Artificial landscape, reindeers and a golden eagle

Last weekend was nice. I and my youngest daughter went to Junsele - the small place where I grew up as a kid to visit her grandparents and my parents. A short (460 km) weekend round trip through woodlands of rural Northern Sweden. Not obvious to me at first, but after some thinking, I realised that my experiences from this trip and lots and lots of other similar journeys in the past actually has a very strong connection with how I feel about the landscape and the people living here. The hardship of depopulation in the countryside, the native Samis struggle trying to preserve their traditions in keeping reindeer. And last but not least the large forestry, mining and energy companies never-ending transformation of this part of Sweden.

During this trip, we had both positive experiences as sad ones.

The fantastic view of a small island or islet. Lying there - far out - with ice-covered water all around. At first, this may look like wilderness in the boreal north. But if you know more about the actual landscape and this scenery, things change a bit. The water that easily could be mistaken for a large natural lake is actually an enormous dam for a hydroelectrical powerplant.

 Man made island in a dam for a hydro electrical power plant.

Man made island in a dam for a hydro electrical power plant.

The second example from our trip is both sad and fantastic at the same time. At this time of the year, you can see a lot of reindeer here. They migrate from higher altitudes in the mountains to the woodlands in the autumn to forage and shelter during the winter. This means that the herds from time to time get close to roads and with that follows the problem of roadkills. The image here is a bit graphical. Nevertheless, it represents a quite common sight during the wintertime here. When a whole herd is close to or on road accidents occur.

 A reindeer killed by traffic, left by the road. 

A reindeer killed by traffic, left by the road. 


I wrote in the beginning of this paragraph that something fantastic also happened. Something actually connected to the tragic death of a reindeer. Shortly after I had stopped to take this photo we had the fortune to see a golden eagle just beside the road (eating on another killed reindeer). So majestic and beautiful. A raven was also close and in comparison, it looked like a dwarf. So the tragical loss of good animals in the herd is food for others. Often just ravens, and foxes. But occasionally a golden eagle.