A magic night listening for bats by the pond by Hovdala castle. One could see the tiny Daubenton’s bats flying in circles over the water hunting insects. They also hunt insects in the water, not only flying insects. This was the last bat guide tour for the season at Hovdala castle. The bats were of course too fast to catch on the picture but as my son remarked they did not fly as fast as one could expect. We heard several more species and saw them out of the corner of our eyes. Fifteen of the nineteen species of bats that exists in Sweden can be found in the woods around Hovdala.
To see a film with the bats in the pond have a look on Youtube film below
You don´t have to go far from home to go on an adventure. We went to Österlen and saw the ancient stone ship Ale stenar, the biggest megalithic monument in the nordic countries. It is unknown when it was built but probably 1400 years ago at the end of the Nordic iron age.
The Swedish poet Anders Österling has written a poem about the monument. The first verse is like this. I have made the translation myself.
There where the coast dips between sea and sky,
Ale has raised a giant ship of stones,
Beautiful in its place, where the ears of bright corn
unites with blocks of dark stillness,
a hidden tale
by the sound of the Baltic Sea,
who alone knows what the memorial means.
The poem by Anders Österling has also been sung by the Swedish singer Östen Warnerbring.
We are in the northern parts of Scania famous for it guerilla fighters during the Scanian war between Denmark and Sweden. The war ended with Scania and the neighbouring provinces of Blekinge and Halland belonging to Sweden. Scania was danish until 1658.
This is Hörja church, one of the parishes my father´s ancestors came from. Most of his ancestors moved between Hörja, neighbouring parishes Finja and Västra Torup as far as I have been able to trace them which probably means they were here long before the 17th century. The oldest I have been able to trace are born in the 1400s.
In the autumn after my aunt died my son and I went for mass at All Saint´s Day to this church. All Saint´s Day is a day when you bring flowers and candles to the graves of those you want to remember, though I live too far away from the graves of my relatives so I don´t do it. All Saint´s Day is celebrated at the same time as Halloween in the United States.
But at the end of the mass the vicar brought us out to the entrance of the church to sing a hymn with a stanza about the ancestors lying to rest in the churchyard, Knowing that my ancestors had lived here for generations that was a very special feeling.
In the southeastern corner of Sweden there is a reservation for seals. You are only allowed on the premises during the winter so we went there in december 2014. It is called Måkläppen and lies in Falsterbo in Sweden.