" ...though we travel the world to find the beautiful,
we must carry it with us, or we find it not "
Emerson (1803-1882)

Friday, April 11, 2014

A taste of Easter to come!

Look whose back!  :-) Snowbuntings have arrived back from their southerly wintering ranges

Thursday, April 10, 2014

April flurry

It has just been really pretty pretty these past weeks - thought you would like to have a look!

This was out locally, skiing - perfect conditions recently :)

This is someone who lives locally and found the sunflower seed stash out for the birds ;) 

And this is the lovely pooch that lives at the farm where I rent: Belgian Shepherd. 
Isn't he glam looking?

(and always expectantly looking out for dog-treats!)

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Snowy white memories

"No way!  More snow and trees to play in!  You ARE kidding me?!! ;) "

As many of you know I have been dog-minding Snow White a good while now, a retired racing husky who was looking for a new forever home.  I was tempted to take her on, but it was so soon after Dovre's passing :(.  Anyhow, happy end to the story - she has been re-homed to work some more years, and she now lives in Finland with her old buddy Skare (the black and white chappy here :)).

Good luck Snow White!  Here's to a long and happy retirement!

You do mean we are going skiing, right?  Er, soon?

(Girls Night Out at a local hut! nam! (yum!))

And this is the pose that I will always remember her by - a charming 'I CAN wait for you to get ready but I AM impatient!' That always melted me to smiles and laughter! 

 Dogs 'talk' to us often - and by no clearer body language than this!

(Look, there's even another dog waiting for us!)

Hope to meet up with Snow White again - she was a real trooper!

The sun finds me!

Shortly following our trip to find the sun at 800m, the sun found US and hit the house a few days later,  at valley-level, the 1st of February.  That was pretty nice also, as you can see from my expression.

A few more days, and a bit more sun.  It is like this all the time now - summer approaches like a racehorse now...

Although spring has to power its way through first - and that can be quite dramatic.  For example, last night was incredible, wind (40 m/s on the plateau) and rain and sleet and puddles.... What weather! 

As one Russian said to me, 'it's like England, no?'

Floods on the streets and pathways with an icey bed to it.  You never see THAT on the tourist brochures!


Beyond the icey puddles... there is THIS to look forward to: only a few months away, now!

The pure magic of sunlight!

There is a time of year that is pure magic: when the sun comes back.  I think this moment signifies so much for those that have lived the long winter up here.  Light really does mean hope :)

So, here are some snapshots of a journey up a ~ 800m hill to greet the sun this year, on January 18th.  Just don't be deceived by the warm colours - it was bitterly cold!  (The sun for about 10 minutes above the horizon after 2 months away doesn't shed much warm yet).

 Nothing like seeing one's own shadow again :)

 Sunlight over, but the light-show continues a few minutes further, on the skyline westwards

Reisadalen - viewed from the top end and looking downwards, along it's 100km length

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Christmas 2013, and a good start to 2014!

It comes yet once a year, and should be celebrated.  

Do I mean the shortest day, and the beginning of longer days?  
Well, that also, and here is a photo taken on the Winter Solstice.  

Yet it is Christmas that I mean to post about here: Christmas in Norway :)

I have had Christmases with kind people in many lands now, in Canada, in New Zealand, in Iceland... and in Norway.  Wherever you are, the magical ingredients are good company, good times and good food.  In Norway, we can also enjoy good snow (or at least wish for it, as some years the snow can be a bit lacking at Christmas).  This year, there were all the components for a good Christmas, as snow had been with us since early October!

Being in Norway over the New Year period for many years now, I have also come to enjoy the rom-jul ('between Christmas and New Year-period').  This year I spent Christmas with Per, at the family farm = local ski trips, great company, and immensely good food!  And the rom-jul was topped off with a trip back to Målselv and some snowy skiing to an hut inland... and yes, I couldn't resist, and I borrowed a husky to accompany us: Snehvit  ('Snow White')  A real princess, this dog, with her snowy-white coat, positive personality (for people, huts, and...er, reindeer!), and clear enthuiasm for pulking (and sneaking into the hut, at any opportunity ;)). Thank you, Sanja, for loaning us Snehvit, and thank you, Weather Gods, for being so kind to us!

Enjoy the photos.  Some people maintain that the 'dark-time' is drear and depressing - as you can see, it is a most beautiful time of the year!

And every day now is lighter and lighter... 


 My two trusty New-Years trip companions, man and dog! 

And the constant company of the landscape itself... 

You can see here that the sun hasn't forgotten how to colour the sky, 
even if she is determined not to show herself!

Packing our gear to leave from one hut... Snehvit is reluctant to pull the pulk, and seems to opt for the softer option of trying to cadge a ride: oh! if only dogs could talk...  

Snehvit's clear fascination for huts, i.e. being inside huts soon became clear to us! As dogs are strictly forbidden in most Norwegian huts, then she soon had to learn of the disappointments of life...

"Wow, a hut, out here? In the middle of nowhere.  Game ON!"

"Well, we've arrived, now it's just to go inside and stoke the fire for me, no?"

"And whilst you're inside in the warm... ahem!  REMEMBER ME?" 

Positive-reinforcement of negative behaviour as we have to travel down the valley and towards flocks of reindeer ahead of us.  Snehvit thought this was simply the best!  
I don't believe she has ever pulled so hard, or with so much conviction! 

"Ah!  I spy with my little eye: REINDEER AHEAD"

"Always check for reindeer, they can be hiding behind every single stone or outcrop!"

If a husky is not racing, they are either snoozing, or... rolling.... 

A sequence of shots of Snehvit and me, taking it easy, waiting for the one without the dog!

Letting them overtake you... 

And then playing catch-up!

...hours of fun!


"Another hut. Another possibility..."

Happy New Year to you all!