“Rain, dear?” she asked. “No, snow deer”

A few days ago something woke me early in the morning. I forget what, maybe Odd Egill chuntering away in his cot, or a dry cough tickling my throat… I wandered into the kitchen to make myself some tea, looked out of the window to see two small deer sitting in the snow in our garden.

Deer in the snow

Two small deer taking it easy in our garden

I took some more photos trying not to disturb the animals. That meant no flash, no going outside and not turning the garden light on. After a few minutes they must have noticed me moving around in the house. A little to my surprise, a third deer appeared from somewhere. It must have been sitting behind the old Christmas tree that was lying in the garden.

three deer in the garden

..and then there were three… We now have a pretty good idea who it was nibbling at our grønnkål earlier in the winter!

Then they decided it was time to leave and left me to get on with making my cup of tea.

Close encounters of the surprising kind

We’d spent the day driving back from Røros and were nearly home, just a couple of minutes from the centre of Gol. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed a large moving object on the left hand side of the road. It was elk sized and moving quickly towards us.

I managed to blurt out an incoherent “Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa” which Damae correctly interpreted as “Stop the car right now!!”. She hit the brakes and the hire car slowed, its anti-lock brakes clicking away merrily. The car stopped just in time and the elk trotted nonchalantly across our path, to the other side of the road, as if we were not there.

With the car stopped, we paused for a moment. It had been quite a surprise for the both of us. I was so surprised that it didn’t occur to me to take a picture of the large herbivore standing just two metres from the car, even when Damae suggested I did so. The biggest surprise was that our first close encounter with an elk had been so close to home.

Our variegated visitor

I was making a cuppa and looked out of the window at the falling snow. I noticed a track in the snow that hadn’t been there a half hour earlier when I had been out looking for a spade. I followed the track to see something that I thought was  a cat at the base of the bird feeder.

Assuming it was probably the cat that has taken to using our carport as its litter tray, I tapped on the window. When the ‘cat’ didn’t react I took another look and noticed a long black and white snout attached to a dumpy grey body. There was a badger in our garden! I shouted excitedly to Damae that she should take a look in the garden and grabbed my camera. By the time I had opened the back door the badger had ambled towards the woodpile where some old bird food lay under the snow.


Bernt the badger having his breakfast

‘Bernt’ (or maybe Beate) snuffled around in the snow for a few minutes quite unaffected by the camera’s flash. When he was done with his breakfast, he ambled slowly off to the edge of the garden and headed on downhill.

Later on I took a picture of the tracks that ‘Bernt’ had made in the snow. Just so you know what badger tracks in fresh snow look like.

Badger tracks in fresh snow

The only evidence pointing to Bernt the badger’s nocturnal visit.




The sun is back

The sun appeared again at the end of January, fleetingly at first, but now the whole sun is visible spraying dazzling white light into our home.

The cycle of the year has started again. On sunny days water will start dripping off the snow on the roof. Then the thaw will start in earnest. Before we know it, green grass and fresh spring shoots will start to appear.

Life goes on.

Hungry Birds not Angry Birds

I decided we should get a bird feeder. You know something you can put unsalted peanuts into and watch tits and sparrows hang off it at all angles whilst getting a bite to eat. We had a look in a few shops including the local pet shop and couldn’t find one. In the end we found a feeder in Euro Pris that took golf sized balls of bird feed. “That’ll do” we said and put it in our shopping basket.

I hung the feeder up outside the door from the living room into the garden. It took a few hours for the local bird population to find it and start pecking away at the feed. The birds now come all day and are a source of great amusement to us.

Most prevelent are tits of various types. We get Great Tits, and smaller tits which are probably Coal, Marsh and Willow tits. We’ve also seen sparrows, woodpeckers and the occasional cheeky magpie hanging off the feeder. Here are some of the better pictures I have taken.

“What, where?”

“It’s mine, all mine!”

“No, it’s mine!”

“Now if I could just get a bit closer to that tasty morsel”

“Hmmm, this is much tastier than bark”