Dancing around the Midsummer Pole

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I am often the only man dancing around the Midsummer Pole in our little village. This year we were three, though two of us looked like immigrants. But we’ve always got the same accordion player, and he is perfect.

Yearning for the summer

Yearning for the summer

June is crazy in Sweden because everyone is in a mad rush to finish all their work before Midsummer (though this is shifting for some to mid-July). This makes it hard to stay inside during the most glorious June I’ve seen here.

But then you think that you’re headed for this for 8 weeks (I’ve got paternity leave days left).

Floating cherry blossoms in the Swedish spring

Floating cherry blossoms in the Swedish spring

Every winter I’ve been in Sweden has been subtly different from each other. Same for spring. They interact and create a new season – so this is the spring of cherry blossoms I’ve never seen before and lots of early mosquitoes. I love cherry trees and the way the flowers float along our fence line, even though the effect comes totally because the lower parts of the trees are dead, killed off by some insect or disease. (The photo doesn’t really convey this affect but maybe it will let you imagine the trees in context of our clearing in the forest, with the river glistening in the background).

It’s enough to make your body start to forget winter, and you remember why you need all these long weekends in spring and the long summers, not to be indulgent but to stay truly alive.

Photography: my daughter takes portraits of tigers

More work from my five-year-old daughter, this time … portraiture.

Of Tigger.  Notice the thoughtful composition and contrast with a princess purse and a Swiss book about flowers.

And then a different kind of animal shot:  dragon with little brother.

photography: the fine edge between spring and winter in sweden

I have not had the time I would like to take pictures lately but here is a taste of the drawn out end of winter here …

The coolest part of this?  I ride past this water on my way to work.  And getting on the bike again was a dream.

This is misleading because it was the only day so far where the kids did not wear snowsuits out.  Maybe tomorrow again, as it was over 10 degrees Celsius today.  But last year it took until mid-April.

I love taking pictures of sand and bikes.  I have no idea why.  But early spring sand cakes give me hope for summer.

More photography from the eyes of my five year old

More photos from my daughter, who goes on these picture-taking sprees with her beat up Fisher Price camera with the worst lens ever.

I gotta get her a real camera.  These are not necessarily the best, just the clearest.  But they still have a certain preschool je ne sais quois …

There has been a self-portrait phase.  Notice the dress from when she was two years old, plus the one glove, a la Michael Jackson.  Very funky.

In the laundry room.

We still like hearts, though less than before.

She also likes to photograph details from books and her own drawings.  These are usually beyond her high-powered Fisher Price, but this flower detail came out beautifully.