Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #107 – Winter

Winter? Now? Totti would have loved it!

What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.
John Steinbeck

Lake Taupo, New Zealand. Christmas Eve, 2011

Winter is not the same in any corner of the world…and maybe most significant is the difference when you compare the Northern Hemisphere with the Southern Hemisphere.  – So, your winter is not mine, my winter is not yours.

Let’s enjoy the differences! Being different and different experiences give us more strength and brings variety to our lives. This week – Winter rules.

I decided to get nostalgic about this theme – as our winters have changed much over the years since I was a child…even in the last ten years, three years, year… Climate change has also made every season more unpredictable. We live in changing times in all aspects. A bit of nostalgia comes over me quite often these days – I guess you might feel the same?

For many years we went skiing every winter, in Dalarna, Sweden. We always stayed in Fryksås, at an old mountain farm – or Shieling (Scottish Gaelic) – overlooking Lake Orsa.

Mille, our first Lagotto (Milo look-a-like, isn’t he?) was a cone collector…he could easily run with 5 (five) cones in his mouth without dropping a single one. He loved going to Fryksås every year – knowing he could play around every day in that cold snow.

The last time we rented one of these 18-19th century cottages, was in 2010. No electricity, no lamps, no technical devices…Only open fires, candle light, reading, playing card games and board games. Knitting, crocheting, discussing… The children (18 and 20 by then – and still loving this concept!) slept in the beautifully painted box-beds.

In Skåne, where I live, (the most southern part of Sweden), winters used to have at least a month of snow, and skiing was often possible. Today’s winters offer only forest walks. And this last winter, for the first time in my life, we had no snow at all.

– And no ice breaking up, letting the brooks sing and the smooth, velvety stones reflect the sun. But I am deeply grateful that we all have these wonderful memories – and that the children share them too. We still talk about going to Fryksås again. Together. Just the four of us. Maybe some day…


Announcement: We are happy to welcome Xenia of Tranature as our Guest Host for August 1 !

And thank you, Patti, for hosting a beautiful Autumn week! Thank you for so many colourful and beautiful posts from friends all over the world!

Despite the fact that winter will come to all of us – whether we like it or notwe are looking forward to seeing Your Winter! Meanwhile – stay safe and well out there.


Have you seen these:

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #73 – Cold

This week Tina is asking us for something Cold – and cold it is in Sweden now. But where I live it almost never gets below -20C. In recent years the climate has changed and our winters send us very little snow, and temperatures mostly around zero (+-0C). Gone are my childhood days when skiing was a winter joy.

For some real cold, I must go up north visiting friends or my daughter in Umeå. For many years we went to Dalarna to ski, but not anymore. So Tina, I will venture up north and to Iceland – for the real thing. In the header, Gullfoss, and I believe the coldest moment ever in my life.

What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.

– John Steinbeck

My old apple tree and a Bullfinch. And yes, I do love winter – when it is Winter.

To appreciate the beauty of a snowflake it is necessary to stand out in the cold.
– Aristotle

A warm house in a cold winter night is another name for paradise!
Mehmet Murat ildan

It’s too cold outside for angels to fly.
Ed Sheeran

Keeping the warmth

And last, of course, the beautiful Tännforsen, Jämtland, Sweden. Our highest fall, 37 meters and 60 meters wide.

Many thanks to those of you who responded to Amy’s “waiting” challenge.  Our waiting was well rewarded…we so enjoyed your creativity! As always Amy, Patti, Tina and I greatly appreciate your support of our challenge.


Finally, for those who celebrate, we wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving surrounded by those you hold most dear. Next week it will be Patti’s challenge #74 – so stay tuned.



Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #58: Something Old, New, Borrowed and Blue

Patti’s challenge this week is for us to find Something Old, New, Borrowed and Blue – or at least some of these. It is a very old saying, in Sweden as well, that worn on your wedding day, these will bring you luck and happiness in life.

So, I chose Nature for this challenge. To me, in winter clothes, she looks as pure as a bride on her wedding day.

The old oak tree all dressed in white…

…and the winter twigs in borrowed new feathers – a short lived beauty – shimmering against the blue sky.

Finally, the remains of my father’s old house, hidden in the white forest.

The opening image is a favorite photo of starlings, borrowed some years ago from my friend Jane Tomlinson.


Welcome to join in the challenge!


Thursday Thoughts – Fryksås Winters…

Suddenly I remembered all those years we every winter went to Fryksås in Dalarna,  and stayed at the Fäbodvall in a typical old cottage from the 19th century – or older. When I look up Fäbod in English, it says shieling/sheeling – small huts were farmers used to spend their summers in the mountain pastures, looking after their cattle.

We used to go skiing in the hills and the dogs had great fun. The children were not that old, so they went skiing with us, but also used the hills for other ways of sliding down on the snow…

And I miss those days. No TV or radio, no electric lights – only the sun and candle light. The long evenings after skiing and playing in the snow, we played card games or board games, and read books together. The beds for the children were still like in the old days, called skåpsängar – in English box-beds or closed beds.

We all loved it. We kept going there until 2010. And do you know – the children  never missed their electric gadgets, and neither did my husband or I.

Thursday Thoughts: Fulltofta, New Hike – Old Area

Through my father, I found a new forest to hike – an area where he used to work and walk when he was younger. If you want to, you can follow me, Totti and Milo!

Looking at the weather forecast, I chose a glorious day. And it was, from the start.

Night fallen snow and no wind. Blue promising skies with a cold sun.

Some 5-6 kilometers into the hike, I found the ruins of what once had been a cottage of my father’s. He used to stay there during the summers in the late 1940’s.

The stones rested in an open space, where now only brambles and old cherry trees, birches and lonely beeches were left to themselves. A silent and beautiful place.

Store Damm – Big Pond. This vast pond was recreated as part of a wetlands project from 2002 to 2006 with the help of old maps. The pond was drained just before 1920, but prior to that, it supplied hydro power to small-scale industries in the area.

The draining was done so that spruces could be planted, but the majority of these were downed by Hurricane Carola in 1999. Today, dead trees are still rising from the water.

Somewhere on the path here, Milo happened to venture down into a snow covered mud pool… so we had to keep moving faster because of the cold.

We also encountered wild boar hunters with dogs running around us – not that pleasant, but we have far too many wild boars here, so I hope they got some of them.

A glorious hike anyway, from where some earlier posts, Wednesday and Sunday,  have borrowed photos.

In the late evening, Milo ”dropped his tail” and suffered from something called ”wet tail”. This problem might occur if the dog gets too wet and cold. A Spaniel and Retriever phenomenon mostly. I understand it hurts a great deal and he did not want to do anything at all after dinner. I had to let him out several times during the night, but the next evening he was – Tail Up again!