onsdag 9 december 2015

Winter is coming

In northern Sweden there are tales from the past of a creature known as Vittra. Usually she could be found roaming around at the bogs at night and in daytime she could hide in a cave or under a big tree. Sometimes she could help those in need. There are stories about her blue cattle grazing at night in distant marshlands, sometimes if a poor family did not get enough milk from their cows it could happen that she let her cattle go along with the poor family's for a while so that they could milk from her cows that always gave plenty of milk. But in most cases it was best to keep away from her as she was not so keen on humans. There are rumors that she has been on the farm and may be still is here. Anyway the rumor about this creature inspired the woman that now live at the farm to make a sculpture picturing Vittra.

I found that some hunters had thrown away some moose skins and moose heads. I took one skin to tan and one head to eat. I dragged the skin since it was so heavy to the closest river and laid it in the stream. It was going to be there for some days until the hair started to fall off. Then I dragged it back to the farm and scraped it on a scraping beam with scraping knife. It was heavy work for the arms. The days were still sunny and quite warm so I could dry it in the sun. Later on when I had time I was going to tan it.

The tanner that visited us earlier in summer returned. He wanted to help me build a shelter out of logs. I wanted this to become the new outside kitchen sine the other one was really only provisional. We had some logs that had been taken down in early spring but we needed more logs so we took down more trees and debarked them. Building with logs is slow work, and we managed to build a layer in a day. 

One evening two young girls arrived, they had hitchhiked here. They were from Iceland and Denmark they had come here to get some experience and work for food and shelter. Thanks to them, me and the tanner could focus on building sine they took care of cooking, cleaning, feeding animals and debarking logs. They also helped out to slaughter roosters and some hens. We needed to reduce the number of animals because we had too many in relation to how much feed we had. They were lucky the second evening we saw a beautiful northern light it was first time for them.

The tanner had to return after two weeks and I finished the shelter by my self. I used some of the metal plates as roof. It was to cold now to cook outside so we had to wait with the opening of the shelter until next year

An old man who owned a lot of forest next to my lad said that we could take wind fallen trees for wood and construction so we went out in the forest and pulled many logs back home, it was heavy work to pull the logs. We also find a big aspen tree that we shopped up to firewood and brough back to the farm. We got help from a neighbor with a quad to transport some of the bigger trees.

Some snow fell and the girls made a snowman, but the snow melted. It was now November, it was warmer than usually. Usually snow comes already in late October. But it was getting darker, we did not have many hours of daylight.

In the end of November the girls had been one month at the farm and decided to return back home. Now we were two people at the farm me and the woman from Schweben. We burned the sprucebranches from the trees that we had taken down to build the shelter.

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