – the quality might not be perfect…

…but who can just pass by these without stopping for a photo?

LAPC #233 – One Lens Walk

Annes challenge for us this week is to take a lens for a walk. Yes, to choose a lens and walk. We can also use our cell phone or point and shoot camera. Another trick, when using a zoom lens, is to pick an aperture and stay with it. It is of course also possible to go for our archives. The important thing is to have fun! Remember to link to Anne’s original post and use the Lens-Artists tag.

I usually walk with my Fuji 16-80 lens, or my 35 prime lens. But my absolute favourite is the Tamron 90 macro. It is not a coincidence that my blog is labelled with a quote from William Blake: ”To see a World in a Grain of Sand…” The complete line goes: ”To see a World in a Grain of Sand And a Heaven in a Wild Flower, Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand And Eternity in an hour.” To me, this is the essence of Life.

As there are very few flowers and insects to photograph right now, I have chosen some of my old macros to show the different possibilities of this lens. Close-ups and macros yes, – but you will notice it is very versatile.

For macros I normally use f/11, but f/8 – f/11 works fine. I always use a tripod, and that is why most of my macros are shot in my own garden. I don’t carry a tripod on my walks. Not only because of the weight, I want to feel free. And, I often have my dog, Milo, with me too. In the beginning I tried to hand hold the camera, but there were too many photos to throw away, so Milo and the tripod are two of my best friends.

Droplets and frosty petals are always a treat, but even with flowers and other subjects that often don’t move much, I also use the timer in order not to risk accidental camera movements while pressing the button. The photo with many droplets, to the left in this gallery, was hand held. When I don’t take close-ups or macro with the lens, that works fine.

When we get really close, like in the first and the last picture, and the roses, the photo turns almost abstract. Other worlds open up and lets our fantasy work magic.

We enjoyed looking back with all of you during Sophia’s challenge last week. You sent us unique and interesting responses – some surprising ones too. Now we are looking forward to seeing your one lens walks!

Next week our new team member, Donna Holland of Wind Kisses, will be leading the challenge. Be sure to visit her beautiful site for inspiration!

If you would like to participate weekly in our Lens-Artists Challenge, click here for more info.