Archive for the ‘Gemma’ Categoryby Northernmost on May 5, 2013 in Daily life, Gemma, Thunder with No Comments
We went for a long walk along the coast with Gemma and Thunder today. In spring and summer the coast is our favourite place to rewind and recharge our batteries. Our Malamutes love to play on the rocks and in and out of the water, it’s like a huge play park where they can run around for hours before finally settling down. Seeing our dogs so happy makes us happy, and I guess that’s what having dogs is all about
Gemma and Thunder were WILD today!
Even Gem, who isn’t normally keen on water, played with the waves today and got wet!
Must be that spring in the air?!
Quality time ♥
We often notice that new rocks have been added to the pile, but we never see any people around…
My favourite dog is always the one I’m spending time with.
Thunder is only 9 years of age, but he’s the oldest dog in our pack and deserves some extra TLC.
Gem loves to run off leash but we don’t trust her everywhere as she likes to chase birds and small animals when she gets the chance. The coast, however, is a good place to practise, as there are no roads or people anywhere near.
She found a patch of snow to have a good roll in. In a week or so, all traces of winter will be gone.
It was a beautiful today and if the forecast is right we have a warm and sunny week ahead of us.
Maybe spring and summer is finally here?
We went on a trip along the coast yesterday, skijoring on the ice of the Bothnian Bay with Gemma, Thunder and Tuisku. We call this stretch of coast our own “Little Greenland” and each time we visit we’re surprised there are no other visitors there, as this beautiful world of snow and ice is a fascinating place to explore. Skijoring on the ice can be tricky though, as in some places the ice is covered in a deep layer of snow and in other places the slippery surface is exposed which makes for a rather uneven ride. Since the ice can break up quickly due to strong currents we make sure always to stay on the landfast ice closest to the shoreline. Adventures are fun as long as they are safe.
On our way to “Little Greenland”
The snow covered chunks of sea ice in the distance look like the stiff peaks of a meringue pie.
Tuisku & Gem kept a good pace.
On the icier sections it was best to just stand on our skis and let the dogs pull us forward. None of the dogs slipped during our trip, seems they can handle ice pretty well.
It’s fun to run!
We found a sheltered spot where we stopped for a quick lunch break. Tuisku watched closely as we unpacked the picnic to see if there was something there for him
Thunder in front of a beautiful ice formation.
Miniature fells or meringue pie?
When travelling on skis, the ups and downs of the pack ice can be a real balancing act.
We spotted a lonely cabin on the easternmost point of the coast.
Wonder if this cabin is available for rent? Would be nice to stay here overnight to admire the sun set and rise over the sea while the wind is blowing outside. That’s my idea of a romantic weekend
Gem and Thunder teamed up on our way home.
We had a great day by the coast and will be going back for more adventures later this spring. Judging by the conditions today, it looks like the ice will last well into April.
This is what it looks like when Fredrik comes home from work; he’s immediately hogged by our indoor dogs Gem and Titan.
I rarely get this kind of greeting, maybe it’s because I work from home and I’m always around?
Gem (5) and Titan (3) have been living indoors since the New Year and they love it. They will probably move outdoors again later this spring but right now it’s their turn to be spoiled rotten. Every dog deserves that at least once in a while, don’t you think?
The weather forecast promised sunshine and unusually mild temperatures for January so we decided to make the most of it and go for a weekend trip to Borgafjäll. This small mountain resort is situated by Lake Borga which is surrounded by two massive fells; North Borgafjäll and South Borgafjäll which are situated on the opposite sides of the beautiful Lake Borga. The border between Lapland and Jämtland is drawn across the lake, placing North Borgafjäll in Lapland and South Borgafjäll in Jämtland. We spent most of the weekend on the northern side of the lake, skijoring along the trail to the Slipsiken mountain hut, and to Saxnäs in the opposite direction.
The picturesque peaks of Klöverfjället provide the backdrop for the village of Borgafjäll.
The weather forecast was right – clear blue skies and no wind. A perfect day to climb the mountain!
On Sunday Fredrik went for a run with Tuisku, Thunder and Gem while I stayed in the cabin to rest my back a little. Fredrik reported that there wasn’t a single soul out on the trail that day, despite the amazing weather. Maybe the Borgafjäll villagers are still in hibernation?
The snowmobile season was just kicking off which meant that some trails were opened but most of them were still pretty soft. If you want the scenery all to yourself, and are prepared to sometimes break trail, then January is a good time to visit southern Lapland. However, if you want to travel on hard packed trails, you had better wait until March or April.
My sturdy Åsnes skis worked well on the crusty mountain trail. These skis are a few years old and Norwegian maker Åsnes now has a wider model called Breidablikk which is specifically designed for backcountry touring with dogs. Maybe I’ll add them to my birthday wishlist?
The weekend was a nice mix of work and play – Tuisku looks pretty chill doesn’t he?
We had a great time in Borgafjäll and would definitely like to return some other time to go on a longer excursion. There are trails in every direction starting from the village and if you have a week to your disposal you can ski or travel by dog sled to Klimpfjäll and Stekenjåkk in the northwest, to Marsfjället in the north, and to Frostviksfjällen in the south, or tour the entire area in a circle. It’s a real musher’s paradise, especially during the early part of winter, before the snowmobilers have invaded the trails. To see more photos from our weekend, jump to our Borgafjäll Gallery.
The forecast promised sunny weather so we swapped the coast for the mountains and have had a great Saturday on the trail today. It’s ten degrees colder than expected but stunningly beautiful. Will share some more pictures when we get back home. Have a great weekend everyone!
Things don’t always go according to plan. Just as the sledding season was kicking off I had to visit hospital to undergo back surgery due to a slipped disc that has caused me pain for a really long time. The surgery went well and I’ve now been allowed to return home. However, while my back is healing, I have to stay away from both skijoring and sledding. I bet you can imagine I’m more than a bit frustrated right now. Hopefully, if I follow doctor’s orders, my back will heal sooner rather than later but it will still take a long time before things are back to normal. In this kind of situation it’s good to have back up and luckily my mum lives just next door to us and can help out with the dogs when needed. Fredrik does most of the work but when he’s occupied my mum helps out with feeding and watering the dogs for example, and she also takes them out for walks. I’ve been watching their activities through the window today, feeling a little sorry for myself as I can’t go out and enjoy the snow. But as long as the dogs are happy I shouldn’t complain, we have a long winter and hopefully I won’t miss out on the entire season.
Thunder’s looking handsome in any weather.
Tuisku and Hilary hanging out with Fredrik in the playarea.
Look at Tuisku’s face…
Leia comes out from her dog house and gets a big kiss!
Grandma Kaisa and Gemmy go for a walk. This is fun says Gemma!
Since I have to take to easy at the moment I’m taking the opportunity to do some good reading. Right now I have three books lined up: “City Wolves” by Canadian author and Malamute owner Dorris Heffron, “On Time Delivery – the dog team mail carriers” by William S. Schneider, and “Malamute Man – Memoirs of an Arctic Traveler” by Joe G. Henderson. Three really interesting books which in different ways tell stories about sled dogs and Malamutes. I will post full reviews when I’ve finished reading them. Have a good weekend everyone!
Just like last year, winter arrived with a bang during the first week of December. We received one meter snow on December 2nd and it has been snowing every day since. When we moved south from Lapland in 2010, I worried there wouldn’t be enough snow here on the coast. I saw before me a nightmare of green and damp winters and muddy feet on the kitchen floor all year round. As we are now experiencing our third winter in Nedre Bäck it is clear that my worries were unfounded. In fact, we almost have more snow now than we did in Lapland. Here on the coast the autumn lasts well into November and then suddenly winter arrives almost overnight with a big dump of snow. Whereas in Lapland, winter starts in early October and snow builds up gradually during a longer period of time. Can’t say what I like better, but I’m glad that we found the right place for our new home, as winter and snow really get those Malamute tails wagging!
A couple of hours after we have removed all the snow from the porch it looks like this again!
One downside of living in an old house is that the windows can get rather draughty in winter. On the positive side – the windows are often covered with beautiful frostwork
Our lovely Sledog kids, Titan & Lyra, enjoying a snow dance together. Winter weather definitely gets our Mals in play mode!
A couple of days ago our rowanberry trees were still laden with red berries but after a visit from a flock of Bohemian Waxwings they are now all gone. Wish I had caught these pretty birds with my camera. I love this shot by Finnish photographer Juha Soininen.
Gem takes a break in her favourite corner of the couch. She is a strong candidate for the position as our *next permanent house dog*. After our girl Lily passed away in 2009 we decided not to have a house dog, but Gem enjoys indoor life so much, and has such nice house manners, that maybe we’ll make an exception. After all, it’s quite nice to snuggle up with a warm dog on a cold winter night.
Time flies during this beautiful part of winter – only two weeks till Christmas!!
When things are busy at work and the days are quickly getting shorter it’s great to have an agility course at home where we can activate our dogs without having to travel anywhere. In less than five minutes the obstacles are assembled and we’re ready to go. Today was a perfect day for agility as the grass was dry and the sun came out from behind the clouds. As soon as we bring out the obstacles the dogs start howling “Can I go first?!!”, “No, me, me!!”, as everyone wants to have a go at this fun game. Leia and Thunder were most eager so we let them and Titan and Gem do agility today and then ended the evening with a walk along the coast with Tuisku and the girls. Feels good to know that we’ve involved all dogs in fun activities, despite being quite tired after work. Managing a multidog household is not an easy game, but we love it
Having happy dogs is our main goal, always.
Our Gem inside the tunnel.
Titan is polishing his jumping skills.
Our sweet girl Gemma turned 5 years old today and celebrated her birthday by going fishing with Fredrik. Gem is not a keen swimmer but she loves to go out with the boat and experience the water without getting her paws wet, and she also likes to keep a close eye on the catch. There’s quite a lot of fish in the small lake that we live by and it’s especially a good place for catching pike. The lake is connected to the sea by a brook and next summer we’re planning to go on a kayak excursion, starting from home and following the brook down to the Bothnian Bay. There’s a beautiful archipelago just off the coast that we are keen to explore. Maybe we can train Gem to sit in the kayak with us?
At the end of the summer we have plenty of fish in the freezer. We have never fed frozen fish to our Mals but have heard from fellow mushers that frozen pike is a great snack for sled dogs and also a great way of keeping their teeth clean. When googling “frozen fish to dogs” we found both pros and cons of feeding frozen (freshwater) fish to dogs and I think we need to do some more research before trying this ourselves. Meanwhile the pike stay in the freezer.
One thing that all our dogs that go back to Mountain Home have in common is the Beaver Gene. They love to play with sticks and they love to share their sticks with their friends. I think this type of behaviour strengthens the bond between pack members and also improves their ability to work together as a team. Carrying a stick together is a bit like being connected by the neckline – it works best if you syncronize your steps.
Gem with her half-sister Jeti – we miss you, beautiful girl <3