March 2017 President’s Message

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Did you know including Odin, Thor and Freya there are 51 major Norse Gods & Goddesses??? Today we learn about Heimdall. He is one of Æsir and he’s the guardian of Asgard (the stronghold of the Gods). He is one of Odin’s sons and is the born from 9 mothers! Heimdall is known as “the whitest of the gods”. He has gold teeth and owns a golden-maned horse Gulltoppr. He is, also, known to have a relation to rams and is connected to the world tree Yggdrasil.

His home is named Himingbjörg. It sits at the top of Bifrost, which is the rainbow bridge leading to Asgard. Heimdall needs less sleep than a bird and his eyesight is so perfect that he can see way over hundreds of miles throughout the night and day! Also, his hearing is so good that he can even hear the grass growing!!! Day & night Heimdall is guarding the rainbow bridge with his horn, Gjallarhorn (Resounding Horn) ready to blow it if any intruders approach the bridge. During Ragnarok, the gods know they are facing danger when they hear Heimdall blowing the Gjallarhorn warning them of the giants’ arrival! The giants cross the bridge into Asgard and kill the gods. Loki, the traitor and Heimdall kill each other as the world burns and sinks into the sea. (In several verses of Norse mythology, Heimdall was considered the father of mankind and might have established the hierarchical structure of Norse society.)

Besides salmon and trout, one of Norway’s freshwater fish is the Arctic char.

The Arctic char is a cold-water fish living in Alpine lakes and arctic and subarctic waters. This fish spawns in freshwater, they return from the ocean to their place of birth, freshwater rivers to spawn. No freshwater fish is found as far north as the Arctic char! It’s mostly common in the Nordic countries and the Scandinavians fish for the char extensively! They are related to the salmon and lake trout and have many of their characteristics. The char vary in color, depending on the time of the year and the lake’s environmental conditions. They can weigh up to 20 pounds, but, usually they are only 2 to 5 pounds. Their color ranges from bright red to pale pink. Char are farmed in several countries including Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Finland. They can be found in the Norwegian Arctic, Svalbard, Bjørnøya and Jan Mayen. The char stocks are managed on regulations adopted in 1997. Since 1997 fishing in nature preserves has been prohibited and fishermen have to get a license from the governor’s office to fish for char.