Those of you who read my articles each quarter in The Bushcraft Magazine will have seen this picture in the spring issue, in my article about the Guksi
featuring work by my friend Håkan Nilsson.
Håkan has also made these two items for me
I have finally convinced Håkan to create a site (with the help of his daughter) where you can see the fantastic work that he does!
Take a look, as I know you will be impressed.
On Monday I was at work building a set of steps up to a “grillplats” (translated it’s a place where people can make fire and sit around).
I have to take things steady because of the recent problems I’ve been having, as I worked I suddenly had unbearable pain all the way down my left leg. So much so that I could not move. I telephoned a friend (thanks Marie) who came to try and help me, but we decided it was better to ring for an ambulance.
After an hour and twenty minutes of having to stand up and not move, the ambulance finally arrived and with a high dose of morphine I was put into the ambulance and driven 50kms to Gallivare hospital.
They could not find the cause of the problem and with a pack of morphine tablets I was sent home the same evening.
Today (Wednesday) I am going back to the hospital for an x-ray and really hope that they find the cause of my pain.
It’s typical that when I finally get a full-time job, I’m unable to work!!
On Wednesday we had a Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus) in the village.
I assume it was passing through on migration, because it was only here for one day.
It spent the hole day hunting, because in contrast to last year, there are virtually no mice or voles here this year.
I wonder where it is now?
After a couple of days of heavy rain and wind, the snow is disappearing and so at the weekend we were out and about.
The hare is changing from it’s white winter coat to brown summer coat
On a local lake we had a pair of Slavonian Grebe (Podiceps auritus)
and a pair of Red-necked Phalarope (Phalaropus lobatus)
At home we have not so many small birds as last year but we do have a pair of Pied Flycatchers, several pairs of Brambling and Siskin
We’ve also had a Moose in the garden again (unfortunately I did not have my camera, so this picture was taken with my telephone
As part of my new job, I have to make items to sell to tourists here in Nattavaara. Just now I am busy working on the first of those items; Nattavaara Birch Bark containers.
I have used sinew to sew the containers and have burned “Nattavaara” into the bark.
While making a container I cut my finger. I did not have any plasters so I took a piece of scrap birch bark and cut a slit into it
Then I wrapped the bark around my finger and pushed the narrow end of the bark through the slit to hold it in place.
The weather has been atrocious again today with strong winds, snow, rain and cold.
However, it has been a good day because we have a Rustic Bunting (Emberiza rustica) singing in the garden.
The above image is from NatureGate and you can see more images and read about Rustic Bunting there. If you click the play button next to “Listen to this bird” you can here it singing for yourself.
The forest floor currently looks like this
A year ago the majority of the forest floor was open and it has remained much colder this spring, than last year. Insect eating birds such as Pied Flycatchers and Redstarts have not yet arrived here and with the majority of lakes and rivers still frozen, we have no waders or waterfowl.
Last year I had the first Chiffchaff on 17th April, but I have not heard one yet this year and last year I had the first Redwing on 24th April, but did not hear the first one singing until yesterday.
People here say that some years when spring is late, many birds do not come at all and it will be interesting to see what happens during the next couple of weeks.
In some ways I am quite pleased, because I do not feel that I am missing out on not being out in the forest every day, due to my hip and back problems!
Yesterday I wrote that it was snowing, and it continued to snow all day. In the evening a heavy snow storm arrived and there was also a very strong wind.
This morning we have 20cms of snow and it looks like a typical winter day again.
The authorities is Stockholm impose a date of 15 April when everyone must change from winter to summer tyres on cars. Of course that’s fine further south, because their snow disappears by early April, but 12000kms further north we can have snow until June, yet the police here still impose the same date and many people last week were fined for not having changed to summer tyres. Now we cannot drive with summer tyres again, but if we change to winter tyres, we will be fined.
This is one crazy rule here in Sweden that needs to be changed. I wonder how many people up here are injured or killed each year because of this regulation?!!
It is snowing again today and the temperature is 0 degrees with a cold north wind! Spring is going to be very late this year.
Recently I demonstrated an emergency signal fire to a group from Austria. It was only a small version but still worked very well. This type of fire is used to help emergency services locate your position from the air.
Firstly I dug a hole in the snow and then laid two pieces of Birch across the hole. Across the two lengths of Birch I laid a large amount of small, dry, dead Spruce branches.
Over theses dead branches I thatched a thick layer of fresh, green Spruce branches.
Finally I pushed dried grass and Birch bark up underneath the pile as a fuse to light the fire. Once the grass was lighted, smoke began to appear very quickly
Soon there was thick smoke bellowing out
Unfortunately at this point the battery ran out in my camera, but here is a picture of a larger version made in Canada 2006.
My back is much better, but unfortunately my hip and pelvis are getting worse and I am in much pain and cannot sleep. I must have an x-ray to see what is happening.
Having said that, I have started a new job today with Nattavaara Hembygdsforeningen as a tourist guide, developing tourism and activities here in the Nattavaara area.
Were have a variety of cabins available to hire
and I will be working on developing a programme of activities here in the Swedish wilderness.