maanantai 9. helmikuuta 2015

Chasing Winter

Winter, at least, in southern Finland is a very emotional thing. We think that we should have a real winter which means that temperatures drop below freezing point and ground gets covered with snow, most likely at least half a meter or more than one foot. This is the situation in southern Finland because we used to have real winters but nowadays thanks to the global warming the normal winter weather is rainy and windy. The most eastern and northeastern parts of Finland have the continental climate which means warm summers and freezing winters. Even though the climate has changed, luckily winters still are nice and beautiful at that part of Finland. 
In southern Finland we have had this season a terrible winter with lots of rain and low clouds constantly hanging above. Days have been more or less grey, just grey in different tones. Thats why I took my photo gears,  jumped in my car and took heading up north. I knew that I would find real winter in Kuhmo and Kuusamo area. I checked that there was almost one meter or three feet of snow. Weather forecast said that high pressure was going to park over that area so it was going to be sunny and cold. I arrived at 9 am to Kuhmo and temperature was -28°C or -20°F. I have always said that its not bad weather its only wrong kind of clothing. And so it was again, wooly beanie with balaclava under it and warm boots and mittens, it was just a pleasure to ski with my two and a half meter or eight feet long trekking skis trough the wilderness. I was looking for a real winter and I definitely found it. I spent two days skiing and photo shooting in beautiful weathers. The night I slept very well in my down sleeping bag in a tiny hide where the temperature was -18°C or 0°F.
Next day was a driving day. From Kuhmo to Kuusamo is about 250 kilometers or 150 miles. I chose the most eastern road which roams trough remote forests in the middle of wilderness. I drove 150 kilometers or 80 miles which took two hours and I only saw packed snow covered trees and empty roads. Sceneries were really beautiful and somehow very relaxing and calming. I really enjoyed the drive even the last two hours I had to drive in the dark. That night I spent in Oulanka Research Station in the edge of the Oulanka National Park. Upcoming two days I was skiing and  traveling in breathtaking winter wonderland. Weather was beautiful during those two days with rising temperatures. Higher temperatures were a sign of worsening weather and the third day was windy and cloudy so I decided to drive to Kiveskoski, which is a rapid with only some white waters, many Dippers are spending winter there. Below you can see a photo stream of my tour.

Ravens in early morning dim
Winter art in Kuhmo


Rime on branches

Female Blackgrouse

and the male

                                                       Capercaillie male warming up

Sunset of a beautiful winterday

 Dippers at Kiveskoski


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