5 days at my cabin – day 4

I spent the morning gathering wood and splitting logs.  Late morning I heard a vehicle and eventually my friend and neighbour Erik appeared.  He had been ploughing the road to our cabins with his military valp and it was nice to see that I would have some company.

military valp

He drove up to his cabin and made fire to get the cabin warm and then came to join me for coffee at my cabin.  Later in the afternoon we decided to try and walk across the marshes to another large lake.

kevin warrington lapland

There was still a layer of ice under the water so I wasn’t too difficult to get across to the lake.

frozen lake-2 (Large) frozen lake-1 (Large)

As we walked back across the marsh there were quite a few Wood Sandpipers, Spotted Redshanks and Greenshanks feeding there.  This Green shank sat up in a tree watching us.

greenshank lapland

We spent the evening fishing, but did not catch anything.

out fishing (Large)

Later in the evening we drove around in the forest (the Valp will go just about anywhere!!) looking for birds, Moose or bear but we only saw a Capercaillie.

laplander valp (Small)

New bird species for the year were a pair of Smew on the cabin lake, a Dunnock and a Rustic Bunting singing at the cabin.

5 days at my cabin – day 3

I decided to start my day off with a good breakfast.  Curry and cheese bannock bread, with fried sausage!

bannock bread breakfast (Large)

Most of the day was taken up finishing off the new ceiling.

celing completed (Large)

Over the fireplace, where rain water had leaked in before I bought the cabin a 2,4m long ceiling bearer was completely rotten.  I needed to replace it before the ceiling could be completed, but did not have anything long enough, so using my saw and axe

working with axe (Large)

I made a housing joint to connect two shorter pieces together.

beam joint (Large)

There were over 100 Bramblings feeding on seed I had put out and so a took a break mid-morning to take some photographs of them.

brambling-1

brambling-2

Because the walls and roof of the cabin (like most older properties here) is insulated with saw-dust, you get a continual fall of saw-dust when you are working.   To reduce the amount of saw-dust falling from the ceiling I have placed newspaper in all the gaps and open spaces.

paper around ceiling (Large)

Saw-dust falling all the time also meant that I got very dirty. So each evening after I had finished working,  I filled my solar shower with warm water and hung up out side the cabin so that I could shower and get clean.

outside shower (Medium)

The only new bird species today were a pair of Goosander.

Paper rockets

On Friday evening we travelled to the cabin.  It wasn’t easy driving the snowmobile, because in some places there was no now, and in others there was deep snow, which the snowmobile sunk into.  I had to make two trips in to the cabin; one with Emma on the back of the snowmobile and then with Teres.

By the time we had made fire, got the cabin warm inside and cooked food, it was getting late so we went to bed.

Saturday was cold, with heavy showers of rain, sleet, hale and snow.

snowing-1 (Medium)

I spent the early part of the morning cutting up two Birch that had come down over winter.  When I started, the snow was hard enough to walk on and I used the snowmobile to drag large lengths of timber, but then both I and the snowmobile began sinking into the snow.  So I resorted to cutting smaller pieces and transporting them by dragging with the pulka.

wood on pulka (Medium)

Emma was bored in the cabin, so we made some paper rockets (many tutorials on YouTube)

papper rockets-1 (Large)

which were made to fit over a piece of plastic tube.  When you blow hard into the tube

papper rockets-2 (Medium)

the rockets fly across the room (the yellow streak you see in the picture below)

papper rockets-3 (Large)

we made different designs to see which flew the best.  Teres even made some paper birds for Emma to shoot down with the rockets

papper rocket target (Large)

In between snow showers

snowing-2 (Small)

we tested them outside and they flew surprisingly high.

I was a bit concerned as to how we would get back to the car, because the snow was now wet and soft.  Fortunately the sky cleared during the evening and at 4am when the temperature was -5 degrees and the snow nice and hard, I woke Teres and Emma, and we packed to leave.  I was reluctant to make two trips again so we put Emma in the pulka and drove out without any problems!

leaving cabin-1 (Medium)

emma in pulka

A cold weekend at the cabin

Spring is going to be late this year.  A cold north wind has been blowing for three weeks now and although the sun lifts day time temperatures just above freezing, at night temperatures can still go down as low as -30 degrees.

I arrived at the cabin Friday evening and made fire in both the kitchen stove and in the fireplace.  After a couple of hours the cabin was warm and with a night time temperature of -20 degrees I kept the fires going all night.

Early on Saturday morning I cooked breakfast; potatoes, sausage, eggs and onions.

breakfast at cabin

I spent some time ice fishing, but it was very cold and I caught no fish, so I decided to do some photography.

There were several different birds coming to the bird feeder and I particularly wanted to photograph Siberian Tit and Siberian Jay.  Siberian Jay’s were not so difficult to photograph.  After standing for 15 minutes they came to feed.

siberian jay

siberian jay-2 (Medium)

To get VERY close to the Siberian Tit’s, I put a reindeer skin on the snow, and some food just in front of me and laid there and waited for them to come down.  It proved more difficult than expected to get photo’s of them because they kept flying down and sitting on my head!!  Eventually they came for the food.

siberian tit

siberian tit-2 (Large)

On Sunday, while out in the forest with my snowmobile I came across some very strange tracks.

capercaillie spore-1

I called my friend and neighbour at the cabin Erik, and explained what I had found and he drove out immediately to take a look.  Eventually we deduced that the spore was that of a displaying male Capercaillie.

capercaillie tracks in snow

We followed the tracks on our snowmobiles and found this fine print where the bird had originally landed (from the right you see where the tail touched the snow, then where the body impacted and finally the imprints of the wings, then he walks away displaying).

capercaillie landing

This is what the display looks and sounds like.

Another weekend fishing

On Saturday I took the snowmobile to my cabin.  I dragged a pulka behind the snowmobile, which contained my rucksack.

skoter och pulka

Last year all the small rodents were killed during the winter and so since then we have seen no evidence of small rodents, so I was surprised to find hundreds of small rodent tracks around the cabin.  The tracks belonged to shrews (didn’t manage to get a photo of one of the shrews unfortunately).

shrew tracks

The temperature had been -24 earlier in the morning, but laying out on the ice fishing it felt quit warm.

laying on ice

The sun is just coming up over the tree tops now

cabin with winter sun

On Sunday I went fishing with my neighbour Folke.  I caught 1 Rainbow trout.

Folke made fire on the ice using an oven tray

fire on ice

placed on two pieces of wood were we cooked coffee.

fire on ice-2 (Large)

Clearing snow from the cabin roof

Today myself, Teres and Emma have been to the cabin.

Teres and Emma with snowmobile

There was a lot of heavy snow on the cabin roof (105cms in depth) which had to be removed!

clearing snow from cabin roof

While we were on the roof clearing snow, Emma was busy making things out of wood

Emma woodworking

We had a break for lunch and sat outside enjoying the sunshine.

lunch at the cabin

It took us about 4 hours to remove all the snow from the cabin roof.  Here’s how it looked when I first arrived…

lapland cabin winter 2013

and here it is after we had finished.

kevin warrington cabin lapland

Removing chimney stack from sauna

We had planned to use the sauna at the cabin as a guest cabin, but unfortunately it has become unusable.

The brick chimney stack inside the sauna is built on the ground, and the base of the chimney has been moving down the slope towards the lake, causing the whole sauna to tip.

Last weekend (with a lot of help from Teres’ father) I removed the brick chimney stack.

Here is where the chimney stack used to be inside the sauna.

This should prevent any further movement of the sauna during the winter, and then next year we will lift up the sauna to make it level again.  Then when we have money, we will convert the sauna into a guest cabin with beds, a small stove, kitchen area and toilet.

A new window in the cabin

Last weekends project at the cabin was to replace a small window overlooking the lake, with a much larger one; 2m x 1.4m.

Teres’ father was there to help and it was he that did the majority of the work.

We began by removing the fibre board that lines the inside of the cabin, which revealed the original panel wall

This wall supports the roof, so we had to cut away some of the panelling to enable us to insert  a 20cm x 50cm bearer over the new window to support the roof

Teres’ uncle was also there to help secure the bearer in place

Once the bearer was in place, we could remove the old window

Then we increased the size of the hole in the wall (the sawdust on the floor is used as insulation in the walls, floor and roof)

to accommodate the new window

The work was done over two days and unfortunately we had to leave before the window was in place, but Teres’ father sent this picture once the new window was in

Ingvar has continued to work on the window this week and we will see how it looks when we are at the cabin next weekend.

A new jetty at the cabin

Last weekends project at the cabin was to build a new boat jetty.

My friend Jon had helped me build a simple jetty in 2007 when we were there on holiday.

But after heavy rain and high water levels the jetty has been destroyed.

This wasn’t going to be an easy project to do on my own, but I had planned and prepared how I would do it.

My first task on Friday evening was to mix 12 buckets of cement to make a base  on which to build the jetty.  I inserted 2 steel threaded rods into the cement to use to fix the jetty to the concrete.

At 6am on Saturday morning I began construction of the jetty.  I wanted to build it above the water level (which is currently high) so I used two plastic cans to support the runners over the lake.

I needed to drive 95 x 95mm posts into the bottom of the lake the support the jetty and I was concerned that this would not be easy because there are many large stones in the bottom of the lake, but the first post went in straight and easy (I used the two clamps to adjust the post if it started to twist as I knocked it down).

The second post was much more problematical due to stones.  Eventually I managed to get it driven in, but not in the position where I wanted it to be.

It took 7 hours to get all the posts knocked in and then screw the decking boards in place.

I have made the jetty longer than originally planned, so as a result I did not have enough decking to cover the whole jetty.

On Sunday built a slip-way at the side of the jetty, using two halves of a telegraph post to make it easier to pull the boat up out of the lake.

I spent Sunday afternoon fishing, but caught nothing!

A new store room in the cabin

Another project I have been busy with at the cabin is the construction of a walk-in store room in an unused corner of the kitchen.

I constructed a 50mm x 50mm framework and covered it with panel.

Originally there was a sliding door between the two rooms in my cabin

and I used the door mechanism on the store room door

Here is the completed store room

Inside the store room on the right a built in a series of shelves

and on the left I made a hanging rail for clothes and a shoe stand