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Spring held at bay as deer starve

Roger Choate · 7 Mar 2010, 11:22

Published: 07 Mar 2010 09:24 GMT+01:00
Updated: 07 Mar 2010 11:22 GMT+01:00

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Late Saturday the Swedish Maritime Administration (Sjöfartsverket) rescinded an earlier recommendation that ships steer clear of a critical stretch in the Stockholm Archipelago. But only one ferry at a time was allowed to pass through the stretch, in order to avoid chaos that had reigned earlier.

The tough winter had its winners and losers, noted the afternoon daily Aftonbladet. Sport stores sold a record number of skis, and sales of winter apparel also delighted the trade. Items such as heavy coats and boots sold out altogether.

Another winner: taxi companies. “You can talk about an all-time high in January for many of the bigger taxi firms,” said Lennart Hamnered, chairman of the Taxi Federation (Taxiförbundet). Initial statistics from February were just as encouraging, he said.

Losers during the stern winter included homeowners with variably priced electrical contracts. Costs soared. In January a homeowner could reckon with an electrical bill some 2,000 kronor ($285) higher than in December.

Snow removal had cost the nation a record 1.3 billion kronor ($185 million) thus far, while commuter and long distance trains were still subject to delays because of maintenance problems–such as frozen switches and stalled locomotives.

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Worst hit were deer that starved to death because food stocks were buried under the snow. As many as 30-50 percent of the animals were believed to have died during the winter, according to the west Swedish newspaper Värmlands Folkblad.

A high level grade 4 avalanche risk warning was issued in the Swedish mountains where tens of thousands were enjoying their traditional skiing holidays.

Roger Choate (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

03:11 March 8, 2010 by bira
um, I thought spring officially starts at the Vernal equinox, in the norther hemisphere, which occurs on March 20th this year???
05:06 March 8, 2010 by jimfromcanada
bira, you're right, officially, at least everywhere else in the world. I think that in Sweden and most of Canada, spring does not really come until the first flowers come up, and the trees bud out, no matter what the astronomers say. In the Canadian provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba, that isn't going to happen for another month yet.
07:32 March 8, 2010 by Douglas Garner
Just a futile attempt to shorten the Swedish winter! But if you never try...
09:11 March 8, 2010 by karex
I have been wanting to feed the deer, as I have been feeding the birds. But just what do they eat, aside from green foliage of course. Do they eat any kind of dry food one can buy?
11:46 March 8, 2010 by Puffin
The deers have been eating the bird food in my garden - plus stuff like apples etc - they can be nervous of coming near to the house though

They also like those wheat or oat sheafs you can buy around Christmas
14:50 March 8, 2010 by Tiddler
It just means a bumper crop of successful births next season because there will be less competition for food for the survivors and their offspring.

A naturally occuring cycle since time began.
22:08 March 8, 2010 by karex

Thanks! I mixed a big bowl of oats, popcorn, rice grits and brown sugar (I heard they like molasses), I just set it outside, will collect again in the morning so the crows don't get to it.

I get deer tracks practically up to my front door so it seems they aren't too scared of the house, but I live out in the country where everything is still and quiet.

On another note, yesterday I was shocked at a scene I encountered and now understand just how much desperation can be the mother of invention. I have two bird feeders out especially designed to keep the crows away as the perches are too small for them to grab on. Yesterday I saw two crows who managed to hover in the air like a humming bird! They only managed a few seconds at a time, but enough time to steal a lot of bird seeds! Until yesterday, they had been content on eating what the little birds let drop to the ground.
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