I know, it’s not even Wednesday today, but I have to get all the pictures out that have accumulated since the last #WaveWatchingWednesday post on January 19th! Because these days, I go swimming in the sea every day so pictures are accumulating over on Instagram fast!

Since I’m sharing over four months in one post, I’ll break it down into several chapters and give you a little meta commentary in addition to the image captions, that are just what the captions on Instagram were when I posted the picture.

Stuck in a landlocked city

This post starts out with me living in Lund, where we are working from home and I’m too far from the sea to make it there more than once a week, and sometimes not even that. You’ll see that I am making an effort to see water because I know it makes me happy, but I didn’t see enough. This is on a walk over the fields from my house, where I walked quite a bit to even get to this little lake.

A little bit of open water where this creek runs into the lake. And then waves on the open water: first really tiny at a little distance from the ice, then getting larger and larger as they move downwind and towards us, and finally sorting themselves so that only longer wavelengths run through the reeds and up the creek.

More ice and waves. I like how differently the borders look: on the upwind side, the water stays flat for a while before the first ripples form. On the downwind side, the larger waves meet the ice edge and eat away at it.

Yes, it’s true. I buy books and coffee purely based on how well they match the theme in my house. Basically: put anything ocean-themed on anything and I’ll love it and it will seamlessly integrate in my decor And now can we please have some really crappy weather so I can enjoy my new book & coffee under my ocean blankie on the sofa without feeling like I should really go and look at the actual ocean?

And then it was #CTDappreciationday and I HAD to come up with something. To prove to myself that I’m still myself, that I can get excited about this kind of stuff. And it worked, but it was also work to remind myself of how this works, getting excited about random ocean stuff…

On this #CTDAppreciationDay, after building my own little Secci disk (ht @noaaeducation; knots every 5cm), I especially appreciate the D. And am happy that not throwing out the coffee grounds right away turned out to be an important part of my celebration!


On a weekend, I cycled to Lomma to check out the coastline and the city there, trying to figure out if I would potentially want to live there. Turns out that while I loved the color of the ocean, the town really did not vibe with me. Don’t know because it was deserted on an early weekend winter morning and I imagined it going from dead to completely crowded with tourists, or what it was, but I know that wasn’t where I wanted to live.

What a beautiful color

Nice, they put a whole pier here so we can look at the downwind vs upwind waves!

This one green wave in the foreground makes me very happy

This little stream was the closest water to where I lived, so I looked at it quite a bit.

Oh look, they made an educational trail on flow on a slope, with varying bottom roughness and step heights!

I just love to see flows change over such short distances and sometimes for no directly obvious reason. And then I get hung up on figuring out the reason. Which makes me happy and gives me a feeling of flow, at least until I snap out of that for the obvious reason that sometimes I have to think about other things. That is until I happen to see the next flow somewhere. Voila, we’ve come full circle

Sunset #WaveWatching

Yay, my test print arrived today! That means the #24daysofkitchenoceanography advent calendar will be ready long before December. Which is great, because there is absolutely no reason to only use the book as advent calendar. In fact, every day should be a day for #KitchenOceanography!

Wind more or less parallel to the edge of the asphalt there, so no waves in the sheltered upper right corner, but then growing towards us, both in amplitude and wave length. Check out the diffraction at the “slits”, too!

The #WaveWatching on my way to the entry exam for my Swedish course made the whole trip worthwhile! Isn’t it awesome how the turbulence from the upward jets changes the water’s surface roughness? Plus rain on water is always pretty, too…

And here I cycled to Bjärred on a weekend, and it made me so happy! I kinda knew from the first time I visited Bjärred (on a 2 day visit to Lund last summer when considering whether I would want to work here) that this was the place for me. So I kept coming back whenever I could muster up the energy.

Morning trip to the beach for some great #WaveWatching!

If you aren’t too distracted by these beautiful waves, you can spot the Øresund bridge in the background!

Would check out Malmö on the horizon if the beach & waves weren’t so much more interesting ;)

Back in Lund, which you can clearly see from my mood :-D

I don’t think it counts as toxic positivity when I look at these two leaves and think about how maybe I can work more on my lotus effect to be like the green leaf and let the muddy brown puddle just not get to me (see both these nice drops and even the effect on the water surface where it’s trying not to touch the green leaf)? On the other hand I don’t want to repel water, so maybe this is not a good analogy for me

And back in Bjärred :-D

Funny how big a difference a little more fetch can make on the wave field!

When I posted the picture below, a friend commented that if THAT was my wave watching go-to spot, I was clearly living too far from the ocean. And that comment almost made me cry, because YES, I was living too far from the ocean! But it was really difficult to change that situation.

Guess this has become my go-to wave watching spot for now. Love the cascade!

And then I went on a work trip to Norway. We start out on the Öresund train to Gothenburg, and then continue on the next train to Oslo. Funny how both the weather and my mood get so much better over the course of that trip! I really really needed a break from Lund, and to see my friends, at that time!

#WaveWatching from the train!

Rain on the window does not prevent the #wavewatching! Waves breaking over such a long distance/time means the water is shallow but the slope is really shallow, too

Getting closer to the @iearth.no meeting, still enjoying the views from the train! :)

Ice under a thin layer of water, looking spooky enough to warrant a feature here despite the sad lack of waves

Getting closer to meeting all my @iearth.no peeps soon! Weather has also improved considerably. And I need to stop looking at my laptop screen for a bit or I’ll get train sick (is that even a thing?)

Oslofjord! A ferry! Waves changing their shape as they run onto that beach! And I’m going to see my friends sooo soon! What more could anyone ask for?

Almost in Oslo!

#shelies and #colorfantasy. And sunshine in Oslo, perfect for a lunch outside! :)

This one is for you @badenymfeliv @kristinnevernotdreaming @gloep_
I’m ready for morning swims (she says from the safety of the east coast)

Just one more picture because I’ve never really appreciated the Oslo opera building before today, and because seeing the Kiel ferry just feels so much like home…

And in Oslo, I met with friends, and there was water, and all was well.

My happy place is wherever there is water. Thanks for the nice walk & pic @kjersti.daae :)

I haven’t seen enough water recently. This was sooo good! Especially with this nice wake running towards us. You just gotta love wave watching

#colorfantasy (always makes me feel like home to see the Kiel ferry ) and #shelies. And ice. And waves. And sunshine. And the best company! :)

Happy I caught the drop! And some sun :)

Finger rafting: two thin layers of ice collide and form these interlocking “fingers”. How cool is that? So excited that @kjersti.daae spotted it!

From Oslo, I went and had a long weekend at Kjersti’s place and — as always — had The BEST time!

Lots of interesting structures in the ice here: Air bubbles, stripes, snowflakes on top, and these weird small cells. What are they? Initial ice crystals that froze together? Never saw this before

What determines whether an icicle ends up all smooth or all bumpy? They are right next to each other!


The water is so clear!

Ice forming on the left edge. So pretty!

Oh hello halo!

And then I went to Bergen for a couple of days to do some work there.

Working on a figure illustrating 8 theories of change as summarized in Reinholz et al. (2021) at once (don’t worry, it’s a first draft only!). Posting this on my #WaveWatching site because one of the theories is about unfreezing-changing-refreezing, so technically very much on topic, and also to give you a glimpse of my beautiful new headband with a wave interference pattern on it (thank you @kjersti.daae)

Direct impact, wider influence, and random other signals

The work in Bergen did not happen, instead I got covid and stayed isolated until I went back on the train to go back to Lund.

Back to the sunny side of the mountains!


#fromthetrain #slowtravel

As much as I generally enjoy slow travel, I think I’ve had enough trains for a while

Back in Lund, I explored other areas that I might possibly want to live in, the one below still inside Lund, but with a little more water and definitely pretty!

And then below that’s the campus I’ve been working on since January…

More than 2 months working on a campus with a lake on it and this is the first picture of it. I really need to get my #waveWatching act together again. Or ice watching as it is today…

Some days I fell back into my normal self and get super excited about stuff, like all the frost on the next couple of pictures, but generally I was not a happy Mirjam.

Walk to work taking twice as long today because… #hoarfrost
And isn’t this textbook-worthy preferential crystal growth on the exposed edges?

Another weekend, another exploration of a possible place to live closer to water: Landskrona. I really liked it there in a touristy sense, but wasn’t so sure about wanting to actually live there. But it’s definitely worth a visit!

This looks so much like home!

How did I only realize today that having a moat would be So Convenient? Excellent #WaveWatching without even having to leave the house!
(1) look how the surface roughness (visible as more sun glint) follows the shape of the moat! Of course the wind does, but still cool to see!

(2) here, the wind is coming from the right and we see the same gust of wind, as darker blue rougher surface, coming around both sides of the castle!

(3) interesting reflections here on the ice!

(4) again how cool to see the reflection change between ice-covered areas and waves!

(5) here we see wind waves coming from either side & meeting at the tip of the castle wall

(6) and of course ducks & wakes are always awesome

#WaveWatching. Love the shadows of the wave crests on the ground! Or are those still caustics with waves that size? Does anyone know?

No water, but highwater lines and seagrass wind vanes. Beaches are awesome

I really missed these colors. And the waves. And the foam stripes.

Last beach pic of the day. But isn’t it cool how the ripples on the beach were clearly made by larger waves at higher water levels, and how now at low water the small waves all but wipe them out?

This picture I took back in Lund, getting on the bus to go to free diving training. I took up free diving here, and it’s been a lot of fun! Also another way for me to connect with water.


If there isn’t enough water in your life, repost old facebook memories… Not a good sign!

I cannot believe this was 11 years ago!

Easter trip home

And this is where it all changed: When I was on the train and took the pictures below, I had on the previous day visited my future home — in walking distance from the beach! So I was in a much better mindset that I had been for months before. Also excited to go home and see my family and friends…

Bye bye, Sweden!

Windy day! Such nice waves! Also not so easy to take pictures out of a train!

Since the train didn’t stop at the station* where I was supposed to change to go home, I decided to change my plans instead of trains, stay on the train even when I had the chance to get off, enjoy some wave watching from #rendsburgerhochbrücke, and am now on my way to see my parents. Ha.
*not only did they skip a stop, they are also missing 300 passengers according to a super nice but slightly confused conductor. Wonder where they are? Maybe at the stop we didn’t stop at?

I was going to go to Kiel first, but then decided to go to Hamburg.

See how the surface roughness, and hence the way the water reflects the sun, is different where the ship went?

And Lüneburg, to see my awesome nieces & co!

Very cool ice on the trampoline today, here already melting quickly.

Dunes in the river, as my niece said, and the waves becoming visible through the shadows they cast on the dunes.

I was a little too distracted by the cute little baby geese to catch a pic of the impressive wave when the other two landed, but you can still see the remnants!

A toad making waves! Look at the cool #capillarywaves she’s pushing in front of herself! Also she’s definitely not “swimming like a frog”

And then I was in Kiel for two days which, if you just go by the amount of pictures I took, seems like I was spending a ridiculous amount of time at the beach. Which is exactly as it should be…

I’m very much into the wavecrest-just-before-breaking look at the moment. And the way the previous wave is hugging the stone. And finally hanging out with @fraubioke again

And look at these amazing diffraction pattern around the floating pontoons!

And these waves look so perfect they seem like bad photoshop

Love the dramatic lighting on these waves

Textbook-perfect refraction where the waves turn towards the lower phase velocity on the shallow beach

Another dramatic wave crest just before breaking. And lots of breaking waves on the sand bank a little further out!

Slightly underwhelming sunrise today. First, it was dark. Next, it was a little less dark. But: finally a morning swim again @badenymfeliv :) And no matter the weather, this is still my happy place!

Diffusive layering in cafe latte

As sad I am to leave — this view was amazing!

Visiting Svalbard

From seeing my family, I flew to Svalbard for a work event. I had not been on a plane (even before covid I had decided to only fly when absolutely necessary, and to do as many trips as possible by train; which is why you have been seeing a lot of #FromTheTrain pictures on this blog over the years) for years and this was exciting!

Caption of the video: If you had asked me about my favorite hotel room feature at any time before 5:45 this morning, it would have been the inbuilt retractable clothesline. And then I switched on the shower and now I am thinking non stop about how that works on the inside. I’m assuming (hoping?) it’s driven by the water pressure that moves those little nozzles around, which in turn makes the jets move. But there is probably some sort of gear in the middle that coordinates them? I have to figure it out in my head before I’m allowed to google!

And then we are approaching Longyearbyen!

On this fjord, you see ice floating (along the left edge, and down in the middle) plus what I think is a cloud flowing out from the cold glacier and detaching at the headland, flowing down the fjord in parallel to the line of floating ice. How cool is that??

Ice breaking off this glacier & flowing away until it gets collected in a barrier again

The shape of this ice edge is sooo pretty! And there is something dissolved in a plume in the water near the headland, making it look green-ish. Plus all the pretty ice floating on the water! And those mountains!

Ice accumulating in weird but pretty ways


This is in walking distance from UNIS where we had our meetings. We were so lucky!


Waves in water, waves in sand…

When waves appear as if out of nowhere, it’s quite likely that the water depth suddenly changed

Another weirdly steep wave appearing out of nowhere. No, @kristinnevernotdreaming, I don’t need to go swimming to know why, I’m sure it’s the change in depth :)

Pancake ice covered in frost flowers!

Why are old footprints in snow often the last thing that melts away? Check out @kjersti.daae’s post, and if you don’t read nynorsk, ask her nicely to translate

Funny how phase changes of water and a little wind can produce such different textures so close to each other!

I present to you: waves running heads-on onto one of the narrow ends of a sand bank. And as they slow down when the water gets shallower, the waves are bent towards the shallower water, thus deforming the wave crests. You see it nicely at the tip of the sandbank, but also a lot further along!

The next couple of pictures were taken on a field trip we did as part of our meeting: We got to see what students at UNIS typically see, and discuss how to teach in the field. That’s also the context for this blog post about local field laboratories.

A different type of waves for a change: the ones that made me super thankful that I had warned people in advance that I get carsick and thus got to ride in the front of the belt wagon… No idea how they form, especially with such annoying regularity, but as soon as they are water again I can tell you something about that! :D

Even though all of it is frozen right now, water in different phases created all the shapes here. Pretty impressive!

Who would have thunk that @iearth.no would manage to make me interested in geology. Thanks @theakross and @mattias.lundmark!

The sun won’t set again before August 22nd, but that doesn’t mean that the sun doesn’t occasionally hide behind the mountains…

After the meetings, I stayed the weekend with a couple of friends, and we got to do the most exciting trips ever!

Mouth of the passfjellbreen ice cave

Perfect lunch spot with view across #vanmijenfjorden towards #akseløya

@khorota taking a photo of the polar bear on the other side of Van Mijenfjorden! It’s somewhere in my picture, too, but just as one or two pixels, so I don’t expect you to spot it. But @kjersti.daae @kristianbbb and @theakross can confirm it was there :)

My first arctic pingo! So exciting! Also: don’t know if I’m glad our guide checked the ice & decided it was safe to cross, or worried that he had to check in the first place…

So. Arctic pingos. See those little blisters at the edge of the glacial valley where the valley should still have been scraped smooth by the glacier? (Right, @theakross?) Those are pingos. They occur in permafrost in places where liquid ground water is being pushed to the surface, freezes, and the only direction it can expand to while freezing is up. So that’s what’s forming the little humps! Or not so little, they can be meters high…

The top of the pingo we visited was blank ice with zigzag-y cracks in it, and they were quite deep, too! Very cool.

Here you see the cracked top of “our” pingo and Longyearbyen just across Adventfjorden from it. Technically, I think “pingo” refers to the system that breaks out into one or several blisters, but who cares… There were several of those blisters where we were, and then there should be at least two more pingos further inland in Adventdalen.

Taking a picture down a crack in the ice of the pingo. Bare hands are either a sign of how badly I wanted pictures, or of stupidity. Or both, who knows?
Thanks for the arcitic explorer pic, @kjersti.daae!

And then we are leaving again after an amazing adventure.

I took these pictures mainly because of the color change in the water close to the coast: sediments? Primary production? Both? In a boundary current? But I have to admit that @iearth.no did have quite an effect on me and now I’m also admiring the shape of the glacial valley and the stripes in the mountains with their different properties and formation history, and that clearly erode in different ways, forming fans and valleys, leading to these super pretty pattern! Thanks to @theakross and @mattias.lundmark for pointing out all this stuff! We are becoming quite the geologists @kristianbbb aren’t we?

Looking at pictures like these, it becomes a lot easier to imagine glaciers flowing (“like ketchup”, as @aesthetics.of.weather once wrote)

Marine-terminating glaciers are the ones that ultimately flow into the ocean (or a fjord), in contrast to those that are stuck on some mountain e.g. in the alps and die there. When glaciers end up in the ocean, crevaces form at the edge and icebergs break off. Sometimes they end up in open water (like on pic 1), but sometimes there is sea ice blocking the iceberg drainage (pic 2 & 3). Easy to imagine that once the sea ice melts, it’s like pulling a cork from a bottle…

Something interesting going on here: slush (I think. What else could it be?) accumulating in Langmuir convergence zones, and then being blown further. When it comes through the gaps in the ice, it looks like it’s “just” advected and not in convergence zones any more. But why is there no clear convergence there any more? Looking at these pictures, I think what I interpreted as a cloud a couple of days ago might not actually have been one, it looks very similar to this (and here interpreting it as clouds does not make any sense at all). Curious and curiouser!

The start of a new chapter

The day I got back from Longyearbyen, I went and picked up the keys to my new place (in walking distance from the beach!) before I even went back to my own place. And things have been so different now! For one, it’s spring (seriously, they should just skip January and February in this country. Probably November, too, but I haven’t been here yet to experience that…). Also, I have a lot of new and exciting projects at work where I am responsible for stuff and can shape it in whatever way I think makes sense. And then I moved to the new place in Bjärred, and now I go swimming every day!

Thanks for a lovely evening celebrating submissions and moves and summer and life, and for all your help, J! :)

And we are back @badenymfeliv @gloep_ @kristinnevernotdreaming — first morning swim at Bjärred! When are you all coming to visit?

Morning swim

Yep, camera got wet… #morningswim

#öresundsbron in the evening light.

The boats might still be asleep, but not the sun or the morning bathers!

#coldwatertherapy after work

I think it looks inviting!

Beautiful morning swim with swans for company, and this nice example of boundary behavior of light: at steep angles, we can look into the water and see the caustic on the seafloor, as well as the sand ripples there. At shallow angles, we see the reflection of the sky so the water becomes blue!

I think that’s my current favourite wave picture

Oh hey @pushyroots — maybe that’s who we heard earlier today and he was calling us to come swimming? Look at the beautiful caustics and how nicely the wake shows up!

Check out #turningtorsomalmö cheekily peeking over the waves! I love the capillary waves on top of the larger waves, I could spend hours just watching and taking pictures but luckily the water was cold enough so I only took *cough* a reasonable amount *cough* of pictures

Spring makes me so happy, especially when there is water in the background

You are so lucky I’m only posting pictures of flowers when there is the ocean in the background. Spring is so beautiful here, and I have So Many Random Pictures Of Flowers!!!

A lot more wind this morning, makes the waves a lot more interesting!

And this is what this morning looked like from the pier. Can you spot the ripples in the sand towards the middle on the left? A lot more pronounced then when I went swimming yesterday, but there is clearly more wave energy in the water now, too. I’ll have to observe how things change!

Second swim of the day — #turningtorsomalmö in the background and beautiful caustics caused by the interesting mix of waves. So happy I moved out of the city and can be at/on/in water every day now!

Some days are not mild and sunny, but a morning swim is still the best

Gusts of wind cause higher surface roughness, showing up as darker blue. But the coolest feature here? The ring waves radiating from the stones in the lower right corner!

So yep, this is it, I’m all caught up with my Instagram pictures! And I can report that I am really happy to be living in walking distance from the beach. I’m glad that I did not listen to people that told me I needed to live in Lund to make friends, and that the commute would be so annoying. Since the university is some 10 km from the beach, there will be a commute in any case, either from where I live and work to the sea, or from where I live at the sea to work. I’m conscientious enough to go to work no matter what, but as you saw at the beginning of this post, I did not make time to commute to the sea every week, let alone every day, when I was living close to work. And, as you also saw, that was not good for me. So I’m happy with this choice, and my new home, and you can expect a lot of water pictures now, because my goal is to go swimming, and document it, every single day that I am living in this place!

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