24 March 2012

Northern exposure 2012 - the Hornøya photo workshop, part 1

For the second year we are arranging a photo workshop on the magnificent Hornøya island, Varanger, in collaboration with nature photographers Bjarne Riesto and Knut Sverre Horn. On the menu we have three days of fantastic nature experiences, talks, boat trips and a spectacular bird cliff with thousands

20 March 2012

Redrawing Ørland - pro nature destination development

We just spent one week in Ørland, central Norway. In close collaboration with the good people at Ørland Kulturhus (cultural centre) we are now making a new destination development scheme for Ørland. This includes designing a new Ramsar center / exhibition, to be completed this summer. The past week we have had lots of great meetings with people involved in this project, we have spent much time making time-lapse movies in the tidal landscape, and collecting content for the coming exhibition. 

We very early realized that we had to redraw the map for Ørland. Maps define our perception of a place, and something was very obviously missing from the ordinary Ørland map: the vast tidal landscapes. Below is the new Ørland map - with tidal landscape included + depths in the sea. This makes a much more meaningfull map for everyone with an interest in nature. The map is still a work in progress, so more info to come. But no doubt that both the birder, the fisherman, the diver and the kayak paddler will find this a more relevant map, compared to the ordinary plain-blue-sea-map. The vast tidal landscapes is the basis for Ørland wetlands status as a Ramsar area.

Ørland map by Biotope

The Lapwing is a character bird on Ørland. The drawings above (soon to feature on T-shirts) are made on a workshop arranged by Thomas Hjeltnes / the Cultural center: 5th graders version on this beautifull bird. We propose a new name: Varied Lapwing. Exellent drawings - anyone who has ever carefully studied a Lapwing will understand the variation. It is a study in the play of colour and light.

A key part of our engagement in Ørland is to include local resources - and they are plentifull. We have had many meetings with very resourcefull people and this will inform the coming exhibition to a great extent. The exhibition will not only feature much information on the nature, birds and wildlife of this great place, but also the people who use these areas for a variety of purposes: the local birders, the divers club, fishermen, kayakers, hunters all share an interest in the wise use and sound development of Ørlands nature. We will make more then an exhibition: it will be a meeting place. 

Tune in to the Biotope website to follow the progress! For now we present a few photos from our week in Ørland:

04 March 2012

Båtsfjord Kings - a room with a view

King Eider Somateria spectabilis, adult male in Båtsfjord harbour, Northern Varanger Peninsula - 04.03.2012 

We have just been on a two day trip to the northern part of the Varanger Peninsula. One of our main goals was to test a floating photo hide prototype made by fisherman and nature guide Ørjan Hansen in Båtsfjord. The harbour in Båtsfjord must surely be the worlds best place to experience King Eider (and more!) at close range.

A room with a view. young male Common Eider Somateria mollissima, 2cy 

This too is ´another-day-at-the-office´ article: Our engagements let us meet, in our opinion, some of the finest people in Finnmark! Ørjan in Båtsfjord is one of those creative just-do-it-people we like to join forces with. The new floating hide was finished the night before we arrived Båtsfjord. The idea was to