fredag 6. september 2013

My second huntingtrip

With Pernilla finishing her PhD-thesis, and me (finally!) finishing my labwork, we gathered we had a good reason to go out hunting in the weekend! This time I got lucky enough to get a ride with Pernilla and her boat out to Coles Bay =) And, together with Eike and Rasmus, we got to borrow a cabin for a night. Kristin tagged along, and we went out hoping for the blessings from the hunting Gods.
At least we got blessed by the weather Gods! It`s been a very grey and wet summer in the Arctic (last part of it I escaped to have an wicked vacation in Germany! Got a propper summer there!), but the day we headed out was sunny, no wind and good sea conditions. Perfect trip-conditions! After arriving the cabin, having a nice lunch, we got ready to get out and seek some reindeers. Also looking out for some geese, but instead we found 2 x 5 flocks of fat ptarmigans! To bad ptarmigan-season hasn`t started yet. The Arctic fox was lurking by too, but I didn`t get a photo of him, he was too quick.
After abit of hiking, not spotting mroe reindeer than the tracks on the ground, we finally did find some animals. The first ones we saw was at a neighbouring plateau, and we started moving over when we discovered one young male and a larger buck grazing in a side-valley. We tried to sneak over closer, and they thought they were moving further away form us, when they suddenly stood right infront of us (40+ meeters away) at the top of the plateau!
and I caught my second reindeer :) after a short picture-session, I parted up the animal and me and Kristin carried Comet back to the cabin.
The beautiful weather kept up, and we had a stunning view while hiking back! After getting the cabin nice and warm, and everyone back safely, I served the "catch-of-the day" with honey-fried red onion, chantarels, juniper, creamed potatoes and home-made lingon-jam :)
The next morning Autumn was making sure we hadn`t forgotten about him. Still lucky with the weather though, ocean was mirror-flat and little wind! But you can definitly feel the sting in the crystal clear air. Summer is definitly over, and autumn is covering the landscape. Still, the birdcliffs are green enough to look like a rainforest! (at least through Svalbardian eyes!)
Well, meat for the winter is succesfully gathered! I´ll be going back to my office-desk soon trying to somehow finish my thesis. But! Now there`s fresh snow on the mountain-tops! And evenings are getting darker! I am so looking forward to see the stars and the aurora again :D Winter is coming!

mandag 29. juli 2013

Enjoying summer with my parents!

My parents only stayed here a few days, but I feel we got alot out of that time :) We`ve been enjoying some of the nice weather that showed up, getting out for a few adventures, and me and mom had to celebrate this little "sumemrvacation" with strawberries and champagne! Cause even though it was only 3,5 days, it felt like a little vacation from my work! The also brought quite a few things home for me, which is much appreciated, but now I really feel I`m starting my last (probably) semester on Svalbard. I just hope I manage to finish my thesis with some sanity left! (Well, there`s not really much left already!) But; Thanks for the visitt mamma og pappa! Thanks for all the great food, and thank you for coming to see me! And (always!), thanks for all your help and support!

My parents came to see me! :)

My parents have been visitting me here several times, and actually experienced all the different seasons here. So I´ve really been twisting my brain to find something we could do that they hadn`t tried before! Oh, and they brough me a tonn of food! and fruits!! I got so much Norwegian strawberries, I felt I was gorging in luxury! And they brought the best thing to serve with strawberries (in my opinion!), cream from goatmilk!
This is the best thing I got when I was working as a milkmaid at a mountain dairy near my cabin!Never imagined I would eat that on Svalbard, thank you so much Bjørg and Gunnar!!! I asked Eike again if it would be possible if I could bring them out with her dogs, and lucky enough I could! (yes I know it`s been alot of dog-pictures latly, but I really love these four-legged friends!) One of my closest friends Marie was in town these days two, and she joined us for a "botanical walk" in Endalen. She knows alot about the plants up here (beeing a botanist!), so she was a way better plant-guide for my mom than me :) And I finally got to show mom and dad the only tree living on Svalbard, the Betula nana aka Mountain birch!
I really wanted to show my parents something new, so we got over to Hjorthamn and had a look. This is were the first mines and buildings were originally put up in the area, but most of the buildings burned down long ago. There`s still alot of remains around, going under the "cultural heritage" clause (so not technically garbage).
This time I also found something "new", I hadn`t been inside the smithy-building before.
Terns were still nesting in the area, so we were trying to keep a good distance and not distrub them. They would fly aorund and keep control of were we were, which gives a good opportunity to get some good pictures of them.