Plant walk

Last week we had a plant walk at the nature center.

Wood Crane’s-bill (Geranium sylvaticum) Thank you for correcting me Elma.

Sidebells Wintergreen (Pyrola secunda)

Round-leaved Wintergreen (pyrola rotundifolia) – a decoction of the leaves can be used as an antiseptic wash or to treat skin complaints.

False Lilly of the Valley (Maianthemum bifolium)

Mountain Everlasting or Cat’s-foot (Antennaria dioica)

There were also many Mayflies emerging from the lake

and we found a Fen Raft Spider (Dolomedes plantarius) a rarity in the UK.

Gathering food

Here’s one prior to my camera stopping working…..

August is the time that the berry collecting season gets underway,

beginning with Clouberry (Hjortron in Swedish).  Cloudberry (Rubus chamaemorus) is a member of the same family as Blackberry, but grows close to the ground and only bears one fruit.  But not all plants bear fruit as some are male and some are female.

The fruit is orange/yellow in colour and has a distinctive smell which travels for some distance when the fruit are ripe.

This is a typical area where Cloudberry grows.

Once home, the Cloudberries are cleaned and divided up into small bags for use during the long winter.

The Blueberries will be gathered next and shortly after the Cow Berry/Lingon.

We are also harvesting our potatoes now after our first frost last week.  The first ones we harvested were at the cabin

There was a surprisingly good crop from ten plants, which were set in June.

We store the food in a cold store in the cellar.

We found this while out collecting

So thanks to Jonas we now know that this is “gul parasollmossa (Splachnum luteum) which is Norrbottens landskapsmossa”…..Thanks Jonas :>)

Rådjebalges/Gränsleden Guiding Course – Part 4

We also found Rosenrot (Rhodiola rosea) which was referred to as natural viagra for the Sami people and has many other uses.

Can you guess what family this little plant belongs to…

Its a willow and  the Latin name is Salix herbacea and its English name is Dwarf Willow and it has adapted itself to the harsh life in the fjalls.

We also found a Lemmings burrow

but the old droppings outside suggested it is not currently used

One reason for this may be a Rough-legged Buzzards (Fjällvråk in Swedish) nest that we found near by.  We also saw Golden Eagle, Golden Plover and Ring Ouzel.

This pile of stones is a typical way marker for old Sami trails

and although not as obvious in this picture, a well worn trail was clearly visible

Lunch was a chance to chat

and take in the views

At the end of the day it was back to the cabin to pack and prepare for two days away walking the first 20kms of the Rådjebalges trail.

Rådjebalges/Gränsleden Guiding Course – Part 3

My cabin was next to the shore of the lake that provides water for the hydro-electric dam

and opposite to a glacier on Ahkka

Day three of our course covered the geology and natural history of the area and our tutor was Thomas Öberg.

Here Thomas was explaining to us how the fjälls were once part of the Appalachian mountain range prior to platonic shift.  His slide shows how North America and Europe were joined together at that time.

Sausage or korv in Swedish is so important within Swedish culture that they even name features after them, in this case a lake

After the classroom session we moved outside and walked around in the local area looking at the natural features and wildlife.  Here Thomas is talking about a post glacial feature called a pulsa

This piece of ground in the centre is a typical feature and below it is perma-frost as he is demonstrating

Pulsa’s are important breeding habitat for the Red-necked Phalarope.

This plant with a star shaped rosette of leaves is called Common Butterwort or tätört in Swedish and both here and in the UK the leaves have been used to thicken or clot milk in the butter making process.

This plant is called Alpine Bistort or in Swedish Ormrot (snake root) and it was a staple food for the Sami people and was used like a potato and it is also rich in starch.  They can be eaten raw or cooked and tasted very good.

and this is a type of orchid that we were unable to identify

more soon……

June at the cabin – Part 5

While Emma was staying with me, Ingvar (grandfather) decide to build her a swing to play on.

We cut Birch and Pine to build the swing and used rope to suspend it.

Emma also enjoys going out with me to watch the nature, using an old pair of binoculars and a telescope

We spotted a Hare in its summer colours

It appears that it will be a very good year for Bilberry/Blueberry as there are many flowers on the plants

The plants blooms at least one week before the leaves appear.

I was also pleasantly surprised to find Cloudberry (Hjortron in Swedish) flowering near to my boat house