Updated: Feb 2, 2020

As a nature-loving artist with Swedish ancestry, I resonate to the idea that Swedes hold Nature in high regard. Swedes have long lived in tune with the seasons, and even created nature based surnames, like Åslund (little forrest on a ridge), and one from my own family, Berg (mountain). I see it as a language and culture born of survival and hardship beneath mesmerizing northern lights in the land of the midnight sun. I believe finding deeper meaning through our language and experiences of the wilderness enhances our lives and appreciation of our environment - noteworthy for conservation efforts.

My son Owen contemplating Owen Pond in the Adirondacks, NY

Nature Words:

Allemansrätten Swedish right to roam the countryside. Guaranteed by the constitution, as long as one uses fridlysta where you do not disturb or destroy, but protect nature.

Badkruka diving into water, no matter what the temperature.

"eldsjäl" : (fire soul) passionate, driving spirit.

Färgglad 'color happy', colorful

Friluftsliv ‘free air life’

Gökotta “to have a picnic at dawn to hear the first bird’s song,” or to simply appreciate nature.

kura skymning: "sitting quietly pondering dusk"

Lagom “not too little, not too much… but just right”

Livsnjutare loves life deeply.

Mångata moonbeam. the glimmering, road-like reflection the moon creates on water. A pathway to peace

Orka – Energy, vitality, strength.

Skyfall heavy rain in summer months

Smultronstalle ‘wild strawberry place’. A special place for relaxation, free from stress.

Sommarmorgon summer morning.

These beautiful poetic words help define and preserve the character of Sweden's northern climate.

Changing Climate

As Sweden faces the effects of climate challenges from melting high peaks to unprecedented Arctic wildfires, the country offers new words reflecting environmental stewardship:

Flygskam ( Fleeg-skaam) 'flying shame' guilt from flying due to the impact on the climate. Swedes may be more climate-aware than many nationalities, but they fly more often and further than average.

Nollavfall - 'zero waste', a lifestyle or policy of producing no waste that can't be recycled or composted.

Plogga to jog and collect litter.

All interesting, modern concepts inspiring us to respect Nature through sustainable initiatives for healthier living.

Updated: Jul 12, 2020

Early 19th century, New England and Canada. My brother recently found a batch of negatives and photographs on Ebay - of my father's cousins. The photographer was Dad's cousin named Guy who documented their nomadic life hunting and fishing.

My father told me they earned their living doing lumber work in the fall and winter months (to avoid bugs), and then lived off the land the rest of the year in the forests of New England.

They helped build cabins but as the population in the White Mountains grew, they pushed up into more remote areas of Canada.

1939. The Mattagami First Nation, Ontario

Eventually they married and settled down, Guy living on a farm in Maine.

His photographs are beautifully composed. One of my favorites photograph's is this Great Horned Owl photographed in Nova Scotia. Looks like he may have caught this beautiful owl by surprise.

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Updated: Jul 14, 2020

An adventure with my sister's family through Switzerland to visit old friends through breathtaking mountains.

Beautiful Aletsch glacier -Europe's largest glacier, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Along Jungfrau, one of the main summits of the Bernese Alps.

Nestled within these rugged mountains, and bordered by waterfalls is Lauterbrunnen Valley. Scholars believe this is where author J. R. R. Tolkien found inspiration for his enchanting fictitious Rivendell, meaning “Deeply Cloven Valley” set in the Misty Mountains of Middle Earth.

Exploring the alpine village of Lauterbrunnen Valley, with it's traditional rural chalets and the distant sound of cow bells.

Carrie Barcomb

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artist representation: media arts gallery