After 40 years in Australia, and a few visits to Sweden, I still have my favourite memories of my birth country. I grew up with walks in the woods. Often to pick wildflowers. As far as I know, it’s still allowed to pick the White Wood Anemones, but not so the Blue Wood Anemones. I’m happy if I’m able to take photos of them to keep forever in my hidden memory cupboard in the top loft.
After a long autumn and a cold and dark winter, people in Sweden usually look forward to the lighter, warmer springtime. More people spend more time outdoors, preparing for summer. How much summer you get, is up to the laws of nature. You’re never sure if your holiday time falls due when the weather is at its best, or if it’s going to be cold and rainy when you had planned sunning yourself on a beach.
The photos show the progression from early spring when the snow starts to melt. What follows are many wonders. Spring is best. At least in my opinion.
All photos are taken in the Gothenburg region during late April – beginning of May. Göteborg is the second largest city in Sweden.
Below you can see a bit of evergreen between the birch trees with an icy small lake in the background.
Snow is left in pockets of nature to melt away on sunny days.
Below is an Australian little girl, used to the sun and the beach, wondering about what’s so good with the cold and the snow after a bit of playtime.
This little Aussie girl seems to be saying: ‘So, what else can I do now? It’s cold and I want to go home.’
Halfway hidden, since the snow is melting. Maybe due to the flowing of water through the drain.
A typically red house in a typical Swedish landscape.
At the roadside where the birch trees are struggling to break out of a wintry stronghold.
Snow, ice, evergreen fir trees and green mosses, surprisingly uncovered, to show that spring is on its way.
Ice still lingers in the shallows of the ocean. Doesn’t look tempting now, but wait until the warmer weather starts. Then the place will be filled with people and boats.
In the Swedish archipelago, on the west coast – a perfect place during summer, but wintry and cold here.
People in flats look eagerly towards spring and summer. They can easily follow the seasons by looking out the window where the birch trees close by dress up in their finest spring attire. Sometimes it goes a bit slowly and at other times, it almost seems to happen overnight.
But wait! There’s more. When the Wood Anemones start to show everyone is happy.
The birch trees are now flowering and the landscape turns a light green colour. This is the time when Swedish people sometimes bring the newly developed leafy branches inside their homes. Especially at Easter time when they also decorate them with feathers and other Easter decorations.
Below are photos of birch trees in development and a photo of a ginst. I don’t know if it’s the same in English, but that’s what the net translation shows. In any case, I love the beautiful sunny yellow against the blue sky.
Blue Wood Anemone, which comes in different shades of blue and sometimes in pink, has always been protected in Sweden. As a child I never saw them in nature. Only as an example in someone’s garden, but don’t know how it ended up there since it was illegal to pick or transfer. I have no idea if the same applies today, but I would think so.
These days you can see massive amounts in nature if you just happen to know the right places. On one of our visits to Sweden, our friends were kind enough to take us out to see large patches of the blue ones in the woods. That was an amazing sight to soothe a Swedish soul.
Then we have the White Wood Anemones, which grow almost everywhere under a few trees, in a small copse, or as huge carpets on the forest floors.
In spring, they stick up their heads through thick and thin. As children, we went out in the woods, first with our parents and later, when older, with a friend or friends. In those days it seemed safer to wander around on our own in the woods. Today it would be impossible.
When we came home with a bouquet of “vitsippor” to give our mums, we felt extra appreciated. Sometimes we picked small bouquets to give to friendly neighbours. If lucky, we were handed a coin or a cookie. So, that meant, every time we felt like possibly getting paid with a coin or a cookie, we went flower picking in the woods. No wonder I think back on those days with love and gratitude. Old Mrs Andersson was especially friendly and nice.
The smell of these little flowers is very special, fresh and earthy, and when writing about it, I can almost smell them now. Sometimes we were out too early in the season and came home with a small bunch with tiny buds, but as soon as they were placed in water at home, they started to come out.
Those memories are firmly entrenched. Love those little white flowers, which brighten up even the darkest forest as long as some sunlight reaches down through the leaves to wake them up.
And here you have it! A small vase with typical spring brought inside to warm up everyone’s feelings.
This was a little bit of my Sweden. Some other time I will post A Little Bit of Summer in My Sweden.