Friday, April 13, 2012

M is for Midsummer

Theme ~ Swedish Rhapsody


On Midsummer's Eve, it is said that if a young girl picks seven different kinds of wildflowers and puts them under her pillow, she will dream of the boy she will marry. Last time I was in Sweden on Midsummer's Eve, I decided to pick a bouquet for myself. 

Wild strawberries grow by the guesthouse steps.

I have friends and family in Sweden. Christina and I lived together in Princeton when we were young (we didn't go to the University, but we lived in town). I met Christina's sister, Inga, at the same time and we have been friends since then. A friendship that is fast approaching the 50-year mark! When I go to Sweden, I stay with Inga in the City and I stay with both of them here, at their lovely summer home. 

A meadow in midsummer glory. Just imagine the birdsong.


I tried to capture a bumble bee, can't see it now though.

The guesthouse where I stayed. My friends work very hard every year to get their garden this beautiful. There are plenty of vegetables mixed in with the gorgeous flowers.

The traditional colors of country houses: Red with white corners and window frames. 

The red color originally came from the copper mines in Falun and is called Falu-red to this day. My friends' house, to the right, stems from the 1700s; the house to the left is newer, but looks much the same. I stood under a birch tree, another Swedish symbol, and took this picture, but I had no idea I would like it so much. For me, it truly represents midsummer in Sweden.

Stockholm is too far south for the midnight sun. This is how it looks at night. I got confused because of daylight savings time when I was there last, but I know that when I was young, the sun would shine at two in the morning and the birds would go crazy with song.

And, yes, people do dance around the Maypole on Midsummer's Eve, to the sound of harmonicas and fiddles. I hope you enjoyed this Midsummer trip to the Swedish countryside. 
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I was writing this midsummer post during the worst snow storm we've had all year. It snowed and stormed all day. It will soon melt and create a muddy mess.

33 comments:

  1. Hi Inger,
    there's nothing like the Swedish Midsummer, and you're showing the perfect sceneries for it. Absolutely beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing.
    Have a lovely Day
    Eva

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  2. It was hard to find the comment button but I finally did. What beautiful shots of a lovely country.
    I really like the idea of wild flowers under the pillow.
    I just may try it. Never too late.

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  3. Underbara sommarbilder!!Får mej att längta efter midsommar :)

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  4. Someday I will go there. My great-grandmother came to the States from Lund when she was 19 with her 3 children in tow. I have pictures of her parents sitting against the barn on their property in Sweden. It's a yellowed picture, but now I can envision it in color thanks to your photos!

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  5. Love the color of those houses...would love to visit there some time.

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  6. you made it sound absolutely perfect. what a beautiful summer home!

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  7. I want to know who you dreamed about. As always, I loved your pictures!!

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  8. I love this!! The first picture is my favorite. I love wildflowers... and this Midsummer's Eve tradition is great. What beautiful pictures ...
    sorry about your snow storm. This weather has been crazy this year.. Ugh. We are having spring here, finally.
    Thanks for sharing these beautiful memories Inger.

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  9. What a lovely and beautiful post! I feel as if I am getting to know you and your beloved Sweden.

    Kathy M.

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  10. Great pictures! I felt right at home on this virtual trip. Glad you've been able to maintain a friendship for that long! Thanks for stopping by at my place! Hope that you're enjoying the challenge as much as I am!
    Tina @ Life is Good
    Co-Host of the April A to Z Challenge
    Twitter: @AprilA2Z #atozchallenge

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  11. Va fint om Midsommar! Ja det är väl lite unikt firande vi har ...hoppas vi får en fin Midsommar. Vi äter gott och umgås med vänner oftast.

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  12. Inger,
    so you really do the Maypole dance? How fun is that! The gardens are so lovely and I adore those purple flowers...I think it is great you and Inga have been friends for so long; that is so very special.
    I missed yesterdays so I went down to read it...So how long of a trip was it to get through the locks when entering or coming from the ocean to the lake?
    I bet you miss your country; it's so full of history and lovliness!

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  13. I'll have to tell Brett that we have a Swedish goat barn. He'll love that (being half Swedish himself). That storm was a doozy!! We had hail pounding the windows all evening and through the night. No snow though.

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  14. What a charming guest house!

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  15. Are you telling me that you you had a snowstorm? NOW? In April? I was so taken by your friend's cottages and beautiful flowers that the las paragraph threw me off!...:)JP

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  16. Yes, it snowed for a day and a half! But it can and will snow as late as June here. Last year the last snow came on May 26 - I know because I blogged about it.
    Anette, I would love to see a picture of your goat house.
    Tracy, I don't remember how long it took, just that it was pretty involved.
    To the rest of you, thank you so much for your comments and interest in Sweden and Swedish life and traditions.

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  17. New follower here via the A - Z Challenge. Nice to meet you!

    I always enjoy photos of places and learning about that area. The garden photos were nice too.

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  18. Such a beautiful garden. I also love the red houses. So much color!

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  19. For many years my parent's home in Connecticut was that colour red and also with white trim. The house was eventually painted white and something almost tangible was lost ... Your photographs are so evocative of time and place -- and wonderfully ironic that you should write your post during a desert snowstorm!

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  20. Hi...I'm hopping over from the A to Z challenge...lovely blog...good luck with the challenge!

    Donna L Martin
    www.donasdays.blogspot.com

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  21. Simply lovely photographs. I very much like the story of the wildflowers and dreaming of the many you'll marry. I am going to reread this b/c it was so beautiful.

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  22. Underbara sommar- och midsommarbilder ! Du ger verkligen en fin beskrivning av Sverige när det är som bäst! Och årstiderna - det är det fina.
    Bästa hälsningar, Lasse

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  23. Your friendship sounds wonderful... love those gardens, the flowers are beautiful and the red houses are the icing on the cake as it were!

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  24. Hi Inger .. what a great tradition - love the photos .. just beautiful - cheers Hilary

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  25. wow, beautiful photos and enjoyed the post. I don't have time to catch up but will be back later to read more about Sweden.

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  26. I love your "Award Free Blog" badge. I hate those "award" things so much.

    And Svedes are awesome.

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  27. What a gorgeous place Inger! I love that bouquet in the window. (I laughed at your comment on my blog regarding adjectives to describe photography. I feel as if I keep saying the same things over and over again too, but I love supporting my favorite bloggers, so I guess it really doesn't matter what words are chosen, as long as they are sincere.) Have a great week, dear!

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  28. This sounds wonderful AND your photos are awesome. They take me to a midsummer day.

    Teresa

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  29. I missed this neat post. I can't keep up..... too many projects.
    This is an inviting window. Night before I was listing to an interesting Swedish man on Coast to Coast AM. Henrick Palmgren is among other things, a host on Red Ice Radio in Sweden. Interesting.

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  30. Amazing pictures!!! I'm a new follower from the AtoZ challenge. Nice to meet you.

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  31. Thanks for your comments. I hope some of you will go and visit Sweden. Of course, there are summers when it does nothing but rain, or so it seems. I would recommend June as the month to go.

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  32. Just beautiful. I loved the last picture also.

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Thanks for leaving a comment.. ~~ Inger

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