Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Things are stirring....

Spring has definitely found it's way here! Daytime temperatures remain above freezing and it's thawing hard! Downside of that is that the ground's still frozen, so all that meltwater can not sink in.
I use my free time mainly by walking over our little patch of land, planning what has to be done and where, looking at what we have etc.
As I was wondering through our backyard I came across all kinds of little surprises being revealed, now the ground is warming up. I found plenty of hare- and deerdroppings, Nature's free fertiliser. Nature really is waking up, showing signs of new life all over the place. Flowers and plants are poking their noses above the ground and start to show their colours.

I am almost crawling across the ground, nose in the grass and, apart from staring the plants out of the ground, I found more nice things. Small spiders hurrying through the grass, impossible to capture on photo. Lots of snailshells, most of them smashed and plundered. But some were not.

This looks like it is a forreststrawberry and there are many of them here! Along with the lingonberryshrubs I found and all the raspberrybushes we have I am hoping for a nice harvest. Is there anything that can beat the taste of freshly picked berries??

There is also a very large birds' nest. I saw that befor, but now that it is snowfree, you can really see how big it is! It is a good 75cm across at least and about 30-35cm thick. And I'm just guessing here. Could be bigger.

As I stood there, nose in the sun, listening to the calls of the birds, daydreaming a bit, I caught the sight of a brownish grey something, smashing into a (suspected) dead juniper in a corner of our backyard. It was the falcon I had seen befor and he (don't know why I call it a he, jus feels like it) granted me the honour of actually witnessing him hunting and killing a prey. It caught a blåmes, as I could tell after he lept out of the juniper onto the brach of a nearby birch in order to grab his prey in a better way and biting it. Then he flew off again, leaving all the other birds around highly alarmed. Their calls had changed totally, giving off high pitched, singletone calls. A bit too late, I'd say.
It felt as if the falcon had come out of nowwhere, but looking at the terrain I think I might know why it suddenly appeared. I think it had approached low, using his colours as a camouflage against the backdrop of trees and shrubs. ( And this event is actually the main reason for this post all together)
Our easterweekend was a relaxed one. It was quit different than last year's. The snow had gone by the first of march bthen, but as you can see we still had quit a bit left. We also had some wonderfull and "warm" weather, melting away snow and ice at speed, but instead of going out, visiting here, seeing that, we stayed at home and had some familytime.

We enjoyed the sun, soaking up that ever so vital vitamin D,

kids playing like kids should play...

We were not the only ones enjoying the sun. Some insects started to show too, like a few moths, which were caught and eaten by our black cat. The flies were still slow, too. Slow enough to pick them up with my fingers, if I wanted to.

 This couple of pilfinkar (Passer montanus) was so preoccupied with each other that I could approach them to within a meter of three and yet they remained in place, even after having seen me.

And my wife spotted a large bird, circling through the skies, above the hills in front of our house. Through my binos I was able to see some very clear details, like the very clear white outerparts of the wings. I could identify this bird as an ormvråk (buteo buteo). So that means they are coming back, too! Apart from that one I also spotted a second blackbirdmale and a female.
However, there still is work that has to be done. We rechieved the first loads of firewood allready. Our neighbours have stopped heating their home with wood, so we could buy their surplusstock. I'm glad we could! The wood is bonedry, we do not have to pay for and handle a large load in one go. It also means that we have about 5 that is ready for use. No cutting, sawing and splitting involved, just hauling it up to the house.

Another task I have started it cutting the grass..... redneckstyle! Our little corner of the world has not seen any maintanance for a year or 2, prior to us moving in, so we'll have some catching up to do. There's a lot of long, dead grass everywhere and by burning that off now I can get rid of a lot of it, without having to risk a fire getting out of control. Only the very top is dry enough to burn and there are small patches here and there with snow in between. A weedcutter would very likely get entangled in this and I do not have a scythe... yet. And even if I had one I would not want to risk it, with all the stones and bolders strewn around.

And this time of year has many more surprises in store. The clock has been reset, so we now have summertime, meaning an hour more daylight in the evening. The days have allready lenghtend by more than 7 hours of daylight since the wintersolstice! With christmas it would be dark at 16:00 and now that is 20:00 and by midsummer another 3 hours will be added at least. My internal systems have a hard time coping with that! But I feel strangely nervous, restless, anxious....

The setting sun casts a red glow over the land and forest, making the still leafless birchtrees lighting up with a deep, rich copperred, in sharp contrast with the white snow and treetrunks amidst the deep green, but red tinged spruce and pinetrees. In the shadows the temperatures drop fast....

and the frost carves it's patterns in the mud once more....


  1. It is a beautiful place you live in, Ron, and isn´t it wonderful spring is on the way?

    The bird´s nest is a sight to behold, and I love your description of the falcon hunting his prey...

    More sun to warm your heart!

    1. It sure is! And we really feel at home here.
      I have no idea yet what made this nest, but I hope it's previous occupants might return.
      That falcon really made my heart beat a tad faster!

  2. We have had a similar break here too, and the extra sun and daylight hours have made a big difference to the feel of the day. Its still colder than normal in the UK though, so I'm trying to find the last few logs to heat the home.

    1. It's been more than 10 degrees colder than average for the last month here, too. Hopefully we'll have enough firewood when summer's gone. It would be nice to have a properly heated house, instead of having to make due with 15 degrees inside during the day. At night that was even lower.

  3. Härliga vårbilder! Här har vi ganska mycket snö kvar, men sakat men säkert kommer våren även här :)

  4. Nice signs of spring, Ron. :) Based on when you published this post, it looks like we are almost a month behind you guys (and we're in the "warm" part of southern Finland). It's now mid-April and we still have snow on about half of the ground. A few more spring rains and it will be gone! I have seen a few small spring flowers in some of the warmer spots, though, which is always welcome!