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Scandinavian Snakes, ‘Sheeps’, Skaters, Sunscreen and the Secret Lake!
Thanks to the very generous parental leave we receive in Norway dad has every Thurs and Friday off, during summer, to hang out with Tiarnan. So with the sun beating down at 0600 on Thursday morning Tiarnan and I were stoked. With so many options open for the day we agreed upon a plan over breakfast.
We would take a wee bike ride before morning nap and then a hike to the secret lake in the afternoon.
The trip to the secret lake is a family favourite. Only about 150m above the house lies a serene little lake that is very rarely visited except by those that live there. Let's think about who is living up there. For starters there is the king of the forest - the marauding moose, keeping an eye on everything from upon high are Mr & Mrs golden eagle, of course there are gaggles of grouse, loads of lemmings and flocks of frogs. The "sheeps" visit in summer; there are a smattering of snakes and infinitesimal numbers of insects. Not to forget reasonable numbers of roguish little roe deer, a wayward wolverine or two, hurried hares, furry foxes, stoic stoats and busy buzzards.
Hymmm, when you come to think of all those lot flocking, flying, flapping, feeding, flirting, frolicking and fleeing around up there it doesn't seem so secret after all. It's still a very peaceful place however and you'll never meet another human!
Well back to the day in question. After a trip in the bike trailer, a great morning snooze, a good feed, a fresh nappy and slobbering of sun screen Tiarnan was ready for his second outing of the day. Taking control of dad from the command centre in the back pack we set off from the house and up through the sheep paddocks. While Tiarnan was busy trying to scare the ‘sheeps’ and lambs what do we spy as we hop over a small rivulet? A healthy 50cm Hoggorm (known as the European Viper or adder in the UK). Although she is quite a shy little thing, that hibernates 9 months a year here in Norway, she can deliver a nasty bite, especially to wee ones. Keeping our distance we just managed to snap a hasty pic as her head was slithering off down into a swampy hole in the grass.
Continuing on up we stopped to the see our house and the wee settlement where we live. Funny how your big world with so many things happening and all those things that need attending to always seems so small and insignificant from above. It is always very refreshing to take the eagles perspective on your world. Getting near the top Tiarnan was happy to stop a while at a wee water fall and dad managed to catch a small frog which brought giggles of amusement as he hopped about.
Finally reaching the lake we chilled in the sun, soaked up the peaceful atmosphere and watched the skating insects practicing their dance moves on the lake. What a wonderful afternoon. With Tiarnan reminding us that more naps and snacks would be needed soon we started to head back. After such a great outing we knew that the laundry, shopping, cooking and household maintenance would be a breeze and anything that didn't get done is never really all that important.
Thanks for a great day Tiarnan looking forward to what tomorrow might bring.