Archive for July, 2008

Jul 25 2008

Lazy Summer?

I have been a little on and off the diet these days. Been eating quite a lot of food that I haven’t caught myself. Fishing is crap because it’s July. Late June, early July is the most difficult time of the year on these parts, but now things are starting to look better, with trush chicks abounding in the forest (they are easy to catch) and berries starting to appear. To my luck it seems like it is set to be a bumper crop of berries and possibly hazel nuts this year.

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In regards to projects there aren’t really enough hours in the day. I’ve worked on a new bow, made a few baskets (need a lot of them come prime berry season) and started on digging the foundations of my earth lodge (not using the digging stick, but using a common shovel to speed things up a bit). I always do some experiments to keep learning, one thing I’ve done now is to make a couple of birch bark kettles to test them out. Been checking out a few potential food plants too.

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Things I’ve done (not mentioned above):

  • Fishing (don’t catch a lot these days though).
  • Weeding the garden (not fun, but I can eat some of the weeds).
  • Made a stone hide scraper for dry scraping the fur clothes I need for winter.
  • Made a Siberian (Evenk) berry picker.
  • Burned a mallet.

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Things I’ve eaten:

  • Trush
  • Canadian goose
  • Pemmican made of moose meat and rendered fat
  • Brown trout (As always)
  • Alpine bistort
  • Angelica
  • Chickweed
  • Pineapple weed
  • Lamb’s quarters
  • Orpine
  • Cloudberry
  • Blueberry
  • Crowberry

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You may wonder what in the world these two photos got to do with it all. The first one is of me digging a cooking pit for two Canadian geese. The second one is my brother Arne, posing behind the closed pit. He needs any exposure he can get. Hard to trick any women into moving into a remote location like this.

My family joined me in the lavvo for a night, since they are visiting. The kids seemed to enjoy it. This unfortunately means that I’ll be living more or less indoors during the night for a while (2 weeks). Too bad, since I much prefer to sleep in the fresh air of the great outdoors. Below are my two daughters enjoying a snack on the season’s first berries.

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The water here is so clean that you can drink straight of any lake, river or stream. That also comes in handy when doing laundry. I just soak them for a few days and then air dry them. It doesn’t remove stains however. I’ll have to experiment with using ash lye for that I think.

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Oh, and two scenery pics that doesn’t fit anywhere else:

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Jul 05 2008

Lodge Preps and Etc.

First of all, thanks to: Santiago, Simon, Samuel, Robert Z., Sean, Darlene, Robert D., Douglas, Gerald, Randall, Halley and Survival Acres for all of your donations! It will surely help me pay some hunting license fees (I like to keep my path clear if I can).

The focus of the last weeks has been procuring the materials needed for my winter lodge. The four main beams have been cut down and debarked and I have in excess of 40 spruce poles to make the roof out of. One of my brother has been logging firewood for my father, which has given me a great supply of birch bark. Now in the summertime, there is no need for a lodge, so I either live out in the open or in the lavvo (tipi).

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Foodwise, I have been some modern food, but mostly game and fish. The second picture here is of my favourite way of preparing the local trout, which is the clear summer staple in this area. Any trout that I don’t eat straight away is split, sliced and hung up in the smoke to dry. When dry it is gently fried in the coals. This makes it turn out like a deliciously crunchy fish-bisquit.

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Other things I’ve been eating in various quantity, from various sources:

  • Caribou
  • Roe Deer
  • Moose
  • Wood Cock
  • Trush
  • Magpie
  • Black Grouse
  • Frog
  • Lamb’s Quarters
  • Nettle
  • Rosebay Willowherb
  • Dandelion
  • Chickweed
  • Orphine
  • Blueberry (at the coast)
  • Wild cherry (at the coast)
  • Mussels (at the coast)
  • Sea Snails (at the coast)
  • Several species of seaweed (at the coast)

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Some other things I’ve done, not mentioned above:

  • Made some more Aspen bark containers.
  • Made a willow basket.
  • Hafted an axe.
  • Stitched up a rawhide container to store food in.

I haven’t mentioned that I’ve had visitors. Thomas from Germany and Patrick McGlinchey from Scotland. Both a pair of primitive nutters. Here it may look like they have been smoking more than fish, but that’s just an attempt to smile in overly smoky conditions.

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The southern coastal oak forests are huge, too bad that the seashore itself has been almost totally built over by cottages and houses. Because of that I didn’t care to stay there any length of time. I’d be extremely thankful if someone would show me a relatively untouched piece of coast somewhere between Skien and Kristiansand.

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Here are a few sceneryshots from the area of the high school where I work occasionally.

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