LAND 11 The LAND project demands more ever from me physically as the sun rises earlier and the days lengthen but is a much-welcomed respite – the fulcrum upon which the rhythm of the week rests.
This week I started at the beach at Bro Odde and was reminded of both the similarities and the differences to my KYST project around Bornholm’s coastline five years ago. The strong southern wind threw the waves onto the shore, and I embraced the invigorating wildness of the coast.
Soon, however it was time to move on, and I headed inland. I walked past a farm with some curious and rather skittish horses, surprised to see a passer-by so early in the morning.
I entered the forested summerhouse area that stretches along the southern coast. Originally, this had been an area of ever-shifting sand dunes, but it had been planted with pine trees in the mid-1800s. Later still, the whole area had been given over to summerhouses, and hundreds of them lie hidden between the pines.
Deep in the forest I explored the two huge gun emplacements, built by the German occupying troops during the Second World War. Originally planned to house two 38 cm cannons weighing 110 tons each, the artillery units were intended to obstruct Soviet forces from sailing through the Baltic Sea. They were, however, never completed, and now lie crumbling and almost hidden by the trees.
Moss and fern cover the graffiti-covered concrete walls, while roots choked the foundations. I thought about long-forgotten temples being reclaimed by the rainforest in Southeast Asia, and the concentric circles of the gun emplacement reminded me particularly of Borobudur temple in Java, Indonesia. This was, however, a temple to violence, at its centre not a seated Buddha, but instead giant steel screws to house the death-bringing cannon. The site was a reminder of man’s cruelty, but also of nature’s ability to eventually reclaim and heal all of our wounds.
I moved on, back into the fields. It felt good to be out in the open again moving through the landscape under an expansive sky. In the distance, the blue remembered hills of Paradisbakkerne.
Eventually, I walked back into the pine forest and summerhouse area. I tried to capture the colours of the birch and pine forest, the heather and the sand, but I was tired, and I struggled to concentrate on the job at hand.
I finished the day in Slusegaard, where the stone cottage housing a water wheel was reflected in the calm waters of the Mill Pond.
WEATHER REPORT – overcast most of the day. Temperature 3 – 8 degrees. Wind 5 – 8 m/s from the south. Hours of precipitation: 0 hours. Hours of sunshine: 1 hours.
STOPS with the BIVVY – 0
KILOMETRES WALKED – 15.68 km
DAY LASTED – 11h and 59m
PEOPLE TALKED TO – 0
BIRDS SEEN and HEARD – 36 species: 2 new (coot and black-headed gull, running total = 66 species)
LESSONS LEARNED – Nothing springs to mind
IN MY HEAD – For much of the day, I found it very hard to stop thinking about the planned Biogas expansion, the radio and TV interviews, the meetings and the forthcoming debates.