Thursday, January 3, 2013

Lapland, July 2012

To celebrate my mother’s 80th birthday, I suggested we go to Lapland. My mother, who was born in Lapland, is very fit, for any age, and was game when I presented the idea, and my sister, niece, and cousin Bertil joined too. What started out as a plan for a leisurely stay in a mountain lodge, turned into a challenging hike. We settled on Låktatjåkko Mountain Lodge, which is located 195 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle, (an 18 hour train-ride from Stockholm). Låktatjåkko is Sweden’s highest located mountain station, 1228 meters above sea level. The only way to reach the lodge in the summer is by foot or by helicopter.
The hike to the lodge is a mere 9 kilometers, no stretch for a fit 80 year old, but what we had failed to realize was that 9 kilometers going uphill is a challenge for most people of any age. In addition, although our visit was in early July— generally the best time of the summer in the north since you can still see the midnight sun, and enjoy mild weather—this spring had been exceptionally cold, so part of the trail was still covered in snow.
Despite the challenges, we all enjoyed the hike with exquisite views of Torne Träsk, one of Sweden’s largest lakes, and of the surrounding snow-covered mountains.  At the lodge, we rested for a day and enjoyed lovely three-course meals, with local specialties including cloud-berries and reindeer meat for the meat-eaters.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Lapland Slide Show

I collected some of my photos into a slide show: The happy hikers are my cousin Bertil, my niece Karin, my sister Anna, me and my mother, Barbro, who we are all so proud of and inspired by since she was able to enjoy a strenuous hike to celebrate turning eighty.

Click here for link to Lapland slide show (for iPhone)

Åvike, summer 2012

Almost every summer of my life, I’ve spent time in Åvike, a small community on the northern coast of Sweden, where my extended family has summered for decades ever since my grandfather started to bring his family to Åvike for summer vacations in the 1930s.

These days, I often long for my seemingly endless childhood summers, swimming in the sea and hiking in the woods, with time punctuated not by clocks but by nature itself: wildflowers blooming in succession, and berries ripening in predictable order: wild-strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and, the back-to-school berries, lingon.

But, despite my persistent search, the endless summers are long gone, and even the natural environment is not static. In the last few years, bears have made a comeback to the area for the first time in over 100 years. A new logging road offers easy access to formerly remote bogs nestled in the forest, and a recent violent storm has forever changed many familiar views.

Last summer, on walks with my mother, sister, nephew and my cousins, I photographed the new and the familiar: a fresh bear-paw track, ripe cloud-berries, rare orchids, a rusty old car covered in lichen, and my relatives on their iPhones during a coffee break—fika—in the woods. The first couple of photos in the slide show  below are of my niece, Karin, and I hiking around Stockholm.

Click here for link to Åvike slide show (for iPhone)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Beaver in Candler Park

The video of the beaver in Candler Park was recorded by a remote sensor camera between 11 p.m. and 4 a.m. The quality of the video is not great. The wildlife habitat the beaver has created is amazing. Over 50 species of birds have been identified in the habitat, including kingfishers and both blue and green herons.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Looking for Coyotes

A quest to photograph the elusive urban coyotes led me on an exploration of the creeks in our neighborhood. I wouldn’t really recommend doing this: the water is not clean; snakes, snapping turtles, and ticks stand ready to launch. There is poison ivy everywhere and complete strangers willingly tell tales about rabid raccoons and aggressive copperhead snakes. But the reward is in finding yourself surrounded by lovely lush vegetation, seemingly miles away from the big city while wading down the middle of a stream close to Ponce de Leon Avenue. My companions were the animals that make the creeks their home: the beavers repairing their dams on the Candler Park golf course,  a damselfly fluttering around  Fernbank Creek, and turtles sunning themselves in the creek on the Druid Hills golf course.
Coyotes are hard to spot and even harder to photograph. So far, most of my photos are of everything but coyotes that I encountered by following the tributaries of Peavine Creek in Candler Park and Druid Hills.

Click on link for slideshow to play on iPhone.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Summer in New York

My dream for as long as I can remember has been to go to New York City and have time to walk around and take pictures.  Last summer, my dream came true when I was teaching at NYU.  I also took a photography class at the International Center for Photography, and I took every opportunity I had to just walk around with my camera. 
Click here to play slideshow on iPhone

Otter in the beaver dam in Candler Park

The beaver dam on the Candler Park golf course has become the home of not just beavers, but otters, muskrats, turtles, frogs and snakes and many birds including kingfishers and herons. The otter is just an occasional visitor but he showed up and clearly enjoyed an audience around Christmas time.

Snapping turtles & muskrat in the beaver dam

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Here is Melvin standing between his beloved grandfather, Gustav Adolphson, who came from Gothenburg and his aunt Bertha, Anna and Gustav's only daughter.

Friday, January 8, 2010

My great-grandmother, Anna, emigrated from Sweden in 1888 and settled in Superior, Wisconsin. Here she is in her garden in the 1920s. Her grandson, Melvin, gave me this photograph.

Our new dog: Lad

Monday, May 11, 2009


The bluebirds at the GPC native plant garden were busy feeding their young on Sunday morning, May 10. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

American Woodcock

This woodcock must have been migrating north--in the middle of January--to the Great Lakes or shores of New England. Or was it just lost in the big city? It flew into a skyscraper in downtown Atlanta and I found it dead on the sidewalk.

The Wood duck flew into a skyscraper and broke his neck. He is the most colorful of American ducks and belongs along the woodland streams in the South, not on the pavement. 

Monday, January 19, 2009

Here is a sparrow who lost his life mid-flight downtown. 
I bury the birds I've found on the sidewalk in the back yard, but my friend Art says I should build an altar and burn them to let them re-enter their true element. 

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I found this little warbler on the sidewalk downtown. Birds fly into skyscrapers and their short lives are cut even shorter. I wonder who they are and where they are going. 

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Recent photos

November 5, 2008, the morning after Obama's victory, I went to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial and took this picture of two men praying--paying tribute to Dr. King. 

Here is Desmond, who stayed with us over Christmas, posing with the scarf I finally finished.