Monday, 29 March 2010

Music to suit the mood

Some of my friends already know that every now and then this just does it for me. In addition to this most famous part, I strongly recommend that you listen to the entire piece, it really is just fantastic.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Setting the hide

In anticipation of the approaching black grouse mating season, I took my hide to the swamp. Early in the morning the sun hadn't melted the icy crust on top of the snow and skiing was light, eventhough I was pulling quite a load with me. The load of gear looked like this:

After reaching the spot where I had planned to set the hide, I dug a hole in the snow for it. This year there was quite a bit more to dig than on previous occasions:

The completed hide in its' snowhole looks like this:

After getting everything set up, it was time for a small break:

On the way back, I had time to observe and capture some animal tracks. These two went on top of another for quite some time, but headed their separate ways in the end:

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Tough scouting

Today I was able to go the swamp for the first time in quite awhile. After a few days of sunshine and sub zero temperatures, the weather had changed to +4 C and a steady gray overcast. This never fails, whenever the weather is good, there is no chance of being able to go out and when I have the opportunity to go, the weather is not even close to ideal for photography. I managed to get my car parked at a crossing of two dirtroads and hopped onto my skis. After the first kilometer or so, I realized that this would be a much tougher trip than I had planned. The warm temperature caused the top snow to be extremely damp and it started to stick to the bottom of my skis. Moving along was more in the style of walking with skis than actually skiing, but I kept on going and took a few snapshots along the way.

I looked at this depression in the snow with some concern as soon as I noticed it from further away. I often feel a bit dubious of depressions and cracks in otherwise smooth and level snowsurfaces.

This time my concern was not unfounded, the unfrozen area was quite large, extending partly even underneath the even looking snowsurface:

Otherwise the landscape was rather bare and steady gray. There weren't even any fresh animal tracks to be seen. All in all quite boring:

I made my way to the spot where I had my hide in the fall and stopped for a cup of tea and a bite to eat. The picture shows well how the snow kept sticking to the skis and slowed my progress quite effectively:

I had left flooring of my hide leaning against a small tree in the fall and after some digging I was able to check that they were still there:

Next time around I'll have to bring along a snowshovel and a sledge so that I can move the planks to a different location. There I'll set my hide up again to wait for the black grouse mating season to begin. As I was taking my break, I set the camera up on my tripod and took a picture of myself. I think my expression says something about todays trip:

I didn't take the compulsory closeup shot of a pinecone, but opted for a moss closeup instead:

Friday, 5 March 2010

Kids and winter

For once we have had plenty of snow this winter. The kids have had a great time being able to do wintery things, like skiing and just playing about in the snow. If some of you are too grown up to remember what it's like, here are a few pictures, just as a reminder: