I have a tattoo

I have just returned from a visit to England to see my family.

While I was there I had a tattoo done, which is an early birthday present from Teres.

kevin warrington tattoo

This is my design that I put into leather when I make knife sheaths and stuff. The star represents the night sky, the ring the sun, the four lines; north, south, east and west, the small lines coming off represent the forest and it’s importance to us for food and shelter, and the four sections represent the four seasons and the elements; fire, air water and earth.

I am planning to add more to the tattoo in the future.

Ltl Acorn Scouting Camera WINTER review

In January I received a Ltl Acorn Scouting Camera (model Ltl-5210A) from Mike at Wildlife Watching Equipment.  Mike was very helpful and even tested the camera for me before posting it to ensure there were no faults.  You can read about the camera’s specifications by clicking on the picture below.

live113847_cameraontree (Large)

The camera works like a security light.  PIR sensors detect movement and take a picture or video.

I had planned to use my camera out in the forest to capture pictures of animals that are not easy to get close to, such as Moose, Bear and Lynx but I have since found out that due to open access for all regulations here in Sweden, one must apply for permission to mount a camera in a specific location (which costs £300), and re-apply each time the camera is moved to a different location.  The only places were I can use my camera are on land that I own and that is where I have been testing the camera.

If you are interested to know what comes into your garden when you are sleeping or not at home, this is at great camera to use.

fox at night-1 (Large)

If you find tracks in the forest and are not sure what they are, this will also be a good way to find out.

The camera can take video/ and or photographs.  You can select how many seconds or minutes between each photograph also (I have it set to every five seconds).  All images are stored on an SD card.  The camera uses 8 AA batteries, but the camera uses so little power that I have not had to change the batteries at all and the camera still shows full battery.

There are three settings for the on/off button.  OFF when you are not using the camera, LIVE when the camera is set up in a location and TEST.  In test mode you can review pictures, alter camera settings via a menu or use the camera like a normal camera (press a button and take a picture (example below)

mum

The camera also performed very well at temperature as low as -35 degrees C.

However, I was hoping for good quality pictures to use here and in magazine articles that I write and that appears to be beyond the capabilities of this camera, due to two major issues.

The first is exposure.  The white snow causes all of my pictures to be dark and there is unfortunately no setting in the menu to adjust exposure (This is why I am writing a Winter review just now and will then review the camera again in the summer when the snow has gone).

siberian_jay-1

The second major issue is the focus, which also cannot be adjusted.  Unless the animal or bird fills the whole screen, the camera tends to focus on the background behind.

Red Squirrel-2 (Medium)

Red Squirrel (Medium)

Though I think in the picture the squirrel was a little to close to the camera!

Red Squirrel-3 (Large)

To resolve this problem you must have the background and animal close together, which is not often possible, but was with this Jay.

jay-1 (Large)

jay-2

I am confident that the camera will perform better during the summer and even with the issues I have had, I have still managed to get some nice pictures.

mute swans

Great spotted woodpecker (Large)

reindeer (Small)

great tit flying

Conclusion.

I feel that the camera does what it is designed to do and will meet the needs of most people, but does not meet my needs (in winter at least).  A software update which enables the use to adjust exposure would be a great addition.

What a difference a day makes!

We were out fishing on Saturday.  It was cloudy and around 0 degrees.  Unfortunately the fish were not interested in our bait and only Emma caught a fish, but the fish got off the hook as she took it out of the ice hole.

On Sunday the sun was shining and it was + 10 degrees.  I had to work as there was going to be an outdoor church service at the Arctic Circle where we have a Polar Circle Portal (this a picture from summer 2010)

polar circle (Large)

It was a 40km drive with the snowmobile

malmensvagen (Large)

malmensvagen-2 (Large)

I stopped halfway for a coffee break.

cooking coffee in fire

We had a number of people who travelled by snowmobile to the church service

snowmobiles at polar circle (Medium)

We provided food for everyone, which was fried reindeer meat and vegetables

reindeer meat (Small)

There were about 30 people present for the service and everyone had a great time.

people at polar circle (Medium)

people at polar circle-2 (Medium)

The weather continues to be warm and the snow is melting very fast now.

A cold weekend at the cabin

Spring is going to be late this year.  A cold north wind has been blowing for three weeks now and although the sun lifts day time temperatures just above freezing, at night temperatures can still go down as low as -30 degrees.

I arrived at the cabin Friday evening and made fire in both the kitchen stove and in the fireplace.  After a couple of hours the cabin was warm and with a night time temperature of -20 degrees I kept the fires going all night.

Early on Saturday morning I cooked breakfast; potatoes, sausage, eggs and onions.

breakfast at cabin

I spent some time ice fishing, but it was very cold and I caught no fish, so I decided to do some photography.

There were several different birds coming to the bird feeder and I particularly wanted to photograph Siberian Tit and Siberian Jay.  Siberian Jay’s were not so difficult to photograph.  After standing for 15 minutes they came to feed.

siberian jay

siberian jay-2 (Medium)

To get VERY close to the Siberian Tit’s, I put a reindeer skin on the snow, and some food just in front of me and laid there and waited for them to come down.  It proved more difficult than expected to get photo’s of them because they kept flying down and sitting on my head!!  Eventually they came for the food.

siberian tit

siberian tit-2 (Large)

On Sunday, while out in the forest with my snowmobile I came across some very strange tracks.

capercaillie spore-1

I called my friend and neighbour at the cabin Erik, and explained what I had found and he drove out immediately to take a look.  Eventually we deduced that the spore was that of a displaying male Capercaillie.

capercaillie tracks in snow

We followed the tracks on our snowmobiles and found this fine print where the bird had originally landed (from the right you see where the tail touched the snow, then where the body impacted and finally the imprints of the wings, then he walks away displaying).

capercaillie landing

This is what the display looks and sounds like.

Easter at the cabin

Last weekend we were at the cabin for four days.

We spent most of the time fishing

ice fishing at cabin

and enjoying the sun

mettajavi 2013

There was also a lot of coffee cooked and sausage grilled over the fire

family around fire (Medium)

I also used the Swedish Fire Torch to cook coffee

swedish fire torch

I caught 8 large Perch

perch

Sebastian and myself also spent time driving snowmobiles with his grandfather and our neighbours

snowmobiles (Large)

on top of a hill (Large)

Out fishing with tourists

I haven’t written much about my job on here.  Last week we had a group of German tourists who spent the day ice fishing with us.

DSC_0019 (Large)

Each person hired a small rucksack with a ice fishing rod, an ice scoop, a plastic plate and a cup inside.

DSC_0018 (Large)

We also made fire and cooked coffee and grilled sausage.

DSC_0020 (Large)

Everyone had a great day!