150528 Häfla Kvarn (mill)

150528 Häfla Kvarn

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Häfla Kvarn (mill)
© NF Photos 150528

This old mill is located abut 30 km south of my town, Katrineholm. It was earlier powered by the water but now it is electric. The owner opened it up for us so we could see it. He told us it is still in working order and he regularly is grinding flour for sale. Not much but still. He actually started the process so we could see for ourselves.  He also take groups of tourists and show them the mill.

I was impressed of how clean the mill was. I did not see a single spiders web in he entire building. So I gave the owner a compliment about it. Then he showed us a small book he had. On the first page it said: A millers first rule is to know where the broom and duster is. You are handling food. It shall be clean.

And he was clearly proud when he shared the wisdom with us.

Sadly he is probably the last one running the mill. Later it is likely to become a museum.
But I was happy to see it. It smelled childhood for me. And there was still the old fashioned sacks made of paper. And, very beautiful light in the building.
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Magnehulteån and Häfla övre bruk

150528 and150712

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The two images above are from the area of  Magnehult Nature Reserve. It is about how they manufactured charcoal long ago. It is still in working order. The little hut is a replica of how they lived when working the kiln.

Charcoal kiln  Kolmilans minne

 This image is from the Magnehult Domänreservat close to the kiln.
and Kol och skogsmuseum (Swedish only)

This is a little fall where the stream crosses the main road. A place for fishermen.
© NF Photos 150528, images above

The places was not easy to find so I made a map so others can find them too.

 © NF Photos 150528

Häfla Hammarsmedja (hammer forge)
© NF Photos 150712

The last three images is from Häfla Hammarsmedja /hammer forge about 20 km north west of the first area. First image is the stream powering the workshop. The part with the waterwheel is also seen  from the inside in the second image. This is a museum so we were lucky it was open when we arrived. And that the female blacksmith were working that day. She said she don´t do it much anymore.

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Gripsholm Castle, Mariefred 150714

Gripsholm Castle, Mariefred. 150714
© NF Photos 150714

Two days ago we took the car and went to Gripsholms Castle. It is located in Mariefred at the lake Mälaren. It takes about an hour and a half to go there by car. It is an old royal castle. The first parts was built in 1370:s.

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The first view of Gripsholm Castle, Mariefred when we arrived.

A little bridge leading to the  greenhouse with a nice fence and sky reflections in the water.

 One side of the castle and a part of the park surrounding it.

The same area as above looking from the castle. You find another, smaller one, on the other shore. It is named Gripsnäs. It is a private mansion.

One of the rooms in the castle. Seem to be one of the bedrooms.

On the third floor the Castle have a theater. On a rare occasion's they still use it. I would love to go behind it and see how it works. 

 Three mirrors between decor pillars reflects the opposite side of the wall above the spectator grand stand

And outside the Castle area is another interesting thing. You can go with a steam engine train on a narrow track. It is a working museum. :)  Steam train

The trip back home was not all that fun. Started to rain as soon as we left Mariefred. And sometimes really hard showers. I had to stop twice as I did not see the road.  :(

Gripsholm Castle, Mariefred Sweden
© NF Photos 150714

This is just a brief note of what there are to see. The castle host a large collection of paintings of royalties from all over Europe. So the walls are all covered with more then 4000 paintings. All portraits of kings and queens and other noble people.

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Tåkern 150510 third and last day

Tåkern 150508-10

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© NF Photos 150510

Today we started with breakfast t 6.00h.  We also took some with us as the morning would be long. No break before lunch at 12.00h. Even I took an egg, fruit and coffee. 

Then we were picked up at 7 for the first nature walk at Svälinge. Here we were divided in two groups. One went straight to the tower and the other one followed a longer path along a ditch to the tower. There was some obstacles, in form of fences,  to overcome during the walk. 

The water filled ditch functions as a water regulator to Tåkern.  It regulate the water level in the Tåkern and empties in Lake Vättern.  It was a nice walk along the water with reed on the other side and with forest and wetland on the side we walked. Lots to see and hear. Some migrating birds already here singing in trees and reed. But rarely seen.

Sedge warbler, (Sävsångare) singing in the reed

Finally we arrived at the birding tower. The highest one around Tåkern. It seemed rather old too. 

From the highest deck it was a really great view. And those who came here first did not seem to want to leave :) And, of course,  a group photo was taken. 
Western marsh harrier ( brun kärrhök) with prey to the right

Lots of reed here as well so the clear water was rather distant. 

At 10 we left for Naturrum Tåkern where we were for a while yesterday. Today we was lucky as it was some birding event and we were shown a banding session. 

One is Sedge warbler,(sävsångare) The other I´m not sure. Quite different in size. 

Then we got the tour in side the main building and also a movie from the area. One quite unique thing they have is a selection of small wood carved birds. One for every bird ever sighted in this area. And it is a woman creating them. The guide seemed very proud of them. So far 276 species has been seen here. A little more then a hundred breeds here. For Shadow shot!

Lunch at 12, the same place as yesterday. Now the sky started to darken and people choose to sit inside. 

At 13.00h we were picked up for the last tour. 

This time to the town Vadstena.  The same place I visited on my way down. We were to look for a rare gull, swallows and a Black redstart (svart rödstjärt) that seem to nest on the roof of the castle. And we found all of them. 

A Glaucous gull (vittrut) has been staying in the little harvor for a couple of weeks. 

A great day. Now back to the hostel for cleaning the room and get back on the road. Direction - home!

O, I almost forgot, our group was also interviewed of the local radio and TV station. I did see some of it on TV too. TV news  I´m actually seen in the first scene but only from behind, with a yellow backpack. If you are interested. this is my native language spoken.  :)  At Vadstena Castle.

The entry to Tåkern Naturrum

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Image for Shadow Shot Sunday is the wall with 276 wooden birds :)


Tåkern 150509 exploring the area

Tåkern 150508-10

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© NF Photos 150509

Today we gathered at 6.30, before breakfast, for a walk in the gardens and the surrounding area. To watch and listen to the morning music of nature. It was a beautiful, sunny, morning. Blooming spring flowers, new arrivals of birds and a fresh breeze from lake Vättern. And nobody could suspect we were 48 women walking around. A great way to start the day.

But there were more things then bird too look for. Like cottages burried in flowers. Forgetmenots to be exact.

After breakfast the bus picked us up and we headed out to explore Lake Tåkern and the National Reserve.

Our first stop was at the Ramstads bridge to look for birds of prey and what else would be there. It was a good view point for both raptors, swans, geese and smaller birds. Lots of bird song could be heard in the reed. This swan seem to say, look out,
I´m coming your way.

After that we drove to a place called Bankängen (Bank meadow). We were hoping for Eurasian curlew  (storspov) but we did not see any. It was probably a little too early for them to have arrived yet. But it was a nice walk and I found other things to capture on camera.

As people have a habit of eating a lot it was now time for lunch! So we headed for Tåkern hostel where we ate in the beautiful gardens.

From the hostel, done eating, we could chose weather we wanted to walk to Naturrum Tåkern or take the bus. I think most of us walked in the reeds and meadows. Most of the time the path was on narrow boardwalks as it was very wet. We heard Bearded Reedling but did not see it. But we did see a Red Kite. It was a nice walk in the reeds.
Svanhals äng

Along the road there was also stations for children to investigate the lake and it´s inhabitants.

Arriving at the Naturrum Tåkern, Glänås, we saw more open water and then ducks, terns and other waterfowl. Not to mention the center itself. It was cool to check out the design of the buildings and towers.

Naturrum Tåkern was built from the reed surrounding it. That´s why they are weathered and grey to the color. I did take a quick look inside. But we will ahve a Grand Tour tomorrow so I went out looking for whatever birdlife there was. It was not as much as I expected it to be. The usual sucks, swans, terns and  few raptors.

A view from the birding tower. The boardwalk we walked is seen to the left in the image.

At 16,00h we were back at the hostel for a break. I fell asleep.

Then we took a walk by the lake to get to the restaurant where we had dinner.

During the time we ate the weather turned grey and it started to rain. So when we left for the evening session, listening for night singing birds it, rained. Some of us stayed in the bus during the session, the others positioned themselves below the deck for cover. Birders are a hardy bunch :) Sorry, to dark for images at that time.

Back at the Hostel around 22.00h and everyone went to bed. Last day tomorrow with an, as usual, early morning.

Seen from the tower some young people taking a break. Same place we did but this looks very romantic. :)

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