Sunday, December 29, 2013

Christmas in Dalarna

Yes, christmas in Dalarna 2013...
What's wrong with the following picture???

Not a speck of snow or frost in sight! It is late autumn around here these last few weeks. Stormy weather, rain, clouds, fog, wet snow and an occassional night frost. Winter took a few weeks off and is not expected to be back for some time. The ground is so waterlogged that we actually leave tiremarks in the gravel!

And we are not the only ones who are confused. Many plants have started to bud! There are fresh green leaves and shoots all over the place... and even some bloomimgplants.

There's not much to do besides the daily chores than to sit around all day, read a lot and be generally bored. The kids find it hard to get rid of their energy and tend to start to get on each others nerves. I guess the anticipation of christmas to come did play a role in that too.
Christmas is not my kind of celebration actually. I always find it to be a bit of an anticlimax after the initial buildup of anticipation. Most of it probably has to do with my own "ghosts of christmas past".... It does not bring back the happiest of memories. It also underlines a very big empty space in my own life, one which I know will not be filled.... and it is hard to loose that ball & chain. Luckily I do not need to worry about the ones from the present and future...

In order to shake this off, my oldest daughter and I went on an investigation on christmasday. There was a mystery to be solved; the mystery of the missing skull!
Yes, the mooseskull had disappeared! We, and above all I, wanted to know where it had gone. We had witnessed a fox moving through our garden about a week ago. It marked it territory here and there, vanished and reappeared a few minutes later right in front of our kitchenwindow. I saw it and called the kids and we watched the animal for a few minutes and it was watching us too! After that it trotted away, showing us its colours; a pale reddish brown with dark grey sides and back and all black legs. Its tail wasn't as full as the other one we saw a while ago either.
So we had a suspect, but an empty crimescene. In the drizzling rain we started at the place where I had left the skull and started searching in ever expanding circles untill my daughter called me. she had found some tufts of hair!
We again used the same tactics untill we found some more and again and again. The trail led us to a grassy patch next to our own backyard and here we saw narrow paths and more hair. Soon we found the lower jaw of the moose, completele stripped bare! Not a single scrap of meat or hair was left! I had not expected this.
We marked the spot and searched on, another trail and some more hair. We found a small piece of bone, which looked like a nosebone and searched on untill we eventually found the skull itself, a few hundred meters away from our house.
This had only a tuft of hair left ontop of the skull, but otherwise it too was completely bare, apart from a small dropping inside it and some more next to it.

By now the drizzle had turned to rain and we decided to go back home to get a bucket and some gloves in order to collect the lower jaw. My daughter would not go near it otherwise, let alone pick it up. We left the skull where it was after we had studied it. I was surprised to see there were no front teeth and the skull had a much more pointed shaped than I thought it would have.
So we got the bucket and gloves and my daughter picked up the jaw. She was fascinated by it though and studied it too.
When we came home I hung the jaw higher up in a juniperbush. This way no creature will be able to take it (I hope).
I admit that it does look a bit gruesome though, but I hope that by spring it'll be all clean.
Now to think what to make of the jaw. Anyone any ideas??

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