I have no heavy training... Barely Elementary School. Preferred the wilderness, it became my university, but I got muddy boots and experience instead of School knowledge so my English was therefore quite inadequate. This blog is a project to improve my skills in English language.
We all have our own universe, welcome to visit mine.
Old guys need to train their balance, so I’ve been thinking about getting a slackline for a long time. But it never happened. Now I bought a SUP instead. That was real stuff! Heavy! At least if you are a hopeless bath coward and the water temperature drops below 10 degrees…
When you leave your comfort zone and balance on the edge, you forget for a moment all the misery that surrounds us in the world right now. It’s healthy, try it!
After a night with a full moon and a starry sky, there is ice on the garden’s water barrel. It only stays for a few hours before sun and plus temperatures chase it away, but the message is clear, summer is over. Grimer times lie ahead.
I paddle north along a small forest river in the area where I live. Enjoying the silence. There has been at least one kayak trip per month over the past year. A goal that has succeeded despite the winter’s cold, has always managed to find open water somewhere in the landscape.
Strong gusts of wind whip the trees and I end up in a cloud of falling leaves. It is in a hurry now if you want to experience the splendor of color. A few windy days can clear the deciduous forest so that only the bare branchwork remains. Then it gets dark and gloomy until the snow arrives and lights up the landscape.
I continue along a smaller river that joins from the northeast. Feel the scent of rotting leaves and of cattle in a pasture above the riverbank. There are not many farms left in the valley and only a few have livestock.
Love the stillness you experience in a kayak. Enjoying the migration of birds heading south high above me and the small family of long-tailed tit, that chirping softly as they move along the riparian forest. When it’s time to turn around, I stop paddling, go with the flow, take it easy. “rivers know there is no rush. In time we will arrive” as Winnie the Pooh so wisely says!
Silflay is feeding time, or to be more precise, “to eat outdoors” in Lapine, the language the rabbits speak!
For the past few weeks, a arctic hare has been eating breakfast in our garden. We call it “our little gardener” because it takes care of our raspberries and cuts our grass. So far it hasn’t touched any vegetables, but it thinks cornflowers are really tasty!
This arctic hare is unusually fearless. We can do our gardening without disturbing it, when we make small talk with it it looks at us for a moment, as if considering a response, but instead continues to eat, it seems to have a higher priority.
My thoughts go to Watership Down, the wonderful novel that Richard Adams wrote and published in 1972. Considered by many literary experts as one of the world’s 100 best books. I read it in the seventies and loved it. The story of Hazel, Fiver and the other rabbits in a colony whose meadows, their whole world, are threatened by human progress and who set out to find a new home for the colony.
If you haven’t read the book (but you should…) you may have seen the movie. Where the theme song, Bright Eyes is sung by Art Garfunkel.
In the time we live in now, the story feels awfully topical. We are the rabbits on the run and at the same time the man who threatens all living things on the only planet we have… How and where will we find our thriving meadows.
Early morning, when the fog clears and hundreds of resting redwings clear their throats. A flock of whooper swans cries desolately as they cross the lake, I see them for a brief moment before they disappear into the clouds again.
It’s time for the annual moose hunt in our area this week and I’m staying away from the forest, for several reasons. First of all, I do not want to disturb the hunt. For many hunters it is a holy week so let them enjoy it to the fullest. I still prefer kayaking than working with a chainsaw.
It can also be unnecessarily risky to be in the areas where it is hunted. A bullet that misses its target can travel far. It is extremely unusual, but I have actually witnessed a long-range bullet hit the chainsaw just as I was about to grab it. And it’s a little too close for my liking.
When the sun breaks through, the fog disappears and the temperature rises to 11 plus degrees. A degree warmer than in the water. Autumn is really here. 12 km at a leisurely pace to enjoy the tranquility, listen to migrating birds, large flocks of finches and thrushes populate the sky and a lone common chiffhaff sings from a spruce. You know that charming warbler who insists on chiffchaff – chiffchaff – chiffchaff – chiffchaff – chiffchaff ……
Winter solstice yesterday, now we are moving towards brighter times … Although it does not feel that way. Gray, rain, plus degrees, pandemic and even more gray. I think the best thing is to stay indoors and go all in for Christmas celebrations, the rest of the year!
Wolves often follow in each other’s tracks, especially when there is deep snow. Then you can track long before they suddenly divide, and the tracks show how many individuals the pack contains. In open terrain and where it is easy to walk, such as on a sea ice or along a road, it happens more often. The local wolf pack seems to be 5 individuals right now. I hope they got hold of a Christmas moose to chew on during the Christmas and New Year weekend.
Take care of yourself, keep your distance, throw something soft at Santa if he gets too close. I hope you all have something good to chew on during Christmas, whatever it is. Fish, turkey, only vegetables or a fat pig, the traditions are so different around the world, you may not even celebrate Christmas or have a new year on January 1st. Still, have a great weekend everyone.
Climb, crawl, jump, balance, slip, swear, wrestle with snow-filled spruces or dense thickets, that is to track lynx!
The gray weather has ruled all week. Around zero degrees. Wet, very wet. But the work has still paid off well. I have tracked two different wolf packs, a wolverine, and a female lynx with two cubs.
Cats sneak smoothly through the terrain. Often under obstacles because they are so agile, or along lying tree trunks because they have such unmatched balance. Trackers often lack those features, at least signed. I do not need a gym pass after a day of lynx tracking.
The kids play a lot. Rarely misses an opportunity to chase each other in playful jumps from rock to rock. Imagine if you had only a fraction of that energy!
There are several meters between each boulder in the picture but … no problem for a cat.
Maybe not fifty … but many shades of gray have characterized the first tracking week of the season.
Yesterday the clouds were so low that the visibility was almost non-existent when I came up high in the mountains. The diesel engine had to idle, but I still had to stop from time to time and get out to make sure I was not about to leave the road.
There was a few cm of snow every night, so it was easy to see fresh tracks but at the same time it becomes more random to come across them. No wolf or lynx tracks, just a wolverine, but that’s okay too. If several days have passed since the last snowfall, the animals have had time to move over larger areas. This increases the chance that our tracks will cross. Better luck next week!
Say what you want about Christmas shopping on the internet and supposed delivery problems, but I ordered snow for the first of December and delivery seems to be done at just the right time, fantastic!
A good winter starts with cold, snow on unfrozen ground just gets wet and sticky. The last few days we have had down to minus 10 degrees, perfect.
Hoarfrost lights up the landscape and gives a taste of the winter that is hopefully underway. The forecast tells of snowfall tonight and even more snow in the coming days during the week. Time for the tracking season to begin.
The last week has mostly been spent on repairs and service of equipment after this year’s work with the management of nature reserves. Our company cars live a tough life on bad forest roads and need a little extra love from time to time.
Some equipment must be stored in storage rooms, while others must be lifted out and prepared for new operations. On the whole, the same procedure as in previous years and with the same feeling in the body, a tingling sense of anticipation, excitement, curiosity … A new tracking season.
Over the past year I have been working with a battery-powered chainsaw and I loved it!
In our work with hiking trails or nature reserve boundaries, we saw a little, go a short distance to saw a little more before we go a little further … and so on. With a petrol-powered chainsaw, you go all day in noise and exhaust. It’s bad for the environment and it’s bad for you!
With a battery-powered electric chainsaw, you are completely free of exhaust and noise comes only when you press the button and saw. Okay, if you like chainsaws as some kind of masculinity symbol, a muscle power – hair on the chest thing … then maybe you have problems with it sounding like a hand mixer 😉
The first battery-powered electric chainsaws which came on the market was not for professional use. They were too weak and felt a bit like a toy. Once you learned the technique, however, they could be used. With the new Husqvarna 540i XP, it’s a whole other thing. It can definitely compete with a traditional chainsaw. Environmentally and in terms of working environment, it is of course completely superior.
With Husqvarna’s new X-cut saw chain, it is a killer. The first tree I felled fell before I had time to release the throttle …
Presidential elections in the USA and the pandemic that is closing parts of Europe again, these are dizzying times … but in our nature reserves everything is calm and quiet.
We are privileged who are not affected by lockdown rules, who live in a sparsely populated area and have our workplace in the wilderness. Our only tiny “problem” right now is that the recent heavy rains have turned even small streams into foaming rivers. Upstream, however, there is always a place where you can cross the watercourse. I’m starting to become a champion at “kangaroo jump with chainsaw and backpack” …
Work on the reserve boundary is still in progress. We are lucky with the weather and the heat continues. Normally it should be snow-covered ground now, but some days are instead warmer than it has been since temperature measurements began in our county 1858. I’m not complaining, not yet … but when December arrives, I want snow. Winter should be snow and cold, do not want a repeat of the tracking season last year.
Large flocks of thrushes pass during the day, there are still a lot of birds left that have not yet moved to warmer latitudes and the summer has been good for grouse. There are plenty of capercaillie, black grouse and hazel grouse and we had a nice sighting of a golden eagle hunting in the area this week.
I look for northern hawk owls daily but have not yet seen any, they should start appearing soon. There is probably a shortage of small rodents in the north of the country, but all the more here with us. Some summer cottage owners have caught hundreds of mice.
It has been a great time in the Gobackberget-Berttjärnhallen nature reserve, and we hope to finish the reserve boundary this week. With its varied nature and wilderness character, it is a nature reserve that I will gladly return to in the future, both at work and leisure.
I suppose I´m some kind of caretaker for nature reserves (warden, ranger..?) who also works with environmental monitoring and endangered species. Tracker since the mid-eighties, mostly wolves and other predators, and once in a while assistant in various research projects with inventories and telemetry.