Today is November 1st and exactly one year since we moved here. It’s autumn again and so many things have happened during that year. But nature is still the same. The same beautiful colors, birds on their way to warmer lands, bears preparing for winter hibernation, the first frost and the first snow. The reindeers who leave the forest and moving higher into the mountains. The hunting season that starts and the days that get shorter and shorter every day at a rapid pace. The forest is full of mushrooms and berries. And not to forget that the mosquitoes have finally left us.
This blog is dedicated to the fall. The most beautiful season and perhaps the season we love most. But we also want to make a small statement about two things that we have learned by living here. Things that we hadn’t thought they could impact our minds while we lived in Copenhagen, but thye are so omnipresent. And talk is about impact of material things. I had thought that I was completely unaffected by that, but I am far from that. And I discovered that when we visited Copenhagen this year. Maybe you think it is a very strange comparison that I suddenly talk about expensive cars, when we now have chosen to live the way we do. But I like nice cars. So when one day I was standing on one street in Copenhagen and saw a Maserati driving along the street, my first thought was “God, yes such type of cars exist too”. I had completely forgotten about that. It no longer existed in my consciousness. When you are not exposed to others vehicles than average half-old practical Volvo on winter tires, you don’t remember about existance of other types of cars. But if you see a Maserati every day, you unconsciously start to imagine driving in such a car. And that goes for many things. Slowly you lose grip on what is modern, and if once you used to buy clothes in the shops at the nice end of Strøget (shopping pedestrian street in Copenhagen), now you buy practical clothes in an average store chain. And you “go shopping” only when you really need one thing, and you become happy for pair of really warm boots or socks that hold their form and not make a mess in the rubber high boot.
Another thing is longing or desire. An longing or desire to experience other places and countries. We have always traveled a lot. 4-5 times a year was a common for us. To big cities and to exotic destinations, and every time we returned back home from another trip, the next trip was already planned. We constantly had desire to experience the world. That longing or desire has completely disappeared. Sure, we may miss our annual trips to Paris, but just the thought about travelling for one month to Bangladesh makes us both very tired. I believe that when you live so much in the and with nature, you get so much peace, that many basic needs are met. And then there is also a “little” detail that we will not leave our two dogs, Zarwoe and Láska.
We have trully become a little symbiosis after being together all 24 hours of the day for more than a whole year. Perhaps it may also be because our lives have been completely turned upside down. The fact that the last year we have experienced so many changes, so that having to relate to another country’s culture can be overwhelming for ones mind. I do not know, but I suppose that when you live such a simple life in the nature, you don’t desire something else. We just want to be here and go hiking in the mountains in neighbourhood.
Autumn begins September 1st and no – the local autumn is not an extension of summer.
In September you experience first night frosts and a single snowstorm is not that unusual. The leaves on trees turn yellow. And when you see the first yellow leaf, there are no many days will be before everything is in yellow, orange and red colors mixed with the green pinetrees. And it’s incredibly beautiful.
The large birds cranes gather in large flocks above in the sky before flying to the south. The reindeer, which have literally lived in our backyard during summer, look up into the mountains around October, when the mating season starts.
The moose seek away from the forest and into more open areas, where they find food during the autumn months. This is the best time to spot a moose. The bears go into winter hibernation around beginning of November, and then it feels more safe to walk in the woods and you do not get afraid the same way when your dogs hear a sound in the bushs.
It is also in September that we have to prepare firewood for winter season. It is still a little difficult for us to calculate how much we need. It seems when the shed is filled, there must be more than plenty, but you spend more than you think during entire winter, especially when our primary heat sources are the wood stove and fireplace. At Lövnäset it is our the only source of heat. We have become part of the forest when we bought our new house, so from next year we will have to cut and split our own firewood. It was not possible to cut and dry firewood this year, so it will be spring next year. Our neighbor has promised us a small course on how to prepare your own firewood. And then we must not forget our faithful helpers in getting firewood – the beavers. They cut as many trees around the lake as you can just pick up by boat.
The moose hunt starts on the first Monday in November, which is a date many in the area look forward to. People here have been hunters for many generations and the meat is an important part of the life. Here the whole animal is used and those parts which are not suitable for human food, go to the dogs. We also got a package from our neighbor with moose legs for our dogs. More organic meat does not exist. It is also in the fall that you hunt birds and bears. People say that even the most experienced hunter can have difficulties with holding the rifle stable, when preparing to shoot a bear. That’s the instinct being actived, which I also noticed, when my dogs respond to any sounds in the forest. Although even if the moose actually counts for more accidents than the bear, but you react by instinct differently to a predator.
The first two weeks of the moose hunt we must take some precautions. The dogs wear orange vests and they are on leash most of the time. Then you are happy for our 1.8 hectare garden so they can run free and stretch their muscles.
It is also towards the end of August that we get the evenings again after two months of light 24 hours of the day. And even the light gives a nice energy, it is also nice to experience the darkness again. The days are getting shorter and shorter. About 5 minutes shorter every day until December 21st. We know many people think it must be depressing to accept the fact that winter is coming, but we love the fall – its colors and evenings. And we enjoy the fact, that the mosquitoes are gone in the fall. And so are the small insects – mites or knots, as they are called in Swedish. It is actually an incredible relief to be outside and completely undisturbed by insects.
The snow usually settles in November, but this year it came early. Already in mid-October we got snow, so it probably will be a long winter this year. Winter is something very special and requires a whole blog for itself and I will be happy to tell you about it later on.