tisdag 8 december 2015


The warm weather prevailed. In some places where the cloudberries had become pollinated they were maturing quickly. I wanted to be done with the haymaking before picking berries . We were going to cut hay with a scythe first at the higher-lying meadows and then the lower-laying wet meadows.

One of us had gone to the south for a while so we were only two people for this task. I was the one who knew how to handle and sharpen a scythe. I did not use a traditional Nordic scythe instead I used an Austrian scythe. I had learned to use the Austrian scythe when I was living at a chalet in Värmland. The Austrian scythe is made of a softer steel and therefore you can cold-hammer the edge into a small edge that you then sharpen with a sharpening stone. I think its easier to get a really sharp edge with this method. The other man was in charge of raking the cut grass. The days were hot and we had to go to the lake for a bath several times a day. We had built some drying racks but most of the grass we left drying on the ground since the weather was so sunny and warm. We turned the piles of grass three times and after that it was dry and could be carried into the old saw house. The other man was bored of raking he said that he would rather buy hay than raking any more. I continued the work. A couple of days later the other man decided to leave the farm.

It was incredible hot now, apparently it was the warmest and driest summer in a long time. One morning, when I came out of the house I had a feeling that something was strange. Later on the day when I was down the lake refreshing my self I met one man from the midsummer party, he was out rowing. He told me about a major forest fire in Västmanland and that the smoke had reached all the way here. Västmanland is quite far away from Lapland so the smoke was very weak and difficult to notice, but it was the smoke that gave me the strange feeling.

The well there we were fetching dishwater had dried out, I tried to dig deeper into the well but it was difficult since it were so many stones in the mud, I even found moose bones. The drinking spring showed no sign of drying out. The stream close to the house had dried out a long time ago.

The cloudberries were now matured, and I was finished with the hay. I set out on the on the marshes to pick berries. I picked for many days and got finally around 40 kg. I mashed the berries and stored them in a pit which was a meter deep. I put down a thermometer and saw that there were seven degrees. That should be just enough storage temperature I thought. 

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