As every winter for more than 400 years, last week there was again a market in Jokkmokk. No one knows if there was an all time high in visitors this year, but the hotels were full in nearby towns (in Lapland that means 200 km). The weather was normal for the season, that is 20 degrees centigrades below zero, and snow in the air. There is a healthy mix between the simplest, cheapest stuff and the finest Sámi handicraft with items for thousands of euro.
There are also great chances for cultural and culinary experiences, that is at least if you have booked far in advance. Otherwise you can always visit local friends and try differing varieties of the traditional and compulsory reindeer meat soup, or participate in folk dance at the folklore centre. The Sámi museum Ájtte also offers a lot of activities during the market.
People come from a lot of places – not only Scandinavia and Finland but there also many German visitors.
Here, you can find a local market blog.
The anemone now withered down, Colchicum again flowers alone. The first snow has already passed and there are more and larger flowers than ever. In this climate there are no bees around this time of the year to benefit from its nectar and pollen. Maybe some mice? Other species of Colchicum are known to be rodent pollinated.
The naked lady is again flowering (lower right), but now has some company in her corner of the garden by a Japanese windflower (anemone). There are now several lady buds coming so this will be a long and beautiful flowering. As can be seen in the picture, the maples already consider this autumn and shed their leaves. Many other plants are however also flowering even in this northern archipelago garden.
It is now again the time for sour herring parties. The release of this year’s harvest has not yet taken place, but there are always old cans around to start with. The one pictured in Swedish Mad magazine in 1965 can however not be found, even if the slightly rounded shape is realistic.
We had a dinner last night with Kallax from last year, and Oscar’s from last year and 2005 – all very good.
This year’s herring harvest is said to have been good so their should be plenty of new sour herring available on the market in a week or so. Reports will follow.
On Midsummer’s Eve all the necessary ingredients were present; Proper food and drink, some traditional and some unexpected; Meadow flowers on the table; The sun crawling above the tree-tops, almost not setting; A warm enough evening for sitting out until midnight; A musician who remembers almost all the words of the Taube songs; And of course a good mood and many stories told.
See also entry on June 26, 2007.
It is now spring again, the snow has disappeared, and Colchicum, having flowered and survived during winter, is back with green leaves, bigger than ever. The picture is from May 11.
The garden has had a less harsh winter with no sun-scorching damage, and our anti-browsing protection having worked out, except on a few of the tallest young rowans, and a maple, that were broken by moose – se picture on the maple below from March 23. We sometimes have to physically chase away the moose from the garden, threatening them with the worst possible fates.
It is the day before New Years Eve, which means almost no daylight. Snow has come again today after several days of rain. Nevertheless, Colchicum stands in bloom. An amazing hardiness. I will report on the continued fate of the flower.
What could be more worth to celebrate than a healthy, free-running river in the North, following the natural seasons, providing space for the riverine flora and fauna, including salmon and sea-migrating trout. The river runs without interruption (almost) all the way from the sources in the Scandic montains to the Baltic Sea.
To all of you who may stumble over this blog I wish a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, or whatever holidays you are celebrating around this time of the year.
Snow has come, but nevertheless there are flowers coming up. Colchicum or naked lady defies winter and breaks through the soil crust to expose its fragile bud to the frost. It tries to tell us: never give up in the face of a chilly reception!
A watering can, blown away by the wind, then being snowed upon, is leaving its mark on the lawn, in the negative.
Winter appeared four days ago, and it is time to cover the plants, hide away gardening tools, empty the water system, put on an extra door, and bring in some extra firewood.