Simona D'Auria

“Spring-winter” Sweden’s fifth season

Spring-winter it's how the Swedish people describe a season in between, with surreal landscapes and and ethereal atmosphere.
Rocks on a frozen lake during the great thaw in Sweden
Winter withdrawal

Sweden has a very specific way of determining the seasons. Winter is deemed to be arrived if the temperatures have been below zero for 5 consecutive days, while it’s spring after 7 days of temperatures above zero … In the middle, there is “vårvinter” which literally, simply means “spring-winter”.

Sweden weather agency calls it the “fifth season” explaining that “during the latter part of winter, high pressure often means sunny warmer days and clear, cold nights” that’s to say above zero during the day, below zero at night.

It is such a unique time, and one of my favorite seasons. In fact, even a winter lover as myself welcomes with immense joy the first warm sun rays and the longer hours of daylight after 6 months of cold temperatures and darkness.

Everything gets a little easier … your car starts with no issues, there’s no ice on the windshield, the ground under your feet is no longer a peril, no need to keep the fire alive or to worry about the animals of the forest lacking food.

The sun rays eagerly absorbed by your body fills you with a renewed energy … although, all that super bright light, all of the sudden, can give you migraines, especially when snow is still on the ground, as its reflection is extremely blinding.

There’s excitement and little confusion, as occasionally snow can fall again if a perturbation comes … but then again, you enjoy that break too, as it helps you gradually adjusting to the incoming warm season, especially when you are back from a very cold winter.

That’s when you can’t wait to open the conservatory, unwrap the outdoor furniture and the deckchairs on your balcony, often only to realize that maybe it was too soon!

It’s the time when nature emerges from darkness, starting from the heather and their gorgeous pink-purple tones and shades. They are the first color patches that you can see on a ground that has been covered in white for months, and the first textures that your hands can touch, which I can assure you, is an immensely pleasant sensation when you have been under the snow mantle for a long time … exactly like when you walk for the first time on snowless soil and you feel grounded again … such an unforgettable feeling!

It’s the time when the ice in the lakes is thawing, the snow starts melting in some forests, while in others it’s totally gone.

When misty cold dawns, turn into summer like sunny days.

A time of contrasts and beautiful surreal landscapes…

When it’s finally easy to stay outside, hike in the forests, explore again… when the mosquitoes aren’t yet arrived and you can sit on the ground undisturbed… when you take off your jacket…

and when the sweaters are finally stored in the closet… Oh I miss them already!!

It’s a time of hope and renewal, of new projects and ideas, a time of adjustment, a beautiful one to be alive…. so however you call it, wherever you are, whatever you like to do, I wish you all a joyful vårvinter!

Till the next time … remember to enjoy the outdoors and take good care of you!

Love, Simona 💜🌿💜


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.