Sunday, July 20, 2014

All quiet on the northern front....

But it actually was anything but....
We, my family and I, are hopefully nearing the end of a very tumultuous and mentally demanding period. The emotional turmoil caused by daily stresses have been accumulating over these last couple of years and have reached an unpleasant climax these last few weeks. I'll spare you the details, let me just say that it has put some severe strain on interhuman relationships, both within and outside our family. So far the most pressing of issues are being dealt with, but it has left me with very little desire or energy to hit the woods and undertake some hikes. Luckily we do have a garden that does fill in that gap a little and I have found quite a few moments of respite there. My mind has been too preoccupied and at times really is my own worst enemy.
Sometimes one has to invert into oneself and re-examine and re-evaluate ones current status...... and allow ones physical being to take a breath and recover.
But the signs of recovery are already there; some budgetredecorating in the house is in progress (meaning reshuffling furniture, adding a splash of colour to the interior by dyeing sofacovers etc.). I am always amazed what you can do, when using your imagination.

Of course that does NOT mean all outdoorrelated subjects went overboard. That would simply be impossible. I have been trying to rekindle and old interest, if not passion of mine; history. Combined with the interests in old knowledge and the outdoors, that lead me to start studying the ways of the Vikings and the Sami. I have only begun to scratch the surface, but I am already amazed by what I found and did not know!
Luckily out local library is well stocked on these subjects and I spend many moments reading and learning.
A writer I have really come to like is Yngve Ryd, who unfortunately is no longer with us in this world. I loaned one book, Snö (snow) and bought another; Eld (Fire). He combined extensive knowledge on these subjects with Samiknowledge, folklore and history in a way that prevents it from becoming a dry, academic lecture. Real people are also being interviewed and quoted, adding more life to the subject. I do not think these books are available in English, which I think is a real shame!

I am also busy rekindling another old pasttime of mine; scalemodelling.
In those days I did not just build plastic kits, I also assembled and painted figures and, whilst browsing through my old stash of scalemodelling magazines, I came across a suitable scene with figures; a set of whitemetal Northern American moosehunters, complete with birchbark canoe. So you probably will see that one popping up again some time during autumn/winter.
The scale is roughly 1/20, figures being 90mm and the canoe is almost 25cm long.

We were also treated by some rare and special displays of animallife around us. Apart from the large amount of birds whizzing by and singing their little hearts out, we were treated to some more indepth experiences with them. We heard their young in several of the nestingboxes, we saw them leave them and looking for food and learning to fly, while their parents were nearby. We also got several displays of terns fiercely defending "their" airspaces by actively bullying and attaching passing buzzards! 
But the icing on the cake were the foxes.... One day I was standing behind the livingroom window, when I spotted a redhaired animal approaching through the horsefield in front of our house. At first I thought it was our red cat, bur it moved oddly. It didn't move as it should; it trotted, head held high. Then I noticed the large pointy ears and I realised that it was a fox! As it came nearer, in a straight path towards the house, I saw it carried a prey. It still came nearer and I saw that prey was a clump of black feathers. Then it did something totally unexpected. It came up the stairs, showing no signs of anticipation or hesitation at all! Head held high, thick bushy tail, reddish grey fur... and small. It then rounded the house, under the kitchenwindow and proceded to our front yard. There it stopped; froze for a while, standing straight, showing all its magnificence! What a beautiful animal this was! And as an encore it moved a few feet, dropped its prey in the grass and took a breather, relaxing a bit, sitting there looking around.... before it grabbed its dinner again and trotted off into the high grass.... Such a display up close for a handfull of minutes..... We were amazed to such a degree that we did forget to get the camera. Not that we would have dared to move anyway...
And 2 days later we were treated to yet another sighting. This time we we able to watch 2 cubs, playing on a knoll, between the shrubs right across the street. The rays of the sun made their fur sparkle with copper!

Another exciting episode was the arrival of a beeswarm!
We got a notification a few weeks ago that a swarm had landed in a pine in a small village some 4km away. It had been there for nearly a day. We rushed to get my stuff together, but by the time we were to hop in the car we got a message saying they had gone.... damn... But then, about 2 weeks ago E. called me and said to bring the beekeepersoutfit to the greenhouse. A swarm had nested into one of the old hives!
They have been taken care of and are happily buzzing away, gathering nectar and pollen and, hopefully, are busy breeding!
It is such a energizing experience standing next to such a busily buzzing hive! I am so hooked!

No idea why a small group gathered at the roof on the border between sun and shade..


Unfortunaely today, july 20th, was the last of the beekeepingcourse days. It really has been one of the most interesting classes I ever attended.

Other than this I have been tiptoeing into the world of "moving the lawn-grandpa-style". This included the first carefull swings with a scythe and recentering the old grindingstone I got last autumn. Now I need to grind it down, so it becomes round again, with a flat surface. Then I can get an edge on those blades! There's plenty of high grass to be cut!
Some purchases were made too.... Sometimes I just can not help myself. Apart from the a fore mentioned book Eld, I bought 2 more on another subject that I care about and want to learn more about; the moose. Luckily there is an extensive secondhandmarket for books here in Sweden. A bookworm's heaven!! These books will be saved for darker times to come; winter.

Speaking of acquisitions; we finally had the auctioning of the inventory of the house we emptied last autumn and of course I had to have some small pickings of my own. Since I was on the staffside of the event I was there all day and had did some bidding myself. Some of the things I'd like to buy went out of my league quickly, but some became mine at ridiculous prices. These include an old kitchenmachine, specially for saucagemaking, a large sheepskincover- or plaid, measuring 150x150cm and a handfull or old garden- or forestworkingtools, including some oversized clippers, a sledge, 2 hedgescissors and a large saw!
The sheepskinplaid will be divided along its seems, which make it a perfect fit for our livingroomchairs. A comfy winter seems to be waiting!

And some random animalpictures this summer yielded so far....
This one landed on the rug I was about to beat.... 
And this one came happily hopping along whilst I sat on the stairs of the frontdoor...

And sometimes one really lives at the end of the rainbow.....
Literally this day!

1 comment:

  1. Looks like the puzzle is comming together piece by piece.
    Keep up the good work!

    P.S: Have a look here. You just find some mental tools to help you on the way: