Thursday, August 1, 2013

Rain, rain.... wonderfull rain!

Finally we are having some rain! Refreshing... revitalising... cooling.....

God knows it was desperately needed for both plant and animal alike. It has been raining for the better part of yesterday evening and all through the night with an additional bonus of a torrential downpour this afternoon.... And still the ground is only moist for the top few centimeters. But for surfacerooting plants this is enough to take in some moisture. The forestfirewarning has been reduced by three levels, now having a normal risk of fires. But I guess that will go up again in the coming few, and expected hot, days.

So what do you do on a day with "bad" weather?
You take shelter... right? 
We went underground!  
We deliberately put if off all summer, because of the heat outside. Inside it is a mere 7°C and when you come out and it's 25°C or more, you'll be unpleasantly surprised. Going underground is an absolute UNnatural thing to do for me. I am no scaredy cat and I am only claustrofobic, when the room gets extremely small, but being underground makes me feel uneasy. Actually my only claustrofobic experiences were underground, in a drainagepipe and in a sandstonecave, squeezing myself through narrow openings.
We went to visit the coppermines of nearby Falun. For the kids a first time, for the Mss. and me a repeating visit. The total absence of natural light and the idea of millions of kilos of dirt and rock above me...... would not make this a perfect jobsite for me.

It is however a awe inspiring experience, visiting caves or mines. A world on its own with its own noices and smells, its own energies and impressions, not to mention the historical aspects. This particular mine has been operative since app. 1300 years! Talking about history. How's that for traditional? I always try to picture how it must have been in those past years, to work here... The guide we had did a very good job at providing the needed information to create a picture and the previous visit to the museum with all the tools and such made a very vivid mindpicture possible. How dare I complain about having been in the cleaningbusiness???

It is breathtaking to think of the riches and the gifts Mother Nature has for us and saddening to see how humans have exploited that and what impact that had of the lands around it. But it is not just the vast hole in the ground and all those passages and caves that men "created", it was also the vast amounts of wood they needed for both mining and processing. They must have laid waste to the country back then. 
It is not just here, but everywhere this mix accurs. Man can never just take what he needs and leave it at that. Greed takes over and enough is just never enough...
source; wikipedia

The pictures shown are not mine, but I plucked them from the net. 
However I forgot where they came from...
This miningbusiness does however also have some positive consequences. The world famous Swedish red houses have their origine here. It is due to the miningwaste that this red paint, Falu röd, came into existence. It is a mixture of ironoxide from the stone, wheatflower and rapeseedoil. The high contents of mainly zink in it gives it its preserving properties, making it possible for wooden buildings to last for many, many years.
There is also a couple of eagle owls (bubo bubo) nesting in the open mine and it is here that one of the three reported hatchings in Dalarna took place.

My activities have shifted towards morning- and eveninghours and one of these evenings I took out a gift that has been just sitting there since the winter; a tent. I got this from the head of the scoutgroup, since they didn't need it anymore and it had been lying around on the loft for a while.
I did not have any real idea what kind of tent it was, so I decided to set it up. I was pleasantly surprised to see it was a tent with sidewalls and high enough for me to stand up strait in! It is all canvas, including the floor. None of it is rotten but there are no poles. I used 2x5 puptentpoles, but even that is not quite high enough. I need to make some poles myself. The front is closed with a long zipper, so I might just change that. I have not yet decided what to do exactly with this tent. Maybe I'll convert it to a socalled "whelen lean-to" or I'll go for a wintertrekkingtent. This option has my preference...

The right picture has something inspiring about it to me; old fashioned tent, old fashioned canoe, sunset..... The tent didn't look so cool after a few hours of rain though..... The rooftop got heavy, the cloth on the ground sucked up the moisture. But the inside remained dry.... sort of....

Another thing I have been trying is going barefoot..... Having a piece of forest nextdoors does come in handy. ;) 
It was a revelantion! Even better than walking with moccassins. The feeling of freedom it gives is fantastic. Feeling the grass, moss, leaves, twigs and rocks with your bare feet is.... undescribable. I felt reconnecting, back in place, but also seriously out of place! I need just a tad more practise and experience in that.
Hopping across rocks on your barefeet is not just all pleasure. I guess our modern feet have become too weak to do that without protection. You damage your feet wuite easily. And watch where you're stepping. Avoid areas with juniper(needles).....


  1. You are really becoming a true caveman :)
    At home I walk barefoot most of the time, but I can not get used to stepping on snails in the morning when I walk through the grass. *grosssss* But it really does good things for your mood!

    You made beautiful pictures of the mines, but it is sad to see the result of the mining :(

    1. Hej Gerlinde,
      I'd be anything BUT a caveman. And the pictures of the mine aren't mine, either.
      Thanks for the comment,though.

  2. The mines are cool! I've got a few drops of dwarfblood in me, so I tend to crawl into every little cave I can find, he he (and a healthy interest in gology to).

    Love the tent to. I am sure that is a birch bark canoe in the background.....

    1. Hej Odd,
      each man to his own. I guess I am no where near dwarfrelated, despite my size *laugh*.
      And unfortunately no.... no birchbarkcanoe... ;) Wouldn't match the tent, now would it?
      You'd need a buffalohideshelter to go with a birchbarkcanoe.

  3. The HBC and the trappers also used birch bark canoes. I think a BB canoe would match the tent perfectly.

  4. Interesting visit to the mine! Nice tent, too. Great piece of old-timey gear. :)