Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Journey to Sweden part 4

We spent a week at the campsite near Kalmar on the East coast.  Our pitch was very close to the water's edge which was lined with reeds, where thousands of dragonflies spent their time flying around, catching their prey.  We found this wooden box near the shore while walking one evening and puzzled as to it's use till I spotted a nymph attached to the side and a dragonfly emerging from it. There were several empty ones as well so I took one to draw later. They were not nervous creatures so I was able to draw this live one as it sat on my shoe.  When we arrived home a month later I found one, dead in the boot of the camper car which must have got trapped when we had the doors open.
This is the view I painted one day while sitting next to the camper car in the warm sunshine.  I really like the Swedish climate in summer as it's not too hot.  The Baltic coast with all the islands dotted along it is really beautiful and we plan to return some day.
This is a selection of flowers I collected while walking near the shore and through the woods.
We had a wonderful view of a pair of crested grebes building their nest among the reeds.  It was fascinating to see the male dragging along quite large twigs and bunches of weed to prepare for his mate.  I kept an eye open for the mating display but sadly missed it as a few days later the hen was sitting proudly on her nest!  We saw and heard several other birds but I think what I thought was a Jackdaw was really a hooded crow as we saw many of these all over the place, as common and tame as pigeons, stealing crumbs and getting into our rubbish bags.
The swan and her cygnets were a common sight arriving around breakfast time and doing a circuit of our waterfront, then heading out to explore the islands across the water.  The heron occasionally flying lazily by on his tablecloth sized wings.