Autumn in the mountains.

I spent the first week of the autumn holidays back at the mountain farm, working from Sunday to Saturday. Back home the leaves were still green with only traces of yellow here and there, but up in the mountains the trees were on fire! Everything was covered in shades of yellow, orange and red. The mountain is definitely on it’s prettiest at this time of year, when the leaves turn and the air is crisp. Perfect for working outside, as the fresh air keeps you cool despite wearing a ton of clothes.

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One afternoon I had some time off between my shifts, so I took my camera for a walk around the nature park trying to capture the wonderful colours, and the creatures I encountered on my way.

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Most visitors seems to think these are roe deer, but I struggle to see the likeness there. They are, in fact, Mouflon sheep. The Mouflon is a subspecies group of the wild sheep, and are thought to be one of the two ancestors of all modern, domestic sheep.
The farm is specializing in original and old breeds, so that’s why they choose to have this sheep instead of the white, fluffy ones. They are not much of a productive animal though, since they don’t produce much wool, meat nor milk compared to the modern sheep. But they are fast and athletic, and perfectly adapted to a rough life in the mountains.

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I also happened to walk past just as the guide was feeding the elk calves, and they have grown so much since I was there in July! They are not babies any more, and the same with Olaf the roe deer too. He’s not huge though, but he has lost his baby spots and grown a nice, warm adult coat.
See the photos from the summer HERE.
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By the goose pond I met Rein the reindeer who was out on a walk as well. I stopped to say hi, and when I started walking he just as well tagged along. Why not, as we were clearly heading the same way!

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I had to go back to work after walking with Rein, but that’s not as bad as it might sound when you’re working in these fabulous surroundings. Next up on my schedule was a guided tour to the arctic foxes, and the photos were taken by my friend Eline de Raad from Belgium, who joined me and the tourists in the enclosure.
I love taking groups of tourists to the foxes as it’s an animal I’m very interested in, and I feel it’s important that people get to learn that the arctic foxes are actually endangered here in Norway and counting less than 100 individuals.
It’s not endangered on world basis though, only in Scandinavia and especially Norway.

The ones we have at the farm are not the Norwegian subspecies though, but they are great ambassadors for their breed. They came to the farm as puppies in 2012, and have become really friendly and curious due to a lot of socialization and treats. The tourists get to feed them, and also have them in their lap and on their backs if they want to. The foxes loves the attention, and follows the group around the enclosure as we walk around and I talk about the breed look at real and human-made dens etc.

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And everyone’s favourite part is at the end, when I line them up and get the foxes to run across their backs. Even the most silent and shy group of kids can’t hold back the giggles when the fox races back and forth to earn the treats.

After another lovely day at work, it was time to feed the elks and Olaf, with the wonderful mountain sunset as a backdrop. Life can’t really get much better than this!

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