It's Fall here in Chicago. In fact, it has even snowed. I'm reuniting with favorite sweaters and scarves, all the while musing over the slow loss of daylight as days get shorter.
I took the photograph above at the edge of a large waterfall in Sweden, two months ago. It was still Summer when I left Chicago, but it was already Fall in Northern Sweden.
At the end of August, I flew to Stockholm where I met up with an old friend of mine, Malin Ståhl - an artist living and working in Stockholm (more about her soon). Along with her partner Alex Kent and their lovely daughter, we packed up their car and drove eight hours north to Duved in Jämtland, Sweden. Along the way, we stopped at the prettiest truck stop I've ever been too, and I saw the first of many rainbows to come.
We came to Duved for the annual Artist Colony retreat (my first time), where Emma Wieslander joined us. The manifesto for this year's residency was "To continue the ideals set by previous and current members of the Artist Colony. Additionally to achieve these goals in the forest, at the waterfall and on top of a mountain."
We each arrived with our own goals for our time in Duved. My own plans included writing and taking photographs (more of those later), and to finish editing some past work. But the most important plan was to explore the forests and mountains.
We set off on daily hikes into the woods, in all weather gear. For the first few days, it rained on and off all day long. We picked lingon berries and foraged for mushrooms, which we brought back to the cabin to cook into a meal.
One of the meals that we prepared with the mushrooms was a traditional Swedish dish:
- smoked and dried reindeer meat
- red onion
- chanterelles and gypsy mushrooms
- crème fraîche
- seasoning to taste
Serve with mashed potatoes and lingonberries
Duved is small, and situated next to a larger town called Åre, a popular skiing spot, named for the mountain there - Åreskutan. The photograph above was taken at the top. In the off season, the mountain is full of mountain bikers, tearing down the trails in their very padded outfits. We took a cable car to the top, and then hiked the rest of the way to the summit. On the climb up to the very top, the weather changed and we were completely enveloped in clouds.
Once at the top, we had lunch in the climber's hut. It was a nice respite from the wind and chilled air at the top. The whole time we were inside, we were among thick clouds making visibility slim. But right as we began the descent, the clouds started breaking up, and letting a little sun through. And we could enjoy the view all the way down the mountain, and into Åre.