Autumn seemed to arrive suddenly that year. The morning of the first September was crisp and golden as an apple…
– J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
The fall is here. No question about it. We still have around 20 °C (68 °F) in the days but the temperature quickly falls when the sun set and at the time I get up in the morning the temperature is down at 5-8 °C (41-46 °F). The fact that the sun is traveling the skies in a lower and lower orbit and the hint of gold and blood in the maple leafs is other telltale signs.
Another sign is the migrating species. Today me and my son went for some geocaching close to my work (free parking is always nice) but had to abandon the idea quickly once we got there. One of the migrating species that spends the winter here had returned in large herds and there was no way one could sneak past them. Noisy as seagulls, littering as a magpie and as lost as a duck in a shopping mall. I’m sure you have guess the species by know. The students are back in town, and as all years first week is full of “get to know each others”-games and drinking. Well, I’m glad they are back because without them I wouldn’t have the job I have, lets hope they behave this semester so I get a nice and relaxed fall at work.
We left them alone with their rituals, the cache can wait another week and went for another a few km away instead.
Child of time.
That was a favorite expression of Carolus Linnaeus (Carl von Linne) he used to take his students out into the nature, let them collect the plants they thought where interesting, and show them to Carolus who would tell them about their findings. I’m quite confident that if Carolus Linnaeus lived today he would be a geocacher.
Today my son came home from a weekend at the short stay away home, where he lives in regular intervals to let us recharge a little extra, and of course we had to go out geocaching. Today we decided to walk in Carolus Linnaeus footsteps, more or less, and keyed in the coordinates for one of the Carolus Linnaeus multicaches that exist close to our home. I’ve told about one of the other multis in this series over here. The multicaches teaches you about Carolus Linnaeus and what he saw in his time while you follow one of the paths he used to take with his students out from the city and out into the nature. These multis always end with a nice walk over field or into the forest.
Today we also felt the fall is closing in, it’s still warm and summer but the air starts to feel a bit fresher with the slightest hint of chilliness when the sun sets for the night. I have also noticed that a few trees have started to lose the chlorophyll in its leaf. And there are bugs, lots of bugs. I had an orange t-shirt while we were out today and bugs and small beetles were pull to it like magnets. This weekend I even found myself being the main meal for 3 ticks, and I haven’t had ticks in many years despite geocaching.
And here are a few bugs for all computer nerds, like me, out there. Remember Form.A, Cascade and all the other computer viruses that was created because someone was smart enough to do it and wanted to show it? When there was no underground economy that tried to infect computers to earn money? Well, look at what I found in a drawer at work today.
This morning, right after breakfast, my son was a little anxious and kept pulling my arm and it was quite obvious he tried to tell me something. I didn’t understand what he wanted, or perhaps I did, so I asked him to get his Ipad and show me what he wanted. Within seconds he had it in his hand and tapped two pictures before he gave it to me. “Geocaching” and “By Car” was what he told me and by that he decided how we spent this Saturday morning. For someone who can’t speak, verbally or with sign language, he’s starting to get good at telling us what he wants.
Geocaching + By Car
Yesterday I and my son tried our luck on a mystery cache. I’m normally not that fond of the mystery caches since I’m having a hard time to solve them. The cache we visited was one that was marked as a field puzzle, meaning you are supposed to go there and see what the challenge is. Barcodes and rebuses are normal types of field puzzles I’ve encountered earlier. What I saw at the location of the cache made me laugh a bit. It was a field puzzle, or actually a field jigsaw puzzle.
This was a mystery cache that even I could solve.
The completed field puzzle
Coordinates on the backside of the puzzle
Most of the time I’m glad to live where I live. Here in Sweden we have “The Swedish Act concerning Support and Services for Persons with Certain Functional Impairments (LSS)” that brings me and my wife some extra assistance with our children. I’ve explained LSS earlier over here.
One of the more criticized parts of the LSS states that persons who fall into the “Certain Function Impairment” category has the right to aid with residence with special services for adults or otherwise specially adapted housing. The critique is not about the cost of these residences, it’s about the lack of functional and well managed residences that has been the talk among parents to persons with certain functional impairments so it’s always good new when someone decides to build or convert existing residence to a living for these persons.
On the other hand, when peoples ignorance puts obstacles in the way of a new residence for youths with autism and Downs syndrome, I feel a bit ashamed over living in a country where so many ignores others needs because of their own comfort. Last week there were reports in most major Swedish newspapers about a residential area called Glasberga, where the residents has signed a protest against the construction of a residence for youths with autism or Down syndrome. Some of the reasons for the protest where:
- The value of the residents own houses will drop since a LSS residence would lower the neighborhood status. A number of people states they would never have moved to Glasberga if they knew about the plans of a LSS residence.
- The residents can no longer let their kids play outdoors without adult supervision because of the youths at the LSS residence.
- Someone has heard of several cases where persons from these LSS residences has managed to escape and obtained contact with “normal” people with assault and possibly death as a result.
- They don’t trust Attendo’s (the caregiver) promises that the residence is aimed towards harmless, non-aggressive youths.
- According to the knowledge the residents in Glasberga has on the subject Autism, it’s not uncommon that autistic youth often is frustrated and violent.
One of the comments from the residents in Glasberga is:
“We aren’t against LSS residences, but they don’t fit in our area that contains so many children”
Here we have a group of youths with Autism, Asperger and Dawns syndrome that is in desperate need of somewhere to live in order to go on with their own lives by moving out from their parents. Before this Glasberga protest I’d think a residence like the one being built in Glasberga would be ideal for my son once he is old enough to move to his own living, I would even reconsider moving to Glasberga myself to live close to my son. But now, after the residents of Glasberga have tried to tell me who my son and my daughter really are, I’m just ashamed to live so close to so narrow-minded people.
The protesting residents of Glasberga probably doesn’t even understand how much they have hurt parents and people covered by the LSS with their comments. They probably don’t understand the lack of reasoning in their protest. And most of all, by acting as they do they will probably force their children to walk in their footsteps and become as frightened of the unknown as they are themselves.
I feel forced to beg forgiveness on their behalf as they probably don’t understand they are doing something wrong, just as my son sometimes does …
I think I have meantioned it before bur it’s wort meantioning again. When I’m out geocaching with my son then the trip is the goal, not the cache itself, and since the trip is the goal we prefer caches that has atleast some scenery along the way. Park and grabs to make it to our found lists but almost always just because it was on it’s way to something “better”.
I guess our preferences shows in our found statistics and the fact that we managed to log the challenge cache GC3DPB3 as second visitor in almost 1½ year after it was published. That’s something special over here where a new cache often has it’s first find within hours after it is published and ten finds or more during the first week. Requirements for logging GC3DPB3 was to first have logged geocaches within atlest 25 nature preserves within Uppsala county.
Hazelnut forest at Hagalund nature preserve
Dreams are a bit like geocaching, you have a goal and just need to figure out how to get there.
A while ago I wrote about having a bucketlist and I listed some caches that I’d really want to visit and show to my son if I was given the opportunity. Well, I figured out that the opportunity will not just be given, it had to be taken.
After our short road trip to southern Sweden, while my son was away at the short stay away home, I packed our rucksacks and planed the drive. We were going to visit GCGWED, Njupeskär Vattenfall! Number three on our bucketlist!
An early morning we left home and a 6 hours drive and 4 hours hike with a 300+ feet climb and 20 kg in my rucksack we arrived at our “basecamp” by the lake Rösjön. We had a wonderful hike even if we had to break up half a day earlier than expected. In the end I think we walked 30-35 km, sometimes in really bad terrain, during the 48 hours we spent on our adventure.
In the end I think that a new world opened up for us, I need to tweak our hiking gear a little with a portable toilet that I can carry outside my rucksack, but other than that I don’t think there is anything that can stop us from longer hikes into the wilderness of Sweden.
Now on to plan next adventures. We have Thailand in March and I’ll see if I can bring my son to Boston in June but there is so much time to fun things in untill then … and then there is the ultimate journey to plan, the one that my wife just shakes her head at when I bring it up 🙂
Plenty of cloudberries around to eat while we were walking.
Terrain slowed us down at some places.
Geocaching in the evening. This is close to 10pm while we are on our way back to basecamp.
Don’t know why but people enjoy building with stones.
On our way to visit the waterfall once we got down from the mountain again.
Thats about 90 meters of falling water.
This is probably the picture with worst quality but that has the most to tell. This picture is what told me that my son enjoyed our adventure and even if I’m still limping it was totally worth it.