Finland

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

kellly and 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;

Brown Bear

europeanbrownbear-kevinwarrington

Wolverine

wolverine

Grey Wolf

europeanwolf-kevinwarrington

Muskox

muskox-kevinwarrington

Honey Buzzard

honey-buzzard

and it’s the only place in Europe (and possibly in the World) where polar Bears breed in captivity

polarbear-kevinwarrington

We had a great time and fantastic weather and will be visiting Finland again.

 

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29.5 degrees

We currently have a heat wave her in Lapland and today the temperature reached 29,5 degrees.

Last weekend we were out fishing and grilling sausage of cause.

summer-lapland

Today I have been working in Killinge, which is a very beautiful area along the Kaitum river.

Where the Salmon are in full migration, jumping up the waterfalls and rapids.

I have now built the stairs up to the second level in the tree house/ playhouse, so we now need to get some furniture to put in there.

treehouse-stairs

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.

Enjoying the sun

The wind seems to constantly blow from the north and so it is still cold, but at least we get some warmth from the sun, so myself and Kelly have been out with the snowmobile.

snowmobile-lapland

We have made fire with green Birch

green birch fire

and sat and grilled sausage over the fire.

grilling sausage

We still have a lot of Pine Grosbeaks around and I have been out taking some photo’s.

And I took a nice photo of a Red Squirrel.

red-squirrel

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.

 

Jokkmokks Marknad 2018

I visited Jokkmokks Marknad  both on Thursday and Saturday.  While travelling to Jokkmokk on Thursday, a juvenile Sea Eagle flew up from the side of the road.

sea eagle-1

and landed in a tree, but it was a bit too far away to get any decent pictures.

sea eagle-2

There were many people at the market. So many, that it was difficult to take photo’s.

jokkmokk marknad 2018-3

There was a Sámi women was very good at making Birch bark containers.

jokkmokk marknad 2018-1

There is a also a Finnish house building company that has moved to Jokkmokk, and they will be selling timber houses from 2019 and they had a sauna at the market to demonstrate to quality of their work.

jokkmokk marknad 2018-2

I bought a couple of tanned reindeer skins for making coffee bags and a thicker skin (not sure from which animal) for making pouches for my new equipment belt.  The fork in the picture below, I use to make the holes for sewing.

leather pouch-1

I wet mould the leather to achieve the required shape.  I had made a pouch for my Leatherman Wave, a pouch to hold a tobacco tin and one to hold my Petzl Tikka head-torch + three spare batteries in the bottom of the pouch.

leather pouch-2

leather pouch-3

 

Capercaillie

While driving to work on Tuesday, I saw a male Capercaillie  standing in the middle of the road.  He wasn’t bothered by vehicles passing at 90kms per hour, but as soon as I slowed down to take a photo, he ran away.  I did however manage to get one reasonable photo of him.

As you can see, the snow has been falling.  Last night there came 6cms more snow and yesterday morning the temperature went down to -19 degrees C.