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Fjellopplevelser

Snow on our playground...

I worked as a teacher a lot of years. Once there was a free moment in the schoolyard. Noone had given the kids footballs. After all; it was 25 degrees celcius below zero, and deep snow... Five minutes later, an indignated group of ten year-olds: "Where is the football?!"....

So... Theese kids don't play football. But they play. 
Five kids playing on a frozen, snowcovered playground!

Big...but small...

50 kilo? 100 kilo? Hard to tell. Theese two younger animals may be big in weight, but they are both children. Standing on stony ground in Dovrefjell. Winter. Kold. Short days. Very little; hardly anything to eat...

But most of them will survive. Visit us here in Norway, when the temperatures fall below 20 degrees Celcius. When days have only a few hours with light. When everything is covered with snow and ice. Visit the stubborn life that survives this cold, brutal but beautifull reallity...


(Photo; Terje Rian)

Food! MORE food!

Eating, eating and eating...

The three most important things to do for a muskox during our relatively short summer in Norway. Their food consists of leaves, grass, mushrooms. Stuff like that.

So what do they eat in the winter? The grass, or what's left of it, is covered With snow. The trees have lost their dry leaves. No mushrooms off course. So they eat...nothing. Or close to nothing. A muskox can loose up to 40 % of its bodyweight during a winter.


(Photo: Terje Rian -17)

If it had been me, I would have been around 35 kilos in april...
During the summer they eat...and eat...and eat! Untill they have gained 15 cm fat under their skin! Their food supplies for the winter....

Where have all the...muskoxen...gone?

Me and my good friend and colleague Hallvard Fjeldsetnes discuss, calculate and observe every day now. Where are the muskoxen? Usually our hairy half ton friends are to be seen quite close to roads, and not too high up at this time of the year. Why? Because the need to hide a little, just under the three limit to give birth to new life.

That goes for the ladies off course. The guys form bachelor groups, or walk around alone, feeding from grass which is possible to find now. In the spring. When the snow has vanished - or as good as vanished!

(Photo: Terje Rian)

If you should visit Norway and Dovrefjell in May - June please keep LONG distance to the muskoxen. Double or tripple it! The mothers and the newborn calves need peace, quiet and don't need visitors. Ok?

The wonder of life...

A little fellow - or girl (you don't see that from distance untill they are a little oder) finally finding something to put in the empty stomach! Not much, but nice I should think. Not having had much to eat in months!

Mostly "eating from their own body", from fat they had from last summer, some of the muskoxen now have lost up to 40% of their body weight! That's rough!

And under theese conditions the calves are born, From around June to May. Life is really a wonder, isn't it?


(Photo: Terje Rian)

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