By the time we arrived at the cabin on Friday evening, it was already getting dark, so I did not get any work done.
It was a bright sunny morning on Saturday and the temperature reached a high of 12 degrees. Unfortunately there was a storm in the mountains and this meant that we had very very strong winds.
I built a new saw-horse
and spent the majority of the weekend sawing up and splitting logs.
While sitting and drinking coffee in the veranda I was amazed to see the boat which Emma had built the previous weekend, floating past on the lake.
Teres’ father needed help at his cabin lifting up a new wind turbine to generate electricity for his cabin (which wasn’t easy in a such a strong wind).
He then came to our cabin to help me remove a damaged brake cable on our trailer.
On Saturday evening as it was starting to get dark, 6 Northern Long-tailed Tits appeared feeding in the trees. Unlike last weekend, this time I managed to get a photograph of one.
On Sunday morning I worked with Teres’ father again. This time we felled some trees and built a new board-walk to the fresh water spring where we go to collect water.
We are hoping that we will get at least one more weekend at the cabin before more snow comes.
I spent most of last weekend painting all the wood work in the cabin with a white wash (oil and white paint mixed).
I rained a lot over the weekend but between the rain and painting I had time to build a shelter with Emma, using branches from a Spruce tree that we had felled the previous weekend.
Not much more to report I’m afraid……..apart from the mosquitoes!! It’s the worst year for many years for mosquitoes. There are so many and when you are outside doing something you are covered in them! I wonder how much blood I lose every day?
I worked on Friday which was a bank holiday here in Sweden, so I took Monday as a bank holiday instead and had three days at the cabin. There isn’t that much to write about really because most of the time was spent inside the cabin completing work in the living room.
We have a corner now where we can wash and clean our teeth.
I have made wooden architrave frames around the windows
and cut and fixed up architrave around the ceiling and around the top of the panel. This wasn’t easy because nothing is square in the cabin and I could not just cut 90 degree angels in the corners.
My neighbours came to help me remove some tree roots from in frint of the cabin
and we felled a large Spruce tree that had become rotten in the centre.
Last week I spent two days at Jokkmokks Marknad as part of my job as a wilderness guide at Solberget Vildmarks Byn.
My first day at the marknad was on Tuesday at the old, traditional market where I was fortunate enough to spend quite a bit of time with John Stokke, a Sámi reindeer herder who has his own chapter in the Sámi book of fire “Eld, Flammor och Glod – samisk eldkonst”. The chapter is about the “Nuorssjo” and it was this fire that he was demonstrating at the market (he is in the centre of this picture).
Photographs by Mike Lenzner
The Nuorssjo is a fire used for two people to sleep next and will burn for 14 hours with very little maintenance. 20cms of Spruce branches are put on the ground as insulation to lay on.
In addition to translating his life as a reindeer herder for our German guests, I also spent a lot of time discussing fire making with him. He even cooked coffee for our guests to drink.
He wanted me to return the next day to talk more and show him how to make fire with the bow-drill but unfortunately this was just not possible, but I have promised to do it next year.
Fire making with flint and steel was also being demonstrated, and visitors were able to try for themselves.
Yesterday we had the first Goldcrest (Regulus regulus) singing in the garden and a Common Crane (Grus grus) flying over the house calling. We also had the first Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris) arrive and a Woodpigeon singing, which is a very rare bird up here. It’s interesting that we only have male Chaffinches here just now. They are busy singing and making territories in preparation for the arrival of the females.
We have two Tengmalm’s Owls singing close to the house just now. I used my compact digital camera to record them singing.
Tengmalm’s Owl 1
Vodpod videos no longer available.
Tengmalm’s Owl 2
Vodpod videos no longer available.
They start singing between 9 and 10pm (it gets dark here at 10pm now) and they are still singing at 4 in the morning (it gets light at 3pm). I have read on the internet that birds singing all night now have not yet found a mate.
I have been out during the day trying to find the owl perching in a tree
bit I have not found one so far. I have also made some nest boxes for the owls
and fixed in trees near to where they have been singing
There was a full moon two nights ago when I was out listening to the owls.
I had my first chance to get out and about on the snow mobile on Friday, driving about 50kms in total.
Here’s a picture I took at midday and shows quite well that the sun is now only just appearing over the horizon (but at 7:30am we have blue sky)
Knowing that I would be cooking coffee later in the day I collected firelighting material in advance. The temperature was only -13 so this Old Mans Beard lichen was a little damp.
I put damp firelighting material in my shirt for at least one and a half hours and my body heat helps to dry it, so when I was ready to make fire the material was dry
One of my tasks while out was to find a Christmas tree (Jul gran in Swedish) and after a lot of searching I found a nice shaped tree
The tree looked really good once Teres had decorated it
We are about to put a woodburning stove in our house, so just before the snow arrived I was out in the forest harvesting wood from the land that we have.
The first task of course was to make fire
It was a very cold day so the coffee pot was cooking all the time
and of course it was nice to get warm by the fire
As I felled the trees I stacked the branches for use in shelter building
and the timber I have stacked against trees to dry and I will collect them with the snow mobile later in the winter
Some of the Pine I used to build a bed
I covered it with a layer of small Birch and then covered the Birch with a thick layer of Pine.
I was hoping to build a shelter over the bed before the snow came, but did not have time.