Friday, October 4, 2013

Daily doings - September has come to an end...

As september has come to a close and october marched into the calender, the weather played along and gave us some serious autumnvibes with a hint of winter! The first nightfrosts of the season are a fact.
I do not have the time or the energy to go out into the woods these days, but I have the privilige to experience the change of season from late summer to early autumn to late autumn while being out all day every day!
Yes, I am still working as a farmboy harvesting potatoes. Working days are roughly from 7:00 till 17:00 5 days a week and I must admit that at the end of the day and the week I am beat.... Which is no wonder, given my workexperience these past few years; No work, little work and no fulltime job for at least 10 years!
Anyway as I said I am totally emerged in the changing seasons and I see that everyday. I see the trees change their colours and what amazing colours they show this year! The extraordinary summer, the likewise autumn and the sudden shift in temperature have set the trees ablaze! Everyday I see the flocks of geese, cranes, finches, crows, pidgeons etc. grow, meaning more flocks and larger flocks. They pass overhead so low that I can clearly see their characteristics and can even see the difference between individuals! Their loud calling gives me time to spot them in time and if I had had a huntingrifle my freezer would fill up easily and fast! I also see large numbers of other wildlife. Groups of deer coming out to feed on the fields, while there still is food there. They stand there, the golden autumn rays of the sun catching the brown fur making them light up in a bright copper. I see the older deer and can easily distinguish the young ones. They do not seem to be disturbed with the close presence of man and machine, not even if the wind is blowing our scent directly over to them. They lift their heads and go on doing what they do. Only if we come very close (within 20 meters or so) do they move into the shrubs only to emerge once again after we have turned. Here too that vision of hunting comes to mind. I can not help but wondering how much meat one deer would give and if I could have hit them with a one shot one kill pull of the trigger. Based on my experience many years ago I figure it would not be much of a problem at these ranges with stillstanding animals showing their flanks so readily.
On one occassion I could witness how one roe started chasing another one; a bright copperred chasing a duller grey one and they ran over the field, coming up to the harvester! Then they stopped, looked at us amazed as if they were thinking:"How did they get here so fast?" We were less than 15 meters away!!

An added benefit of starting early is that on your way to work you can see the most amazing landscapes, draped with morningfog, whitened with frost, the rising sun casting amazing light across the land.... it is simply magical... During one of these trips we ran into some moose; a family of three. Well, at least they were a cow and a calf and the bull, with 4 points on each side of the head, was a bit further up the field, right next to the road and crossed that as we came closer. They, and especially the bull might not live very much longer, since hunting season has begun last week. Of course no camera, only a smartphone (not mine) and that did make lousy pics. The very next day, on that same strip of dirtroad, we ran into a group of deer and right in the middle of them, there was a fox; a large, light copperred, very healthy anf fluffylooking. We disturbed their morningbusiness and they took off, but seeing the fox dart away was a sheer pleasure. His/her fluent moves, the fluffy tail waving like a.... well... tuft of fur. My wife and I just sat there, our faces to the carwindow. We must have looked like small kids with the noses stuck to the glass. Delighted as we were we carried on, only to be met by....moose. Again. This time only a cow and calf, but right next to the road! We approached slowly, turned of the headlights and with the car making as less noice as possible, grinding over the gravel under the wheels, tearing the morningsilence to shreds.... We could "sneak up" to them as close as about 20 meters, but then they felt that was enough. So they turned and trotted off, while we desperately tried to "shoot" them...

I can honestly say that I never did see, and had the possibility to actually look at and watch, so much wildlife in such a short timespan nor did I see the land change so dramatically and was able to follow that on an everydaybasis. The weather played along too with very little rain, much sun, but also with cold northern winds and night frosts.
Was it all sunshine and happiness?
No.... we did have some rain. ;) But not much and even that little rain had more than the gift of much needed moisture in store; amazing rainbows! What was very noticeable was the sheer violence these rain showers showed. It didn't just rain, but the weather would shift dramatically all of a sudden, going from a sunny day into a storm with fierce gales and downpours in less than 10 minutes!
The picture shown was taken right after our oldest daughter had here first footballmatch ever.

Apart from all these overwhelming displays of nature there also were some traditional happenings to experience. One such event was the take down of the charcoalkiln on saturday the 14th of september. We opened her up and were greeted by a substantial amount of heat and glowing embers, even after 2 weeks! The covering layer was taken away, the coal was broken up, seaved and spread out to cool down, so it could be packed on sunday. Any emerging fires were met by a group of people with watercans. As you might expect that was a dusty event and the kiln gave a substantial amount of coal; 192 bags of 70 liters!
These were packed on sundaymorning, but without me being present,.the Mss took over on that part.  I really needed a day off... Two of these bags are residing at our place now, waiting to be used, preferably in a blacksmithingproject.
the coalersgroup or as my wife called us "her men"...
The kiln, which was named after my wife, (and I am not suggesting that it has anything to do with the name it bore... ;) ) did not behave exactly as it was supposed to and did have a little surprise in store for us, right at the end..... For some reason and in some way a bit of the glow managed to seep into the ground, smoulder away for a few hours and suddenly resurface in the middle of the following night. On sundaymorning, at 04:00 am, the 2 men, who stood watch suddenly had to jump into a frenzied action in order to fight and contain a blaze! The fire had come up from underground, right underneath a pile of halfcoaled timber, igniting that, consuming the adjacent firewoodshed and wheelbarrow, scorching some of the pinetrees and burning up some of the coal that was spread out to cool off.
We were lucky! Given the series of forestfirewarnings we had and the fact that many municipalies around us had them again, it was sheer luck this did not turn into a fullscale forestfire! We also still had plenty of water on site to extinguish the fire. They evnb had to dig out some remaining treestumps!
Maybe we did become a bit negligent and this was a stark reminder to check, check and check again!

the resulting damage.
Another event, which I did not take part in, but the mss. did, was a timetravel.
This means that third graders from several schools are invited to our hembygdsgård or local history museumfarm. There they are educated in the old ways. They are shown how people lived 100 years ago, when there was no running water, no electricity and no modern machinery. The kids get to experience this first hand by washing clothes, ironing them and splitting wood the old way. My wife was asked to assist the teachinggroup and was dressed in suitable attire, as did the other members.
The the kids were shown and taken into a roleplay, and felt first hand  how the people back in those days did their laundry; washing, scrubbing, rinsing, pressing, heating the iron on the stove befor ironing etc.
The are also shown how to saw and split wood, since the stove and the waterheater do not heat themselves.
That is the way you should teach kids; let them do it instead of telling them how it was done.


  1. Nice pictures and description of the coming fall, Ron. :) Sorry to hear about the coal-fire mishap, but glad it wasn't worse than it was! The living history event looks cool, too. Too bad you couldn't make it.


  2. Thanks.
    It was a nice experience fallwise and a good reminder kilnwise and doing the historything with all those kids.... I didn't quit scouting for nothing.