April 5, 2010 in SWEDEN | Comments (0)

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Easter brings memories of daffodils exploding from our earth. This Easter was less gold and more silver. Silver birdsong, silver ice, and snow still on the ground.

We drove to Ramshyttan Thursday night. The snow had already melted away in Stockholm. Here it was almost everywhere. It took hours of shovelling to get the wet snow off the deck. On Saturday the sky was blue and I sat entranced  listening to  threads of sound looping together in bare trees and across the sky. It’s silver, I thought. The birds twitter in high frequency silver sound…

We walked to Grindtorp Farm to fuss with horses. This weekend Arion was out practicing to draw a carriage – see picture.

The hot news is a lynx has been stealing deer from the deer farm. It does sound a  bit extreme to me – 30 deer gone in 3 months – and the deer even larger than the lynx. Maybe it was a combination of poaching and feline stealth? There is a very hot hunter’s lobby revolving around Ramshyttan. Sweden’s virulent hunter’s lobby has succeeded in getting the government to approve a big slaughter of  wolves on the pretext that they were getting inbred and we needed to open the way for Russian wolves to invigorate the stock. Post mortems of shot wolves showed they were in perfect health. Too late – they were already dead.  I still feel an ache when I think of the loss of wildness,  wolves that used to roam the forests around Ramshyttan bringing an aura of wild spirit. A couple of months back Svenska Dagbladet featured huge headlines “The wolves are approaching Stockholm”. The hunter’s lobby certainly got through to Svenska Dagbladet.

We ate dinner in the hunting lodge with our neighbours from the old “manor house”. The lodge is some 300 years old and breathes hunting history in stuffed animals and walls bristling with horns. Some have been taken down now. It used to look like a Hitchock version of The Horns – they seemed to be crawling down the walls towards you. The evening much given to stories of people getting locked out of hotel rooms. Our neighbour found himself locked into the corridor, reflected in a giant mirror – naked and not as slim as he remembered.

Ramshyttan is a picturesque village of wooden houses with a stream passing though. It has a history as a manufacturing community known for its  hoes – once exported all over the world. The stream rushes over two waterfalls, where once the mills turned. It is some 8 km from Nora, a quaint old lakeside town  with cobbled streets and cathedral rising into the sky.

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