Double bed

Since we moved to our house, Teres and I have been sleeping on a mattress on the floor, so I decided to make a wooden bed.  I bought some off-cuts of Pine from a local saw-mill which cost me £20.  To remove some of the bark from the off-cuts I had to build a shaving horse

I did a lot of shaping of the wood using my knife

Here is a series of pictures of the beds construction, beginning with the base of the bed

Teres has started carving name signs and has made one for the bed

Preserving food

Other work on my cabin has included building a new cupboard for food storage.  You can see how work began in this picture the new cupboard will be to the right of the broom

Here is the cupboard now and it includes a worktop you can pull out when cooking on the stove ad slide back in when you do not require it.  I just need to build doors now

Recently I wrote about collecting berries for the winter and while at the cabin I made some apple and blueberry fruit leather

You can read how I make it in one of my previous posts.

Ingvar caught 21 fish in his net so we decided to smoke them to preserve them.  The fish were gutted and then salted (plus a little sugar added) and left for one day.

The next day we made fire in my smoker and added Juniper and Alder to give flavour to the fish.

Anki smoked the fish for one hour

and they tasted very good.

Repairing kitchen ceiling

Before I bought the cabin, rain water had been coming in around the chimney and had caused considerable damage to roof timbers and the ceiling

With Ingvar helping, we decided to repair the ceiling in the kitchen.  We had to remove the damaged material first

Rotten timbers had to be replaced with new ones

We covered the new timbers with hardboard to help stop cold drafts and a thick paper was put under the insulation, above the ceiling to also help reduce drafts.

We nailed up laths and then fixed tongue and groove boards to them and the new ceiling was completed

Here’s a picture as you walk in the door

The cabin will soon be available to hire.

Home again

I am back in Nattavaara now and unfortunately its looking less and less likely that the Reindeer slaughter will happen now until November/December.  The family I will be working with have told me that the Reindeer start breeding at the end of September and at this time the meat does not taste so good, so now we must wait until after the breeding season.

And now back to the story of the Hawk Owl (Surnia ulula)…..

I walked out of my cabin at dusk and a pale coloured bird flew from a live Birch into the top of a dead Birch (it really is sitting in the top of that tree!)

After I took this photograph it flew to a large Spruce tree and after a flew seconds ATTEMPTED to fly away, but unfortunately its talons were tangled in some “Old man’s beard moss” and it ended up hanging upside  down from the branch flapping its wings to try and get away.

I went to get a ladder and put up to the tree, but fortunately as I began to climb up, the owl managed to free itself and flew off.  I was very surprised to see it back the next day!……I wonder how many Hawk Owls hang from the Spruce trees of Lapland as decorations????

A quick update

The weather in the mountains has been very bad, forcing the Reindeers down into the forest and this making them very difficult to find and herd, so I am at my cabin doing more repairs and waiting for a phone call to move to the mountains.

I will write more when I can but for now here is a new bird for me, which flew out of a tree next to my cabin last night, but I write more about that incident when I get home.  For now here are some pictures I took of it (a Hawk Owl) today.

Cabin repairs

The cabin repairs continued last week with work on the kitchen.  As we arrived there were a large number of Waxwings feeding on Mountain Ash/Rowan berries

I had purchased some wood paneling to put on the walls.

It was much more work than I had expected because some of the wood needed to be planed and shaped with a knife

Here are some before and after pictures

and one extra of the new kitchen

When I have more money we will replace the ceiling so I cannot complete the work just now.

I have made a new, rather primitive looking knife, which I will be using next week when working with Reindeer in the mountains (I’m not so worried if it gets lost or damaged).

The two pieces of horn I used form the perfect shape to fit into my hand

The sheath I have made enables the knife to be withdrawn easily with one hand and it holds a firesteel in the front

The sheath also proved useful for holding my pencil while working on the kitchen

I have also now purchased a chainsaw from the local petrol station at a very good price and while at the cabin we collected some Birch nearby, which had been damaged by a snowplough during the winter

We carried the wood the trailer

and it was not long before we had a load to take back to the cabin, cut up and split

Hopefully my next post will be about working with Reindeer….