Furry Squatters – The House in the Woods

Exploring ramshackle cottage—left vacant after a fire killed its elderly owner—sparked Fagerström’s decadelong quest to document his wild new neighbors. The project culminated in The House in the Woods, a book published in Finnish, German, and English.

Once upon a time… There were some charming cottages in Finland. The people moved away. And the animals moved in

Wild SquattersFagerström spent several evenings waiting to capture his dog staring down a bank vole. Photograph by Kai Fagerström

 A fox pup peeks out from a cat door in a dilapidated shed.This Red Squirrel was one of Fagerstrom’s neighbors. Photograph by Kai Fagerström

badgers-enter-through-tunnelsOn a summer night a family of badgers file into the kitchen from a tunnel they dug under the fireplace. It took four years before Fagerström finally caught the skittish, nocturnal weasels. For this shot he set his camera on a windowsill, then stood outside on a ladder for hours before pressing the shutter via remote control. Photograph by Kai Fagerström

squirrel-poking-at-doorTypically, Fagerström envisions an image, then plans the photo shoot. He’ll set his camera at the perfect angle, throw out peanuts as bait, and wait for wildlife to wander into the picture frame, such as the squirrel poking around a door. “Sometimes you get lucky, but often it takes all night,” says the photographer, who has to adjust his settings for natural light since he doesn’t even own a flash. Every so often a shot is pure happenstance. Photograph by Kai Fagerström

pygmy owlA pygmy owl flew in through a smashed window, surprising Fagerström: “He looked at me and sort of stamped his foot, as if to say, Go away, this is my place!” Photograph by Kai Fagerström

The House in the WoodsThe House in the Woods Photograph by Kai Fagerström

A fox pup peeks out from a cat door in a dilapidated shedA fox pup peeks out from a cat door in a dilapidated shed Photograph by Kai Fagerström

6 thoughts on “Furry Squatters – The House in the Woods

  1. I found it on NatGeo., and I stoped imidiatlley when I saw it. Looks like a fairy tail. Amazing is that he waited to get photo shoot of squirrel. Simply miracle photos 🙂


  2. Kai Fagerström’s photography is really gorgeous! Well, I have to thank him and you for brightening my day! 😉


  3. Yes, great photos, great story but I also didn’t find the end which is unusual. Just this. It’s from NG and I posted extactly as I found. I was asking the same: “What happend next.” – Strange and nice, mother nature is miracle 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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