Crafts and gifts

Before leaving I visited the house of a Saami couple who make traditional clothing and crafts. Ake opened up there shop and workshop for me to look around. There were so many beautiful items including knives and kuksa’s but unfortunately they were out of my price range. I bought a few small items to take home as gifts including this reindeer leather pouch and kuksa.

While in Gallivare a friend gave me a piece of curly Birch, Reindeer antler, sheath leather and a carbon steel blade to make a new knife.

I have just completed the knife handle using Rein and Roe deer antler, pieces of curley Birch and Birch bark.

Spring in Lapland – 2nd June

During my day in Gallivare I visited a reconstructed Saami summer camp.

This is a meat store to protect the contents from animals and insects.

This platform was used to store other items. The framework was covered with skins to keep the contents cool and dry. It is called a “luouve”.

The construction of this dwelling is based on the framework above and is called a “puogge”

and here is a picture from inside.

This dwelling is called a “båstångskåta”

and finally a “skums kåta”.

For all three buildings, a framework is covered with Birch bark and then turfs laid over for insulation.

Spring in Lapland – 1st June

Cloudy with sunny periods today and rain this evening.

6 Crossbills flews over calling this morning as I was waiting for the taxi to arrive.

I left the cabin at 11am and the taxi took me to Gallivare.

My final list of bird species for the cabin is as follows;

Wood Sandpiper, Spotted Redshank, Greenshank, Teal, Smew, Goldenye,
White Wagtail, Great Tit, Whooper Swan, Restart, Mallard, Meadow Pipit,
Raven, Redwing, Whimbrel, Chaffinch, Pied Flycatcher, Brambling, Song Thrush,
Mistle Thrush, Common Crane, Ruff, Lapland Bunting, Waxwing, Golden Plover,
Curlew, Greenfinch, Black Grouse, Willow Warbler, Yellow Wagtail, Siskin,
House Martin, Little Bunting, Goldcrest, Tree Pipit, Goosander, Black-throated Diver,
Siberian Jay, Spotted Flycatcher, Great Spotted woodpecker, Common Sandpiper,
Cuckoo, Hazel Grouse, Willow Tit, Redpoll sp. ,Common Gull, Wheatear, Wryneck,
Long-tailed Duck, Capercallie, Rustic Bunting, Blue Tit, Osprey, Hooded Crow,
Reed Bunting, Crossbill,

Birds in Gallivare;

Fieldfare, Magpie, Yellowhammer, Wigeon, Red-breasted Merganser, Robin,

Here are a series of pictures to show a changing view during my two week stay;

Spring in Lapland – 31st May

Clear, sunny and 27 degrees today!!!!

I caught 3 Perch and 1 22 inch Pike in the trap today.

It is a sad day for me today as I will be leaving tomorrow.

This morning I had problems lighting the stove (the chimney may be blocked), so I made a fire outside to cook on.

For breakfast I had fried bannock and the remainder of my dried fruit and sun flower seeds.

I walked to the marsh but it was very quiet, though there were many Green Hairstreaks around and 1 Holy Blue.

I spent the afternoon cleaning and tidying in and around the cabin and spent the evening rowing around the lake, with the beaver as a companion.

Spring in Lapland – 30th May

Sunny today, with a maximum temperature of 17 degrees.

1 Blue Tit around the cabin this morning, 2 Black-throated Divers on the lake, an Osprey flying around over the lake, 2 Hooded Crows flew over, 1 male Reed Bunting and 1 Common Lizard.

4 Perch in the fish trap this morning.

I washed my clothes this morning and then completed all the painting I wanted to do. I spent the rest of the day making items with the Birch bark.

I cut some of the bark into thin strips

I weaved the strips together to make a reasonable sized basket

I also made a large container, carved another cup

With the remaining pieces of bark, I made a sheath for my knife.

Spring in Lapland – 29th May

Sunny with some cloud today and temperature up to 16 degrees.

It is very quiet for birds today. Only 2 Waxwings and a pair of Long-tailed Ducks on the lake.

I was pleased to find three Perch in the trap this morning

After filleting, I fried them in oil with salt and pepper.

Before Anki and Ingvar headed home, they took me to the south end of the lake to show me the location of a fresh water spring.

They have installed a walkway and a pipe to make it easier to collect the spring water.

As we walked to the spring we passed the remains of a Willow Grouse (Dalripa in Swedish) which had probably been eaten by a fox

I walked back through the forest and found a really nice, large Birch tree with reasonably clean bark. I made a bark chisel and set about removing a piece of bark from the tree.

The bark was not easy to remove because there is still very little sap rising,

but I managed to get a large sheet of bark from the tree, so it was well worth the effort.

I spent the afternoon painting more windows and then this evening I have cut up the bark for a couple of projects I have in mind.

Spring in Lapland – 28th May

Hazy sunshine today with a cold north wind.

1 Rustic Bunting singing in the forest at the north end of the marsh this morning and I managed to get some very nice views. There was also one Green Hairstreak butterfly flying around as well.

Only 1 Greenshank and 1 Wood Sandpiper on the marsh today.

Now that the lake is clear of ice

I have been able to get my boat out of the boat house and row around the lake.

I also put my fish trap into the lake, just off the end of the jetty in the hope of catching some fish as I am running out of food.

This evening, while I was outside working a couple appeared taking their dog for a walk. They introduced themselves as Ingvar and Anki and they have a cabin on another lake not far from mine. They had come to stay for one night and were going home again tomorrow. Although Ingvar spoke no English and I speak very little Swedish (if anyone knows of a Swedish language course please let me know!) Anki could speak some English and was able to translate. They invited me back to their cabin for coffee and we talked about the wildlife and nature. They have owned their cabin for many years and told me that a lady called Elin had owned my cabin from 1967 until she died four years ago.

It was nice to meet such friendly people and to share their company for an evening. When I return in September, Anki has said she will teach me the fungi I can eat there and the best places to fish. Ingvar is a carpenter and so has offered to help me with some repair work on the cabin in September.

They have asked that I learn to speak more Swedish before I return, but it is proving more difficult to find a local Swedish language course or tutor than I had expected.