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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.

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.



A day’s work.

Wolf Posted on Sat, February 06, 2016 10:51:35

Early
morning in the tracks of two wolves that made a short visit to the village,
frightened a horse to panic, and created hot topic to discuss while visiting
the villages only general store. I follow the tracks down to the lake, where
the wolves have been hunting roe deer in the grove surrounding the changing
cabin, at the local beach.

Then we
returned to the mountains. Raven calls out, there is a moose killed by wolves
somewhere in the dense forest around me, but I find it not. The tracks carry on
and I follow, always looking for pee and poo. (DNA – samples that hopefully
makes tracking valuable for our work)

Lunch on a
stump with a view of the landscape, sunshine and a few degrees, it starts to
feel like spring already. A black tit singing eagerly from the top of a fir tree,
as a non-lubricated sewing machine “, sittju-sittju-sittju-sittju”.

The light
begins to return, working days become longer. At dusk, another wolf pair
walking along a river, sometimes eerily close to the fragile ice edge. You need to be vigilant, but it is also part
of the job, to assess the risks related to different types of terrain and
circumstances.

I found
both pee and poo during the tracking. It was a good day.



Track Story.

Wolf Posted on Wed, January 27, 2016 16:54:21

The track
tells; that alpha male and alpha female frequently urine marks together in the
same place and both with lifting legs, and in this case that tracker preparing
samples for the DNA analysis.

The track
tells; that other, low ranking members of the family urinating in a squatting
position. Anatomy Knowledge need not be particularly impressive to see if it´s
a male or female that eased the pressure.

The track
tells; that an old root cellar can give a little warmth and security for some
scabies infested young wolves during the coldest period so far this winter.

The track
tells; that even a wolf weighs lighter than that chubby tracker!



Winter season!

Wolf Posted on Sun, January 17, 2016 10:53:40

This Week
wolf tracking has been done in about 20 degrees below zero and with snow to the
knees. Now is the winter for real. It´s demanding but beautiful, the job is not
so bad right now!

When the
snow is deep and loose, moves the wolves in the same manner as the lynx. They
usually go where it is least snow, through the bushes and under dense trees.
That is when the tracker’s main equipment is a proper hood!

If you do
not have a hood, you have to tighten your belt, then the snow will at least do
not extend below the lower back … smiley



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