Spring has sprung! The aftermath.

When we went home from our trip last weekend, we let our gear stay behind. We did this for two reasons. The first and the good one is that we are going back this weekend to try our luck to see the black grouse play again. The other one, that is not good at all is caused by ignorance and bad behaviour. I have been on this marsh many times during my life, the first time I went up to see the black grouses alone I was 10 years old. It really hasn’t changed much there since then. At lest not the nature it self. The one thing that has changed on the other hand is us, the humans. I have always tried to make as little impact on nature as I can when I go out to enjoy the time I can there. To me that mean to try to leave no trace of man made things behind. I’m not perfect, so you will find traces of me too, but not on purpose as I am quite sure some people do.

So, back to the story. When we arrived to the campsite last weekend some of the snow had melted and made some things visible, things that absolutely not belong in nature.

Something in this picture should not be there.

This is some of the things that came out from under the snow. To me, this is not acceptable. If you leave things behind, you use it as much as you intend, and then you bring it back. These things have been laying there for a while and it was broken I found out after examining it. So this was garbage as soon as they took it down. The boys were appalled when I said it was garbage and they told me about what they have learned about not leave plastic in nature. So we concluded that we had to bring it home and dispose of it properly. So this is reason number two for leaving our gear behind. I started to fill my backpack with the old tarps laying around and strapping the chairs on the outside of it. Meanwhile the boys took a plastic bag and picked up all the smaller litter parts they could find.

The boys filled a plastic bag of litter. They carried it the on they way home, putting litter in it as they found

The message here is, please leave no litter in nature. If you can carry it in you can carry it out. It might be just a drop in the ocean, but if every one do it, it will make an impact. It helps the environment, animals won’t get hurt and it makes it much more pleasant to the eye without seeing garbage laying around.

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Spring has sprung! Part 1.

This weekend we had a nice trip with n the forest. The snow is on its way to melt, even though we had our encounters with it this weekend too. The goal for this trip was to try to spot some black grouse playing, fighting and showing of to be the king of the marsh. We started of around midday on Saturday, a little late since it was a good long hike. But the boys were ready for the task, and trudged on even if their feet were tired after a couple of hours walk in rough terrain.

Rough terrain for short legs, but they never complained.

There was time for a couple of stops on the way to replenish some energy with the help of snack bars and cocoa. I think the camp boss needed it more than they did as they just took a sip of their cocoa and ran around looking for interesting things to see while the camp boss lay on his back heaving for air in the heather.

The split second they stood still on our break before heading out to find interesting things.

We arrived by the marsh as the sun began to set. Pinched up the tent and and laid out the sleeping bags so they were ready for us after some food and getting our duties done before jumping in. And the duties on this kind of trip is to make sure you don’t have to go number one or number two before late next morning as we don’t want to disturb the black grouses at their play. The boys got the message and took the task seriously, we had to go several times before we settled completely in our sleeping bags.

Burning out the campfire before we go to bed.

After a pep talk about how fun it will be to see the birds and that we had to be really quiet we all fell a sleep in the cool spring night exited of what the morning would bring.

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Our stay at the “castle”, part 2

As the day grew older, we started to think about going down to a lake and do some ice fishing. The boys ran around having fun with hide and go seek and climbing trees and I started packing our backpacks. After a while the packing was done and we were ready to go.

The camp boss trying to muster the troops.

After a little bit of hiking we encounter some interesting things in the snow. After some guessing what it could be, one of the boys thought it might have been a really big fox. But after taking a closer look we found out that it had been the day bed for two moose, cow and its calf. We also found a track from a lynx, not completely fresh, but not older than three or four days.We did not see any wild animals on this trip but we did hear the barking of a fox in the night. We know what the fox say!

The youngest one checking out the lynx tracks.

The hike homeward continued with the occasional sledding down the slopes we could find, and after some backtracking to sled some more we got to the lake where we thought about doing some ice fishing. But, after going down to the ice the camp boss decided we had to postpone it until the water on top of the ice freeze again or the water drain. The kids did not agree with the decision, they thought it would be great fun to skid around with water splashing all around. We hope to do some ice fishing without getting wet in the near future.

Sledding all the way!

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Winter is great for camping, but

we are also looking forward to spring, even thou its at lest a couple a months away. The time of year when you hear the birds begin chirping again and the sound of water drops all over the forest as the ice melt and start making small streams everywhere. Every spring we go to see “the most beautiful play of the year” when the males try to attract female by showing off and fighting off competition from other males to get to mate with the hens. It can be a spectacular sight, with their loud mating calls and their powerful wings hitting each other during fighting. This spring will be the first time i bring the boys, which will be a challenge, since you have to be quiet and lie quite still, both of these things might be a challenge for the little rascals. Well, its still a couple a months till they start the spectacle, so I will try to get them ready to be completely still for 4 hours straight. Here you can read more about the black grouse

From a trip to a black grouse play last spring. It`s good to sit in the sun without several layers of clothing
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What we do on our trips

There’s so much to do and so little time. Camping I the forest is time consuming, especially for the camp boss. But as soon as the shelter or camp is ready, you can go play with the kids or go fishing. As long there is daylight we can go exploring around the camp site. We always find something around camp, it can be an awesome ice crystal from a frozen stream or a tree that a woodpecker has made a giant hole in to get to the delicious beetles or worms deep inside it. In the winter, when you have your skies, it’s easy to make a track and have a race, or make as ski jump and see who can jump the longest.Other snow related things to do is to make a maze on an open area like a lake and try to catch each other without stepping outside of the track. Both fun and warming.  There is so much fun things to do, so it’s impossible to get bored. And to let the kids explore and go on adventures and letting them be the leader is something they really grow on. You just tag along asking questions, and maybe give an advice from time to time.

Checking out a hole made by a woodpecker

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