I have no heavy training... Barely Elementary School. Preferred the wilderness, it became my university, but I got muddy boots and experience instead of School knowledge so my English was therefore quite inadequate. This blog is a project to improve my skills in English language.
We all have our own universe, welcome to visit mine.
I have just read
Winterdance by Gary Paulsen and am still a bit overwhelmed. He is a very entertaining
writer and it feels immediately as if we were soul mates. He does not like
moose, and I understand him. American moose seem to be seven times worse than
The story about his
apprenticeship period with the new dogs, the dogs from hell, was incredibly
funny and reminded me of my time as a horse coachman in forest work. The timber was heavy and the horse did not
have the same understanding of how the work would be carried out, as I had. It
hurt both body and soul. Learning time is often quite painful.
Iditarod race is
probably not for me, seems to be terribly demanding, but it was an amazing trip
to read about. Read it!
During the time
that I read often returned the memory of an old workmate, Grizzly, a stunning
mix between Greenland dog and an unusually large German shepherd. He became an outstanding friend and companion
during ten working seasons in the wilderness. 55 kg muscles in a sweet little
He tracked better
than me, especially on bare ground. He worked very methodically, from footprint
to footprint. He was a nature lover with a very big heart and even tried to
spend time with an adult male lynx. (Holy shit what angry it became!) It went
better with wolves, them he was dancing with a few times. He was pretty hungry
and got a very special look when he saw squirrels or reindeer, the same big wet
eyes that I get when mashed turnips with pork served on a plate ...
The only animal
he did not like was the bear, it scared the crap out of him. Therefore I always
knew if there were bears around when I prepared our night camp. It's safe and
cozy with a four-legged companion at the campfire, except when they are staring
stiffly out into the darkness and growls ...
It happened that
he almost scared the life out of a hunter or fisherman who we met during our wanderings;
he was sometimes quite similar to a wolf. About the same size and color
coverage, at least for those who were not used to seeing wolves.
We had a deal; he
did not need to have a leash if my commands were obeyed. From the first week we
had developed a common language that was based on thin whistles, small gestures
and appealing looks. At least it was my communication with him, he answered
mostly with a low voice Woof.
On one occasion
when twilight prevailed, I suddenly saw him at his own journey of discovery at
the edge of a bog next to our camp. I got pissed; he broke our agreement so I
took the leash in my hand and walked with firm steps to connect him. When I
reached halfway, I suddenly hear rustling sound behind my back. It's the dog
who had just woken up and rushes up from his bed hidden under a spruce. What I
was about to hook up was a wolf ...
I was down to the
office yesterday, to the employer, 150 km south - to civilization! Tried to
behave naturally to blend into the urban environment, but already when I parked
the car, I met suspicious glances.
I wonder how they
knew that I was not one of them, that I came from the north ...
Our corn sheaf this year was extra packed, so as oat sheaves looked in
the past. Some birds visiting it have not received this Christmas either,
sparrows do not come here until closer to spring, but it is an ornament and
related to Christmas.
This morning it took an end to both Christmas and the sheaf, and that's
okay. Roe deer also need to have a good time during those harsh days.
The winter solstice is just passed and slowly, very slowly, the days grow slightly longer and the nights slightly shorter.
Now is the darkest time of the year and our
farm rests for a time in the shade although the occasional ray of sunshine finds
its way through the branches. This morning it was 26 degrees below zero, grimly
with the first real cold before you become accustomed.
Late at Christmas Eve, when we were out to the wooden storehouse with Santa's
porridge (an important tradition that we never miss!),offered nature an unusually clear starry sky which was also painted with Northern Lights. Amazing, it was a really evocative Christmas night.
An old year
is behind us, maybe with some flaws but also with clear memories of what has
been good. A new year lies ahead, still fresh and unconsumed. Open the window
and let the inspiration flow! (Façade from Krakow)
I took an
afternoon tour yesterday and enjoyed good tracks from both wolves and lynx. Did
not note, took no pictures. Free from work, one has to have a hobby too ;-)
across two hawk owl. Still plenty of small rodents, perhaps the owls stay
another season before they turn back to the north.
comes the light. First, it’s tentative, a minute longer daylight, then
increasing until midsummer. Wonderful!
pictures are from a fantastic day in wolf grooves, last week, when I followed 7
wolves through the home grounds. It became a long day of tracking in the
mountains, followed by an even longer walk along forest roads to reach the car.
A hawk owl
kept me company for a while, a silhouette in the moonlight. I really felt that
I took to be the day, took to be my life!
I suppose I´m some kind of caretaker for nature reserves (warden, ranger..?) who also works with environmental monitoring and endangered species. Tracker since the mid-eighties, mostly wolves and other predators, and assistant in various research projects with inventories and telemetry.