Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Blue Winter's Day at Kaløvig

Kaløvig with the castle ruin in the background, enlarge the photo)

Kalø castle ruin is one of my most visited places -  there is a special atmosphere on that small island. Kalø castle was built by the warrior king Erik Menved in the 1300s as a fortification against the rebellious peasant armies in Jutland. He fought them down without mercy, and those who survived the battle were executed - and their heads and other body parts were hung up on poles along the roads. The road system is the same here today - I haven't seen any ghosts although you might think it was a haunted place!!  But it might be otherwise around midnight, uhuuuuh..........

The fields are covered in snow, the forest is dark brown, the landscape is swept in a shade of blue. The snow , the blue water, the low sun create a scenery in blue. It is obvious that we are living on the blue planete today. A painter would take his blue brush and start his own blue period like Picasso and other painters did, but I just enjoyed this beautiful blue day with a  high blue sky, a blue sea and some generous glow from a low sun. The days grow longer now, soon we can really feel that it is going the right way. But children don't think it's going the right way, they want snow and ice, they want to go out with their sleigh or their ice skates - we grown-ups are so boring because we keep talking about spring. We have been kids once, many years ago, but we have forgotten -  almost forgotten -  the golden lovely days where we went out with our sleigh, driving down the hill in a blazing speed.

a small parking place opposite the island.
Mr. and Mrs. Duck


Two whooper swans (finding food on the bottom).


The landscape along the bottom of Kaløvig is listed and very pictoresque. A tongue of land with a medieval stone road leads out to Kalø castle ruin, which lies upon a small island with steep hills and banks at the coast. Several good paths make it easy to walk in the area. If you are interested in plants then it is one of the finest places in Denmark with rests of a garden flora from the Middle Ages. The plants were introduced from southern  Europe and cultivated in the gardens at the ruin - they were later feral. The flora includes especially medical plants, but also plants for dyeing, poisonous plants, kitchen herbs and textile plants. Especially significant are Anthriscus caucalis (burr chervil/gærdekørvel) and Cyproglossum officinale (dog's tongue/lægehundetunge) upon the southern cliffs of the ruin. Besides appear Nepeta ( catmint,catnip/ katteurt), Lithosperum officinale (Common cromwell / lægestenfrø) and Viola odorata (wood violet(/ martsviol); Malva neglecta (common mallow/ rundbladet katost) and Conium maculatum (Hemlock/skarntyde). The seeds from several of the plants can keep the germination capacity for many years. Hyoscyamus niger (black henbane/ bulmeurt)  can can fx sprout after having stayed in the earth for several hundred years - and if there is a slide in the bank the henbane sometimes appears. It is forbidden to dig up the plants but seeds might be gathered. The Nepeta (catmint) only grows in ten locations in Denmark and always in old settlements.

funny car

back home on narrow roads........

photo 19. January 2013 Kaløvig: grethe bachmann


Out on the prairie said...

Your area looks a lot like here with the a lovely area to explore,the history is always thrilling to me.

Thyra said...

Hello Steve, yes it is so thrilling to explore the land isn't it?

I still wonder which fish you caught in your place today? I like the photo of you fishing on the ice lake on your blog. How cold it looks.

Grethe ´)

Teresa Evangeline said...

It looks and sounds like a great time. Your photos are wonderful and really capture the blueness of the landscape. I was just thinking of that very thing this morning. I love the road between the rolling fields with the farmhouse on the right.You have such a good eye for photography, a designer's eye.

Out on the prairie said...

We were catching Crappie and Bluegills, panfish.Both taste so much better in the winter.

Thyra said...

Thank you so much Teresa, it was one good day out of many grey days.
But at least we've got a little warmth now. The birds began singing. I hope they will not be disappointed!
Grethe `)

Thyra said...

Hej Steve, they look fine those two fish. I've just read a little about them now. Thank you for telling me. I guess they taste good. I especially like the plait fried on the pan. With parsley sauce. I guess you know plait ?
Grethe ´)

MyMaracas said...

Your posts are always magical. I love the idea of gathering seeds that descend from a medieval castle garden. The scenery is breathtaking, and the stories run rich and deep.

Thyra said...

Hej Maracas, thank you for saying this for I also feel the magic of nature.

If I had a garden I would try to gather some seeds this year on the banks of Kalø. We have never found the black nenbane there, this is a plant I really would like to see, there is much history of that poisonous plant (like in "Hamlet")!

Grethe `)