Weekend Coffee Share – Coffee In My Neck Of The Woods

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How about having coffee in my favourite forest this week? This is a pine forest a few minutes from my house. If you take a closer look at the ground it gives a great promise of a delicious harvest of lingonberries and blueberries in a couple months. I love foraging in the forest. This is a pretty typical forest for my region Dalarna, in Sweden. This is the region I was born in, where my family comes from. I’ve spent a large portion of my life away, but about six months ago I found my way back, and I intend to stay. This is home.

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Blueberry plants – Blåbärsris

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Lingonberry plants – Lingonris

Speaking of the forest and its wildlife. In Sweden we have an estimated 300-350 wolves, around 35 is believed to live in Dalarna. It could be a lot more according to some sources. There is a large wolf habitat 13-20 miles from our house. This week they’ve been hunting down one wolf there for safety reasons. He’s been wandering in to a small town in the area one too many times. Occasionally there’s been livestock and dogs lost to wolves, but not on a larger scale. I’ve personally never seen one in real life. We also have bear in the woods, which I haven’t seen any in this region either. I know they are there. When I lived in Gold Country California I had black bears on my property and saw them daily. I’ve seen bears in other places in California on many occasions as well, but never (in the wild) in Sweden. 

There is one big difference. In the US you can carry a weapon for self defence, I did in areas where I felt that it was needed, it’s not like that here. I have adjusted my life to another model since moving back. I do not go far into the wilderness alone, since I don’t have my German Shepherd or my Glock. I also live in the outskirts of the outskirts of a town, and not by the end of a long dirt road, far from other people. I will one day, but then I will have a couple good dogs with me, and likely get a hunting license so that I can own a riffle. For now I feel rather safe from predators of all kinds, and I enjoy having walking distance to several forests and lakes. Do you need a refill on your coffee?

I finished reading Attainable Sustainable: The Lost Art of Self-Reliant Living earlier this week. I gave this book 5 stars on Goodreads. It’s a must have for anyone striving to live a selfsustainable life. It covers the basic of a great variety of subjects such as; gardening, cooking, canning, fermenting, candlemaking, soapmaking and farming. I really like the attractive design and modern approach to homesteading. The photos throughout the book are of very high quality and the descriptions very easy to follow. I really enjoyed reading it, and I know I will go back and try different ideas for years to come. It definitely earned a spot in my bookshelf.

It’s been a cold week, and I still have all my vegetable seedlings inside. Some are big now, and crave more sun. May 1st is a bank holiday, and we are enjoying a three day weekend. It is raining outside, the air smells very good, and I can only imagine how green it is going to be! May is usually a warm month, and I am looking forward to it. One of my favourite months in Sweden actually. I really like spring and fall, the temperatures, planting and harvesting – just good, happy times. How is spring coming along where you are?

How are you? I sure hope that you are staying happy and healthy in these crazy times. How are things in your corner of the world? Take a refill on that coffee and tell me about it in a comment!

Love,

Maria

Published by Sagittarius Viking

It’s all about experiences, and the healing power of nature. Life is about choosing happiness. I entered the magic world of photography when I was five years old. My gypsy soul have taken me to many different countries, and definitely taught me to be more humble. I believe that you are what you eat, body and soul. I enjoy growing my own food, and spending time outdoors. Above everything else is my daughter. A Sagittarius loves to travel, have an open mind and, and a philosophical view. It motivates them to wander around the world in search of the meaning of life. Sagittarius is extrovert, optimistic and enthusiastic, and likes changes. A lot of that perfectly describes me. The fact that my ancestors, on both parents sides, were vikings, doesn’t exactly lessen my desire to explore. Maybe a slightly more mindful exploring, compared to the average viking. My blog, and my art prints is a results of my (inner and outer) explorations. Love, Maria

41 thoughts on “Weekend Coffee Share – Coffee In My Neck Of The Woods

  1. I like forests like these.. peaceful, calm, lot of trees without too many bugs.. I believe the Taiga regions of the world have some beautiful forests like these..!!
    Thank you Madam for sharing.. 😊😊

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m not sure, it was a physical thing, some definite effect that I could ‘feel’ inside. It may have lessened a little as I got older, (or maybe I was more used to it by then) but I never lost the love of such places.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I just Love the forrests there and it’s so interesting to read all about them with the wildlife and all. You are so smart and have great experience, such an experienced outdoors woman! ❤️ I so admire all your worldly travels too, and what really resonates to me is your last sentence or two in your first paragraph, you are home and you will stay home!! ❤️❤️❤️
    It is such a pleasure to see your surroundings and hear/read all about Sweden!! I’m half swedish, my grandma was a swedish immigrant so was my grandpa. Anyways, I’m rambling on here and just want to thank you for the wonderful coffee and that I think of you and your daughter often and am so thankful we connected and can share together our lives and happenings!! Take care, stay safe! ❤️😍🥰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Diana! You know that we would love for you to come and visit us in real life one day. Maybe when we have our own little homestead in a few years? 🙂 That is something too look forward to! I am happy you enjoyed the visit in “my” forest. Be safe my friend ❤

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  3. What a fascinating post. You have made some huge changes in your life. We used to live in California and also saw bears in the mountains. I’ve never been to Sweden and would have no idea that those bushes were blueberries! Not sure what lingonberries taste like, although I’ve heard of them. Aren’t they sour?
    Did you have to leave your German Shepherd behind?
    Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, there have been some big changes. I experienced many wonderful things, (and some less wonderful) in the US, coming home felt good. There is a time for everything. I wouldn’t want to be without the experiences in my backpack. Unfortunately I had to leave my faithful German Shepherd with a family outside Las Vegas. That was extremely hard, but I had no option there.
      Lingonberries are very sour, you can make wonderful jam (sweetened with honey) and lemonade out of it. Lingonberries are extremely nutritious. They can be freeze-dried, or frozen whole and used in smoothies or fruit salads. I like having them on top of/or mixed into my hot oatmeal in the morning.
      Thank you for having coffee with me today!

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  4. You have a beautiful place to call home, Maria. It’s wonderful that you can walk to a forest and lakes. Thanks for sharing your rating of the book. It sounds like a good resource to have. Enjoy your long weekend! #weekendcoffeeshare

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Natalie! I am a country girl at heart and I feel right at home here. “Attainable Sustainable” is a wonderful resource. I’m a minimalist and I choose to not have many possessions, but this book is staying! I have tried some of the ferments introduced in the book, with great results. My daughter find the quilting sections very interesting. I hope you are having a great weekend! ❤

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  5. Hi Maria,
    I was afraid that Sweden would keep you if she ever got you back and there you are. Interesting about the wolves, bears and guns. Glad you have dogs, but I think you’re correct that even seeing them there should be rare. This is not new to Sweden and I’ll bet it is well under control and safe for you and your neighbors.

    If you get a chance to look at my share for this week, please look at the photo of my plum tree and comment if you know anything other than aphids that would do this. I tried the classic neem oil treatment but it looks like it did nothing and now it’s too late to do much of anything as the fruit has already begun to form.

    Also, you got me wondering. What are you going to do with your homesteading land here? That was quite a passion you had going for a while and I’ve not hear you speak of it lately.

    Blessings my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I will definitely look at your share. Before even looking I can tell you that I use apple cider vinegar mixed with water for all bugs on my fruit trees. The worse the attack is the higher part of vinegar. Too much vinegar can kill some leaves, and young plants, but not a big tree. It’s better to get all the bugs away, and lose some of the plant. The general rule is that a tree can do well while losing up to a third of the total size. It’s environmentally friendly and safe to use vinegar. The basic recipe have 1/3 apple cider vinegar, and 2/3 water that you put in a spray bottle and spray generously on and around the attacked place (can be used all over the tree/plant.) If you use a stronger mix than 1/3 vinegar you will likely kill a young plant. The 1/3 mix can also successfully be used when watering trees and plants as well. Just don’t water too close to the trunk. This is a great fertiliser!

      I let go of my properties in the US. At first I thought I was going to keep them, but realised that there is no point with that (for many reasons air quality going down with a new factory built in a nearby city and access to clean water the two foremost reasons.) As you know I am leasing the place I have now. I do like it a lot, everything except having neighbours so close. I will purchase a place of my own within the next 2-3 years or so, either a small cottage or an old homestead. There are many old homesteads from 1800 century, or older in the area. The soil is fertile. Every once in a while these homesteads, or parts of them comes up for sale. I keep my eyes open. With this job that I have now that allows for so much free then in the summers I could keep my job and still take care of a good sized garden.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Such a beautiful woodland! I expect spring and summer will be filled with lots of walks and picnics!
    It’s pretty neat that you have wolves near by. They keep nature is good balance.
    Thanks for the book recommendation. A timely topic in these uncertain times.
    Spring continues to unfold here. Tomorrow is forecast to be in the 70s, our first warm day. Of course, the black flies are hatching in swarms – ugh, bites galore! But I love being outside and we are getting the to-do list ticked off. It feels good!
    Have a good week, Maria!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ooo yes, even more than usual walks and picnics! I would invite you along any time!
      Yes, the balance is everything. The massive amounts of deer causes more trouble, when it comes to ticks, and destroyed crops than the wolves. Enjoy Your beautiful day! It is still early here, but it looks like we will have the first sunny day in a long time! It will be enjoyed!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. The woods sound lovely. We have trails in the woods near here. There are also coyotes and so our back garden is fenced in for our little dog. We don’t have guns so much in Canada unless you are a hunter. I’m glad to know you are well. We are all well here too but still in lockdown. I ma used to it now and the only thing I really miss is riding my horse. Stay well!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ooo coyotes, we had plenty of those too in California. Almost forgot about those little rascals.. Smart to have e safe place for your dog to enjoy. I bet you really miss riding. Stay safe, and I hope you get to enjoy a beautiful spring. ❤

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  8. Here in eastern N.D., the weather has turned cold and windy, again. Following the “No Burning” mandate for high winds and dry conditions, we have a forecast for the week of lows in the low 30s F, highs in the 40s to low 50s, strong winds at the end of the week, and rain and snow for a couple days. That will be fun. I must get the rest of my wildflower seeds sown in their garden in time for them to be soaked by the rain. I hope that the weather turns, where you are, so that you can get your seedlings into the ground timely.

    I forget that forests can be free from lower, ground cover bushes. So different from the small hills and thick woods and forests of my experience, with scattered plum and crab apple trees, wild grapes on the vine, and thickets of chokecherry bushes (which we used to gather to make jelly and syrup for pancakes.) It was so much fun, being a “wild child” out on the land from dawn to dusk all summer…and as could be managed, also spring and fall. Fond memories. Thanks and best wishes for your week!

    Love & zen hugs!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for sharing these childhood memories. I too have very fond memories of playing in the forest, and skiing in the forest with my little sister. I braved the weather and planted some of my sturdier seedlings outside yesterday, in pots. I have slowly gotten them used to the weather a few hours a day for the past week. Have a wonderful new week. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  9. There is no place like home, its like being able to take a deep, deep, breath. the forest looks like such a magical place, the rocks look like they might turn into turtles & mythical creatures it looks like such fun. I’m glad here in Aus we don’t have to worry about bears & wolves. Are the blueberries the same kind you buy in a shop or are they different. Thanks for sharing your beautiful home with us. We are well here, restrictions are easing but safety distance tape is everywhere its like a stage setting everywhere you go, which isn’t a bad thing. Stay well my friend & may your week ahead be wonderfully blessed with many many magical moments.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So true. I wouldn’t say that we are scared of the wolves and bears, we just keep them in mind. They have plenty to eat without disturbing people. The blueberries are the same, pretty much, as the ones you buy in a store. They often taste a little more, I think the ones you buy in the store sometimes have a watered-down-taste sort of.
      Enjoy your new week ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  10. That is a beautiful region. We do have bear, bob cats, and coyotes around here (the last is relatively recent!), but no wolves. I have neighbors who see bear almost daily, but they don’t make it into the village center where I live.

    I hope you have a wonderful week!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Hi for another week, Maria. I particularly enjoy our catch up as Sweden isn’t somewhere you hear about often and I particularly enjoyed your post last week where you were talking about school during the coronacrisis. No wildlife wandering near here, although we have a resident huntsman spider called “Mini Ralph”. He looks large enough to me and must resembled a giant to anyone with arachnophobia. No bears. No squirrels or wolves. However, we have so many lovely birds such as the Rainbow Lorrikeets which I can presently hear chirping nearby.
    Our garden is showing life for the first time in a few years, thanks to my husband’s efforts at stopping the dogs from digging and he planted grass seed and now we have a lawn. We also have a lemon tree bursting with fruit which isn’t quite ripe yet.
    Our kids went back to school on Wednesday for term 2. However, they’re working from home. Our son is 16 and in his second last year at school and is doing online classes via zoom. Our daughter is 14 and we picked up a hard copy print out for her to see what it was like, and she was very grateful because she doesn’t like working online and prefers the books. Yet, we still need to get her work through to her teachers, which we haven’t looked at yet.
    She can go back one day a week next week but we’re not sending her as classes have been organized alphabetically and she’s not with her friends or her usual teachers and the risks outweighed the benefits. I don’t know if this makes me a rebel. However, as they ease government restrictions, we need to think and take responsibility for ourselves…protect ourselves and ensure we don’t pass it on.Some are clearly ignoring this and crowds formed at the Gold Coast last weekend which were moved on by police and a few parties were also shut down. I see this as a time to limit your social contacts and see the same people. It’s not time for a social smorgasbord.
    Anyway, how are things going at your school?
    Anyway, take care and best wishes,
    Rowena
    PS what was it like living with bears?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your lovely comment, and apologies for my late replies. It is busy at school, and I mostly do blogging ion the weekends now. I treasure blogging so much, but I just don’t have time during the weeks. Most days I get up between 4-4.30, do things around the house, until I wake up my daughter and leave the house for 12 hours, make, dunner, do homework, sleep and do it all over again…until the weekend 🙂 Maybe that makes blogging extra special in the weekends? I’d like to think so. Our outdoor school goes very well. It does require extra energy, we eat and sleep more! Being active all day outdoors feels good in my body. There’s many walks in the beautiful forests, soccer, climbing trees, and other activities that requires exercise. I do gymnastics, or yoga outdoors with the children several days a week.

      Your strategy nowadays seem like a balanced one. I too restrict our interactions with others to a minimum. I would love to have a lemon tree ! It’s a little too cold for that here. I had some in California.

      It was interesting when I had a bear that lived own the property. I considered it his area, and us as guests. Since he was there first. The property bordered a National Forest. There was plenty of food for the wildlife, so there was no real threat. I was more cautious, thought of it constantly, being prepared but not scared. I had three big dogs with me at all time; one German Shepherd, one American Bulldog, and a Pitbull/Greyhound mix. They always warned me of someone was close by.

      I hope you’ve had a wonderful week, I do appreciate your comment. ❤

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