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Uncle Henry´s Universe.

About the blog

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.

Magical Moonlight!

Everyday life Posted on Sat, January 27, 2024 17:30

Full moon and fresh snow, an unbeatable combination!

I tried taking a picture with the phone in the low light, it worked!

When the snowfall subsided and the full moon cast an almost fairytale light over our yard, we went outside for a while to listen for owls. We heard nothing. The night was silent, completely silent. When there is no wind and the forest is embedded in a thick blanket of fresh snow, all sounds are muffled. After a while, the sound of your own bloodstream becomes almost like a rushing river.

It has been a fantastic winter so far. Plenty of snow and mostly sub-zero temperatures. Down to 30-35 minus degrees in our area, that’s enough, more is not needed. There have been more aurora nights than usual, but tonight it was only the stars watching over us.

Garden dreams, so far far away, even if the garlic rests there under the snow. It will be at least another two and a half months before the croaking of the frogs is heard from the garden pond.

Warm light from our kitchen window finds its way out to the bird feeder.

At the bird feeding it´s quiet, even though the restaurant is open around the clock. During the day, about ten species of birds gather for food. Roe deer also visits sometimes to taste the sunflower seeds. The neighbor’s cat drops by to perhaps taste a mouse or vole. Sometimes even a bird unfortunately.

Even a forest marten has taken a liking to our tavern. It took the container, which contained 8 fat tallow balls, and disappeared into the forest. Will see if I manage to find the container this spring when the snow has melted away.



Tracking lynx

Lynx Posted on Tue, January 09, 2024 17:17

The cold has finally left. 12 degrees below zero is undeniably much more comfortable than 28 …

Today’s lynx tracking was really enjoyable. Clear blue sky and sunshine on the nose, can’t get any better!

The tracking was sometimes a little complicated, I lost track when it was sneaking around among roe deer tracks. And there were loads of them! However, it didn’t seem to get any lunch so it continued up the mountain.

The snow is still too loose and the terrain was far too steep, so neither skis nor snowshoes worked. So I went on foot with snow up to my knees. And all the fir trees were full of snow that longed to visit my neck. In other words, a completely normal tracking of lynxes!

It carried higher and higher and got steeper until I had to give up. A lynx with big paws and a fit body had no problem getting up. But a Christmas fat tracker had no chance!



Winter on Päggonätto

Nature Conservation Posted on Mon, November 20, 2023 20:35

Wilderness feeling, I repeatedly cross tracks for both wolverine and willow grouse.

In the southern part of our county there is something more like autumn, in the north it is full winter.

I have spent the day putting up signs in our northernmost nature reserves, Päggonätto. A little extra information about the reserve and a reminder of what applies when using motor vehicles. Snowmobiles are welcome, but only along the snowmobile trail.

The highest parts of the reserve are approximately 650 meters above sea level, the view is usually breathtaking, but today it was foggy and poor visibility.

The nature reserve management field season is coming to an end. A little sad this time because it will be the last one for me, it’s time for younger talents to take over the baton. But first I have a winter season of wolf, lynx and wolverine tracking to get through. And the work with the golden eagle as a conclusion. Then it’s time for new adventures.



November gray

Nature Conservation Posted on Thu, November 09, 2023 10:38

Suddenly the snow came and said hello for a few days.

Grey, wet and difficult to access. Even with four-wheel drive, it becomes difficult to drive when there is 30 cm of snow, a few plus degrees and drizzle.

I have taken the opportunity to put up some information boards at new nature reserves before winter is here for real with frost on the ground. At the same time, I’m looking for tracks of our four-legged friends, it’s hard not to, even though I have work with the nature reserves that must be prioritized for another week or so.

Probably plus temperatures and rain will make most of the snow disappear again, at least in low-lying areas. It usually happens that way. Up here in the mountains it may stay, more snow and cold are on the way.

Suddenly some light finds its way through the cloud ceiling and the color scale changes from gray to greyish, greenish, and brownish… it’s beautiful.



The Märramyren (mare mire) nature reserve.

Nature Conservation Posted on Mon, October 30, 2023 08:33

Autumn begins to turn into winter. Subzero temperatures during more and more nights but so far, the frost is thawing during sunlit days. Flocks of waxwing make their way south, the sound of their chirping, like a thousand silver bells, fills the air where they advance.

The work with the nature reserves moves towards the end of the season, soon the predator season will start again. Last week we finished the work on the boundary of the reserve. About a hundred poles with reserve marks have been carried out and knocked down along the 35 km long border. A time-consuming job, the mire is wet, and the steps become heavy. Good weather still makes the days fantastically beautiful, there is unlimited fresh air, just the right amount of cold and no biting insects!

On Märramyren you can find old dead conifers with wolf lichen, Letharia vulpina, a bright yellow-green, shrubby, and highly branched lichen. A species toxic to mammals due to the yellow pigment. It contains vulpinic acid, which attacks the central nervous system with respiratory paralysis as a result. Wolf lichen has been used historically as a poison for wolves and other predators that visit carrion. It is a protected lichen in our country, and it occurs sparingly from the northern part of our county and northwards.



Winter solstice

Everyday life Posted on Thu, December 22, 2022 09:41

Now it won’t get any darker. Slowly but surely the days will get longer, the light stronger and hope will return.

Right now, nature around us is moving at a delightfully quiet pace. The birdsong is low-key, sporadic, only occasional beeps or chirps or some lone raven gossiping about nothing.

The trees sleep and plants rest before the next growing season, when the splendor of color and the buzz of insects will once again paint the landscape with abundant brushstrokes. A busy time. Wonderful but demanding.

It has turned, it is on its way, but there is still time for reflection. To enjoy stillness, silence and all the little wonders we have around us. Beauty painted with snow. Intricate patterns, shades of color and promises of yet undiscovered adventures.



Balance in existence

Kayak Posted on Sun, October 23, 2022 10:38

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!



Autumn feeling

Kayak Posted on Mon, October 10, 2022 16:50

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

Everyday life Posted on Mon, August 15, 2022 17:16

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.



October kayaking!

Kayak Posted on Thu, October 14, 2021 21:09

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 ……



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