Drilling and Northern lights

Last week a company came to drill for our geothermal heating.  They had to drill 24m down before they hit bed-rock and then they drilled 205m down into the bed-rock.


2x 230m long x 50mm diameter black plastic pipes were then fed down into the hole, and then connected into the house, where the circulation pump will be installed next week.

We have had some fantastic displays of Northern Light over the past week.

northern-light-8 northern-light-7 northern-light-6

On Thursday it was even visible before it got dark.

northern-light-3 northern-light-4

This is due to a very high KP index just now.  The kp number system is a scale of geomagnetic activity.  You can learn much more about the KP index by following this link http://www.aurora-service.eu/aurora-school/all-about-the-kp-index/.

There was also a full moon that coincided with this


Cloudy weather is forecast for the next 10 days so it is unlikely that I will get more pictures unfortunately.

Fish Trap

I have been asked by one of my readers to provide a little more information about a fish trap which I use at the cabin.  This particular trap is called a “Mjäder” and I first used it when I visited the cabin before I even owned it

mjädar fish trap

From the top it looks like this

mjadarThe fish can swim in but they cannot find their way out again.  Some people say that you must cover it with Spruce branches so that the fish swim in to it for protection, but I have never found this necessary.


fish in trap (Small)

The frame is made from steel wire, and then the frame is covered with chicken wire.  It can be very effective at catching fish.

perch in trap (Small)

There is a small door so that you can reach in and remove the fish.

You can see here that there are many different designs.


New Job

Last Friday was the last day at my job working in the village shop as they had decided not to continue my employment due to my illness.  Twenty minutes before I was due to visit the job centre yesterday and register myself as unemployed, I was offered a three month job as Project Leader to Vuollerim 6000 Nature and Culture museum

vuollerim 6000 (Small)

which is now becoming The Arctic Circle Gateway 97.  I wrote about a visit to Vuollerim 6000 here; https://naturallore.wordpress.com/?s=vuollerim&submit=Search.  If you read my blog and live on or close to the Arctic Circle in another part of the world, I would very much like to hear from you!

My job is to produce costings and proposals for new displays and information in the centre.

Last weekend we visited the cabin.

On Saturday morning we decided to go to the other side of the lake and make fire and fish.


There was a cold north-westerly wind and my dad was not a happy man because he was so cold (wait until it’s -40!)


The fish were not biting at all so we caught nothing.

A friend in the nearest village (10kms away) came with his tractor to help remove and clear stones and tree stumps from in front of the cabin, to create a parking for our vehicles


We are very pleased with the end result


Kelly has her own bed now and sleeps in the kitchen sofa

wall papered (Large)

It opens out into a bed and is very traditional here in Sweden


On Sunday I made boats with Kelly and Emma, out of bits and piece we found laying around the cabin.  we then raced them on the lake.


Bushcraft Sverige (Bushcraft Sweden)

Last Wednesday we had an unusual visitor to our garden; a Great Grey Shrike (It may even be a Siberian sub-species, but I am not 100%). It feeds on small birds and mammals and our bird table was empty for the rest of the day once it appeared.

great grey shrike shrike-2 shrike-3 shrike-4

On Thursday I travelled on the train down to southern Sweden to attend the first gathering of the newly formed “Bushcraft Sverige”.  The journey down took 16 hours, but due to a derailed train, the journey home took 23hrs!!  Fortunately I had booked a bed on the train, which was better for my back.

While waiting to be picked up from the station I visited an Antiques Shop in Strängnäs and found this beautiful Sami salt pot or kåsa, made from bone and cost just £10

bone-salt-kasa-2 bone-salt-kasa-1

My friend Johan Forsberg from Nordic Bushcraft provided me with a bed and sleeping equipment, so that i did not have to carry much stuff in a rucksack.


I really miss these types of events which are common in the UK, and it was nice to sleep next to a camp-fire again


Although I  arrived on Friday, the event began on Saturday at 10.  There were about 30 people present and there were different crafts and activities for people to try, such as;

net making


forging knife blades

forging knife blade knife-forging-2

plant and fungi foraging


I managed to find just enough Reed Mace to make one little Cattail Doll


There was a lot of talk and discussion around the camp-fire


and on Saturday evening there were a couple of lectures, including one by Dr Lisa Fenton from the UK, about bushcraft and its history and origins.


It was a really enjoyable event and I hope there will be more.  Hopefully next time I will be well enough to do some teaching and run workshops myself!

Many thanks to those who organised and participated.



Hawk Owl and Hen Harrier

Not much to report again during the last week I’m afraid.

We have a Hawk Owl around the house again

Hawk Owl

and on Sunday we had a female Hen Harrier in the garden.  It was one of the few times that I did not have a camera handy, and although it came right up to the house, by the time I had fetched my camera, it had gone.  This picture is from http://www.birdsofeurope.co.uk/HenHarr.htm

The temperatures during the day are up to 18 degrees, but at night it usually drops to below freezing.

Geothermal heating

We currently use wood pellets to heat our house and water

wood pellets naturallore

via a wood boiler


but this is costly to run (£250 worth of pellets every three weeks during the winter) and if we have a power-cut (we have had 51 power-cuts during the last 9 months) the system will not work.  Carrying in pellets everyday is also heavy work and not good for my back problem.  So we have decided to install Geothermal heating and a wood burning stove as back up during power-cuts.

The wood burning stove we have chosen is a MBS Olympus Plus 12kw and has both a small oven and a hob on the top for boiling water.


We are going to place the stove in our living room


and the flue will go through the garage roof and up the outside of the house


Geothermal heating and cooling systems take advantage of the stable temperature underground using a piping system.  Water circulates in the piping loop to exchange heat between your home, the ground source heat pump, and the earth, providing geothermal heating, cooling, and hot water at remarkably high efficiencies.  In fact, geothermal heating and cooling systems are said to be 400-600% efficient and can cut your heating, cooling, and hot water costs by up to 80%.

We will be drilling straight down in to the ground 200 metres at the back of our house


and then the pipes will go under our house


to where the new pump will be installed.  It is very costly, but everyone we know who has this system has recouped their money with 6 years.

Installation is planned at the end of October.

Snow Goose Parka

Many thanks to those of you who have contacted me with advise and tips about my future.  i really appreciate it!!

Last weekend we were at the cabin again and I did a spot of fly-fishing.

I caught a perch


and a Grayling


We forgot to take Kelly’s potty with us, so I built one out of plywood, scraps of wood, a piece of camping insulation matt and an old plastic container.


Kelly was so pleased with it and it worked so well, that we have decided to keep to use as “the cabin potty”.

A friend of my dads sent him a down jacket that he bought in Canada in the late 80’s.


It is made by Snow Goose which was the original name for Canada Goose


and the style number is 1990.


If anyone knows more about this jacket I would like to know more…..was it military issue for example?

I tried to run a tourist business when I moved here 6 years ago and there was very little interest, so I think I need to find something to do that there is demand for up here.  I’m considering going back to education (I left school when I was 16 without any major qualifications) and studying to do something completely different for a job e.g website building.  here is a website that I have built without a great deal of knowledge; http://www.nattavaara.net/.