Heat wave

As I am writing this, it is 8am and already the temperature is 19 degrees C.  Just about all the snow has melted during the last few days and there is a lot of flooding now in this area.  It must be summer, because the girls have set up the trampoline.

building trampoline

and we have been cooking our meals outside over an open fire.

grilled moose meat

I have now completed Emma’s new knife and sheath

emma-knife

And I have a new friend called Alf, who is a master craftsman and has already taught me a lot.  Here is some of his work.

alf-slöjd

Last Saturday I attended the annual gathering of ornithologists in Hakkas.

birdwatching-hakkas.jpg

There were much less birds than usual, and I did not get any really nice photo’s, but here are a couple; a Capercaillie and a White Wagtail.

Now the girls have new knives, there mum also wants one, so that’s what I will be working on this week.

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Bunk-bed work-bench

I have been continuing to develop my work-shop and I have completed to transition of the bunk-bed, into a work-bench.  I began by taking the bunk-bed apart and then re-used the various parts to begin constructing the work-bench

workbench-1

The project did not take long to complete

workbench-2

and I am very pleased with the end result.

workbench-3

Hopefully my workshop will be completed next week and I will be writing more.

We currently have 4 Pine Grosbeaks (Pinicola enucleator) feeding in the garden

and today I have been watching Waxwings (Bombycilla garrulus) coming to a small hole in the river ice, to drink.

It should be feeling a bit more like spring now, but night-time temperatures are still below -20 and day-time are only at around -10.  This is the first winter since I moved he, that the temperature has not been above freezing during the whole winter.

 

Chocolate raisins and whisky

Last weekend I went to the cabin

travelling to cabin

I was concerned that there might be a large amount of snow on the roof and when I arrived, I was that I was right.

snow on cabin roof

After getting a fire going in the stove, I cleared a path to the wood store

clearing snow to wood store

and then to the toilet.

clearing snow to toilet

I decided to make some lunch before beginning work.  I had with me some sausage, bread, butter, whisky, cheese in  a tube and a packet of hot chocolate + some chocolate raisins.  I also found a tin of frozen Baked Beans in the cabin, so for lunch I had sausage and beans.

food supply

After that, It was time to get up on the roof and start removing the snow.  Fortunately my father-in-law was nearby and called in to say hello and helped with the snow removal.

ingvar

It took about three hours to remove the snow

snow from roof

To give you an idea of the snow depth, the next-box in this picture cannot be reached during the summer without a ladder!

nestbox

After my father-in-law had had a coffee, he headed home.  It was starting to get dark, so I kit the oil lamps and started making a leather pouch for my 8×24 Opticron binoculars.  My evening meal to accompany me while working, was chocolate raisins and some whisky.

whisky and chocoöate raisins

By the end of the evening I was a little drunk, but very pleased with my pouch.

leather binocular pouch

The next morning I made Chaga tea and fried sausage and made sausage sandwiches for breakfast.

sausage breakfast

After breakfast I made a pouch to hold my First Aid kit.

first aid pouch-1

For the closer on the pouch I made two holes in the lid and two holes in the front of the pouch and then threaded a match through the holes.

first aid pouch-2

After lunch, I headed home again.

 

A little bit of luck

This is as close as we get to seeing the sun at the moment.

almost-see-the-sun-lapland

The weather has been very strange for the past week, as it has been above freezing and temperatures have even been as high as 9 degrees C, with some rain.

I was working up on the house roof over the weekend, designing and building a platform for the chimney sweeper to be able to inspect the flue we have put up.

chimney-platform-2 chimney-platform

I was incredibly lucky because on Monday all the snow came down from the roof and if I had still been working on the roof at the time, I would have gone with it!

snow-fallen-from-roof

The stove installation is now complete and we used the stove for the first time yesterday.

new-woodburnerI made cheese and pickle toasties for everyone, in the oven (tonight it will be pizza’s).

toasted-sandwiches

I have constructed a wooden box, which I have mounted on to a plastic sled, to use for fetching wood from the shed.

wood-sled

On Tuesday the missing poles for my Thermarest cot finally arrived.  I thought I would at least receive an apology for the inconvenience, but the only thing in the packet was the items and a business card.

thermarest-cot-cascade-designs  For the first time, I have tried using a sewing machine to make a leather bag and I was pleased with the end result (hand sewing is much more relaxing though)

reindeer-skin-bagFinally, I would just like to wish all my friends and readers….

christmas-card

Ups and downs

I went to the hospital to see a specialist yesterday about my back.  The good news is that he does not want to operate at the moment because there is so much positive improvement with my training (the operation would have been to fuse two of my vertebrae together).  However I have a degenerative disease; inherited from one of my parents which means that the tissue between the disks breaks down and eventually I will have to have the operation.

In the picture below the healthy disks are thick and have much grey colour between them.  The last three disks (especially the middle one which causes most pain) has almost nothing between the vertebrae.

back xrayLast week my employer terminated my employment because I have been sick so much and can’ do my job in my current condition.  I think it will be a challenge to find full-time employment again up here.

Last weekend we were at the cabin.  Teres wallpapered the veranda that I built a couple of years ago

wallpaper-2

wallpaper-1

I had left my fly tying equipment at home, but found a hook, some feathers left over from Easter and some fine fishing line and inspired by an article in the latest issue of “The Bushcraft Magazine” I decided to make a Pike lure.  I had no clamp to hold the hook, so improvised using my Leatherman Wave and a little vice

leatherman fly tying vice-1I was very pleased with the end result, and in fact we caught a 40cm Pike with it, but I dropped the fish before Emma could take a photograph!

leatherman fly tying vice-2

Emma kept both herself and Kelly entertained while in the forest, by crushing up Blueberries and painting stone art with the juice.

emma stone art lapland

emma stone art gallivare

blueberry juice fish

Kelly even made me a stone cake

kelly art nattavaara

On Saturday night the temperature dropped down to -6 C, the first frost of the autumn!

 

Leather shoes

Last night we had a light fall of snow, although more snow is not forecast for the next few days, temperatures will remain below freezing.

I have not been doing so much this week, but Teres has made Kelly a nice pair of reindeer leather shoes.

She cut out several shapes from the leather, including two reindeer

leather shoes-1

and sewed the parts together

leather shoes-2

to form some really comfortable shoes for Kelly

leather shoes-3

My mum passed away last weekend  and so I will shortly be heading off to England for a couple of weeks, and will be unlikely to be posting here for a while.

Structural improvements

After Dave left some comments about structural improvements to my out-building I felt I must try to address issues he had raised.  Not sure if I understood everything correctly, but I hope so!!

I have built an internal frame around the door opening

door frame

The door I am going to use, is a sliding door that i was give, which I will fit on the outside of the building once I have nailed the outside panels on.

I could not obtain more 2″ x 5″ to strengthen the roof, but the local saw-mill did have a 2″ x 6″ left, so I have placed this mid-way under the rafters to provide support and help spread the weight.

roof support

I also found an old window which I have now mounted on one side of the building to provide a little light inside.

window fitted

As usual, I am never alone when working ;>)

siberian jay nattavaara