The Exotic Hawthorn

So now we are in the far south of Sweden, out on the eastern fringe, on the island of Öland (See extra and map).  The weather is wonderful - warm air, blue sky.- as our friend Kjell comments; "We've already had a longer period of warm settled weather than we had in the whole of the last summer."  He's right too!
We went of to walk along Nunadalen, a steep wooded escarpment with intensly agricultural land at the base, and Alvaret, a thin soiled limestone heath at the top.  The escarpment is thickly wooded and feels strangely familiar to us Swedish Brits. There are the same trees as at home in mid-Sweden; birch and ash, but none of the conifereous trees we see there. However, there are also many trees from our UK background; elm, beech, oak, honeysuckle, and perhaps most beautiful at this time of year, hawthorn. When ı  only see hawthorn occasionally, and even more rarely in blossom it helps me to see just what a beautiful tree, and how exotic, it is.
This particular tree was growing in the shadows and the sun struck through onto this one bunch fo buds and flowers.
It's a very different world, down here in the south of Sweden.  Tomorrow we are off to hunt orchids on the limestone heath!

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