Archive for the ‘Gemma’ Categoryby Northernmost on April 6, 2012 in ACTIVITIES & WORK, Gemma, Lapland, Skijoring & Sledding, Titan, Tuisku with No Comments
We woke up to -23C and clear blue skies and were quick to get ready after breakfast. Cold weather means perfect trails and we had fantastic skijoring today, completing 33km (20.5 mi) along our “local” trail that connects Hetta in Finland with Kautokeino in Norway. The dogs love the cold weather and needed fewer breaks to cool down than yesterday. The hard trails meant effortless skijoring but the intense sunshine takes its toll and I think we’re all having an early night tonight!
Our Easter Holiday couldn’t have started better – perfect dogs, trails and weather and happiness all around. It’s days like these we dream of during the dark winter and that make all the hard work worthwhile. Tuisku, Gem and Titan have been on a sledding picnic today and our youngsters, Hilary and Lyra, have been trying out working independently in harness on a skijoring trip on the lake. We stay out from dawn to dusk to make the most of our time in Lapland. To us this is true bliss!
March has arrived with southern winds and above zero temperatures. There’s no risk our snow will disappear completely as we have plenty of it, but the trails are mushy and wet and we need a couple of days of cold weather before we can hit the trail again. I’ve added some mixed photos from the last few days; before the mild weather arrived we went on a skijoring excursion with Titan and Gem, exploring the trails of a neighbouring village. There are also a few pics of Hilary and Lyra hanging out in their playarea. The pups play outside for a few hours each day and then we bring them inside for the night. The original plan was to let them move outdoors permanently around this age but we’ve become so used to having them in our kitchen that I’m not sure we’re ready to let them move outdoors just yet. Are we spoiling them??? Nooooooo….
Today it was time for Lyra and Hilary’s second run in harness and they did amazingly well. I tried to keep them at a steady trot but it was hard as they were eager to run. Below are some mixed pics from today, it was a beautiful Sunday!
You can view a short clip of the pups on YouTube:
We have had lots of now lately and the groomed trails of last week are all gone. This didn’t stop us from going on a skijoring ride through the forest this morning. The big trees were blanketed heavily with snow, branches bending under the weight, creating a fairytale world in white. It was so still and quiet that we could hear birds sing deep into the woods. I wish everyone could experience a morning like this as it was true magic. Of course it was hard, sweaty work getting anywhere in the deep snow but that’s part of the fun. We had a warm cup of tea when we got back home and watched the Tour de Ski on television. Can’t get enough of winter!
We put on our skis today and worked our way through the snow clad forest in search of new trails for our working activities. So far this winter the local snowmobile club hasn’t been out preparing any trails so our Mals had to plough through heavy snow while we followed behind on our backcountry skis. It was hard work and we didn’t travel very fast but this kind of “discovery skijoring” is good fun and a great way of training commands, as the dogs have to collaborate well to pass trees without getting tangled (we didn’t use any necklines today) and when there is no trail to follow one quickly finds out if they REALLY know their left from their right. The weather was mostly cloudy and grey but we were welcomed by a beautiful pink sky as we reached the ocean.
Fun in the snow, followed by dinner at Grandma’s – what better way to celebrate Epiphany?
We had a big snowfall yesterday and it’s finally beginning to look like winter! Lyra is nearly five months old now and is going to puppy class once a week. She is also attending puppy school at home – where big sister Gem, and our other adult dogs, are teaching proper behaviour. We’re very lucky to have adult dogs who know how to educate puppies with a mix of fun and discipline. It’s not always easy to be a young Malamute pup but Lyra knows how to please her elders by showing plenty of respect.
Lyra will be 5 months old next week – isn’t she pretty?
Lyra has now been introduced to all members of the pack, one at a time, and it has all been going well. Halfsisters Gem (4 years) and Lyra (13 weeks) spent a beautiful day together on the beach this weekend and Lyra showed that she’s definitely a Water-Mal – playing and having fun in and out of water. We still have warm weather here on the coast, not a snow cloud on the horizon. But this season it can change from one day to the next so we’re changing straw in all the dog houses tomorrow, making sure everything is all set up and ready for winter!
A quick report from our recent packing trip with Thunder, Tuisku and Gem; We had a great time hiking on the Norwegian island of Senja in Arctic Norway, even though it rained practically every day. Regardless of weather, Norway is still one of the most beautiful places on earth. Thunder and Tuisku completed their WPDX-titles and Gem completed her second leg towards this title. Below are a few photos from our trip, you can find more pictures in our Gallery.
Bank holiday and beautiful weather – what a great combo! We had planned to go hiking during this long weekend but decided to stay at home since there is a lot of work that needs to be done around the house – such as mow the grass, mend fences, move logs and plant potatoes.
We’re really loving our new location, it’s a great place to be, especially during summer. The birdlife in the village is incredible, we often sleep with the window open and it’s like being inside a bird house! We haven’t identified all the sounds yet but we have swans, cranes, canada geese, peewits, cuckoos, eurasian curlews and great spotted woodpeckers just outside the house, and on a couple of occasions we have had golden eagles circling above us. There are beavers in the lake and moose and deer in the forest – the abundance of animals near our home is keeping the dogs busy at night!
Tuisku, Thunder and Gem exploring the fields.
Snowhow Shade of Raven, WTD, “Leia” at six years of age.
Titan’s sprained foot has now healed and he can join in the games.
Someone has stolen my slipper!
Evening fun on the fields.
So far this summer we’ve had no mosquitoes and no bugs – let’s hope it stays this way!
Since we got home from the mountains spring has arrived to the north of Sweden and we have been busy cleaning pens, raking leaves and enjoying the sunny weather!
Gem and Thunder enjoyed a trip to the beach on Saturday.
Thunder loves to run in the soft sand.
Titan and Leia in playful spring mood at home.‘
Gem and Titan came along to the village Valborg celebration (Walpurgis) on Saturday night. We met local people of all ages around the bonfire and many were interested in learning more about our Mals.
After a long working winter it’s nice to just take it is easy at home and enjoy spring. This time of the year the dogs are badly in need of bathing and grooming, so this work will keep us busy for a while. Happy 1st of May everyone!
The weather gods listened and we’re back in business! The temperature has dropped well below zero and we had a fantastic time today, skijoring on the windswept ice of a nearby ocean bay about 10 minutes from home.