Building and repairing part 1

Due to the late very late snow melt, I could not do as much work at the cabin as I had planned.

The roof supports on the store attached to the side of the cabin had split when I arrived, due to the shear weight of snow laying on the roof. The roof was shaped like a banana

and instead of water from the melting snow running off, it was running inside the store.

I had to remove everything inside the store and remove the flooring. I then had to leave the doors open for one week to allow air to circulate and everything to dry out.

Then I had to put in new roofing joists and built a framework for a new internal supporting wall.

I also had to repair and seal the tin roof

I also raised up and put new supports under the floor of the store room.

There was no frame around the inside of the cabin front door.

So I made a new frame and a shresh hold

I also installed a new mosquito door.

Some wildlife

I spent a lot of time sitting in the veranda at the cabin looking for wildlife and I was also out and about with the ATV

birdwatching

Unfortunately the majority of the forest for several kilometres around the cabin, has been clear-felled and the variety and number of birds that I once saw there, had dramatically reduced.

I made a Goldeneye nestbox and put up but nothing used it.

goldeneye nextbox

I also found an old Goldeneye nestbox in the lake, which I rescued, repaired and put up close to the cabin, and his one did attract a pair and the female had nested in it.

goldeneye in nestbox

Some other birds that i saw while there and managed to photograph were;

Common Scoter (a poor photo but a new species at the cabin)

common scoter (442 x 294)

Black Grouse displayed 10 meters from the cabin, but I only managed to get a photo of a female sitting in a tree.

black grouse (671 x 443)

This male Bluethroat was a nice find not far from the cabin.

bluethroat-2 (652 x 430)

A pair of Hazel Hen nested somewhere in the vicinity of the cabin

hazel hen (891 x 590)

and it is a good year for breeding Pied Flycatchers

pied flycatcher

a pair of Redwings nested in a tree outside the cabin also.

redwing

Siberian Jays were a constant companion during my stay

siberian-jay (890 x 583)

and birds coming to the bird table included this increasingly area Siberian Tit

siberian-tit (883 x 585)

During the later part of my stay, House martins and Swallows came to gather mud for their nests.

house martins

I also found a pair of Hawk Owls, but never managed to get a decent photo or find their nest location.

Animals during my stay included,

A lot of Beaver sign that I found in various locations,

beaver sign

and eventually a beaver found its way into the lake at the cabin for three days

beaver

Two hares used to appear almost every evening

arctic hare

An unusual sighting one day, was an Adder snake swimming over the lake.

adder (666 x 441)

As soon as the ice melted, frogs appeared in the ditches and pools.

frog (886 x 585)

Before the snow melted it was interesting to see what tracks I could find each moring.

This is a Mallard duck

mallard tracks

Fox was the most common.

fox tracks

These are the tracks of reindeer

reindeer tracks

and here are fresh reindeer tracks and Brown Bear tracks with fresh snow on them

reindeer and brown bear tracks

Here the snow had melted where the bear had walked

bear tracks

Later during my stay, I even found a sign on a tree which translated said “the bears den”

bear den sign

but after a long search, I never located it!

 

Some things I made

I had to use the winch on my ATV to pull the ATV in to the trees and I then cleared snow and made a simple garage to store it under.

atv cover

A lot of my time during the first three weeks was spent collecting, melting, filtering and boiling snow for water.

melting and filtering snow

I needed a lot of water for cooking, washing clothes

washing clothes

and washing and showering

shower

During my stay, I spent a lot of time making things such as an axe sheath; here I am making the design template,

designing axe sheath

Here I am making the sheath,

making axe sheath-1

and here is the completed sheath

completed axe sheath

I made a small knife;

making a knife

glueing knife

and sheath

making knife sheath

plus a variety of leather pouches;

sewing pouches

making pouches

Here are some completed pouches and the knife.

knife and pouches completed

I also had a lot of pain in my wrist, so I made a wrist support out of leather.

leather wrist support

The first day

I loaded the car with food and equipment (not knowing how long I would be staying at the cabin) and then I loaded my Can-am Outlander ATV on to the trailer.

atv laoded on trailer

As you can see in this picture, we did not have so much snow left at home.  My father-in-law drove the car, because I did not want to leave it unattended for a long period due to vandalism.

We drove to about 3kms from the cabin and then I unloaded the ATV and loaded it with equipment.

can-am outlander-1

I then set off towards the cabin.  I made it most of the way to the cabin, but there was a lot of snow on the last section of road.

snow blocking road

I thought the snow surface would be hard enough to hold the ATV but unfortunately I was wrong and got stuck immediately.  I had to start moving equipment from the ATV to my sled.

atv stuck

I had forgotten my snow-shoes which made it a nightmare trying to drag the sled while falling through the snow with every step.  I had to make several trips and edded up crawling over the snow to help spread my weight.

road to cabin

On one side of the roof, the snow had recently fallen off making it difficult to get in, but on the other side the snow was still on the roof and I had to clear it off.

snow from roof

By this time it was getting late, so I melted some snow and make mushroom soup with dumplings for my evening meal.

soap and dumplings

The dumplings had a special ingredient because there were a number of weevils in the flour.

wheat weavels

Finally home again

I arrived home today from my cabin, having left home on 5th May.

It is going to take me a while go through all my pictures but I will be writing again soon.

Mean while here are are couple of pictures taken from roughly the same location; one the day I arrived and the other today when I left.

I’ll be away for a while.

I am going to stay at my cabin for a while (fortunately we have not found a buyer for it yet), and as I have no electricity, I will not not be able to post here.

The forest Road to the cabin is not driveable with a car at the moment, so I have bought a quad bike to get me, some food and equipment there.

I will write about my time at the cabin when I return.

Staying at home

Although everything is happening as normal here in Sweden, I have been advised by my doctor to stay at home due to my lung condition.

At the moment Kelly is also at home with me and I am home schooling her. So I have had to find daily activities to keep her and me busy.

We have built boats out of recycled materials and experimented with different types of propulsion.

We have made our own “Greenland wax” for waterproofing cotton clothing, using paraffin and bees wax.

The paraffin and bees wax were mixed at a ratio of 90% to 10% and melted in a bath of boiling water

Then I poured the liquid into a form

And left it until it cooled.

We saw our first butterfly of the year while doing this : a Tortoiseshell.

I have taught Kelly different ways of making fire, including bow-drill

And using a bottle of water with sunlight

We have made nestboxes

Which she plans to sell to get extra pocket money

We have planted seeds in cotton wool in plastic bags so that she can watch them grow

And she has made a Sea Eagle nest

We are also experimenting with dehydrating different fruits and vegetables.

Grated potatoes for hash browns was very successful.

Net making

After making a netting shuttle with my Casström Swedish Forest knife, I decided to make one using a neck-knife I have made.

It’s about 10 years since I last made a fishing net, but with two netting shuttles completed, I thought I would give it a go.

Myself and Kelly have also been ice fishing, but caught nothing.

I used two halves of a split Birch log to make a simple stove on the ice.

So that I could cook coffee

And fry some sausages

As you can see in the picture above, I carved a very simple fork, but using my Casström sfk I have now carved a much better one.

Casström Swedish Forest knife

I have also completed a kåsa and some knives.

A changeable Easter weekend

On Thursday we spent the afternoon doing Easter crafts.

On Good Friday we spent most of the day with our neighbours ice fishing at their lake.

Saturday was a lovely sunny day, though there was a cold wind. We spent most of the day ice fishing with my in-laws,

but we caught nothing

The weather on Sunday was windy with snow showers

We baked bread and cakes most of the day.

Sunday night and Monday was atrocious with heavy snow and gale force winds

This was the view that we awoke to.

Clearing the snow was no easy task

Today has been much calmer and I sat outside carving with my new Casström no. 10. A good knife will carve a decent netting shuttle, and this one did.

Casström no 10