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.