Store Mosse, Sweden Week 53 1st-13th May 2012
stopped to investigate a few mounds by the side of the road.

About 50 Iron Age burial mounds at Toftaholm.

We couldn't find the runestone or the fortifications.

So on to Store Mosse national park.

A shallow lake renowned for the bird life.

Around the lake are marshes. Surprisingly (to us) there are small trees growing in the marshland.

It really is boggy.

The lady at the Naturum is planning a few tests so she can advice people of the best way to release themselves when up to the armpits in mud.

We tried the alternative of avoiding the boggy bits.

But in among the water and peat is a large variety of life.
Including cotton grass.

This is also the beginning of a couple of weeks of "is it a pine or a fir?".

In front of the cotton grass is a pine. There are two needles from one node. Only one in a fir, more than one its a pine.

Of course all are conifers.

But what's a spruce?

There's a mixture of firs and pines here. But more important is the sand dune.

Sweden is a bit flat, having been raked over by glaciers up to about 18,000 years ago.

Some of the granite formed sand which was then blown into dunes. The vegetation then stabilised them.

The Naturum had this rather ingenious trap.

Put a foot in it and its hard to remove (no we didn't try it).

All wood, including the springs. Its upside down. The two pegs in the center are part of how to release whatever was caught.

Sweden's national parks and nature reserves seem to be well set up and supported

No admission or parking fees. The two telescopes (or are they monoculars?) are seriously good quality Zeiss with high magnification, and the windows are spotless.

No camping in the park so we found a convenient spot in the woods a few km away.
Following day we went back to the park and walked the 14km round the lake plus a couple of side trips to bird hides.

One of the more interesting (to me) aspects of behaviour that distinguishes different cultures is what happens when people moving in opposite directions meet on a narrow bush track.

There are some cultures where people seem to demand their right of way in the hope the other party will give way. There are subtle associated aspects of body language.

Our experience of Sweden so far is that Swedes are quite likely to step off the track to let others pass. Even if its a bog.

Totally impossible to photograph when involved but we've had more than a few incidents where both ourselves and the enemy step off the track at the same time. No last minute decision as a result of intimidation. At least 10m apart.

It is of course a source of much humour with smiles all round, lots of "hey" and "hey hey". What a truly delightful place.

This is a (the?) Hano Burial Ground.

Iron age.

A bit more research needed.

We did see birds.

Apart from this canada goose (center) there are grey geese in the background.

We also saw a couple of cranes and a roe deer through a bird watcher's telescope.

Its the shallowness of the lake that attracts the birds. They can wade and forage.

The woods are alive with small song birds. We are hopeless at having the patience to stop and find them. Just hearing them is magic.

Eksjo and Skurugatta, Sweden Week 54 14th-15th May 2012

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