Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The end of one year, the start of another

2014 went by fast when you look at it in hindsight... swoosh! But a lot of interesting and good things happened, and some that we could have been without, as always.  My blogging was reduced due to other things, but here is a little summary of the things I never got time to show you earlier from the year that is about to pass on to history (2014).

WEATHER: There was a very cold and wintry beginning. Everybody learned the word 'polar vortex' with caused low temperatures and snow and ice.

FOOD: Many good Swedish-style breakfasts, which are like true mini-smorgasbords. Kalles Kaviar we have to get at IKEA here in the US. 

CRAFT and ART: Philadelphia and Baltimore Craft Shows, as well as Morristown and Peter Valley. Weavings by AA, trips to Grounds for Sculpture, and much more enlightened and enlivened 2014. This sculpture below by Brower Hatcher is one of my favorites at Grounds of Sculpture... it is really a place worth many visits.  Below that is a piece of one of Erin Wilson's many handmade, innovative artwork quilts, which we love. (The photo doesn't really do it justice, since it was taken with a smartphone.)

SWEDEN: a trip in March to the homeland, led me back to some places I hadn't seen for over 35 years, and Fiby Forest was a wonderful place to revisit. March is usually a cold and dreary month in Sweden, but there are wondrous things if you look closer, red beetles, green mosses, and colorful food (indeed, these days Swedish food is not just boiled potatoes, brown meat and sauce).

IDAHO: Summertime was conference travel time as usual, this time in Idaho, a new state. Up into the dry areas of the Bitterroot mountain range was an experience - hiking around Blue Lake, and being in all the alpine meadows with new kinds of birds and flowers, and views and vistas. I am going back!

PLANTS: Lots of work work focused on plants as usual, especially neglected weeds, lichens, and edible and urban plants. Beauty and wonder is everywhere...

BUGS: But there was also a lot of insects showing up wherever I was, and they too can be gorgeous. Looking at them this year and finding help online to identify and learn about them lead to a whole new world opening up.  I guess I have to learn more about fungi next year...

OPTIMISM: And now, it is the last day of 2014. And, I end with a quote by Cheryl Strayed from her book Wild, on what nature (and life) really is about:
“It had nothing to do with gear or footwear or the backpacking fads or philosophies of any particular era or even with getting from point A to point B. It had to do with how it felt to be in the wild. With what it was like to walk for miles with no reason other than to witness the accumulation of trees and meadows, mountains and deserts, streams and rocks, rivers and grasses, sunrises and sunsets. The experience was powerful and fundamental.”

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Recycle, reuse, refine

I have surfed the net and stumbled upon some fantastic art made of waste.

Like these sculptures made of broken CD's made by the Australian artist Sean Avery, found on the website

And lots of amazing insects made from old electronic components, by Julie Alice Chapell, presented on her Facebook-page and on Etsy.

Electric wire is also recycled into art, like these little trees by BarbaraCCreations on Etsy

More pictures here. 

Be well, everybody!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Photo report from Gotland

O.K. is on the island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea this week, in the cold, blustery November fog.  Here are some of his photos, posted by me.  Enjoy!


 the bottle
the stick
the door
the rock
 train I
the tower
 train II
the perspective

Thursday, October 16, 2014

A new logo! and some old ones

I am a member of at least 5 different Amateur Societies/Clubs which all reflects my hobbies.

Here are some of their logos, the first one is brand new, designed by me . The bug is a stinkbug, Graphosoma lineatum, which is called strimlus in Swedish. Our old logo looked like something copied on a blue-ink copiator in the basement, rather outdated.

The society Sörmlandsentomologerna. 

  The Swedish Garden Amateur Society, with linneas of course.

 The embroidery society, started in Täcklebo but now has members from all Sweden.

Södertälje ridklubb
My dear Horse Riding Club which is organizing competitions for the Swedish Horse Jumping Elit this weekend, the logo looks like this (below). I will be there all Friday and Sunday.

The Canoeing Club in Södertälje, I keep my canoes in their house.

And at last, not my club anymore, but in my heart since 1980 when I joined Fältbiologerna. We had two logos during my years in the club. I read on their web site they are discussing a name change. The first name of this old club was SFU. The club slogan is Youth Nature Environment.

This is the present logo, LS, did you vote for it back in the days??

The old logo, the scythe is added to the original image. The slogan was more down to earth then,
in the 1970´s. "Keep your boots muddy"

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Tågresa (Train travel)

Jag tar tåget från Eskilstuna station, en modern version av de gamla motorvagnarna tar mig över broarna vid Kvicksund, till Kolbäck och vidare över slätterna till Västerås. Spåret letar sig in i obefolkade skogar på väg mot Sala. Ett snabbt tågbyte i Sala, jag saknar höjd över havet på nya stationsskylten. Huset är detsamma som förr. Undrar hur många stationshus som fanns under tågens stortid? Intercitytåget mot Uppsala ser ut som vanligt, men är nästan folktomt. Borde man inte kunna sälja lite fler biljetter om det var billigare? Det borde gå jämnt ut. Vi är 10 pers i en vagn på minst 80 platser. Konduktören har bytt den traditionella mössan mot en svart SJ-keps. Modernt, men jag hajar till. Ännu visslar han på perrongen vid avgång, i klassisk visselpipa. Min ungdoms resor, alla dessa visslingar, alla tågresor jag gjort. På väg till, på väg bort, på väg hem, på väg till älsklingen, på väg mot okända marker.

Ibland när jag står och väntar på pendeltåget i Stockholm så står det ett fjärrtåg på perrongen bredvid. Mot Kiruna, Narvik, Malmö, Berlin, Hamburg....

 Lusten att kliva på finns där, alltid. Jag reser genom ett landskap av lövskogar, nyslagna stubbåkrar i senapsgult, gröna höstsådder och granplanteringar. Just nu är vi mitt emellan sommar och höst, svala nätter men ännu är det varmt när solen skiner. Blommorna går i frö, bara några enstaka ettårigar blommar vidare. Nypon, rönnbär och havtorn har röda bär i stor mängd. Snart är höstens flammande färger här, det saknas bara några frostnätter.

Min resa tar slut i Uppsala, idag var det hit jag skulle. Domkyrkans spiror sticker hål på dimmolnens gråmulna himmel, snart tittar nog solen fram. Slottet ligger bastant och tryggt på bergets topp. Uppsala, min studiestad, min glädjetid.

(A note for English speaking readers, I describe a train ride through the Swedish landscape from Eskilstuna to Uppsala. A lot of memories from train rides in my youth too.)

Translation by LS:

I take the train from Eskilstuna station, a modern version of the old rail buses take me over the bridges at Kvicksund, to Kolbäck and then over the plains to Västerås. The track finds its way into uninhabited forests towards Sala.  A quick train change in Sala, I miss the sea elevation on the new train station sign. The station house is the same as before.  I wonder how many stations there were during the trains great times? The Intercity train towards Uppsala looks like usual, but it nearly empty.   Wouldn't they sell a lot more tickets if they were cheaper?  It would be about the same cost.  We are 10 people in a car with at least 80 seats.  The conductor has changed the traditional hat to a black SJ-baseball hat. Modern, but I are taken aback.  Still he whistles on the platform when the train is about to leave, in a classic whistle.  My youth's travels, all these whistles, all the train trips I have taken.  On the way to things, away from things, on the way home, on the way to the sweetheart, on the way to unknown destinations. 

Sometimes when I stand and wait for the commuter train in Stockholm there is a long-distance train on the neighboring platform. Destination Kiruna, Narvik, Malmö, Berlin, Hamburg...

The desire to get on is there all the time, always.  I travel through a landscape of deciduous forests, newly cut mustard-yellow fields, green freshly fall sown areas, and spruce plantations. Right now we are between summer and fall, cool nights but still warm when the sun is up.  The flowers are setting seeds; only a few annuals continue flowering.  Rose hips, mountain ash, and sea buckthorn have red berries in large masses.  Soon the flaming colors of the fall is here; we are just waiting for a few frost nights.

My trip ends in Uppsala, it was here I was going.  The cathedrals spires cut their holes into the foggy grey-clouded sky; soon the sun will probably show its face.  The castle is mounted on the hill as a heavy and secure thing.  Uppsala, my college years, my happy times.