Saturday 21 May 2016


A nice interlude to my morning walk

I have the habit of taking an extended walk (of about 45 minutes) every day after breakfast. Over the years, the track has been well beaten and I ramble around it almost without thinking. But, without fail, I surface from meditations at exactly one place every morning. There is a reason for it, since that is the only spot where I am greeted by a luscious grove of oak trees.

Although seeing the site in question should be a routine experience by now, two weeks ago I just had to stop and spend some minutes taking it all in. It was around 9 am, and the sun illuminated the landscape with its beneficial glow. And "glow" is the right word to describe also the scene itself. It almost jumped at me with its glorious shining. There was something special with the leaves having started to bud just the day before and I just had to immerse myself in their virginal freshness. 

A propos "virginal", this word reminds me of the very unusual month of May we are experiencing this year (On the other hand, isn't every month unusual nowadays, in this age of climate change?). Although the month started out with icy snow patches still covering our ski slope ("Yes! There is a slalom skiing facility just around the corner from where I live. We even had a Ski World Cup competition here February last), just a week later meteorologists declared that Summer had arrived in Stockholm (defined as a daily average temperature of more than 10°C). This put a lot of pressure on the vegetation to come forward with full speed. As a result, cherry blossoms appeared suddenly, adorning the squares in Sjöstaden, and tree leaves started to bud with a vengeance. 

There is no word in the Swedish language for such an early start of Summer, so I had to invent it for you. Inspiration came from the scenery I witnessed that morning, as well as from the German word for late Summer. They don't call it Indian Summer over here, for obvious reasons, the German word is "Altweibersommer" (Old Spinsters' Summer). So what better term for early Summer than "Jungfrauensommer" (Young Virgins' Summer). Thereof the title of this blog post. 

Fortunately I had a camera with me on that glorious morning. But it proved difficult to get the full scenery on screen. The title picture shows the full extent of the site I could take in with the lens on its widest setting. Still, this was a "tunnel view", far from the scene that had caused me to stop! The eye tends to rove and construct a much more encompassing view than can be caught with a fixed lens on camera. So I decided to construct a full panorama of the scene, as the eyes are roving, only possible to do on the fly with a digital camera. You may be surprised to learn, dear readers, that this panorama is the result of taking EIGHT pictures, and merging them together to obtain the full extent of my experience. You could not take it all in with just a glance, you would have to rove the scene with your eyes, but here it is, the full glory of my morning welcome. 

View of Hammarby Fabriksväg in direction of Sickla Lock

Invigorated by this photographic excess, I decided to repeat it on my way back home along the quays. When I arrived at the ferry boat quay, the boat coming from Central Stockholm was just about to dock. Rushing to a nice viewpoint, I quickly fired off eight shots again with my camera and put them together to get this wide panorama of Hammarby Bay.

Norra Hammarbyhamnen and Hammarby Bay seen from Luma Quay.

I apologize for the technical angle to this bucolic blog, but hope that the pictures can be judged on their own merit, irrespective of how they have been produced.

To finish the post in a more romantic timbre, why not listen to this song by a promising lady, singing about her time as "young virgin". I am sure that "young" is an appropriate caption for her, but am a bit unsure about the second term, considering her emphatic embracing of female lusciousness!


Eva said...

Dear Emil,
You are absolutely fabulous when describing the beauty of Mother Nature and your feelings about the awakening of a lovely spring morning! Do you write poetry? I wish you do since you have a marvellous talent of expressing what happens around you. Thank you for letting us share your inner feelings!
Kind regards

Unknown said...

Fantastisch, danke Emil ein toller Einblick gruesse aus Gran Canaria Manfred

Anonymous said...

Tack Emil, så poetiskt! 
Och Jungfrauensommer - bra ord!  Även på svenska väl!
Många hälsningar

Anonymous said...

Thank you dear Emil. Always fresh in your thinking and views!
Best regards

Anonymous said...

Hej Emil Du är en fantastisk fotograf och textförfattare. Alltid lika spännande att se och läsa.

Anonymous said...

Lieber Emil,
Deine Fotokunst mit den Legenden imponiert mir immer wieder. Ich glaube, Du hast den richtigen Platz für Deinen neuen Lebensmittelpunkt gewählt. In Österreich haben wir halb/halb Internationalität und Nationalismus im Zusammenhang mit dem Bundespräsidenten gewählt.
Liebe Grüße Heinz

Emil Ems said...

Wow! Six comments on this small essay on early Summer! Thank you all for your kind comments, dear readers!
And, Eva, I feel humbled by your question, whether I am writing poetry. Alas, permit me to quote myself as an answer:

"Even if time has come for retrospection, I am at a loss of words to describe my life and inner self. I am not a poet to forge metaphors germane to the task; nor am I a painter or a composer. I have only my prints to tell my story. This will have to do!" (Stockholm/Brussels: a retrospective in fine prints; emsVision; Stockholm 2016).