Simona D'Auria

A day in a primordial forest

Visit to Salboknös nature reserve, a gorgeous untouched primordial forest, among overwhelming feelings, a snow storm and fairy tale scenarios
Very old tree in Salboknös nature reserve
The oldest Salboknös

Hi everybody! I hope you are doing fine despite these sad times …

After a couple of crazy weeks, I have finally been able to get out in the nature and I choose to spend the day in a primordial forest! I couldn’t wait any longer. In addition to the usual longing that takes me every time I have been for too long in front of the computer reviewing, editing and publishing the pictures, I really needed to get rid of a kind of anxious feeling that was persecuting me and to log off from the newspapers and the atrocious news of our mad world! Being a creative person that needs to deliver almost daily is really difficult to focus and produce something when your mood is down. Maybe you can relate to that. It happens every now and then but more often these last times.

To get back to the positive side, keep the enthusiasm alive and continue to create, there is nothing that works better for me than immersing myself in the nature . It’s a kind of a cleansing process that starts from the body and gets to the mind. I will never stop to recommend it! Get out in the nature whenever you can, wherever you live and whatever is your occupation and your every day life. It is always worth it!

My chosen destination – Salboknös nature reserve – was not too far from home.

The weather man had forecast heavy snow, so I didn’t have much time to travel around.

I had been to Salboknös just once during the summer season and it was a quick visit with my partner while we were location scouting. Then, I don’t know why, it kind of disappeared from my mental map and I’ve never returned there until the other day.

Funny how sometimes you ignore just the best locations around you!

It has been a quick visit this time too, but it proved to be a unique experience that I will repeat soon.

The nature reserve grows on the steep walls of a precipice where pine trees mostly have started growing around 1480. Since then, no man activity has affected this primeval woodland thanks to its being too steep. One blessed example of how wonderful nature is when is untouched.

Before you get to the feet of the precipice you walk on a comfy path among sweet spruce forests that are also unspoiled and in perfect conditions. 

Old growth forest in Salboknös nature reserve
What an old-growth forest looks like

Then you start climbing up through a narrow path among the steep walls.

The forest is populated with very old, old and younger coniferous trees. The branches are long and the trunks are knotty. On the ground rich, soft moss covers the entire reserve, from which emerge all kind of rocks and rock walls among fallen trees and branches transforming in wooden sculptures with weird shapes.

Ice and moss in the magical nature reserve of Salboknös
Ice and moss

Everything is so alive and powerful and you cannot help but feel a strong energy fluctuating all around you. There is total silence and thousands of sounds at the same times.

Proceeding uphill the atmosphere changes many times, as the forests has many different characters. It’s ethereal and fairy and dark and eerie at the same time.

Rock wall and frozen waterfall in Salboknös nature reserve
Frozen waterfall hanging on rock walls covered in moss

While walking I am overwhelmed with strong contrasting feelings. I feel extremely happy and excited but also a little scared, lonely and so so little standing there at the bottom of the steep walls.

I know I am in the wilderness, I know nobody is coming here in the middle of the week with such weather conditions. I know there would be no immediate help if anything happened to me.

But I also know that this is a temporary feeling and that if I stayed long enough, my primordial instincts would start waking up sweeping away fear and loneliness, replacing them with calmness, harmony and belonging.

Connecting with nature is a physical and mental process that might require sometime depending on the location and how busy is your mind, how much of your domestic, tamed everyday you have to remove from your being. It is like a meditation. After a while, your body will have learnt again to move, your blood circulation reactivated, your energy growing more and more, your mind cleansed from thoughts and worries…. Until you are in the moment and and in total harmony.

And finally you feel home among the mighty nature, because you are nature yourself.

Once at the top of the precipice the sky has turned white and the snow has started falling over old leafless spruce and little pine trees. It gets extremely windy and darker. Taking pictures is difficult, the strong winds making my tripod unstable and my camera vibrating.

The snow storm is coming! Time to get back to the car. When I parked this morning it was already drowning under the snow of the past days, and the situation would get worse in a very short time.

I had to walk fast downwards to avoid being stuck in the snow storm. Listening and paying respect to what the weather is signalling is a considerate way of hiking, the only way actually!

Once at the bottom of the precipice the snow was heavier and heavier but the wind had dropped and on my way back to the car I found myself in fairy land ….

But I couldn’t yet let go, it was too beautiful outside, so on my way home I stopped by a lake and watch the snow falling on the water …

It is incredible how many contrasting feelings, weather conditions, atmospheres and scenarios I met within a day!

Due to the rapid change of the weather I was unable to take many pictures, however this has been an unique experience that I will take with me forever.

Experiences like that can only happen if you get out and explore, even when the weather does not look promising. Just leave your desk and your sofa and put your boots on! You’ll always be rewarded!

Hope you have enjoyed my little adventure.

I wish you all the best! Till next time …. take good care of you.


Love 🌿



Simona D'Auria

Hi! My name is Simona and I am a photographer and an illustrator in love with the natural world.

I live in Sweden in a small village on the forest hills, where I moved a few years ago leaving behind the busy city of London to pursue my artistic activity. ​This has been a long time dream that I eventually managed to fulfil. I have never regretted it!​​

Nature is my only place to be, hiking my way to explore it and photography is one of the means I use to record the fantastic stories I am so lucky to witness during my excursions. Many of these stories also turn into graphics or illustrations.