Solar illuminated bird feeder

Feeding wild birds or backyard birds is a great way to learn more about them. They are such fascinating and adorable little creatures. To be successful at the birds dinner table I have eventually learned what to give them to keep them coming.

Here you can see the tiny “solar panel” I mounted on the roof – the light bulb is inside under the roof. The birds don’t seem to be bothered by it at all, and this little great tit is the first guest this frosty morning.solar cell panel bird feeder solceller talgoxe tit kjottmeis feeding frost winter birds night illumintation kjøttmeis fågelmatare fuglemater

So, this autumn I put up various bird feeders, two of them with windows. I is really so cool to spy on the various visiting bird species and see what they are up to. You can be sure that if the “table is not ready and set” they know where to find me and remind me about that 😀

It’s for sure cosy to see the decorative bird feeders all day, but at night it is completely darkness out there ..almost… so I pondered on how to best enlighten the windowed bird feeders at night. I decided to buy some super-cheap solar cell bulbs (3 EURO each), and installed them with the solar charging “panel” outside on the bird feeders roofand bulb inside. It works like a charm! 

The relatively peaceful daytime bird feeders automatically turns into extra cosy bird cabins with slighty illuminated windows in blue, red and greene at night… like somebody is at home in there ... (oh, I think I managed to include the Big Dipper/Karlsvognen in the photo too, can you see it too?)bird house solar light solcell ljus fågelmatare nigth nattlysnordic arctic polar frost

Up here in the cold north we now only have a few hours of sun this time of year, so the solar cells charging time are pretty limited right now, but a solar cell illumination after dark for some extra hours is enough, and when the reflecting snow comes it will hopefully improve the charging conditions again.

Whenever I can afford it I use solar cell illumination. Now I have put up solar cell illumination both along my barn’s stairway and on two of my bird feeders outdoor, some additional small steps in the right direction. So far this winter we had -18 °C , and the solar cell still works!solar cell illumination bird feeder

More pip’s to come.. 😉

Crochet wool mittens

I’m hooked, addicted and already have a long list of what I plan to create with my smoking hot crochet needles. Preferably I want to create things that somehow can be useful and used, and not only for decoration, and when possible use natural materials.. but there will always be exceptions, I know myself.

Well, my second homemade piece of creation is finally done, so yes, I DO find some time between daily challenges, motherhood, animals, studies, work and workouts: a couple of warm mittens, crocheted, felted, blocked and decorated with som simple stitches I have learned online.

The result before and after the process of washing, felting, blocking, drying and simple stitch decoration. Before the felting the mittens had size big, but the felting also shrink them to fit my hands.

Only a couple of weeks ago I was wondering why the heck these crazy “knitting aunties” where showing off with pics of theirs big stocks of colorful yarns online (but well hidden from their husbands).. and now I fully understand them… shopping for yarns both off- and online is like going without food for 3 days and then walk right into a delicious candy shop.. the colours. oh my goood the colours! yummy ..ha..ha

Simple stitches, but I think they give the mittens some life and extra charmcrochet mittens votter hanskar ull woollen handmade firewood cotton

I prefer mittens felted so they get warmer, tighter and more wind resistant. The transitions will also look a bit smoother. These mittens are pretty quick to make with the chunky Eskimo wool yarn – but waiting for ordered yarn supplies in the middle of a piece of work feels like a million years when you need it right away!.. kind of..

No wood chippings in my hands while sorting/collecting firewood in my barn, and no icy fingers in the ice-cold wind today – the felted mittens takes care of it!crochet mittens votter hanskar ull cleaning wool handmade snow marius kofte norwegian tradition heklevotter örnsköldsvik

TIPS & TRICKS!

Washing/cleansing wool:

These mittens will do fine by washing them carefully by hand in water, form and dry flat. But after I used them to gather some firewood in my barn today, they got full of filth and small clinging bark crumbs, that just don’t look nice. So….crochet mittens votter hanskar ull cleaning wool handmade snow marius kofte norwegian tradition

… I just went outdoor and simply rubbed the mittens in between some fresh snow, the wool will try to repel the water and apparently the filth too .. afterwords the mittens looked new again.

This is a bit similar to an old trick people used to do (and still do) – washing their wool rugs in powder snow. It actually sounds logic to do a natural cleansing of natural material doesn’t it? I have used this trick this snowy winter on other carpet materials I have ..and it worked out ok too! Read how you can do it here. 

Now, see you later guys – I have a ball of wool to save from my curious cats 😀

Natural backstop for archery target

Practising with my compound bow has not been a priority lately, but after recently ordering home a very simple target board with an even simpler tree stand (4 sticks and thick styrofoam), I of course had to get out and try it out yesterday.

My main hindrance for now is that when an arrow misses the target board (yeees, it happens alright!) – it hit’s the hard wood behind the target and the tip gets damaged, and composite arrows like this are pretty expensive to order. So I need to get a suitable backstop net to mount up somewhere in my backyard. Hay balls would do good right here, but are not so movable, so hey.. until then I have found an alternative temporary solution – hardpacked snow piles.

Hit the target – or find 5 arrows!  archery compound bow arrow target pilfång bågskytte bueskyter

Due to the exceptional amount of snow this year I finally had to call a guy I know in the area to clear away some of the snow masses with his snow fighting vehicle .. and now I simply use these big packed half-frozen snow piles as natural backstop arrow catchers – they will not get through the masses and hit the local fox or anyone else…

My dog and cats are probable also grateful for some help too..and very curious.. let’s bring him in for coffee!finsk lapphund devon rex cat dog snow window

Digging for arrows in the snow piles behind the target is fine ..as long as the arrows have neon colours and screaming to be found..bågskytte compound bow camouflage target arrow bueskyting

We are expecting 3 days of blizzard up here in north of  Sweden, and it’s already on – so I guess my natural backstop snow piles are here to stay for a while, it’s a good thing they can do some use at least 😀

Snow heaven and hell

We probable all agree to that a snowy frozen landscape are sooo beautiful and also gives us the chance to enjoy sports like cross-country skiing,

and ice skating. Personally I think that, just as being smart and eat seasonal food, we should also welcome the chance to vary our workout by the seasons.

Yes, I still run and use my bicycle all year around, but giving it a break to embrace the chance to enjoy other sports helps me to not fall into a somehow monotonic and boring workout regimes that could also wear and tear body and soul.

snow landscape farm house sweden norrland bredbyn shoveling frost lapphund hardwork workout

As you can see in my blog that I am very grateful for being able to go out skiing these days, every day if possible, but, yes there is a lil’ BUT too…. sometimes winter can be a little hell too ..ha..ha.. especially if you have to do everything yourself, get up early to carry firewood from the barn and fire up the old firewood pan when it is freezing, keep the air pump de-frosted when it gets covered with a thick layer of ice  …and finally do a one-hour sweaty snow shoveling morning workout.. and repeat it all again in the evening… if the snow gets wet and heavy HELL is on for real..  so I still don’t need to renew my gym card ..ho..ho!

If it was just this simple path to my door I had to shovel, no problem at all, but to get to the barn for firewood and to get the car around the trees and out to the main road  – well, that’s when the real workout starts…. but it looks cosy doesn’t it?   winter night wonderland scandinavia path snow shoveling lights farm house norrland

Most of the established people around have machines or more modern solutions for everything that need any kind of body work …. but as long as I am healthy and strong enough to do things manually when it is possible, I will… – hell, we are not chickens are we? …and by the way ..on the news they just said the snow blower machines are sold out – so I guess I don’t have much choise 😀

Resting between carrying firewood and snow shoveling today – my dog are hiding behind a snowdriftwinter wonderland sweden ornskoldsvik snowing shovel hardwork cardio outdoor life

Now folks, if you will excuse me, it is time for me to go out to do some evening snow shoveling workout as the snow have been falling all day long… see you all soon, take care 🙂

Aurora Borealis in my courtyard

My first photos ever of the northern lights.. at last. I didn’t have to chase it at all either, just shot them (slightly frantic) right from my lil’s farms courtyard 2 nights ago. Maybe not that spectacular shots alright, but there’s room for improvements indeed right? Lots of.Aurora Borealis northern lights nordlys polarsken norrsken ornskoldsvik

Thank’s to my puppy and our final evening walk that night I discovered that the start-studded sky was running a natural green light show. I managed to run in and find the camera, fumble some settings and shoot a bit before it was too late. No I really look forward to the very next chance to “refine” my skills a bit here, they can only (hopefully) get better.

norrsken aurora borealis nordlys polar light northern lights norrland

My chicken house has never looked better under the moonshine and northern lightsNordlys northern lights aurora borealis norrland norrsken polar lights chicken house lissfit

Finnish Lapphund puppy

Finally, after years of evaluating, longing and waiting, I got our new family member home last week after travelling 2000 km during 3 days. I absolutely adore this lil’ girl’s wonderful temper – she is calm and composed when introduced to new and unexpected situations (except with the cats ..ho..ho..action!), alternated with a frisky and playful mood.. and some times I am sure I spotted a glimpse of a wild boar in her too :D.

The weather is pretty gray these days, but my new hiking friend turns it into a colorful and lively outdoor day.

Yes, she looks like a little teddy, but in that teddylook a smart and robust dog is under development. I really look forward to learn toghether with her – to meet the winter with here and of course to take her with me into the mountain world, pretty sure she will love it as much as I do, it’s looking good so far.

During this weekend we went up on a hight I have discovered – and she really adores the uphill...so much energy..  she will for sure be a great hiking & running buddy!

 

Follow us and see how we develop together – I will of course bring her with me back home to Norway next time I leave to work and visit my family there.. her passport is already prepared for this 😉

My cosy little farm in Northern Sweden

So I finally did it. I have moved… (ahem ..yes, again).. but this time to the northern part of Sweden. People have various reasons why they move, but for me it was a combination of too expensive living costs in town, the increasing criminality and of course…an old dream of having my very own little farm/croft on the country side.

Glittering morning-glory in our yard after a light blizzard night

So I sold my caravan home and worked my ass off in Norway so I could afford to buy a new home for me and my son who needs extra care. It had to be in the northern parts of Sweden on the rural country side where properties can be pretty cheap. It is of course sad to move from friends and family once again – but it also feels good not to “reside myself to death” as many do living in towns like hamsters in shoe boxes at big expenses.

Having the fortune to bring my work with me, not being afraid of changes/challenges and a hope that my dear son would recover better being closer to nature and outdoor activities made our move possible. We both needed a “new start”, and are now in place at the farm. Time will tell for how long we will stay here. My biggest wish is still to move closer to the Norwegian border since I work seasonal there, but also to feel closer to ..home… (yes, I’m always longing for Norway, my homeland), but our current cosy lil’ farm will certainly do for now.

I don’t need to go to a shooting range – now I can practice on my own property.. 

You can’t be lazy when you have an old farm. There is always something to do, to fix, to prevent, to install, to plan, to learn, to renovate – but one thing at a time, that’s for sure. To keep warm is important, so for winter we have piled big loads of wood, and now I run up and down the basement stairs all the time to keep the wood pan (and myself) hot ..ha..ha. I also had a pro to install a heat pump to supplement the wood heating system. Another “heating source” is a lot of manual snow shoveling, that also keeps us warm and sweaty…great exercise!

It is beautiful here during winter when the newly fallen snow fluffs up the landscape views – this is my chicken housesweden north old farm land chicken house torp gard photo liss myraas

Count on trouble now and then. When the cloak pipes clogged (and unidentified objects popped up in my basement) I had to call in a professional to camera check the pipes and to do a flush out ..in times like that you sure appreciate simple things as a well working pipe system more than anything! And also the chimney needs to be checked frequently for safe wood burning …  so I have learned to always hire a professional, they do the job on time and they do it well! Small things you can learn to solve your self, but leave the serious stuff to serious people..

We all like beautiful and colorful sunsets, up here they can be real gorgeous, and aurora borealis shows up now and then here too.. I can see it from my kitchen window 

In addition to the main house the farm also have an old turkey(chicken?) house, a horse shelter and a garage/stable, so it is fully possible to have horses, chickens etc here. I have spotted some red foxes snooping around my property at night .. so the settings for a classic chicken house drama is perfect wouldn’t you say? 😉

The property have more than 2 hectares of farm land to exploit, but for now I’m just playing with ideas of what to do with the land and the farm buildings … if you may have some ideas/suggestions too – let me know!!

Looking very much forward to write more about me and my son’s life up here in northern Sweden – so stay tuned folks!

FARM HOUSE STUGA TORPNORTHERN SWEDEN WINTER NIGHT PHOTO LISS