Myself and Kelly have just returned from a three day trip to Finland.
We visited the Santa Claus village in Rovaniemi where kelly got to meet Santa
and his reindeer and calves.
We then travelled to Ranua to visit a wildlife park. The wildlife park has many animals and birds from Northern Europe including;
and it’s the only place in Europe (and possibly in the World) where polar Bears breed in captivity
We had a great time and fantastic weather and will be visiting Finland again.
Over the past few weeks both at home at at work in Solberget Vildmarksbyn, I have been preparing wood for the winter.
Birch that is already cut and split
must be taken under cover and stacked both for ease of storage and to help it dry.
Of course at Solberget the reindeer are always close by to see that the job is done properly.
Yesterday reindeer were gathered up into a corral to mark the calves.
Each calf has a unique series of cuts made into it’s ears to show who owns the calf
Some of the reindeer are already growing a nice set of horns ready for the breeding season in the autumn.
Some of the reindeer were tame enough to feed.
As usual we made fires and grilled sausage and cooked coffee.
During the time I was unable to work, I changed my job. I now work part-time in a General Store here in Nattavaara and part-time in Solberget Wilderness Village as a tourist guide.
Working in the General Store and looking after Kelly means that I do not have much spare time to make and do things, and so it is getting increasingly difficult to find things to blog about and so I am now considering the future of this blog.
Fortunately this week I am working as a tourist guide, so will have some things to write about.
Yesterday we took 25 guests out on a days wandering with four of our Reindeer, up to the top of Solberget (Sun Hill). I talked about the wildlife and history of the area and talked about medicinal uses of some of the plants that we found.
Once we reached the top, we made fire and cooked sausages over the fire, before making our way back down again.
Today we ran a leather handicraft workshop, where our guests were able to make a hole range of items from Reindeer leather, including pouches, armbands, knife sheaths and necklaces.
For over two weeks now, we have had really hot weather with temperatures over 30 degrees and one day the temperature reached over 40 degrees!.
We have had one male reindeer around the cabin who is being driven crazy by the heat and biting insects.
I have been working up on the metal roof of the cabin where temperatures must have close to 50 degrees. I have made a sheet metal collar around the chimney stack to prevent rain leaking in. I have to improvise a clamp to hold the sheet metal and bend it into the desired shape.
I then rendered the brickwork above the collar to help protect it.
It is a very cold spring we experiencing. Today it has only been 1 degree C, with snow showers. There are not many summer migrant birds that have arrived, though just now we do have a lot of Brambling (Fringilla montifringilla) in the garden.
I am still not working a currently await a date for an operation on my hernia. While at home I decided to make a new sheath for a knife I made for Emma a while back.
Emma designed the sheath herself and helped make it.
Had to work over the weekend so there was no visit to the cabin.
I did manage to get some time on Saturday and Sunday to do a bit of fishing
Apart from Perch I did not catch anything. It’s now over three weeks since I last caught a trout and I do not understand why. I caught many last year at this time but I am using the same equipment and baits but they are not biting. I am beginning to wonder if someone has used a fishing net in the lake to remove the fish?
Many birds have fledged their young now and have left the area, so it is very quiet in the forest. At the lake where I fish a pair of Wryneck (a member of the woodpecker family)
have bred in a nest box. The books show that they do not occur this far north.
We also have a pair of Honey Buzzards in Nattavaara, but I have not located the nest site.
We have a friendly Reindeer around also.
I had left my Little Acorn camera out overnight at the cabin to see if any animals came to visit. I was surprised next morning to see that a Reindeer had been to visit in the middle of the night.
Myself and Erik walked in the forest. We eventually decided to stop and make fire,
and cook coffee and some lunch.
Close to where we made fire, we found a couple of really nice Birch burs.
Later during our walk, we found a site where a fox had killed a Capercaillie.
I could not understand why there was a lot of mouse droppings in one are, but then realised that this was actually the crop contents and that this bird had recently been eating Birch leaf buds.
We spent the afternoon fishing but again did not catch anything.
At 6pm we loaded our kit in the valp and Erik gave me a lift to my car. As we drove along the track I had walked to the cabin on, I spotted fresh bear tracks.
The tracks were from the previous day and it was not a particularly large bear that had made them, so if we had travelled in the opposite direction the previous evening we might of seen it.
On Saturday I went ice fishing with my neighbour Folke. The snow is very deep and it was not easy to travel with snowmobiles.
It was 12kms to the lake where we intended to fish and once we arrived there we started boring holes in the ice to fish through.
After only a few minutes of fishing (using a worm and a piece of shrimp for bait) Folke caught an Arctic Char!
I was fishing with my Reindeer horn fishing rod
It took a little longer for me to catch my first fish; a Rainbow Trout
We made fire and cooked some coffee
We then continued fishing. Folke caught 2 Arctic Char and I caught 2 Rainbow Trout and 1 Arctic Char.