May 26, 2013

My Fluffy Neighbour Clan

The last weeks, my blog has been mostly about sad things. Tornadoes, extreme weather, things that really isn't making us happy. So, now I thought it was about time to do a post about something that is sweet, cute, and that will make you smile - so, I want to share with you, my true last sign, that summer has arrived here where I live when I'm in Norway. Every summer we get visitors. I call them "My Neighbour Clan" :) They are white (mostly), sweet, beautiful, happy, playful, very very fluffy - and they are as much a classic Norwegian Summer-sight, as it can ever be. Let me introduce you to my friends; these cutie balls:


These little white fur balls, are just too cute! Every year, on the fields right behind my house, a local farmer in the area let's out his sheep's and lambs, to go freely around, feeding on the delisch green fresh grass. Every morning, I wake up, hearing these sweet lambs. It can of course be a little annoying sometimes, but it's mostly the cosiest part of living here during the summer. It's like living on a mountain-farm and, watching these happy beauties jumping around, snuggling each other, and enjoying the free area, makes me happy. Also, once, now and then, I'm able to go up to them, play around, give them hugs, and feed them grass from my hand. It's such a real, beautiful and classic Countryside-Norwegian life. With them, my "Neighbour Clan", comes the summer - it won't get much better then that :) 


Have A Wonderful Sunday Everyone!
Til Next Time








May 24, 2013

A Slap In The Face By Nature

I don't really know why, but it seems, every time I talk about something I do NOT want to happen, it does. My last post here on my blog, was about the dangers spring time can give us and, I wrote about the extreme flooding we had two years ago. How rain, and a mud-slide  almost took away my landlords house, and how it flushed away my road, a garage and more. How it ravaged through our wally, and flooded areas downtown, and almost destroyed another town a few miles south of my place. I wrote then, I hope we wouldn't have to deal with this, this year. Neither my town, or that other town, or anywhere else, for that matter. Watching the horrible images and news from Oklahoma, is more then enough to deal with for me. Those poor people... 
Then, the next day after I posted that last story here, nature slapped us in the face. This time, all though it wasn't too bad in my town, it became much worse that same place a few miles south from here. The sky opened up - and BOOM! Here are the results...

The town Kvam, a few miles south of my place - ravaged...




Many houses were flushed away in the town Kvam - along with roads, bridges and more...
A little further south in our wally...

The following images are all from the town Kvam.







Only two years ago, the people in the town Kvam, went through almost the same as you can see in the pictures above - many had to rebuild their homes, after the flood took them back then. Many had barely been able to move in to their new houses, before it now happened again. Also, this time it was a lot worse then two years ago. It was bad back then - but this time, it was a LOT more water. Coming down from the mountains, after a sudden and long heatwave, and the sky opening up with pouring, hard rain, everything came down at once. Melted snow. Mountain waters being so flooded with water, it went over it's limits. In a matter of actual minutes, the down town area, was a strong flushing river. Friends of mine has again lost their homes. Poor people. All they could do, was getting out of the ravaging waters way, and stand there, watching their homes, cars and belongings, being smashed to pieces by the nature. It's almost unreal...

Norway's main road, Europe Road-6, flooded. Drivers still tried to get through...
A mud-slide at my neighbours place - they were very lucky. It went right by their house, and stopped just above another one (not visible).
An elementary-school close to my home, and it's playground.
Panorama-image of the school's activity area...

The road that leads to, and out from my home area - thirty minutes after I took this image, the area where I'm standing here with my car, was completely flooded.
Now, this is MY town, Otta - looking south-bound. As you can see, we were really lucky this time...

Still, as I mentioned, in my town, we were lucky! There wasn't too much damage, and not too many mud-slides. There was a few though, that took with it a garage, and split a house in half. But, that was the worst that happened. We (me and my dog), were evacuated. Because of a fear that something similar two years ago would happen again and, because the masses and an area with bolder rocks in the high, steep mountain sides above and behind our houses started to move, and become unstable, it wasn't really any point in sticking around. Luckily, I'm home again, with my little pooch, and everything is fine. Thank The Maker for that. Nature is an amazing "living" phenomenon. But when it comes slapping in your face - you really don't have much to fight it with. Then it is the Nature her self, that decides if you will come out of it OK, or if it will leave you, and your friends, in any kind of wounded way... I'm so glad we didn't get hit worse by this then we were. I'm so. SO sad, that all those others were... Our world is a fantastic place! Our Nature is just as fantastic too. But, my oh my,  how extremely dangerous she can be... May all the tornadoes, ravaging floods, bush-fires and avalanches be over for this time. Do you hear me, Moder Nature? Please? You've shown, and proved your significant powers to us, more then clearly enough now. We know you are there - and so, hopefully you will spare us all, and be on OUR side, for many years to come...


Stay Safe People!
 Til next time.

(Images in this post are done by Me, and different medias - these are: Verdens Gang (VG), Geir Olsen, and Hakon Mosvold Larsen, of NTB/ScanPix)

May 21, 2013

The Lovely Spring - A Dangerous Season

Dark clouds on the horizon, an ominous sign about a severe change coming...

First of all, let me express my feelings and, my heartache, for all the people, and the victims of the devastation after the tornado that hit Oklahoma, and it's suburban town Moore. My heart cries for them, and for the first time in my life, I went to bed, saying a prayer for a whole different community then my own... I stayed awake through the night, watching the live coverage on CNN and KOCO5/ABC. As I was watching it all earlier during our afternoon, I, a grown man, that is not easily moved to tears, cried, when I saw how it all was developing, and how incredibly horrific it was to be in the tornado's wake. Let us all pray for them and, that it is now all over - that they will not be hit once again by this incredible horrific power of nature...

Spring time is such a lovely season! As we all know, and at least in Norway, it's when everything wakes up to life again, after months of hibernation, and rest. The air turns soft. It's almost like you can taste it. Smells. Flowers. Heat. Long bright nights. Early blue sky mornings. Green! Happiness. It's a lovely season, when everything begins it's new cycle of life. But, it can also be a dangerous season - So. Very. Dangerous...

I do know that, for example in USA and on it's west coast, (as I live there partly through the year), when may month arrives, springtime has more or less come and gone. Winter and spring isn't the same as in Norway, of course not. But, in Norway, springtime stretches from end of April, til the end of may. It's not even uncommon that it snows here during the beginning of June. The last winters has been tough, and hard in Norway. Extreme cold for long periods of time, and so much snow. Summers haven't been all that either. But sometimes, like this season, we get slammed by a sudden heatwave, that stays with us for days and days. It's also normal that during this period of time, we get soaked by rain. Lots of it! Then the danger for us turns in. Norway is a rocky country. We have small towns, and villages outside the more larger urban cities, that are pinned between high steep mountains, waters, sea and rivers. High mountains, means snow. As it can easily keep below freezing there, the snow melts slowly as spring comes. But only until we get slammed by a heatwave - and lots of rain. Then it all comes down. Water from the melted snow. Rain. Everything comes at once. 

Where I live in Norway, the town is positioned in a little "pot". Surrounded by these typical steep mountains, and, having two rivers surrounding it, that meets up at the south end of the town, when spring heat comes, rivers grow high, and water comes up where ever it can. Meaning in the downtown area. Our mall's parking lot is mostly during this time of year, and a little later, an area where people use boats! Yes, you read correctly. Rubber dingies, canoe's, boats. Last year, people where swimming there! Ha! I can't help but giggle a little about it, because it's pretty funny. As long as no one gets hurt, that is. So far so good. Last year wasn't too bad. The heat didn't go on too long, and it wasn't as hot either - as it is this year. Last time we had the same spring weather as we do now, was two years ago. And that was a little different. I remember I was so tired! It was so hot, and it had been pouring down all night, so it was humid, and difficult to sleep. So, I tried sleeping in. Turned my cellphone ringer off, so I would make sure I wasn't disturbed as I tried to get some good rest. During the afternoon, I woke up by a woman screaming my name outside my bedroom window! "Wake Up"! I screamed back, "Nooo"! Ha ha! That's me... Typical. Then I was told to just get up, and look out my bedroom window. I did, and I never been out of bed that fast ever before, or even after that time. As I looked out, I saw this:

   


Well, it was actually a little worse, because the road down by my house was replaced by a strict streaming river. I took most of these pictures after the water had been successfully diverted, and lead away from the houses. The newer building you see, is my landlords place. The mud- and dirt slide actually stopped in his house' back wall, and because of that, the slide changed it's direction, and went down on the side, and continued by following the road by my house, and the crop fields just a little below us. We were very lucky! If my landlords house hadn't been strongly built, even though the slide gave it a massive jolt, and pushed it a little bit off it's foundation concrete walls, it most likely saved me, and the two other residents beside my house. Behind our area, are steep mountains. Quickly melting snow, and hard pouring rain, made the creek in the hills above our place grow so big, that it couldn't keep on the flowing water anymore. As a water up in the high mountains grew fast as well, and the water went over it's boundaries there, everything came down straight towards us! Grabbing bolder rocks, and dirt, sand and stones, as it came down the steep hills above. Later this same evening, we were evacuated. It kept on raining, and as the heatwave didn't cool down either, it was just too dangerous to stay put. I grabbed my R2D2-life size projector replica droid, (haha), some clothes and my sweet dog's stuff. And went to my parents for the night. Luckily, we didn't get more of the devastation at that time...

The mall parking lot, used mostly as a swimming pool and, water sports area at this time of year.
Masses of water coming up from the ground, on the main road to my home.
Wheeeeeeee!!!
One of the crop-fields, down by my house, after the water- and mudslide two years ago.
An other vise so lovely pavilion area down by one of our two rivers - when the river doesn't take it back, that is...
Water levels getting dangerously close to the bridge... (Yes, I do know about the bird poop on my windshield, ha!)

One of our waterfalls, two days ago - it's getting rough!
As I'm writing this, I took this two hours ago, while walking my little pooch - an old "camper" alone in a field - with ground water floating up on the field around it...

This is my neighbour's place. Also this is a picture I took on my dog walk, two hours ago. Lets just say that he has duck's swimming in his potato field...

As I'm writing this, today, Norway's main TV-channel's news crew (TV2 Norway), had live coverage from south of my town, where, as I mentioned earlier, our two rivers meet. They were there, because again, this year, as this other time two years ago, we are struck by a sudden extreme heat (95deg.), and rain - and there is, according to weather service, more rain to come. And the TV-channels news reporter, was standing in wader-pants, with water up to his crutch - where there normally is dry land. Our rivers are again rising with a ominous tempo! The snow in the mountains are again melting to fast... Let's pray our dangerous elements of the lovely spring season, treats us well this year. Because, even though spring time is a Lovely Season - it also can be oh so very dangerous...

Have a safe and wonderful week everyone!
Til next time



May 19, 2013

SUMMER!!!

I'm sure all of you that has even heard about Norway, are aware of it's cold weather. Here, on my blog, I do complain A LOT about it. I guess since I do not really have much to complain about in my life, as it is pretty good at the time being, complaining about the weather is a little relief - we all do need something to complain about, from time to time ;)

Our weather is normally either chilly or rainy - sometimes both at the same time...
 So, at the time I'm writing this, two days ago, I inhaled and, swallowed my very first mosquito for the season! Yes, you read correct... It's become a tradition for me - not really a nice one of course, but, as springtime arrives, and summer is about to knock down our doors, I always, just before the gorgeous weather arrives, swallow a mosquito! It's THE sign! Ha! When it happens, my summer feel starts flushing into my body and soul. Feeling that nasty little bugger buzzing down my throat, makes me of course want to gag, or at least flush it down with gallons of water. But, as it's done, I know (more or less), that summer is on the horizon. Then, yesterday: BAM! 
 



 
95degrees Fahrenheit! Lovely sun! No rain! (For now, knock on wood)... Oh my Holy Maker! It's no dog weather. My little wiener pooch gets too hot - one short walk after we get out of bed in the morning, and we'll have to wait for the afternoon, to find a path  to walk by with some shadow. A/C is going strong! Electrical bills are (I'm sure) sky rocketing! But, I don't care. It's 95 DEGREES outside, for lord sake :) It's finally real summertime in Norway! And how fantastically beautiful the country is, during this lovely season. Oh, and yes, I already got a nice tan ;) 
Cool tempered grass, is a great way to chill down the fur :)

Just so you know, her shadow reveals her true nature - she's the one who keeps my bedroom monster-free at night ;)


Have a gorgeous Sunday, and week everyone!
Til next time!