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Flowering lime is one of nature's blessings: The nectar gives clear honey. The flower is used as folk medicine. From the inner bark of the lime tree one can make strong rope. Elderly folk can still tell how they got a weather report from the lime tree. If it smelled strong, it was probably going to rain. Lime often grows together with elm, ash and other tree species of the deciduous forest. Pure lime forests are rarer. Granvin has Hordaland's biggest lime forests.
One of the most magnificent deciduous forests in Hordaland grows along the border with Kvam. The rich growth comes from the phyllite and mica schist bedrock, together with a good climate. Along the fjord the summer is warm but not too dry, and in winter it is not too cold for plants that do not tolerate the frost.
On Vollom, northwest of Seim, we find the only natural beech forest in Western Norway, which is also the most northerly of its type in the world. Beech grows also many other places in the county, but these trees are totally lacking in history compared with those of Vollomskogen Forest.
Otterstadstølen lies in an idyllic grassy plain surrounded by rich forest, but also with high mountains close by. The mountainsides are steep and typical of this part of the county. The same cannot be said about the forest. This spruce forest has been able to develop freely for hundreds of years. Otherwise in the county, only Voss has spruce forest.
Herlandsnesjane, a four-kilometre long peninsula in Lake Storavatnet in the middle of Osterøy, is well known among botanists. Here lies an unusually large and diverse bog.
Around Mjøsvågen here is still a compact marine use area. Some of the buildings are common boathouses, but most of them also house small enterprises and workshops. This is where the farmers from Øvsthus, Mjøs, Hole and other farms have supplemented their meagre incomes as smiths, brass moulders, clog makers, chest builders and decorative painters.
Down by the fjord on the farm Berge in Tørvikbygd, is Stekkavika – a sheltered eastward facing harbour, protected against the fjord by headlands and rocks, even manifest in the name. Here is also a comprehensive milieu of coastal industry, with boathouses and sea-sheds that belong to the farms Berge, Heradstveit and Halleråker. Belonging to the farm Berge there is also a mill-house, circular saw, workshop for sloop building, and – a little further up into the woods – the old water-powered sash-saw.
From Kinsekvelven river and inward to Lake Veivatnet, we can wander through one of Hardangervidda's many fertile areas. A number of finicky plants grow here, and there are plenty of birds and fish. We can thank a lime rich soil for the diversity.