Who Dealt these Cards?


Flashback Friday


    Way back when, well not that long time ago but still 10 years ago, I had the privilege to take a field class in northern Sweden, about how climate change affect the arctic and the subarctic environment. I guess that was the beginning of the journey I am currently on (I guess I can argue that it started way before then too, but I'll go with this for now). It does make me wonder, who dealt these cards? Did it just randomly happen that I took that class or was it because I was intrigued by it and wanted to learn more, or was it because I had never been to Abisko, or what? Did I choose my own path back then or did I accidentally stumble upon it. Either way I think that class is what brought me to where I am now. 

    För ganska länge sedan, eller kanske inte så länge sedan, men 10 år iallafall, så tog jag en fältkurs i norra Sverige, i Abisko. Kursen handlade om hur klimatförändringar påverkar arktiska och sub-arktiska miljöer. Man kan nog säga att det var början på den resan som jag är på nu. Nu när jag tänker tillbaka på det så får det mig att undra om jag valde den vägen naturligt för att jag var intresserad av naturen, klimatförändringar, något annat eller helt enkelt all det jag just beskrev. Hur valde jag min väg i livet, var det ett aktivt val? I vilket fall som helst så är jag ju här nu, fortfarande på denna resa genom livet. 


Under the midnight sun

    During that class two other students and I ventured out on a night hike to get to the next destination for our class, of course we talked with the professors before and they all agreed that we could to that if we wanted to. So we did. We ventured out under the midnight sun right after dinner that evening. Up and over the mountains to get to the research station. Across fields of snow and gorgeous midnight sun that casted it rays upon the beautiful country of northern Sweden. Right then and there I must have decided that I love this place. The mountains and that midnight sun. We were also lucky enough to spot a Wolverine from afar, which is the first but not the last one that I have seen. It was to far away to get a photo of it though.

    På den kursen så bestämde några av oss för att nattvandra, under midnattssolen. Vi skulle till en forsknings station dagen efter och bestämde oss helt enkelt för att vandra över bergen och de snötäckta vidderna istället för att gå runt och sedan upp igen dagen efter med resten av gruppen. Jag tror att de var då som jag hittade "hem", hem till bergen, naturen och midnattssolen. Det var också på den vandringen som jag såg min första järv, men inte den sista!


My path?

    Very often I do wonder where I would have been had I not started my PhD in Alaska. Would I have done a PhD in Sweden? Actually I did apply for a PhD in Sweden, but didn't even get a reply from that application, which (in my opinion) is ridiculous. So I broaden my search and stumbled upon a PhD position in Alaska. I don't think I quite realized what I was getting myself into. I mean I realized the PhD part, but I don't think I realized what a gem Alaska really is. I don't think I had dreamt about Alaska or anything like that. Although my mom claims she used to make up bedtime stories about me exploring parts of the world, including Alaska. Since then I have wandered the mountains of Alaska, well a few, very very few of them...but still.

    Ofta så undrar jag vart jag skulle ha varit om jag inte startat min doktorandtjänst i Alaska. Jag sökte faktiskt en jätteintressant doktorandtjänst i norra Sverige, men fick inget svar alls. Så jag sökte lite mer utanför Sverige, och sedan även i USA, och där hittade jag det jag sökte, och på den vägen är det. Jag tror inte riktigt att jag då fattade vilken episk resa jag skulle ge mig in i, inte att doktorera i sig, men att bo i Alaska. 


    I've worked remotely in parts of Alaska as part of my research but also other peoples research. But I love it. And I miss it. But there are more mountains to be discovered and I have the privilege to do that, which I am very grateful of. As you all probably know, not everyone are able to do that. One thing though, all of this doesn't come for free. And I have given up and sacrificed large parts of my life too, to be able to do what I am doing. We are given our deck of cards at the beginning of our life, and how we play them is up to us, and as with any card game you play, sometimes you loose and sometimes you win. Nothing in life comes for free, remember that. 

    Jag har jobbat ute i fält i Alaska både för min egen forskning men även hjälpt till i andras forskning på diverse olika platser i Alaska. Jag saknar verkligen Alaska nu, Alaska och bergen, men det finns fler berg och områden att upptäcka, och jag har turen att kunna göra det. Det är inte alla som faktiskt har möjlighet till att resa eller upptäcka världen. En viktig sak som jag tänker på ibland är att denna resa, som jag är på, kommer inte gratis. Jag har uppoffrat stora bitar av mitt liv för att kunna vara här. När vi föds så får vi en enda kortlek att spela med, och det är du som bestämmer hur du spelar dina kort, men som med vilket kortspel som helst så vinner man ibland, men man förlorar även ibland också. Ingenting här i livet kommer gratis, kom ihåg det! 


    Who dealt your cards? Or did you just stumble upon your present life?


I am a Northern Woman?


Flashback Friday

Northern Lights


Did you know (well based on my own experience) that this time (February-March) is the time to see Aurora. I glance back at my photo library and realize that I saw Aurora almost every night last year, and previous years were the same. Sometimes it was just a faint glow in the distance, other times very bright and clear, nonetheless it was almost always there. 

Oh, it was wild and weird and wan, and ever in camp o' nights
We would watch and watch the silver dance of the mystic Northern Lights.
And soft they danced from the Polar sky and swept in primrose haze;
And swift they pranced with their silver feet, and pierced with a blinding blaze.
They danced a cotillion in the sky; they were rose and silver shod;
It was not good for the eyes of man -- 'Twas a sight for the eyes of God. - Robert Service

Go North?

I miss the north, well deep forest, tall mountains and endless darkness and night sky. An endless darkness that in the summertime turns into and endless midnight sun. I think that some people just aren't fit to live in a city, well, large cities. Madison is growing on me (as I mentioned before), but I would be so happy if we would settle down somewhere close to the forests and the mountains, preferably in a cabin....in the woods. 


Where do you belong?

United States of Chaos

The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom. - Isaac Asimov

Wednesday thoughts


A parallel Universe?

    I bet you've been reading the news lately, I have. I have actually never really been into politics that much, well maybe certain issues, but there are a lot of things I don't understand when it comes to politics, so I stay in behind the scenes. To be honest I have no clue if this government and president (ok I know for a certain fact they are VERY different) are any different from previous governments and presidents. I mean, I know a whole lot more about the government and politics now, compared to what I knew a couple of months ago. I listen more, I try to read more and so on. But how can I be sure that the reason I am doing this is because of all the hiatus that is going on right now, were there similar (OK maybe not THAT similar, but still...) issues that happened behind the scenes of the previous government and president, that I didn't know about, because the sources I read and listen to weren't upset or thought that things were wrong? (I know, I  know, probably not...)

Be careful which way you lean

    Unfortunately I am leaning more to one side (left, democrats), rather than another, and the problem that arise, when you lean in either direction, is that you tend to read news that are somewhat leaning towards your side of view, you listen to news and friends that are leaning in the same direction as you. The problem here is that you almost never quite understand why and how someone can NOT agree with you, or can lean the other way. I think it is really important (as hard as it is) to try an read other news sources (BUT what are the other reliable news sources please help me out?) in order to get a more nuanced view of the world (no not that view, not changing the concept of for instance evolution etc, but just get a different point of view). 

    I have been listening to many many podcasts, to get a better understanding of the current situation, well the current view of left leaning (mostly) podcasts. Here are a few of the podcasts I follow:


The guardian posted an article not long ago that covered some popular podcasts, left, right and alt-right if you want to know more about the other side:


When it comes to articles these are the major ones I usually check:





What do you read or listen to about the political situation?

Posted on February 15, 2017 and filed under Science, Wednesday Thoughts.

Natures Magical World

Diamond Dust


Flashback Friday

Sun dogs and Diamond dust

    When the temperatures drop enough ice crystals form and together with some sun we get these beautiful sund dogs around the sun. If you are lucky enough, you can see part of this ring (the sund dog) right in front of you. This phenomenon is also called diamond dust, because obviously that is what it looks like. 

    När temperaturen sjunker tillräckligt mycket formas is kristaller i luften. Dessa iskristaller lyser sedan upp om du har solens fina strålar i kombination med detta. Ibland kan du se dessa på riktigt nära håll och det är så vackert, det kallas diamond dust (ingen aning om det har något namn på svenska vet du?).


Sun dog



    These pictures makes me miss the snow and cold weather a lot. Being able to ski every day, in one way or another. I could choose between biking (as long as the temps were not too low since I never winterized my bike) or ski to school. The morning commute was always worse than the afternoon, not because of the cold, but because of the darkness and moose. Imagine skiing into a dark forest on narrow skitrails at 7 in the morning. Sure, a headlamp helps, but the forest is really dark at that hour. In Alaska you loose about 6 minutes of daylight leading up to equinox, however after that you start to gain several minutes per day. So, before you know it, the mornings are light and soon the summer arrives, well after like 4 months.. 

    Dessa bilder får mig att sakna snö och kyla så himla mycket, men också möjligheten att kunna åka längdskidor varje dag. Jag gjorde faktiskt det, antingen till och från jobbet eller/och på lunchen, det blev förstås en väldans massa skidåkning och jag måste erkänna att sista året i Fairbanks så blev det inte så mycket skidåkning. Det enda som ofta tog emot lite (alltså innan sista året då jag var lite trött på skidandet) var mörkret kombinerat med smala skidspår och älgar. Jag är livrädd för älgar, av absolut rätta skäl, älgarna i Alaska är mycket större och mycket farligare än älgarna i Sverige (enligt min åsikt, fast å andra sidan så har jag inte så mycket erfarenhet av älgar i Sverige :))


Aurora Borealis

    Fairbanks is the main hot spot for Aurora in the whole world. I can say that the last year I saw aurora almost every day, to the point where I chose when I wanted to get up and out in the cold to take pictures depending on social media and live aurora cams. Now, of course, I really really miss having this opportunity, I mean even just going to pee in the middle of the night (to the outhouse) and look up and see this magical phenomenon going on. It's out of this world.

    Om man vill se norrsken så ska man tydligen åka till Alaska, Fairbanks för att vara mer specifik. Det är tydligen den platsen med mest chans för aurora i världen, ja alltså norra världen förstås :) Jag hade ju turen att bo där i såpass många år att jag blev alltför van med auroran. Jag kunde helt enkelt välja om jag ville gå ut eller inte, jag brukade ofta vakna mitt i natten, kolla sociala medier och aurora kameran för att se om det var något som var på gång, och sedan välja om jag ville gå upp eller inte för att ta kort/se norrskenet. 


Magical Lights

    I have a deep connection with sunrises and sunsets. Nowadays I seldom get the opportunity to take as beautiful pictures as the one below, because I do not have that view while leaving work any more. 

    Jag älskar solnedgångar och soluppgångar (det har jag nog sagt tidigare), men nuförtiden i Madison, Wisconsin så får jag tyvärr inte samma tillfällen att ta magiska kort på ljusfenomen. Visst har vi fina soluppgångar och solnedgångar, men aldrig med dessa berg i förgrunden. 


    What is your favorite thing about nature? Have you ever seen Diamond Dust?

    Vad älskar du med naturen, har du något som du brinner för? Har du någonsin sett diamond dust?

In the Rearview Mirror pt.4


Flashback Friday

    My flashback Friday kind of disappeared last week, mostly because I was upset on so many different levels because of what is currently going on in the US. I'll talk more about that in another post, but if you are interested in some of my posts and my views you can check them out below: 


    Even though we started off on pretty good terms with the fall season by attending yet another wedding (in Florida none the least), fall quickly turned into a pretty dark ordeal for me. There were certainly many good times, but also my mom passed away in November, so we went to Sweden. What happened afterwards is apparently pretty common when someone close to you die, families tear apart a bit, and without going into more detail our family is not as close as we once were. Either way, Christmas came along and we had a wonderful time in Bozeman, MT. It's weird because I had been thinking about maybe, just maybe going back to Sweden for Christmas, I know that mom really wanted us to, but we didn't. We finished off December by going on a pretty adventurous cabin trip and also a trip to Yellowstone. 


    October started off good, but the temperatures, can we talk about the temperatures. 66F in October, incredible! You could definitely see some color changes on the trees though, it appears that fall in Wisconsin is very beautiful too. Im learning to appreciate our neighborhood, and there are these super pretty streets all around town, and sometimes you see pretty unexpected things, like the picture of Greta Garbo, just like that, hanging on a wall along one of the streets. When we went to Florida we actually went through 6 different states, including Wisconsin and Florida. We drove to Chicago which is in Illinois, and took the plane to New Orleans in Louisiana. Then drove through Mississippi, and Alabama before we finally reached Florida. Of course we tried fried alligator in New Orleans. Then Halloween happened and all of a sudden October was over. 



    November was pretty warm too, I mean compared to Fairbanks :) We had some beautiful mornings and evenings with magical light. When mom died I received so many cards, and flowers from people and W was doing his best to keep me from falling apart. He made sushi for me, we had mussels, twice in a week! I kept myself busy at work, and we went hiking. At the end of November we traveled to Sweden and had some wonderful days there too, even though parts of the trip was completely horrible. Dad took us to the opera to see the Swedish take on the Nutcracker, and it was the first time W got to spend time in the same lounge area as the king and queen usually does, he was impressed! 

    A family friend wrote this beautiful text about my mom, in Swedish:

Du, min vän i livet.
Du var en av de som såg mig, som tog till sig av saker jag sa.
En av de som gav mig trygghet. 
En av de som alltid ställde upp.
En av de som alltid svarade i telefonen när som helst.
Du har lyssnat när jag sjungit,
Du har läst mina dikter,
Du har berömt mig när jag ritat och skissat,
Jag har varit vaken sent på kvällar då vi setts och suttit och pratat om ditt och datt, om allt möjligt. 
När jag var hos dig som yngre fick jag alltid oboy, det var innan jag började dricka kaffe. 
Senast vi sågs drack jag vin, man kan säga att tiden gått sen jag var liten.
Jag vet att du alltid trott på mig, 
De har du även visat.
På midsommar ett år utnämnde jag dig som "extramamma", den titeln har stått kvar sedan dess.
Vi har skrattat, vi har gråtit, vi har haft många fina stunder.
Nu är det minnen, 
Minnen jag bär med mig för resten av livet,
Det kommer bli tungt utan både dig och bullpojken,
Idag både nynnar och sjunger jag
"Här Rosemarie, syns blåa Nämdöfjärden",
En av de sånger jag minns och tänker på dig. 
Jag älskar dig Rosie❤️



    Moms funeral was December 2nd, and after that I had yet another week in Stockholm. My mom used to work at the open air museum Skansen before she retired, and we went there with dad. After W left I was cleaning out all my boxes I still had at home, old boxes with lots of memories from the best of friends. Then I flew back to my new home, over here in the US. There are still so many things I have at home in Sweden, and I have no clue how I am suppose to get everything over here, time will tell. Madison got really cold in December, we had quite a few days of below 0 F. We left for Bozeman on Christmas day, and had a great time there. Skiing, skiing, skiing. We also went to Yellowstone, of course, and did some skiing there as well. 


    How was the last quarter of the year for you?

Cli·mate Change

"This process of continuous alteration was applied not only to newspapers, but to books, periodicals, pamphlets, posters, leaflets, films, soundtracks, cartoons, photographs—to every kind of literature or documentation which might conceivably hold any political or ideological significance." - George Orwell - 1984

Wednesday Thoughts

    The past few days has made me sick to my stomach over and over again. It makes me so sad that a person with no interest of the environment, now is the leader of such a large country as USA. It makes me upset when people don't seem to understand the consequences with this man in power, a man who over and over again tweets out nonsense and put gags on agencies that studies and/or supports climate science. Human caused climate change IS TRUE, it's not an alternative fact, IT IS A FACT. There is no debate in it when 97% of the per reviewed articles on climate change states that the change in climate is caused by humans.  There is something fundamentally wrong when tweeting climate facts is called "going rogue" at the same time as choosing alternative facts as the truth is completely ok. 

    De senaste dagarna har fått mig så illamående och illa till mods. Jag blir så ledsen när en person som är totalt ointresserad av miljön är en ledare för ett sådant stort land som USA. Det som gör mig ännu mera upprörd är att många människor inte verkar förstå konsekvenserna av att ha en sådan här man i spakarna. En man som gång på gång på gång använder twitter till att distribuerar de mest osannolika (ja osannolika för att komma från en president) meddelandena igen och igen. Klimatförändringar är på riktigt, och de har påskyndats av människan, det är fakta. Det finns inte riktigt någon debatt då 97% av forskarvärlden kommer fram till samma mynt, klimatförändringarna är påskyndade av människan. Något måste vara fullständigt galet då twitter meddelanden om klimatförändringar från national parker kallas "going rogue" samtidigt som att användandet av alternativa fakta är helt okej.


    Do you have any thoughts?

    Vad har du för tankar om det hela?