I went on a 10 day roadtrip taking mainly along the eastcoast of Sweden checking out new places for butterflies. I ended up in the north trying Brown bear photography as well.
Summer roadtrip in Sweden
In June 2021 I went on a road trip here in Sweden. It took me on a merry trip to the east coast of Sweden where I check butterfly habitats that I never had visit before. Then I steered northwards until I turned inland ending up in a place in the middle of the country for Brown bear photography. The rest of the trip was southbound until I ended up back home on the west coast in Gothenburg.
Looking for butterflies on the east cost of Sweden
I missed my main goal of the trip, except being away from home. My main goal was to capture pictures of the Apollo butterfly. Sadly, the spring had been cold and almost no adults had been seen in the area. The only thing that was present in big quantities were mosquitos. They made life miserable as they even were active during the day biting like crazy. I had heard 2021 was a great mosquito year, but it was not until now I understood it myself.
The second goal I had better luck with and that was the Scarce fritillary. There are a few different fritillaries on the west coast but sadly not the Scarce. When they were found they made for great subjects like in the picture above.
Brown bear photography at night
My last planned stop was up in Jämtland. I had booked 2 nights at a place for bear photography. That meant you had to try to stay awake the night because of how bright it is this time of the year. The sun barely dips under the horizon in the middle of the summer where I live and at this point, I was even closer to midnight sun. I was fortunate to see one individual, but it never ventured out onto the mire in front of the hide. Still, I could grasp a few pictures as well as video sequences to show how a bear moves in the environment.
Video: Brown bear in the forest
The wildfires in Sweden the hot summer of 2018
The biggest impression during the trip I accidentally stumbled upon. I did not realize that I would pass by Kårböle, a small village almost turned to ash in a huge wildfire in July 2018. It was a seriously hot summer that resulted in a fire that burnt down 21 000 hectar. I passed almost three years after the fires had raged and still there was not much life to see. That was a very different experience to seeing a forest on Tasmania one year after a devastating wildfire where everything was green once more. On Tasmania they even had rebuilt most of the houses that was burnt down a year later.
Kårböle burnt to the ground
Our forests should be able to resist a wildfire, but sadly most of the areal that our forest department call a forest are in fact monocultures with pine trees of uniform height and age. That is nowhere as natural and diverse as a forest should be and it also creates an environment where a wildfire is hard to stop.
Video: Passing a “forest” in Sweden
I passed massive areas of pine tree plantations going south. There were many timber trucks on the roads and the dirt roads to where they were clear cutting areas felt like a proper motorway. This is a huge industry in Sweden and one that have depleted the forests from life over years of misuse. I passed areas that made me feel sick and I cannot fathom how they still defend the way they utilize, rape is a better word imho, our forests.