A Feeling of Snow

The weather is cold as we enter a dark and almost eerie forest. Hesitantly, the snow begins to fall. Floating, fluttering snowflakes fall on trees, and moss. As if the snow doesn’t know the meaning of it.
Hours later, when I look over my shoulder on our way out of the forest I know the purpose. The forest has turned into a bright living adventure.
A homage to nature.

Danish painter Anders Andersen-Lundby, En vinterskov 1882

Danish painter Anders Andersen-Lundby, Winter Evening 1886.

Hanna Greenwood, An Enchanted Winter Day 2021

“There is nothing in the world so quiet as snow,
when it softly falls through the air,
muffles your steps,
lulls, lulls gently
the voices which speak too loudly.”1

Danish painter Peder Mørk Mønsted, Wood in Snow

Note

1 The danish author Helge Rode wrote the poem in 1886, There is nothing in the world as quiet as snow

Avoid Spider Shelob and The Deep of The Bog

He gallantly stepped aside to let me pass on a narrow forest path. He told me later with a big grin that he was trying to avoid the spider webs.

If I walked in front of him, the road would be paved – so to speak.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t tall enough 🤣

Your bog buddy has to be taller than you. ‘Beth from About Life and Hiking in Cumbria’ gives excellent advices how to avoid the biggest pitfalls, literally. Beth Pipe’s humor is contagious.

“You will require a “bog buddy”. A “bog buddy” is some poor sap who is conned into walking ahead of you, thus identifying the routes not to take. NOTE: for a “bog buddy” to be truly effective they need to be taller than the deepest sections of the bog.” 1. Survival tips for the bog bound

‘Lakeland Walking Tales’ introduces four books about walking. 2. Four Great Books About Lakeland Or Walking
Among them is Beth Pipe’s book: ‘Gin, Cake & Rucksacks’. About a fun tour of the Lakeland distillery with Karen Guttridge, a Facebook friend.

Have fun walking. Watch out for yourself and each other. Watch out for Shelob and do not enter bogs in ‘Stealth Mode’.

Have a Wonderful Happy New Year all of You ✨🎇🎈🎉

When the Forest Gets a Little too Dark …

På dansk under billedet

Once, we lived in the countryside, only a dirt road separated us from the forest.
When we bought our christmas tree, we drove it home tied to a bicycle. Let me add that it very difficult to make a turn with a tree tied up on the bike.
It was a delight to walk through the forest with the newly purchased tree. We stuck ourselves on spruce needles, but the tree smelt lovely. That was a good experience.

There was a bird tower in the middle of the forest. It was always exciting to climb up the tower and look over the marsh area on a winter day. The view was beautiful in the low sun and we could hear the busy chirping from the small birds in the trees that fringed the bog.

Down by the forest lived a former opera singer. He sang as he walked his evening walk together with his dog. It was very impressive to hear arias between the trees. I come to think of the elves in Tolkien’s universe.

We had a tradition to exercise intensively before our walks in the mountains of Norway.
It’s much more fun to walk the mountains, when the shape is good.

One evening in late August, I went down into the forest. It was getting dark. I always had to persuade myself when twilight was approaching.

Do you know how much noise blackbirds make when they are searching for food? It sounds like a huge army haunting through the forest.
You probably know the term “My heart flew up into the throat”? Only something much stronger than a glass of water would get it back in place after a meeting with blackbirds in the twilight.

I had changed my route and made it shorter because it was dark. I could barely make out the path and the sky was to be seen in a narrow belt over my head. My heart was almost at its customary place when the blood literally froze in my veins.

In the forest, where the trees were standing close, a loud scream reached my ears. It was so eerie a scream that my hair rose, my breathing stopped while the heart was pumping adrenaline into the body.

I looked into the fir trees, but it was impossible to see anything in the darkness. Then came the scream again, but this time a bit further away. I was in shock. Now came the cries from multiple locations simultaneously. That got my speed further up, until a large shadow flew across the road right in front of me.
Then I realize that maybe it was owls screaming their head off.
Anyway, not ten wild horses could get me to investigate the screams further. My whole body was busy getting rid of the adrenaline, and I didn’t protest.

The next day we went into the forest at the same time. We brought a flashlight with us. The entire episode repeated itself, but now I was more courageous.
We found a big night owl sitting against a trunk of a pine tree. The screams from the owlets were as creepy as the day before but now I knew what it was.

I wish you a great walk in the forest 🙂

NÅR SKOVEN BLIVER LIDT FOR MØRK …

Vi boede engang på landet, kun en markvej skilte os fra skoven. Hver aften gik jeg turen ned til skoven.
Når vi købte juletræ, kørte vi det hjem bundet fast til en cykel. Lad mig tilføje, at det var meget svært at dreje, hvis I skulle blive inspireret.
Der var noget særligt ved at gå gennem skoven med det nyindkøbte træ. Det var halvmørkt, og vi stak os på grannålene, men træet duftede. Det var en god oplevelse.

Midt inde i skoven lå et fugletårn. Det var altid spændende at kravle op i tårnet, og kigge ud over moseområdet en vinterdag. Udsigten var flot i den lave sol, og i grantræerne der omkransede mosen kunne vi høre fuglekonger og mejsefugle.

Nede ved skoven boede en tidligere operasanger. Han sang, når han gik sin aftentur med hunden. Det var meget stemningsfuldt at høre arier mellem træerne. Jeg kom til at tænke på elverne i Tolkiens univers.

Vi havde en tradition for at træne mere intensivt før vores vandring i fjeldet i Norge.
Det er langt sjovere at gå i fjeldet, når formen er god.

En aften sidst i august måned gik jeg ned i skoven. Det var ved at blive mørkt. Jeg skulle altid overtale mig selv, hvis det var blevet tusmørke.

Ved I hvor meget solsorte larmer, når de søger efter føde? Det lyder som en hel hær, der kommer stormende gennem skoven.
Kender I udtrykket ”Hjertet fløj op i halsen”? Kun noget stærkere end et glas vand ville få det på plads igen efter et møde med solsorte i tusmørket.

Jeg havde lagt min tur om og gjort den kortere, fordi det var ved at blive mørkt. Jeg kunne akkurat skimte stien og se himlen i et smalt bælte over mig. Mit hjerte var næsten på sin vante plads, da blodet bokstavelig talt frøs i mine årer.
Inde i skoven, hvor træerne stod tæt, var der nogen, der skreg. Det var så uhyggeligt et skrig at det fik nakkehårene til at rejse sig, mit åndedræt standsede, mens hjertet pumpede adrenalin ud i kroppen.
Jeg kiggede ind i grantykningen, men det var umuligt at se noget. Så kom skriget igen, men denne gang et stykke længere fremme. Jeg var rædselsslagen. Nu kom skrigene fra flere steder på samme tid. Det fik mig til at sætte farten yderligere op, indtil en stor skygge fløj tværs over vejen lige foran mig. Det fik mig til at indse at det måske var ugler der skreg.

Der var dog ikke ti vilde heste der kunne få mig til at undersøge det. Hele kroppen var optaget af at få brugt sin adrenalin, og jeg protesterede ikke. Jeg havde travlt med at komme ud af skoven.

Dagen efter gik vi ned i skoven på samme tid. Vi havde medbragt en lommelygte. Hele episoden gentog sig, men nu var jeg mere modig. Vi fandt en stor natugle inde i grantykningen. Skrigene var akkurat lige så uhyggelige som aftenen før, men nu vidste jeg, hvem der skreg.

God tur i skoven! 😀

Avoid the River at Midsummer Eve!

The river winds its way through the forest. It is Midsummer Eve. It’s not really dark, which make the trees stand in gloomy gray silhouettes.

No wind, no birdsong, only an eternal sound from the river.

This part of the forest has always seemed alarming and eerie.
In some places the trees are felled, some even broken.

Panic rises, he shouldn’t have mocked the water sprite, and now he has to cross the last bridge before he’s safe.

Suddenly the river is silent too! Only dark and smooth on the surface and without a sound –

This is how Selma Lagerlöf, the famous Swedish author, tells the story about the fiddler who meets Näcken in the forest.

I remembered the unhappy fiddler when I passed a house in the Swedish countryside on a quiet midsummer evening. From an open window, beautiful tones flowed from a violin and forced me to listen.

Midsummer Eve in particular is hazardous since it’s there, Näcken plays his violin, trying to lure people down into the rushing river…

Happy Midsummer 😃

American painter, Thomas B. Griffin.

Floden snor sig mellem træerne. Det er midsommeraften. Det er ikke rigtig mørkt. Det får træerne til at stå i dystre grå silhuetter.

Ingen vind, ingen fuglesang, kun den evige lyd af strømmende vand.

Denne del af skoven har altid virket alarmerende og uhyggelig.
Nogle steder er træerne væltede, og nogle er endda knust.

Panikken stiger, han skulle ikke have hånet Nøkken, og nu skal han krydse den sidste bro, før han er i sikkerhed.

Nu er floden også stille! Kun mørkt strømmende vand uden lyd –

Sådan fortæller Selma Lagerlöf om den populære spillemand, som møder Näcken i skoven en midsommeraften.

Jeg kom i tanke om historien, da jeg gik forbi et hus i Halland en midsommeraften. Fra et åbent vindue strømmede vidunderlige toner fra en violin, og tvang mig til at lytte.

Især midsommeraften er farlig, når Näcken spiller sin violin og forsøger at lokke menneskene ned i den strømmende flod.

God midsommer – Trevlig Midsommar Sverige 😀

Note

Midsummer evening Friday 25.6.2021

Spillemanden af Selma Lagerlöf

The Painting Thomas: B. Griffin (American, died 1918). Moonlight on the Delaware River, ca. 1896-1915. Oil on canvas, 29 15/16 x 40 1/16 in. (76 x 101.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mrs. Alfred T. Dillhoff in memory of Rosamund E. Lafferty, 54.104 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 54.104.jpg)

Duck Tracks in Thaw

This spring came suddenly from day to day. Even the snowdrifts gave up the fight eventually. They lay boasting of the last snow, telling a story of an unexpectedly harsh winter. But maybe we haven’t seen the end of winter yet.

~ Thaw by Edward Thomas
Over the land freckled with snow half-thawed
The speculating rooks at their nests cawed
And saw from elm-tops, delicate as flowers of grass,
What we below could not see, Winter pass.

A Walk into the Twilight

Winter Landscape, Evening Atmosphere. Finnish painter and textile artist: Fanny Churberg (1845 – 1892)

When the day draws to a close and twilight fills with shadows, I see a new dimension emerges.
A universe where dreams and reality meet.

“Late lies the wintry sun a-bed,
A frosty, fiery sleepy-head;
Blinks but an hour or two; and then,
A blood-red orange, sets again.”
~ Winter-Time
by Robert Louis Stevenson

“You are always able to connect with the stars, no matter where you are. ” ~ Sjón

Ice skating in the sunset. Danish painter: Anders Andersen-Lundby (1841 – 1923)
Returning Home from the Hunt at Sunset. Austrian painter and composer: Désiré Thomassin-Renard (1858 – 1933)
A winter sunset,  Swiss-German painter:  Carl Schlesinger (1825–1893)

Train, Walk and Explore

Here, in the wild rugged mountain landscape, was Mannen.
A high-altitude unstable mountain section, which threatened the Norwegian residents in the valley with extinction. For decades, families were evacuated. The mountain section threatened to crash into the valley. Today, the greatest danger is over after several major landslides over the past six years.

Down in the valley, between weathered mountain peaks, the train runs from Dombås to Åndalsness by the sea. Raumabanen, is the name of the railway.

Here, Harry Potter rode by train with his friends heading for Hogwarts in the film, Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince.

In March 2008, a film crew secretly arrived in Norway to shoot the sixth Harry Potter film, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”.
The recordings were made to avoid snow shortage, after the film team had waited for two months for snow in Scotland.
The fact that the scenic area is surrounded by mountains and valleys also played a role in the choice of location.
For several days, a film team of 20 people surrounded by great secrecy, worked at Bjorli in Lesja municipality in Oppland to make a recording for the latest Harry Potter film.

Ingrid Nergården Jortveit wrote an article in the Norwegian newspaper Gudbrandsdølen Dagningen. I have translated fragments from that article.

Geiranger Fjord by hannaswalk.com

We went by a train journey into the dramatic outstanding Norway. Trolltinderne, the Troll Peaks make you humble, and with a good reason: Mannen!

We bought an interrail ticket to Norway. It gave us access to travel in this stunning country as pioneers, or that was the feeling it gave me. Going by train, busses and small ferries. Planning a route of our own.

Watching dramatic mountains torned by the wonderful sparkling blue fjords. It seemed to be an impossible feat, the thousand meters high mountains rising majestically right out of the sea. I watched them with awe. Tiny ships seemed to vanish in the shadows from mountains and waterfalls a true adventure.

Valley of Romsdalen by Johan Frederik Eckersberg (Norwegian) 1857
Norwegian Waterfall With Sawmill by Themistokles von Eckenbrecher
Troldtinderne i Romsdalen; foden af Romsdalshorn til højre, 1894. Hans Gude 1825 – 1903.

Elves, Dragons, Stars and Fairies

All magical creatures seem to manifest in a frozen tableau only to perish by the red flames of the sun.

“Promise to stay wild with me.
We’ll seek and return and stay and find beauty
and the extraordinary in all the spaces we can claim.
We´ll know how to live.
How to breathe magic into the mundane.”
By Victoria Erickson

Trolls and Mysterious Landscapes

Johan Christian Dahl

Imagine if we still believed in trolls.

Stories, told around the fireplace are no more. But how did they originate in the first place? 

Dark forests, bogs and misty shapes across the meadow. 
Of course, it was teeming with trolls everywhere 🤤

In Denmark we have several forests named after trolls.
Forests, where crippled trees reach out their tentacles for terrified walkers.

It’s always good fun when you are safe at home😁

Darkness is rising

This is one of my old stories but very appropriate for Halloween 🎃😊

Someone had the decency to unlock the sun for an hour yesterday.
It is hard to imagine now when rain and hail are tumbling down. I was about to end my walk as the sun went down and dusk took over. I had some concerns because of the growing darkness.
Should I walk through the bog in the darkness or across the cemetery? Strange stories passed through me as I thought of the cemetery.

Once my brother took a short-cut across a cemetery late at night:

He entered our living room, pale with fear. His age in mind the experience must have been fierce. He was a teenager, and at that age it is inappropriate to be afraid. He was sure that he had stumbled upon a corpse on a small church path. My parents were sure that there was another explanation and they calmed him down so he was able to fall asleep.

Early the next morning my father went to the cemetery with my brother, and they did find a man. He wasn’t dead, but lacked a place to sleep. That finding brought my brother’s mind in a state of relief, but the cemetery was no longer an option for a short-cut.

An artist I once knew worked in a cemetery where he used an old gate house as a studio. He told me lots of stories one evening over a bottle of wine. I have never been able to forget this one in particular.
We sat by the fireplace and actually the weather outside was very similar to the weather in his story. He began the story describing how terrible tired and exhausted he was:

I’d been working late every night with the aim to get my last painting done for the opening. One night it became very late. Sometimes I get so tired that I have to pull myself together to go to bed, and I wasn’t even home yet.
So I turned off the lights and locked the door. When I went out in the storm and rain to find the car, I almost lost my breath, for it was bitterly cold.

A short stay in the wind combined with a break caused me to listen more attentively. Yes, there it was again! Help me, help !!!

It was difficult to determine the direction. The rain, the darkness and the wind created shadows where there usually were open spaces. After a while I decided to walk into the darker section of the cemetery until suddenly I saw a strange thing.
From one of the open graves prepared for the next day funeral I sensed a movement. Carefully approaching I could see two hands cling to the edge of an open grave.

At this point in his storytelling, he made a little stay and I could swear that there was a shiver running through him. He continued: I found myself in a state where my adrenaline whizz around in my body. I didn’t know whether I should turn and run, or just let myself be completely frozen with fear because I was nearly there already.

The rough terrifying voice tore me out of my trance by screaming in my ears: Heeeelp! Help me! I saw the man down in the grave. Two big scared eyes midst of all the mud, and a pair of hands which reached out like a child who wants to be lifted up.
I stood and gazed at him. It felt like hours. Then I recognised him. He was a slightly tipsy gentleman who often take his lunch on one of the benches, if not every day and in a liquid form.

Close to the grave hang a water hose. I tied the hose onto an iron pipe and handed the other end to the man in the grave.
The exhausted man was rescued from the cold grave, and after a drink and some dry clothes, he told his story about how he fell down in the grave by an accident.

But I was still considering which way to choose. I looked at the bog and the growing darkness and my thoughts went to Frodo, Sam, and Gollum when they went through the Dead Marshes on the way to Mordor.
I chose the cemetery 🤞😊