Sun, sea, flowers and fruit: a day trip to North Koster

The archipelago is one of the delights in Western Sweden – especially on a warm sunny day in early September.  Having a regional travel pass is also a great thing.  It means that you can catch the local bus in Uddevalla to the railway, then catch a train north up to Strömstad  and then the ferry across to Koster islands all included in the purchase of a monthly travel card!

Yesterday I made a return trip to Koster: I was on my own this time.  A good picnic and a flask of cold fruit juice joined me for the long day ahead.  I was out of the door at 7.00 and only returned after sunset at 8.30.  The weather was excellent, the sea warm enough for swimming (with the occasional jellyfish for company), there were hardly any other tourists, the island has no cars and it’s recently become a marine nature reserve.  I took pictures of all of my usual subjects: landscapes, flowers, light, interesting shapes.  The red fruit (rowanberry and cranberry) were spectacular so I tried my hand at photographing them too.  People are usually scarce in my pictures but you’ll find me in one of them!

Back to Featherstone Kloof for the flowers

We went back to Featherstone Kloof yesterday to see the King Proteas and all the other winter flowers.  We have had a warm sunny spell lately and so lots of flowers are blossoming in the grasslands and fynbos.  It was a real mix.  There’s this year’s Proteas with the most amazing coral pink shades, the winter leaves fallen in the forest, and last year’s Protea and Oldenburgia flowers all dried up and shrivelled into intricate patterns.  The strong warm wind made for pleasant walking but it made the photography tricky.

Midsummer/midwinter bouquet of flowers

It’s the shortest day today (for us in the southern hemisphere) and distinctly warm here in Grahamstown (+25 forecast for this afternoon).  Time for a bouquet of flowers to celebrate the turn of the seasons.

These flower pictures were all taken during our nine weeks in the Nordic region and England.

Spring flowers in June

As we went from Sweden, England and Scotland to Iceland we pursued the coldest Spring in 50 years northwards.  So we were still seeing the lovely Spring flowers well into the middle of June!  Here’s a selection from Iceland.

My memories of Iceland will always include seeing the thousands upon thousands of dandelions, marsh marigolds and buttercups blazing golden even when the light was dull.  The moss campion was almost phosphorescent amongst the darkest lava and clung to the cliff sides high up besides the waterfalls.