A splendid day here. In full sun at 17:00 we had 24 degrees; it certainly felt deliciously warm outdoors – probably around 18 degrees or so where I sat with a book, a cuppa and a few bikkies.
I took Jack for a longish walk this afternoon, round the lakes and then off for a coffee-break – Fika, in Swedish – at Roger the German’s place:
The view from Roger’s terrace, front of house:
He is located just before a smallish lake, very pretty and now greening-up nicely. En-route, Jack and I passed about another five or six lakes. I had hoped to see the Störlom/Black-Throated Divers and had assumed they’d have returned by now. But there was no sign of them, yet, though I did see one yesterday in a lake a few miles off. Instead, today, I saw a pair of Whooper Swans seemingly laying claim to the Black Throated’s usual preferred swimming-hole:
Together with a pair of Golden Eye Ducks, of which there were plenty on most lakes:
And another, again with Golden Eyes (three pairs, no less):
And yet another, looking a bit moody as cloud drifts over:
Jack decided it was time to have a paddle at this last one. He wandered to the edge and simply dropped off into fairly deep water. After a few minutes of no doubt freezing paddling/swimming he struggled to get a grip and back out of the water. I couldn’t help much as it is boggy, water-logged ground at this point and I was less than keen on joining him!
We passed the local village fishing hut and camping area. This is maintained by the locals, who provide free firewood etc. The hut itself has tables, benches and a wood-burning stove inside. It is never locked and used to be freely available to anyone who wanted to use it. Now, however, after it was a bused a few years ago by some migrant berry-pickers, it is asked that it be booked locally. It shouldn’t be used as a sleeping place but the area outside may be used for caravans, motor-homes or tents etc. There is even a loo not far off. The forest floor is covered by a thick carpet of Blueberries, Lingon Berries and a peculiar Swedish delicacy, Hjotron. Itinarent pickers arrive each Summer to pick these for commercial interests in the South of the country. When first we came here, this was mostly Ukrainian pickers, then latterly Poles and now often Thais or other far-eastern visitors. Occasionally Sami are also involved and they seem to have an astounding resilience to mosquito bites and hard, back-breaking labour! Despite problems in the past, the hut/stuga is still available to fishermen free of charge:
This sign is in the parking/camping area outside and has information about the geology, wildlife etc of the nature reserve area: The flower decal is of a local pansy which grows prolifically throughout the forest and is in fact a woodcarving done by one of our neighbours, Per Togget:
This morning there were three Curlews, a handfull of Cranes and a gaggle of Canada Geese in the fields in front of the house:
This one was obviously the Guard Goose:
Even when the others had wandered off across the road to another field, he stayed put, keeping a wary eye out for danger or threats. Endearing, I thought.
It was a treat to end up with such a lovely, bright, sunny day. This morning at around 08:00 there was a fair bit of damp mist lingering, especially in the forest:
At another nearby lakeside, we came across this guy. He’s a fisherman who lives about 25 Kms off. Every year, as soon as the snow is going, he tows this caravan and sets up for the summer at another area provided and serviced by locals for the use of visitors. He causes much head-scratching and some irritation by this annual behaviour. He generally monopolises the area and prevents others from using it for months at a time, until he tows it away again in Autumn. Last year he had a bit of a scare when a Bear and Cub called and rattled his caravan, pawing at the wheels and clawing the door. Some locals thought/hoped that might see him off for a while, but no….he’s already back in place:
The view he enjoys, over yet another lake:
And part of this same lake, our own swimming hole, just out of shot, secluded and private in a small gently sloping bay just to far-right of this piccy:
J ahs again returned to Wales today. She left yesterday as it’s a long way off to the airport and stopped overnight in a hotel nearby. Our daughter, JVP, is unexpectedly in hospital in West Wales, so she has gone to see what can be done etc and help out on her discharge, which should be either this evening or tomorrow morning.
En-route to the rail station in Sundsvall we saw a Woodcock not far from the house when it ran across in front of the car, followed by a Stoat, a Long-Eared Owl hunting roadside, a Black Grouse and a Hazel Grouse. Today, for the first time so far this year, there is a pair of Pied Flycatchers in the garden. They’ve been checking out the nest-boxes and usually settle down in the garden for the season. Woody is still around and seems to have found a novel way of making a racket/din:
At the top of the pole there is a metal plate. He drums wildly on it at times, presumably enjoying the unusual, metallic sound. Later, he was back to his usual place on the feeder:
Foxy is still coming round every evening. I’m now convinced it’s the same one I was feeding many wintry months ago. He is coming closer and closer to me, presumably expecting tucker. He knows when he’s onto a good thing, I guess: