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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.

Another hard week …

Bear, Golden eagle, Wolf, Wolverine Posted on Sun, March 22, 2020 20:19:15

… in paradise! I love this time of year, at least if the weather and winds are on mine and the eagles’ side. They have been playing against the blue sky almost every day, often in wonderful acrobatics. At one point, five eagles were close together for a short while, and my task then was to quickly assess their age based on what plumage they had. For a moment I was almost stressed, but it went over after a cup of hot chocolate and a sandwich with fried eggs.

Midday thaw is strong now. The night’s ten minus degrees quickly turn into comfortable seven to eight plus degrees. The fresh wolverine tracks at Wednesday’s scouting site look much older already after a few hours. There will be no tracking this day, no time right now, work with the eagles must go first.

Also stumbled upon spring’s first bear track. Always nice but surprisingly early this year. It gives a little extra excitement to the working day to know that there is a grumpy friend in the neighborhood, who just woke up in a wet bed, pushed the plug out of the butt and is insanely hungry after a long winter sleep.

I think the most exciting tracking I’ve ever done is when I followed day-fresh bear tracks one spring night with the full moon as the only light source. Damn, then I probably had a maximum heart rate!

The work week ended with a practical collaboration with a wolf. On my way to the scouting site for working with the eagle, I encounter very fresh wolf tracks. Some wolf I do not see, and the tracks disappear into the hard crust. I’ll track down the wolf until it’s time for the eagle. What I do not know is that the wolf takes over the work of tracking and tracks me during the day.

When I am on my way home after the day, I again meet fresh wolf tracks but now in my own tracks from the morning. And I who thought I was ready for the day! Just to take the baton and begin to track the wolf again. It became a long working day.



Tracking

Wolf Posted on Fri, December 20, 2019 19:28:52

Yesterday I was back to the spot where I saw and tracked a wolf last Tuesday, to see what it did after I left the place. Now I know – it tracked me down.

Clear wolf tracks were deposited in my tracks and the trail run followed on top of the tracks after the car. They were deposited in damp snow, that is, before the cold came with minus degrees ahead night.

Wolves are curious and they like to have control, so this is not the first time I have been tracked. Sometimes I wonder who is tracking who, or who is studying who. On those occasions over the years when I’ve worked near wolf packs for a long time, I actually think they have had better knowledge of me than I about them.

One afternoon after a really nice working day, I stopped the snowmobile to ease the pressure. I saw that the alpha male has marked his area on a spot, and I sprinkled a splash in the same place. I didn’t mean anything bad. Just wanted to send a greeting, two colleagues in between.

Apparently, it doesn’t work that way! He went completely crazy … When I passed the next day, snow was dug up, scattered and wolf urine glowed yellow from all snow piles. There were wolf tracks everywhere and my little puddle was thoroughly wiped out.

When I went home yesterday evening, I had to stop and take a photo. Sure, winter is a cool season!



Greeting from a big cat.

Lynx, Wolf Posted on Tue, December 17, 2019 20:37:32

A few years ago, the local wolf pack had the habit of marking their territory by peeing on our mailbox. Today it received a wet treatment again, but now from a male lynx. Sure, we are waiting for some Christmas cards, but this Christmas greeting was unexpected.

The morning was devoted to tracking the lynx around our farm. It seemed to be in search of roe deer. It jumped up on rocks to scout and crawled among dense firs to sneak. It wants its Christmas meal just like we do.

The afternoon went in the wolf’s sign. I got a brief but lovely encounter with a wolf, big and powerful in leaping through the forest. They are so beautiful now, in their thick warm winter fur.



Kockohonka territory

Everyday life, Wolf Posted on Wed, December 04, 2019 21:53:11

Snow and cold are back and the search for tracks from predators continues. No tracks of lynx yet, but a nice sight of two adult golden eagles eating on a dead capercaillie yesterday. And some good wolf tracking today.

Beautiful as a postcard, the snow depth still allows you to use a car, at least if it´s tall and a four-wheel drive. Driving is demanding, you don’t want to get stuck. It is very far to the nearest tow truck …

The waterways start to freeze again. Ice sculptures in a water world where the neck is king and otters his companions.

Tracking two wolves that go together, markings indicate that they are a pair. Collects several DNA samples. More work remains to be done before we know what it looks like in this territory this winter.

Today’s tracking ends when the crescent moon rises above the fir tops. It has been a good day!



Just an ordinary day at work

Wolf Posted on Wed, November 20, 2019 20:31:50

Gray weather, plus degrees, wet heavy snow. I track winter’s first wolves today. A couple marking their territory. A new couple? Maybe, DNA samples will hopefully provide answers.

The forest is quiet, only a few ravens shout in the distance. Snow melting in recent days makes tracking difficult. Rivers and streams are large and difficult to pass, it does not hinder the wolves, they are not afraid of water, but I must take long detours.

Wet, wet, wet. Steps on through woods and over marshes. Hope to find droppings for dna samples but find none today. Better luck tomorrow, as I continue backwards in the wolves’ tracks. If they have eaten, they have probably also made number two.

The days are short now. Dusk is already falling and it’s time to get back to the car. Breaking for the day becomes natural when the tracks suddenly come from thin ice. It has worn them, but I am not going to try if it also carries me …



Big Bad Wolf

Wolf Posted on Wed, November 06, 2019 07:58:41

Trapped in a fence with eight obviously wild wolves, the situation was becoming unsustainable … and I called desperately for the animal attendant to let me out!

At the beginning of my career as a wolf lecturer, I was in great need of wolf photos. Photographing wild wolves was very difficult so I asked a zoo, and as a wolf tracker I got the benefit to photograph wolves in a zoo fence. I was brought into a pack of about eight wolves. A wolf pack that had not grown accustomed to humans (sometimes puppies are snatched up to become more social to humans and easier for visitors to see) The animal attendant locked the gate after me and left his phone number, it was only to call when I wanted him to let me out.

I had the same equipment as when I was in the wilderness, the same type of clothing and a camera with 300 mm telephoto lens. When I started sneaking after the wolves to take my pictures, I immediately discovered that it was a disastrously bad idea. They rushed around like crazy and were completely frightened!

After a few fruitless attempts, I gave up. It was pointless and the wolves also so stressed that I decided to cancel. The few pictures I got were just as blurred and bad as the ones I managed to take on wild wolves.

Wolf on the go but in what direction?

After the animal attendant let me out, I snuck up on a hill far away from the wolf fence. From there it was much easier to photograph them. That a man was on the outside of the fence, the wolves were quite comfortable with.

At dusk and when I was outside the fence, a wolf dared to come out…

After loads of wolf meetings in the wild, this is exactly how I know the wolf. Not as a bloodthirsty beast prepared to kill people, but instead an animal that most of all avoids us, and who are usually very careful about what is new or different from the usual.



A wolf called Ylva

Wolf Posted on Mon, July 01, 2019 15:02:08

Over the years I have spent quite a bit of time with sleeping wolves. Both in the wild and in zoos. A great benefit I received both through work in various game projects and through own studies. It’s an experience I treat everyone who likes wolves. It gives peace and tranquility to the soul and provides useful time for reflection. Genuine quality time!

In the nineties I worked with a transmitter-supplied female wolf that became almost world famous, at least in Sweden. Of the locals she got the name – Ylva. She is probably still the wolf that has the greatest place in my heart, a fantastic personality that gave me several unique experiences during the years we got together.

After several unsuccessful attempts to anaesthetize the wolf and replace her transmitter, which was extremely important because our project was dependent on it functioning, I examined the possibility of sneaking at her when she sleeps.
Something that most people considered to be crazy and totally meaningless
because wolves are so incredibly vigilant and shy animals.

The morning of 5 june 1991 I got my chance. The radio signal revealed that the wolf slept in the middle of a small marsh, she had been at rest for some hour and only lifted her head a few times to check that everything was calm in the surroundings. I approached very carefully, moving a toe at a time… at least figuratively speaking. Every meter I advanced got to take a lot of time. When after an hour I had the wolf lying just 17 meters away, it was enough. I had more than proven that it could be possible to access her in this way.

Sitting on a marsh a summer morning with a deeply sleeping wild wolf next door was a strange experience. Suggestive and present at the same time. The wolf had made herself a soft and comfortable sleeping pit deeply submerged in the bog, the only thing I saw of her was a little fur and the right ear.

I expected that she would at any time notice my presence and rush from the place, but the minutes went by and nothing happened. In the end I started to worry. She didn’t move, had she died? I started talking a little low … no reaction. I raised the voice … no reaction. In the end, I coughed dry, like the wolf’s warning sound, and a fraction of a second later, I looked straight into the eyes of a very new awake wolf. (she didn’t even comb herself)

a fraction of a second later she rushed off and first stopped about a hundred meter away to look at me again and probably ask herself, what the hell happened…

Together with an extremely skilled shooter and colleague, we succeeded later that summer, on the third attempt, to sneaking us on the wolf as she slept, anaesthetize her and replace the transmitter.



Wolf Pups.

Wolf Posted on Sat, June 11, 2016 16:57:02

This time
of year, nature is like one big nursery. It is a lovely time to gently roam
around. Listening and watching, with all senses open to impressions.

At one
point during the nineties, in the middle of June, I ended up by chance only a
few meters from two wolf pups. They were quite busy, playing with a bone from a
moose calf, the adult wolves left with them. They quarreled almost silently and
very gently, the only sound that could be heard was a little panting breathing
and occasional, puffing snort sound.

One of the
puppies discovers me almost immediately and sneak away, the other continues
energetically its struggle with the bone. It pries and hauls snorts and puffs
but barely manage to dislodge the bone without the other’s help.

It tire of
after a period of struggle and put a sudden course straight toward me. Detects
me; at first frightened, then curious. Thinking whether I’m friend or foe, and
then strolling slowly away after the sibling who had disappeared under a dense
spruce.

… Yet still
unaware that within a few months it turns into a bloodthirsty beast; hated and
persecuted by humanity.



Continued tracking!

Wolf Posted on Wed, February 24, 2016 21:46:29

It was a
gorgeous day in the wolves’ tracks, with continued course straight into Norway.
I became more and more convinced that it was the Gräsmark couple I followed, but
the response in the form of droppings and urine was not found until late in the
day. (And the test results come first in a week or two.)
They
crossed each lake or river they encountered, and I had to go around according
to the safety rules that we have, and which I support with all my heart. The
ice is very sneaky this winter, so I do not take risks.

Even today
I found a moose killed by wolves and it was also completely eaten. It was an
old moose with much worn teeth. The front teeth in the lower jaw were worse
than I’ve ever seen before.



Tracking abroad!

Wolf Posted on Mon, February 22, 2016 22:27:05

Wolf pack territory changed between years and overlap at times. When last year I thought I tracked the Kerto pack, DNA analysis showed that it was the Gräsmark pack. In January this year, I once again tracked in exactly the same place, and I thought it was Gräsmark … But it was Kerto! Today I tracked again, in the same place as before, and that should reasonably be Kerto because they ate of the moose they killed in January … but the tracking went to our neighboring country, Norway… And that is Gräsmark territory. Perhaps I will get answer during tomorrow’s tracking.

When the wolves cross the watercourses I have to take me around in some other way. It often makes the walk twice as long. Tracked down to the river and went back the same way, then took the car via Norway into Sweden again, and continued to track when the tracks were found. Wolves do not care for cold water. Wolf trackers do.

There is
not much left of the moose calf that wolves killed in late January. Hungry
wolves, red foxes, raven and one or two golden eagle has had a feast. Voles,
mice and small birds continue partying, and thereafter hand over to insects and
even smaller organisms, the natural cycle.



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