So I headed out, no fixed plan in mind, just some very much needed fresh air and dirttime.
Spring is getting a firm hold of the land, cuasing an explosion of green. I can see the forrest change every single day. Temperatures were great, about 18C and there was nothing but sunshine!! I'll keep my ramblings short and let you feast your eyes on the pictures!
A large bolder in the forrest behind the house. A large cluster of forrestanemones reaching for the sun;
The ferns are racing up to get some sun, too. I just love ferns.... They're so primeval...
The first animaltracks today; moosetracks, size M
After strolling through the woods, which were still kind of chilly, I headed for the sun and came to a clearing. A large part had been cut, but in a tidy kind of way. No broken stumps or layers of branches, churned soil od other damages... But what i did find was the insect Luftwaffe and they were out in force!! I felt like London during the Blitz with all those divebomber Stukamosquitos and those Messerschmidtmidges!! Out came my outdoorgirlfriend Wilma and her Nordic Summer!!! That stuff is great!!
Yet sometimes you can also find small treasures in such areas;
What force must have been unleashed in order to split this bolder so straight and push it apart so far??
The gap was at least 20cm!
A seedling, a kind of sycamore, and these you really don't see often around here, especially in the forrests! I wonder weither it will be able to survive here. Probably a bord that dropped it here.
Never saw this bug befor, although it is quite big. I guess a full 2cm in length.
After I traversed the clearing and headed into the forrest again, I followed a forresterspath again. That way I can travel faster, more quite and see more.
I spooked a deer by treading on dry branches, which broke. I only saw it after I heard it run away, a mere 15 meters to my right!!
I did not spooke a woodpecker, however and he gave me a good chance to look at him, while he was very busy running up and down the trees, looking for bugs. I managed to get as close as 4 meters to take this picture;
A pile of moosedroppings. I collected a good deal of them to try them as a bugdeterent by burning/smouldering them. I also prommised my mother-in-law some for scentingpractices with her dogs.
Natures garbagedisposalservices hard at work!
Once I tuned into the trackingbusiness I started to see them all over the place. I saw small broken birchtrees, scrapes in the moss and forrestfloor, places where squirrels had eaten pinecones etc and I felt a buzz! It was exhilerating to find and follow them!! There was one stratch of forresterspath that had lots of them! I could clearly follow another moose, with a size L print, walking down it. They seem to be using these paths very frequent! Plenty of deer going all over it, too. All the next were found within a 150meter stretch;
No idea what animal made these;
some very fresh deertracks;
No clue what did this;
The part at the lower left is an upsidedown deerprint, but the V- shape, single toes (?) with nail..... beats me.
I was thinking dog, but saw no prints anywhere that could be the owners'. There seem to be wolves in the area, too. The shortest sighting from here was a mere 30km away the previous week.
Than it was about lunchtime. It was getting warm and I was getting thirsty, hungry and tired, too! The previous week sure had left its mark, fysically!!
For the gearfans;
My firebox (love the thing!!)
The contents that I think work best;
a small handfull of thin, dry birchwoodstrips
some very resinous strips and pieces of pine
3 thin and resinous strips of pine, which can be used as a large match
a chunck of pure pineresin
an empty shell with lid + a good dozen of matches and strikingstrip
a small Finnish knife and sheath
a small cotton bag filled with very thin birchbark
a few strips of thicker birchbark
a small pure beeswax candle
For the fire I cleared a square of grass and moss untill I hit the soil. Although we did have quit some rain these past weeks, the last few days were dry and so was the moss and grass and at first I was quite hesitant to start a fire! Underneath the soil was still wet, though. Strolling through the trees I came across a thrown away glassbottle. I made a habbit out of it to take these things with me and now that proved usefull. I filled that bottle up with some water from a few puddles on the path, earlier mentioned, and now I had water to put out the fire befor I would leave!
silly, old me;
There was more actually, but I started eating befor the coffee was done..... and I did have some soup afterwards, too...
After the body was strengthened I just sat around, listing to the different songs of the many birds and the buzzing of the insects.... Because I had been sweating I had to reapply the Nordic Summer!
While the food was settling, the fire had died out and, while the fireplace cooled, I took this opportunity to show you a rundown of my Finnbag;
The firebox is not standard issue with this bag.
Neither is the compassbook, but I threw it in today.... just in case. In it there's a note with the inclination and declination of my general position and it deviates quit a bit from the original bearing! No wonder I got lost last winter when using my compass....
In the bag;
A DC4 and firesteel in beltpouch
a multitool with minilight, screwdrivers, knifeblade and small sawblade
5 meters of paracord, a handkerchief, notebook w/ pencil in ziplock, a tin of Nordic summer and a stick of lipbalm, foldable 10x25 binos
emergency sunglasses, sewingset, large plastic carrying bag, foldable mug, spork
fieldbooks (food for free and SAS-survibalguide), lenseatic compass with beltpouch, emergency firetin w/ waxinelight, lighter and tampons, foldable saw
orange emergency vest, FAK, German army long gloves, Fjällravenforagingbag/net
On the carryingstrap I tied my German armyponcho again, but next time I will not anymore. On longer walks that becomes quit uncomfortable, as it oulls on my right shoulder too much.
The fireplace had cooled down and I threw over the contents of the glassbottle... I could pick up the coals and none gave off heat anymore.
So I put the grass and mosses back
And yes, the bottle did follow me home.....
Somehow I ended up in the vicinity of a campsite I made last autumn, but which I had to leave in a hurry, due to an emergency at home. I decided to head over there to see what was left.
There were now forrestanemones growing out of the bed??
And I found a tinderfungus next to it! As if someone had just put it there.. It was complete and in perfect condition, as if it had just been collected!
The small stream next to it was chrystalclear and there was life stirring. The little hopper was less than 2cm;
Made me a wardrobe. Done in 5 minutes. Two lengthbars, one on either side of the tree, on the lower branches. These branches were woving over the bars and by using small crossbars I could hang everything of the ground. The green sack to the left is the foragingbag, full with a glassbottle, moosedroppings and all today's waste;
I decided to clean up the place and to my shame found the tincup of a waxinelight I had left. I pilled the remeining firewood onto 2 larger branches, so they would sit above the ground. Now they can dry for next time. I wanted some tea, but the canteen was now empty, so out came the millbankbag;
It doesn't run hard, but hey, it's a oldy from 1945!!
The canteen was full befor I had a chance to make a fire, though!
I made a fire, and while the water was going to get boiled, cleaned up the area. As said I piled up some firewood, prepared a spot to fetch water and another downstream to clean up my pots and pans. After that I made some tea and just enjoyed "my" little spot
Smoke between the trees;
On my way home I came across even more mooseprints. This time it was a size S and the ran all the way to the road, leading to our house! It had been only 50 meters from out backyard...