A second brood of barn swallow chicks

It seems as if the barn swallows have got a second brood of chicks. They are swirling up and down the air and sweeping over our heads like bomb fighters practicing their flight skills. The parents have busy days getting the chicks strong enough and ready for the long flight south.

According to old folklore high-flying swallows mean fair weather and looking at our swallows now we can hopefully expect another fine day tomorrow.

Swallow chick

Swallow chick beeing fed

Swallow chick being fed 2

Swallow chick being fed 3

Visit to an old mountain farm

Backeskogsvallen

When my father got older he used to live by the rule “After dinner sleep a while, after supper walk a mile”. Although we never take a nap after dinner, we usually go for long walks after supper. This sunny evening we ended up at an old “fäbodvall”, i.e. an old shieling or summer mountain farm where farmers used to moved their livestock (cows, sheep and goats) for summer grazing. The cattle were tended for by girls and young women who also transformed the milk into different kinds of dairy products.

The pasture operation began to decline after World War II, and many mountain farms were abandoned and left to decay, others were turned into private summer homes.

Backeskogsvallen - summer farmstead 2

This particular mountain farm, Backeskogsvallen, dates back to 1762 but is no longer in use. It is now voluntarily cared for by an old woman who tidies the cottage and cuts the meadows with a scythe every summer.

A key hanging on a nail next to the door makes it possible for visitors to have a look inside and try to imagine what life might have been like here seventy, eighty years ago.

Backeskogsvallen - bench

On this old bench by the creek you can rest for a while, enjoying the serenity and feeling the wing beats of history,

Backeskogsvallen - creek 2

 

just don’t let the valeriana put you to sleep.

Backeskogsvallen - Valeriana

 

This spotted flycatcher was keeping a close eye on us….

Spotted flycatcher

Backasvallen - gate

….and as soon as we had left through the gate and looked back we found that she had returned to her nest and the eggs on top of a log above the door.

Spotted flycatcher in the nest