Tuesday, February 5, 2013

More dayly doings - Do I detect a change in the air??

The season of gifts has ended for us. Christmas has passed, our weddinganniversaries, our birthdays.... all within one month!
And despite the economically challenging times there were some amazing gifts for us, which I'd like to share with you. For our first weddinganniversary (We have two, since my wife and I remarried) my wife and I received, among many other things, a handmade wooden box with hinged lid. In the lid are our initials carved and the number of years we are married, R.E.20. He also made me a wooden nametag in the shape of a moose. Our oldest daughter had hand sewn a small heartshaped pillow and a christmastree, complete with decorations and our youngest one gave us some butterflydrawings. For christmas my son made me a handcarved bowl, too! I am so very proud that they went through the trouble of actually making something themselves, instead of just buying gifts and when I look at what they made I am equally proud of their craftingskills! They enjoy themselves so much doing this, that I am sure these crafts will not be lost, here.

Other gifts included a large book about 150 birds in Sweden and their calls.It gives brief information about each bird, but the great part is, that there is a small speaker attached to it and when you search for the appropriate number, you can hear the birds call. Now we can learn to identify a bird by it's call, too.

We have sighted a new species of bird in our garden, a Hämpling (Carduelis cannabina), which, according to the books, should not be here, this far inland.
We heard 2 species of owl; Kattuggla (Strix aluco) and Sparvuggla (Glaucidium passerinum), their distinct calls giving them away and quit near too. Thanks to the previously mentioned book.....

New neighbours; a couple of nötskrika (Garrulus glandarius), which are very wary of us and the activity around the house, in sharp contrast to all the other birds around.
There's even a hare that comes to feed from the deerfeeder, sitting on it's haunches, so that it's head can reach the feedingtray easily. It doesn't even run off everytime it sees movement in the house!

And we now have visual confirmation that we are being visited by 2 deergroups.... Well.. groups... If you can call 2 female deer a group and than there's a small group consisting of a young buck and 2 deer. The buck is already showing his growing antlers! We also noticed that the 2 deer are slightly bigger than the buck and his harem. They are taller and beefier, but do seem to be the same species. We saw those 2 groups visiting our deerfeeder within minutes of each other, so had some good references.

Speaking of animals..... Do you believe in omens?
Source; www.pesvahn.com
My wife and I had a close encounter with a moose the other day. We were driving home as it was growing dark, after we picked up our "new" car. I drove upfront in our own car, my wife following me in the other car. Then, all of a sudden, as I came out of a long curve, I spotted a moose standing right next to the ditch, at the edge of the road. I actually kind of sensed it, since I hit the brakes even befor I recall seeing the moose itself. My wife was driving behind me.We came to a standstill within 15 meters of the moose, which did not run away. We both got out of our cars and we just stood there, watching the moose watching us. I walked to the back of my wife's car, staning there with nothing between the moose and me, except 10-15 meters of space. It lasted a while and I felt thrilled to be near such a large and undomesticated animal, which did not seemed to be alarmed in any way. All of a sudden another car came up from the other way and the moose turned and ran, back into the woods. It did not run from two cars, stopping close by, but it did from one coming from a distance?? The whole thing lasted about a few minutes. it might have been 2, it might have been 5.... I lost track of time.
This was the third time I saw a moose, apart from a few quick driveby's. The first time was when we moved to Sweden and we experienced some cartrouble, while moving our stuff. Because we had to drive very slow, we spotted 2 young bulls, right next to the road, watching us snail past.... The second time I saw one, was when we moved to this house. That moose was standing in a field and it, too, just watched as we drove past, not too fast, because of the loaded truck.
And now we had this encounter.... on a moment when things are about to change again. We are changing employer, because our old one has sold the company to them and that might have some serious implications for us. Seeing this moose, I believe it will be for the better.... A good omen, if you will.
In hindsight I know I've been lucky in more than one way. if the animal would have moved onto the road, I would have never been able to stop or avoid it, given the winterly conditions... Hitting a fully grown cow in a VW Golf at 70km/h would have been catastrophic.... for me.
the picture of the moose actually isn't mine. I found it and used it, because I think it is a beautiful one. It comes from Svahn's fotoblogg and you should check it out. The guy's got wonderfull wildlifepictures!

We did encounter another natural fenomenon We had never seen befor; a vertical "rainbow". Appearantly these occur, whenrays of sunlight hit a wall of icechrystals in the air, effectively acting as a mirror. We're told this is called refraction..... Whatever it's called, it is an awesome sight to see. It looks like a vertical beam of light, coming from somewhere on the ground, shooting up.

And than there is the change I talked about. It is in the air.... A sort of, I don't know... anticipation, a weakening of winter, a lack of winter's ferocity, a softness or gentleness in the air.... I don't exactly know how describe it, but it's there. By no means does it mean winter is nearly over; far from. It is snowing as I write this and quit hard too, actually. We're also facing a good many more frosty days and nights, but everyday I look, the weatherforecasters are adjusting their predicted temperatures up. All we need is a shift in the wind and Kung Bore will still bite us, but somehow....
I also noticed a small, yet clear change in the behaviour of the many small birds, which accumulate aroubnd our house. They're starting to sing. It no longer is the short kind of squeeks they produce, but longer, multi-toned calls. I can here it all day. They also no longer squable just over food. They are fighting and bickering about locations, places within the trees; the large pine in front of our house in particulair.

All this fresh snow makes me wish another gift of mine would have received already, being a pair of those older Swedish army skiing boots, the one with the rubberised bottom. I did receive a pair, but they sent me the wrong size, so they are useless. I tried to use the skies with my winterboots and my old Dutch armyboots, but neither would work properly, sending me crashing into the snow on more than one occassion, because the boot missaligned with the ski or come loose all together. The seller has emailed me, saying the correct size will be shipped to me this week.... Great, I should have them in time for next winter, then....


  1. Beautiful photograph of the moose- I believe it is a good omen for you as well.

  2. Thanks Peter.
    The picture actually isn't mine, but i forgot to mention the source. I corrected it.

  3. Great that you're teaching your kids to make gifts! There's so much more meaning in a handmade gift, as opposed to store-bought.

    Spring will be here before we know it. :) Based on my experiences in Finland, this time right now is usually the coldest. Yesterday it was 0*C and wet... Inland it's -1*C, nothing like the -35 to -40*C I've seen over the past few years at this time. I better hurry the heck up if I want to squeeze in some more winter activities!

    Your moose experience was cool! They normally seem to be so shy (well, except during mating season...).