Thursday, September 20, 2012

Swedish Coastal Seascapes Reminiscent of San Diego California

Photo: Mine
Overlooking the Pacific Ocean from the  Torrey Pines State Reserve Sandstone Cliffs (2008)
Wild Southern California coast
When I tell people I'm from San Diego California, they often ask me if I go down to those wonderful beaches they always hear about. I tell them no or well maybe once in awhile. They next come back with, "Don't you like the beaches there?" I respond by saying, "Sure, if it weren't for all those other 10 godzillion people who like to go there too." Actually I'm not much of a coastal person. I'm a desert rat by nature who likes the peace and quiet of such locales.

Del Mar & other over built cities surround this area
First there is all that traffic congestion and commercial & bedroom district development. I think more importantly I don't like all that fog and low clouds marine layer, never have. You know ? June Gloom - May Gray !!! I not only dislike cold, but I hate it even when there is an annoying chill in the air. Okay I know, why do I live in Svenskland ? Off hand I'd say I got married. But give me Mountains or High/Low Deserts anytime and I'm a happy Kamper. But when I do go to the beach, we head out for Torrey Pines State Beach. It's one of the last wild beaches of sorts that Southern California has. Favourite thing to do is walk for a few miles south towards La Jolla CA to Scripts Pier along some almost wild coastline, short pants and barefoot, exploring tidal pools along the way. Typical windswept appearance of the Torrey pines for which this State Park and the very tree itself is famous for. Constant westward winds from the Pacific Ocean create what most of the experts call twisted Grotesque shapes and picturesque form. 

Photo: Mine

Last time I went to Torrey Pines State Beach it was last year June 2011. I never get tired of that place. I love the wind sculptured trees and chaparral. And as you can see from the above photo, there are still some genuine Coastal Cholla Cactus to be found. Actually this specimen was right close to the bottom of the cliffs near the seashore. It was a bit sheltered from the salty winds behind a sandstone wall of sorts. But it's those windswept trees you see on the hikes that intrigue and give ideas for urban landscape designs. 

Photo: Mine

It's amazing how different the growth habit is away from the Sea. Trees are usually very tall with a wide crown. Trunks are straight and tall after an early life of being adolescent, leggy and awkward.

Swedish town of Mölle
Okay, let's fast forward to this to Svenskland (Sverige - Schweden  Sweden). There is an area along the south & western coast of Sweden which has a Nature Preserve with cliffs and sea influence like that of Torrey Pines. We visited there back in 2005. It is just northwest of a large Swedish city called Helsingborg which itself is across the channel from the Danish island where the capital of Copenhagen Dänemark is located. The closest town is called to this Park or Nature Preserve is Mölle as you can see above. The nature preserve is to the left of the photo. Below is a scene of the town from a Highway Viewpoint overlook.

Highway Scenic View Overlook of Swedish town of Mölle

Windswept Pinus sylvestris and Quercus robur
But it's the wind swept trees that brought back the memories of my Torrey Pines State Reserve. The pines here are however  Scots Pine (Pinus sylvertris). Of course the common name is different in it's numerous locations of it's natural range which I call the Vodka Belt of the world. Norway, Sweden, Dänemark, Finland, Russia, Siberia, Alaska, Canada etc. The other windswept tree is the native Oak (Quercus Robur) which itself is native to most of Europe and parts of North Africa. It's common names are many as you can imagine. But here at the park it is rather stunted looking more like some Chaparral Scrub Oak. This particular Park location is on a rather narrow peninsula in Southern Sweden. 

Photo: Mine
Clearly the stunted windswept & picturesque patterns can be seen in this seacoast habitat.

Photo: Mine

Photo: Mine

Photo: Mine
This is the actual coastline, but you won't find any crashing waves existing here. This inland waterway does not have the energy of the larger oceans. Although it can have it's moments during storms. About the only time you'll see waves here is five minutes after a Stena-Line Ferry passes by offshore and even then they are only knee high. Water is beautiful and crystal clear but frigid. 

Kullen Lighthouse Viewpoint

Kullen Lighthouse
We didn't have much time to explore and walk around, but I'd love to go back and explore deeper inside those stunted tangled forests. I hate the word grotesque as a description of the growth patterns because for me it always has a negative sound about it. Picturesque is more like it. This area is one of the very few places I have liked over here and trust me that has been a huge mental challenge for almost seven years here. Interestingly we saw very few Swedes here. Mostly German Tourists. It had a feeling of Germany which of course is further south from here. Anyways, that's my comparison. I'm sure there are countless other areas around the globe like or similar to Torrey Pines State Reserve. I just happen to find another one. And yet there are some evidences that others in different parts of the globe have had similar pondering and creative ideas from such experiences.

Japanese Black Pine - Bonsai
I can imagine other places like over somewhere over in Japan where the well known Japanese Black Pine (Pinus thunbergii) of Bonsai fame must have inspired someone there way back when who meditated on things observed in Japan's Natural world. Somewhere a Japanese individual was pondering what he/she saw at a place where these pines grew from a crack in a granite face and the lights came on. Restricted growth could be replicated if one creates the correct habitat conditions. There is an incredible amount of information to be gleaned from such an experience if an intelligent person can focus their mind and have the ability to be able to unlock it's potential practical applications. That is if such  information is not abused or misused in any way, shape or form. A big part of developing such ability for creativity is dumping the television set and at least setting aside once in a while some of your other electronic devises for which you have been sold (conned) into believing life is almost impossible to live without.
Some Interesting Links:


  1. Thanks for that tour...some resemblances to Torrey Pines, to be sure. Excepting the chollas, Mojave Yucca, etc in SD. But still, similar process and pattern, just further north and another continent. And always so many models for built landscapes.

    Always nice to see another world to me!

    I am with you on the marine layer, and cool-damp. The time I like it more is for a summer break from the desert, but soon I have to head back over the mountains...

    1. Yeah when I am out like that I'm always without fail thinking replication of designs I see. Also meditating on how everything is working. Taking mental notes on geology, weather, exposure, etc, etc, etc.

      My family sometimes gets board with me - *smile*


  2. Wonderful post! Both places are very picturesque. I enjoy seeing the scenery of Sweden. The windswept trees are beautiful. It is neat to be able to travel the world by blogging. Wonderful photos, have a great weekend.

    1. Yes both places are beautiful. Sadly though Torrey Pines has had it's share of fires which I didn't reveal in the photos.

  3. It's nice to visit Sweden. I've been to Torrey Pines....what a beautiful walk that was. There's something special about having lighhouses around. I grew up around them in Wisconsin and have some great memories related to them. I think what I love about Tucson here is that I can create a jungle using desert just takes a little education and thought. And that be achieved anywhere using anything.....just a little creativity and knowledge on plants etc can recreate a special place. Have a great week.

  4. Yes I was amazed the first time I saw this place. It looked so familiar, but a little greener. When I see scenes like these what completely absorbs my thinking is practical applications and replication.


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