Summer, when the weather is fine, is a glorious time to be in Scandinavia. Think long, warm evenings; swimming in the pristine lakes; and walks along fragrant forest trails. This summer Sweden is, like most of Northern Europe, having a spell of glorious weather, which makes it an even better place to visit!
Another consequence of the fine weather is that a bumper crop of a fine forest delicacy is expected in late summer. Referred to as 'nature's gold', chanterelle mushrooms grow in forests throughout Sweden and are harvested in August and September when they carpet the forest floor in secluded places.
This is made possible by ‘allemansrätten’ – the right of public access – which gives everyone the right to enjoy Sweden’s outdoors, including the right to pick mushrooms, herbs and berries. The right also brings responsibilities – to treat flora and fauna and other people’s property with care. It can be summed up in the phrase ‘don’t disturb, don’t destroy’.
This even means that you can build a fire almost anywhere in Sweden, as long as it is secure and you don't cause any harm or disturbance. So one can cook dinner virtually anywhere outside - the freshest chanterelles one can imagine!
Many Swedes have a favourite spot in the local forest where they can return to year after year to pick chanterelles. Once picked, they can be used as a delicious accompaniment to traditional Swedish food.
More than 50% of Sweden is covered with forest, and the great outdoors form a very important part of Swedish people's lives. It is a country where many people feel very connected with nature, and the ability to search for an enjoy forest delicacies is a wonderful antidote to some of the stresses of modern life.
Strolling through woodland on a late summer's evening, in the warm glow of the Scandinavian sun - an important and beautiful part of Sweden's connection with nature.
The Swedish forest is a magical place in the summer months. Huge pines trees offer shade, while the forest really comes to life with flora and fauna.
Photo courtesy of imagebank.sweden.se - click on individual images for photographers in this feature.