Friday, July 8, 2016

Sweden, June 2016 - happy families


Barnacle Geese breeding pretty much next door
 
...of the human and avian kinds. After a fine five days with the Sonden-Cooks, the second half of the trip was spent with our dear friends the Johansson-Sadris (double-barreled or nothing for us) a little further up the coast. But for a while in Gothenburg at either end of the trip, we spent it all in the idyllic and blissful surrounds of St Varholmen, an island in the archipelago west of the city with summer houses scattered along its rocky paths and sheltered inlets.

Kestrel family in the box behind the house 
 
(the male returning with a vole)
 
Idyllic and blissful pretty much sums it up; we were there for Midsommar and so got to share this celebration with the whole island, which involved the making and wearing of flower crowns, singing traditional songs and dancing round the maypole in the warm Swedish sunshine (Edward Woodward beware) among other simple pleasures. But most enjoyably it involved quality time with this wonderful family - our old friends Houman and Susanne, and our new ones Xander, Aurora and Freja. What a blast we had.

The clan in front of the cottage
 
Eider creches - lots of females and young on and around the island
 
Yes, it was cold, yes, there were jellyfish, and no, we didn't care