A Song of Ice and Snow

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Come with me and visit a land of ice and snow! Winter is coming – in fact it’s here – but in future it may never be quite what it used to be. So here’s a look back at some photographic memories from the GBG365 archive – some of them (drum roll please) never before published!

As I’ve noted here before, between 2012 and 2014, I maintained a separate photo blog called GBG365. There, for 800+ days, I published a daily photo from Gothenburg. I’m slowly relocating the better pictures from there to here. As I took an awful lot of photos to be able to choose the perfect daily image, I’ve also got a back catalogue of unused pictures. Some of them quite good. So for the next couple of years I’ll be publishing the occasional, thematic, photo blog post at TheSupercargo. The last one was an autumn themed post back in October. Now it’s time to share some of my winter pictures of ice and snow.

Landscapes under snow

I’ll start with this gallery of landscapes under snow. If you care to get out a map of the Gothenburg area and plot these photos, you’ll see I’ve reached around. The only one without a caption, the frozen reeds in backlight, I think was taken at Härjlanda tjärn (tarn), the same day as the other at Härjelanda. On the other hand, it might be from somewhere near Hjuvik.

Gothenburg is a wide-stretched municiple area, reaching from the islands and the sea in the west to the rocky hills in the east around Angered. It takes in the whole of Hisingen (Sweden’s fifth largest island by area), and follows our big river, Göta Älv, part of the way north to Lake Vättern. When I was taking photos for the daily blog, I tended to keep to the older, more central districts, but I was happy to use the city’s excellent public transport net to get out to some of the outlying and bordering areas. The blurred seascape of the ferry Ylva under what may be the island of Asperö illustrates this. Ylva is one of the ferries on the public transport network and links the city to the southern archipelago.

Ice and water

The things sudden cold can do with water and water vapour never cease to fascinate me. Look at the size of those flakes of hoarfrost on Härljanda tarn! Look at the single snowflakes preserved in the ice in the two macro photos. And the almost-profile in the ice of a lake somewhere – perhaps Slättadamm. Or the curved lattices of frozen water over the waterfall (actually a leaking sluice gate) on Poorhouse stream (Fattighusån).

Ice and snow and animals

At Brunsparken in the city centre, where most of the trams lines intersect, the birds, especially the pigeons, know they can beg a meal. Also that they can crowd together on the benches to stay warm. Out on the ice, I thought these juvenile seagulls were wearing expressions of stoic resignation. Possibly something felt also by the loan horse who at least had a coat. The small herd of deer in the Slottskogen zoo are so out of focus I’d never have used them on GBG365, but the stag’s antlers are in focus, so why not here?

Odds and ends in ice and snow

Apart from pictures in clearly identifiable districts of the city, I also took a number of pictures that were just odd or visually pleasing.

I think Balls in the Snow made it to the daily blog. I’m not sure about the others. The Eye of the Whale is part of a climbing frame in the children’s playground at Slottskogen. If you look carefully you can see the discarded can of beer used to hold Carlsberg’s Black Gold beer. The wind that’s blowing the snow touched heads of grass is also blowing the hook of the construction crane.

Snow on Saturn is a selfie. Radiating out from the sun at the Natural History Museum in Slottskogen, each placed at an appropriate scale distance, are all the planets of our solar system. I don’t think I’ve found them all, but clearly I found Saturn on one winter walk.

Everything is illuminated

It can get very dark in the winter here when there is no snow or ice. Snow brightens things up. Something else that brightens up the dark: Christmas lights. Swedes, and I dare say all the people of the northern hemisphere, make a big think out of turning on lights for the deep midwinter. In Sweden things begin with the first Sunday of Advent, lighting the first Advent candle. They really get underway with Lucia on 13th December, and they crescendo with fireworks at New Year. No fireworks here, I’ll save them for another time, but here are a few illuminated photos to round this post off.

Most building sites get some sort of Christmas decoration in the form of a lit christmas tree on the end of a crane, but an inflatable Santa? Sure, why not? The Lucia light on Gothenburg’s parade street, Aveny, comes from a series of highly out-of-focus pictures I took one Lucia evening in 2013, I think. At least this bulb is almost in focus, and you can see some people in santa costume just to the right. The blue lights decorating the German bridge (Tyska bron) are reflecting on the frozen water of the city canal in December 2012.

The Three Graces

I’ll just close with this final image of snow falling in the light of a camera flash over the Three Graces in Kiellers park. This is my closest park and the place I visit most often even now.

Ice and snow: Three Graces in falling snow
Three Graces in falling snow – Ramberget

With this post, I send you the greetings of the season. (In case I don’t manage to post again till the New Year!)

Take care,

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2 thoughts on “A Song of Ice and Snow”

  1. Love the photos, John! Especially those of hoarfrost (a fav word of mine anyway) and ice. Would love to see bigger versions of all of them. Any chance of a slide show option in later posts?

    • Hi Debbie! Glad you liked the pictures and thanks for the suggestion. Try clicking on a picture in a gallery now, it should open a simple slideshow.
      (I’m using a plug-in called Gallery & Image Block Lightbox by Johannes Kinast. It’s only available on this post right now, but if it seems stable I’ll roll it out to other galleries bit by bit.)


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