Problem solved

I was invited out yesterday by my friends Dirk and Silka from Solberget, to do some tracking in the forest.  I was somewhat concerned about getting around in the forest on skis, but they assured me it would not be a problem.  They use Tegsnas forest skis, which are 95mm wide

and loaned me a pair to test.  It was a completely different experience traveling on these skis compared with the military skis that I have.  I was not sinking into the snow at all at it was very easy to move around.

We did not find so much spore while we were out, but we did find burrows in the snow where Capercaillie had spent the night

Apparently it can be quite a frightening experience if you ski over one of these burrows while the bird is still in it, as the snow erupts in front of you and  a Capercaillie busts out!

We also found Pine Marten tracks

Dirk has a kåta in the forest where he takes guests to stay and we stopped there for lunch

It is close to a beautiful area of marsh where there are many birds and animals during the summer.

We have all been a bit “under the weather”

Apologies for slow replies to comments left and the delay in posting, but we have all been ill with coughs, colds and the winter vomiting bug.  With this in mind I thought I would write about some remedies.

For coughs, sore throats and the symptoms of colds I use Twinings Lemon and Ginger Tea with honey added to flavour.   Both the honey and ginger help to sooth a sore throat and the ginger in particular as an anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic is good for relieving the pain and discomfort and reduce coughing.

If you have a sore throat, a thick, warm scarf or shemagh wrapped around the neck when you sleep, will ease or even take away completely any discomfort.

To relieve the congestion of a cold I drink a cup of warm salt water through my nose

and then spit out through the mouth

It’s really isn’t as unpleasant as it sounds and removes all the congestion  associated with a cold (hope that wasn’t too gross!!).

There is a very old and traditional preventative treatment for diarrhea and sickness her, and I am convinced it works because although Emma was very ill, having used it I did not catch it.  As soon as someone shows the first symptoms of a stomach bug (it’s too late for them I’m afraid!!) take 7 white pepper corns swallowed with water.  I have no idea how they work but if used early enough, you will not catch the bug.

Failed to reach my cabin!!

Unfortunately it proved too difficult to reach my cabin.  I was warned by the locals that traveling in the current conditions would not be easy, and they were right.

Many people have commented on how bad this particular winter is.  Apparently during a normal winter, temperatures from time to time will reach above freezing and at this time the surface of the snow melts and when the temperature drops again the surface freezes hard, providing ideal traveling conditions.  However, this winter the temperature has not gone above freezing since the middle of October and so the snow is very light and powdery, making it very difficult to walk and ski (I thought it was just my lack of experience).

With my pulka (I’ll be writing more about that next time)  packed with my equipment and food

I headed off on skis towards the cabin

Immediately it was obvious that traveling with skis was going to be difficult.  The skis were sinking into the snow so deep that I had snow up to my thighs.  I could not slide with the skis, but instead had to lift them out of the snow each time and step forward.  And in the deep snow the pulka was difficult to drag (pulling me back each time I tried to move forward) and was on its side most of the time having slipped into the deep ruts left by my skis.  After 45 minutes I have traveled about 150 metres.

Eventually I gave up and made my way slowly back to my car.

Let’s hope the temperature rises soon but I think it’s unlikely as this morning it’s -35!!!

Woolen birds

I’m planning to spend some time at my cabin this week so this will be my last post until I return.

Teres is now a full-time day mum here in Nattavaara, looking after children while their parents are working.  We are testing activities for the children to do and here is the first one…….woolen birds.

Here are the items you require

You need three different colours of wool to work with.  Take a piece of card and wrap the wool around 50 times

doing the same with all three colours (for my bird black is the back colour, red the breast colour and white the wing colour)

Now cut through the wool and remove from the card

Lay the wool for the wings over the wool for the back  and then fold it around,

then do the same with the back wool and tie a piece a wool around to hold it in place

Next, place the wool for the breast on top and secure with another piece of wool

and then fold the breast wool in half (but not around the other pieces of wool)

Twist the wing wool a few times and then fold down to create the wings

Finally tie a piece of wool two-thirds of the way down and clip off the long strands of wool to make them even…and you are finished!

Here are some we have made


Mårdhunden/Raccoon Dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides)

An animal I have not yet seen but many have here, is Mårdhunden/Raccoon Dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides).

Originally from Asia, it was introduced to the European parts of the Soviet Union during the 1920s and 50s to increase the wild fur production. They have spread north-west and are now firmly established in Finland and increasing in Sweden.  As a predator like the Mink in the UK, they are having significant impact on the native fauna.

Here are some links providing more information:-

Mårdhunden – pa svenska

Raccoon Dog – in English

Raccoon Dog – Translated using Google translator

When I see one I will let you know.