I had very lofty ideas about skiing to Svartmorgraven today but I got seriously distracted on the way. I mentioned the reindeer yesterday and today I get coming across them at every turn. So I ended up zigzagging the tundra in search for the best angles to show the reindeer in this tough environment. Of course, as skittish as the reindeer are, there’s only so close you can get them. And there’s only so close you should get to them either, this is the season when the reindeer should be left well alone. There’s no hiding in the tundra so the animals saw me coming from a long way so at least I didn’t catch them by surprise at any point and after a while I drew the right conclusions and turned back home.
Coming down from the tundra is actually even more difficult than going up. Going up just requires some endurance, but the way down requires a high tolerance for pain. Either for the acid buildup in your muscles as you plough your skis to slow down the free fall, or the pain of colliding with a tree when the ploughing fails and your skis run out of control. Normally I take the skis and walk down, but this time when I saw that the snow cover in the forest was holding quite well, I zigzagged down and avoided all the pain. Better like that.
Yesterday I refilled the bird feeder I had set up in March. Back then, it took about two days before the birds found it, and it was just the same birds I had in Loos minus the crested tit. This time it took only about 15 minutes and I was thrilled to see bullfinch and common redpoll! For some reason I never got bullfinches in Loos, but heard other people had them. They’re very shy though, they fly away even when they see movement in the window so it’s difficult to get pictures and I only managed one distance shot. The redpolls were easier, but I didn’t have any particular setup so the background is not very well under control. Now that I know that I can get birds there even without setting up the feeder in the autumn, I’ll have a think about how to set up the whole thing next year.