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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.

Summary

Everyday life, Golden eagle, Kayak, Nature Conservation Posted on Mon, June 15, 2020 09:40:36

My internet service provider decided to turn off the copper wire network at the end of the month before they had completed the fiber connection … so now we are many loyal customers who are slightly irritated. (The fiber connection should be ready this autumn, but we have heard that for several years now!) After some calls to the support and some less successful solutions, I have now switched to another company. And a few seconds later – woops, a well-functioning internet via 4G.

Summer is here, great! First kayaking trip completed. If paragliding is freedom in the sky, then kayaking is freedom at sea. Both are refined nature experiences, subtle silence, and freedom to be where rarely others are. You move quietly and show up unexpectedly, which is why it is important to respect the home peace zone for both humans, animals, and breeding birds.

When we are free from our work with nature reserves, we like to visit other nature reserves … Okay, a little geeky maybe, but it is relaxing and interesting to visit other types of nature than the ones we find on a daily basis. Last time we visited Gullrosas Berg (Mountain). Gullrosa is a traditional name for a cow, and according to legend, a cow of that name should have crashed and died in the ravines that run across the mountain plateau and the reserve. Nowadays there are no grazing cows in the area, it is exclusively a nature reserve and outdoor area.

Cloudberry flowers and common cottongrass shone white on the marshes. Atmospheric, hope for good berry season this year.

The varied forest and beautiful views made the visit pleasant. A nice reserve that we would love to visit again. We walked the “tough” trail with a little steeper section, the family trail may be next time.

In conclusion, I would like to tell you that we were ringing this year’s new golden eagle kids this week. In one of the nests, which I could not see into but had only heard one kid, there turned out to be two. Both in good health. Lovely! Three kids ringed total.



Flowery hiking trail

Everyday life, Nature Conservation Posted on Wed, May 06, 2020 21:08:23

In a blossoming sea and with a sky of birdsong, our work continues to clear hiking trails in the nature reserves.

It’s a crappy job, but someone has to do it…

Wood anemone, common hepatica and alternate-leaved golden-saxifrage will be our floor throughout the day’s work in Gultberget nature reserve.

Common wood sorrel, Oxalis acetosella, with fresh sour taste, covers the ground between coarse spruces and has also found a sanctuary in the crevice between two tree trunks.



Moose horn

Everyday life Posted on Mon, May 04, 2020 15:12:08

During December – February the moose bulls lose their horns, when the snow disappears in the spring you can find really nice ones if you are lucky. Large and heavy horns are usually not too far apart but can still be difficult to find.

I try to let go the horns now, as there have been quite a few over the years … Really try! But suddenly there is an extra nice horn … and I just cannot help it. Heavy to carry but home it should!

Proud as a schoolboy, the treasure is later shown to my wife, who, with ill-concealed sarcasm, asks what I intend to do with the horn … And damn, I have never come up with any good answer!

If you are an insect nerd, you might enjoy studying a Red-breasted Carrion Beetle that looks for food on the horn.



Red Cross & Red Crescent!

Everyday life, Travel Posted on Tue, April 28, 2020 13:15:40

Because of the prevalent corona pandemic in the world, humanitarian work and healthcare professionals have suddenly become heroes and are now receiving the attention and status that they reasonably should have enjoyed each day before.

Currently, the International Museum of the Red Cross and Red Crescent is closed like so much else due to covid-19, but when it reopens, I recommend a visit. You will find it in Geneva, Switzerland. There are thoughtful and interesting exhibits about the work that is going on unabated around the world. I think it can provide some perspective about what we are experiencing now that the pandemic changes everything, even in rich and secure democracies in the West, which most of us who live there are completely unaccustomed to.

The Red Cross is an international humanitarian movement with approximately 97 million volunteers, members and employees worldwide. It was founded to protect human life and health, to guarantee respect for all people, and to prevent and alleviate human suffering. The movement consists of several different organizations that are legally independent of each other but are united within the movement through common basic principles, goals, symbols, statutes and governing organizations.

One organization is the International Red Cross Committee (ICRC) a neutral, impartial and independent organization founded in 1863 in Geneva, Switzerland, by Henry Dunant and Gustave Moynier. Its mission is to assist people affected by wars, conflicts or other violent situations with protection and humanitarian efforts.

Another organization is the International Red Cross-Red Crescent Federation (IFRC) founded in 1919 and today coordinates activities between the 189 national associations within the movement. At the international level, the Federation, in close cooperation with the national associations, conducts and organizes aid missions in large-scale crises. The International Federation Secretariat is in Geneva, Switzerland.

Flag used on a Red Cross ambulance in France, 1870-1871.

National Red Cross or Red Crescent Societies are found in almost every country in the world. They work according to the principles of international humanitarian law and the charter of the international movement. In many countries, they are linked to the respective national health care systems by providing emergency care.

Armband worn by Dr Louis Appia on various battlefields. 1864.

A museum well worth a visit, as well as so many other attractions in Geneva. A city I would love to return to when the opportunity to travel freely within Europe has returned.

When I did my military duty as a young man, I was given the opportunity to undergo medical training. This meant that during the coming years I worked as an orderly in hospitals with emergency care, in the district with home health care and in elderly care. An extremely rewarding time that enriched me in many ways, not financially in the first place but in terms of experience.

In the seventies, it was quite uncommon for a man to work in healthcare, (doctor except, of course) it was a typical women’s profession! Therefore, we were welcomed by our female colleagues who hoped that our attendance would automatically raise their low wages somewhat. Maybe even manage to change working conditions for the better …

I had a 35 km route to the hospital and often worked what we in Sweden call – shared tours. Work in the morning then 4 hours off (without pay) and then work in the evening. Four hours to kill every day, boring in the long run, there is always a lot you would like to have done at home instead.

A lot has happened since the seventies! Richard Nixon is no longer the president of the United States, we have become twice as many people in the world and Waterloo is not played as often on the radio as when ABBA won the Eurovision Contest … but health care professions in Sweden is still drawn with shared tours and in terms of wages, there is still much to be desired.

Applause, concerts and other events that pay tribute to the medical staff are of course genuinely nice, but when the pandemic is over, let us hope that it also be noted on the staff’s working conditions and wages.



Keep distance!

Everyday life Posted on Mon, April 13, 2020 19:18:01

Keep distance, stay safe!

Social Distancing, Self-isolation, Quarantine… COVID-19… I cried desperately! But the only answer I got was a series of double-clicks which gradually accelerate into a popping sound like a cork coming of a champagne bottle, which was followed by scraping sounds… And then he ended our conversation with a big burp!

 Quite brutal types up here in the woods!



Housing shortages

Everyday life, Nature Conservation Posted on Mon, April 06, 2020 23:08:19

In today’s production forests there is a housing shortage. The proportion of old and / or dead trees is too low. In rational tree cultivation, there is rarely room for the natural cavities that old trees get over time. Nor do they accommodate generations of carved holes from woodpeckers.

The housing shortage is overwhelming. Although we have quite a few birdhouses on our farm, newly set up are immediately occupied. Sometimes I can barely turn my back before a bird flies in and inspects. Of ten new birdhouses last year, all tenants received!

Today I picked up some birdhouses to set up in the nature reserves. The larger ones at the bottom of the image are for boreal owl. They often use old housing holes after the black woodpecker. Our largest woodpecker, black as coal and with a fiery red crown (Male) The female has only the top hind crown in red. You’ve probably heard them drum in the spring, especially on dry tree trunks with good acoustics. They can be heard up to 4 km! Powerful and methodically, like a machine gun, wacka–wacka-wacka-wacka…

Now this spring, if you hear something similar, knock-knock-knock-knock – Aaii, damn …

then it´s probably me who nails up one of all these birdhouses!



Report from our bird table.

Everyday life Posted on Sun, March 29, 2020 23:30:04

The restaurant is open for a few more weeks, the nights are still cold, and snowfall usually pops up during the month of April.

As today’s bird visitors retreat and dusk falls, other guests show up at the diner. Tonight, a badger came by for a decent portion of sunflower seeds. It munched eagerly and seemed pleased with the service at our place. (excuse the quality of the picture, it was taken with the mobile phone through the kitchen window)

We live in a break between winter and spring now. I have not heard the male lynx shouting from the mountains in the last nights, maybe he has met his female and have finished courtship. Instead shouts a tawny owl persistently, and at dusk the male Eurasian woodcock performs a courtship display flight over the countryside and our little farm, oårt oårt oårt – oårt PISSP!

Delightfully! New voices begin.



Silence.

Everyday life Posted on Mon, March 16, 2020 19:16:51

We are under attack by a virus! The news reporting is alarmingly loud, but our world has become much quieter…

At 8 o’clock this morning, Norway closed its border. And both SAS and Norwegian have decided to put most of its fleet of aircraft on the ground until further notice. None of this is in my mind during the morning walk along the little river where we live. The river is full of water now and its sound therefore deafening. As I reached the top of the ridge the river goes more silent and the bird song takes over. Eurasian Siskin, a Common Chaffinch and suddenly a Winter Wren. It is amazing how one of our smallest birds can have such a remarkably strong voice.

It wasn’t until I enjoyed the bird song that I suddenly realized how quiet it was around me. The occasional frequent car traffic through our valley with Norwegians, who are going down to our shopping centres to trade goods at half the price compared to home, has ceased … there is not a car and during two hours of walking only one airplane is heard.

I think most of us are aware of the air pollution that exists around the world, but how many thinks of all sound pollution … If you start with sound recording, then you are immediately enlightened! The sky is so full of aircraft nowadays that it is almost impossible to get a clean atmospheric sound. Something that you do not want to include is always present. The sound of the aircrafts often overlaps, and the rumbling diesel engines from commercial traffic are mixed with car traffic and motorcycles, and chainsaws, and it is astonishing how far out into the wilderness that the happy but enervating melody from the ice cream truck reaches!

However miserable and scary the virus pandemic is, it will be interesting to follow the development in the near future. We get to see a community around us that we haven’t experienced in many decades, if ever. At least, toilet paper stocking should be a fairly new phenomenon.



Yearning!

Everyday life Posted on Mon, February 17, 2020 11:29:27

Now that the roar of rally cars has been silenced, the fireworks have gone out and thousands of visitors have left my workplace, everything is calm and enjoyable again. The roads around Nyckelvattnet, which I regularly patrol, were a new route for Swedish rally this year. There is no doubt that they drove the route faster than I usually do, but I am also quite sure that I see more animal tracks than they do. It’s a matter of priority! 😉

It is an amazing time we have ahead of us, and I do not want to miss a day out of it, but still, you and I are probably beginning to long for hot summer days. Traveling and staying in nature becomes so easy then. – just wait until the stinging insects awaken, then it becomes a different tune! Okay, I know, but it doesn’t help. Blue sky, small fluffy clouds, strawberries and whipped cream … Outstanding!

Or relaxing days in midsummer time with bird song and bumblebees buzzing.

Aaaah, just dream, it’s coming soon. It should only rain a little first, and snow, and blow, and rain and …



New week, new adventure.

Everyday life Posted on Mon, February 10, 2020 11:36:23

No more comment on the weather, there is, say no more …

Continues searching for tracks from lynx, wolverine and wolf. The conditions are difficult, along the same gravel road the surface varies between bare ground, ice or snow cover so deep that I am forced to give up and turn! Spring fungus thrives, small birds sing, the black grouse are in full swing and even a capercaillie rooster played at the top of a pine tree.

Found some weird mushrooms in a spruce forest. Witches cauldron (Sarcosoma globosum), also known as the Charred-Pancake Cup is a near-threatened fungus native to Nothern Europe.

The winds looked promising, so I took a day off and traveled to Ålleberg, a legendary mountain for aviation sports in Sweden. There has been schooled in glider since the beginning of the twentieth century. There is a nice glider museum and a lovely flying spirit.

The winds were weaker than expected, but some small flights were still included during the day. We were some paragliders, some delta wings and a bunch of older men with radio-controlled gliders. It was a pleasant and rewarding day with other aviation enthusiasts, and not least, a day with useful basic handling of the paraglider.

Unfortunately, the landing site was quite wet and muddy, so there was some after-work that night. The equipment must be cleaned and dried.

… The week ended with a little wolf tracking and a wolf poop, so it was a pretty good week anyway.

Poo = DNA = successful work



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