All of a sudden the landscape changed. Fallen trees, blackened, laying on a bed of bright green grasses. What happened here? This is the result of the fires of 1999.....
The first of August 1999, a sad day in the history of Tyresta National Park. It was a hot day and everything was really dry in the Stockholm area. How the fire exactly started, no one knows. But they do know the end result: around 4,5 square kilometres of forest had burnt down. This is about 10 percent of Tyresta National Park and neighbouring nature reserve.
I took this picture at the exhibition at the 'National Parkens Hus' at the main entrance of the park. At the exhibition you can get an impression of this huge and destructive fire.
And this is the result of the fires 5 year later. It looks so saddening. It was quite a shock to hike here. One minute you are walking around in a wonderful forest and the next moment you are in this empty landscape with dead trees sticking up like ghosts from the past. I know this fire has given some species of plants and birds a new chance in this area, but on the whole it just looks so devastating. I couldn't help but hike through this area with a sad feeling and off course that effected my overall enjoyment of being in Tyresta.
Blackened trees, fresh green bushes, trees and plants all fighting to be the next generation to live in this area. But also lots of bare rocks that were once the home of the mosses and lichens that are so characteristic of this national park. In this area the fires were so heavy that none of it survived. The sad thing is that they grow so very very slowly. I just wonder if and how many years it will take before they show signs of coming back here again.
Luckily the hike doesn't only go through this burnt down area. After a while you get back into the woods and you can enjoy some wonderful views. I think this part is the best of the hike, the views over the lake "Stensjön". It's not a wonderful sunny day, but even in cloudy weather like this the views are simply beautiful.
Swedish nature is beautiful and it is no wonder that I have fallen in love with this country. One of the sights I love is what you see here in the photo. A beautiful lake, surrounded by an endless sea of trees. In the lake there are several little islands. There is nothing special to those islands, they are nothing more than little rocks with trees on it. But the tranquillity of it all is just mesmerizing. I could sit here for hours to enjoy this wonderful landscape.
A little stream flows out into the lake. It is a bit foggy and very cloudy. But despite this dark weather the trees have this vibrant lively green colour over them. The lake is so calm that it reflects like a mirror. Even on a cloudy day like this I can't help but stand still for a while and take in it's beauty. Sweden is beautiful!
The trail continues back into the woods. It looks so calm here, and it was! But I think I need to give you a word of warning. When I hiked here it was early on a Saturday morning. Clearly too early for all the Stockholmers to be awake and about. But by the time I got back to the car, they seemed to arrive by the dozen. Families, kids, picnic baskets, the whole lot.