Photos and Words

Every day is different

Posts from the ‘nature’ category

Classic cross-country in Lapland

 I have grouped the photos from Lapland in a gallery which you can find also here

At least one photo a day

Pyhäjärvi village

We had about 15 km behind us. We followed the cross-country ski track through forest and miers covered under a deep layer of snow. At one point the track made a long gentle turn to the right. It was the Northern tip of the Pyhäjärvi (Pyhä Lake) and of the ski track we were following around it. At the end of the turn the track started to follow a long series wooden electricity poles in a straight line. The track run between the village of Pyhäjärvi on our left and vast snow-covered frozen lake on our right. We stopped when we saw a young boy selling warm coffee and juice to skiers. While I was sipping from my paper cup I looked around. Up on a gentle slope the wooden houses where deep in the snow. I imagined the dark months of December and January. How many hours of light do they have up here? and when the summer arrives, does the sun set belows the horizon or not? what jobs people have? are they all working in the tourism sectors? what other work exists so up north? do young people stay here or do they move when they finish their studies? how is it to live so up north?

We finished our drinks and skied for about 1 km to the cafe Mummola to have something to eat before the last stretch of 8 km to get back to our cottage. Temperature -14C. Blue sky. Not a cloud.

Our track, Pyhäjärvi 2020
Hot drinks station, Pyhäjärvi 2020
Village, Pyhäjärvi 2020
Frozen lake, Pyhäjärvi 2020
Cafe Mummola, Pyhäjärvi 2020
Cafe Mummola, Pyhäjärvi 2020
Village center, Pyhäjärvi 2020

At least one photo a day

Searching for the northern lights

One thing you do when in Lapland during the winter is to go out in the night and look up to the sky. And so I did. I also found an app (there are many) that given 30 min forecast of the northern lights: how weak or strong they are. It give time to get ready. Put the winter clothes on. Read a some blogs about the camera set up for taking photos of the Northern lights. Switch on the head torch and get out. There are northern lights every night, but they are never the same. I learned that they come in a scale from 0 to 9 (9 being very rare and being visible also in central Europe). So, I got out at nights during our trip to Pyhätunturi and look up at the sky. The first night they were barely visible. The second night they were a faint greenish cloud at the horizon. The third night they were a bit more visible, between 2.5 at the horizon. The last night they were up above our cottage. Like a cloud of fine dust, very high up in the sky, that moves along a wind stream and slowly changes shape as it moves.

Starry sky, Pyhätunturi 2020
Starry sky, Pyhätunturi 2020
Starry sky, Pyhätunturi 2020
Northern lights, Pyhätunturi 2020
Northern lights, Pyhätunturi 2020
Northern lights, Pyhätunturi 2020
Northern lights, Pyhätunturi 2020
Northern lights, Pyhätunturi 2020

At least one photo a day

Classic cross-country skiing /1

The classic cross-country skiing style is often used on prepared trails (pistes) that have pairs of parallel grooves (tracks) cut into the snow. It is also the most usual technique where no tracks have been prepared. With this technique, each ski is pushed forward from the other stationary ski in a striding and gliding motion, alternating foot to foot. With the “diagonal stride” variant the poles are planted alternately on the opposite side of the forward-striding foot; with the “kick-double-pole” variant the poles are planted simultaneously with every other stride. At times, especially with gentle descents, double poling is the sole means of propulsion. On uphill terrain, techniques include the “side step” for steep slopes, moving the skis perpendicular to the fall line, the “herringbone” for moderate slopes, where the skier takes alternating steps with the skis splayed outwards, and, for gentle slopes, the skier uses the diagonal technique with shorter strides and greater arm force on the poles (Wikipedia).

Pyhätunturi 2020
Cleaning the skis before a coffee break, Luppo 2020
Kota, Pyhätunturi 2020
Bringing the kids up, Pyhätunturi 2020

At least one photo a day

Frozen lake

There are no clouds in the sky. There won’t be many hours of daylight. So, better to hurry and go for a walk in the forest along the lake. The temperature has gone up and down around 0 C. During the days the ice sheet loosens up. At night time, when the temperature drops below zero, you can hear deep and mysterious sounds that runs along and below the ice surface when it tightens up again.

At least on photo a day

Intermezzo

I need to stop the series of street photos from Padova. I am in Helsinki at Vantaa airport to get on a plane. I thoughts I had saved the photos on my hard disk and planned to continue to post them during the this coming week. I must have done something wrong while copying the files. So, I will post a series from last New Year when we spent a week at our cottage in Eastern Finland. I will resume to Padova series, when I get back in a week.

Ihamaniemi 2020

At least one photo a day

The first day of the year

The first day of the year (Hyväslami, Finland)

I woke up. Put on my boots and windbreaker and walked down to the lakeshore. The ice cover had thickened over the night and thin layer of dry snow had covered the ice sheet overnight. It was chilly this morning but the air was clean and crispy. A nice way to wake up. Welcome 2020!

At least one photo a day

Bye bye 2019

Last sunset of the year in Ihamaniemi (Enonkoski)

Last sunset of the year. The temperature is dropping quickly. The ice on the lake is thickening and the lake send strange sounds of bubbling water and ice cracking for long distances and with echos that travel the hills.

At least one photo a day

Winter wonderland series / 5

Which way?, 2019

I woke up and went down to the lake. It had snowed a lot over the previous two days. The mark left by the snowmobile where not too fresh but still very visible. Somebody had passed nearby the shore but I could not remember hearing it. The made a small detour thinking about whether to get back from here or continue. The trees were holding the snow and when I turned the image to black and white I thought that it seemed a copper-etched print.

Winter cottage

It has been snowing a lot during the last few days. The snow has brought silence in the forest. The wind has stopped blowing. There is an incredible peace if one stops for a moment to listen to the silence.

18 seconds of sunset in Belitung

 

 

I took this sequence of photos at sunset on the island of Belitung, on the east of South Sumatra, Indonesia.

Royal Botanical Garden in Kandy

I have been looking into my photos database to look for photos to add to my black&white series. Here few photos I took at the Royal Botanical Garden in Kandy, Sri Lanka in 2005.

Sri Lanka

Royal Botanical Gardens, Peradeniya

Sri Lanka

Royal Botanical Gardens, Peradeniya

Sri Lanka

Royal Botanical Gardens, Peradeniya

Sri Lanka

Royal Botanical Gardens, Peradeniya

Sri Lanka

Royal Botanical Gardens, Peradeniya

Nordic winter, some years ago

I am cleaning up photos in old folders. Deleting what I do not want to keep and saving and storing the ones I want to keep and share again. I found these photos taken January  in 2007, right after the new year, on an early afternoon. The light was magic. The lake and the nature very quiet. No wind. Juts the sky, the ice and the sun.

New Year in Finland

New Year in Finland

New Year in Finland

New Year in Finland

New Year in Finland

New Year in Finland

New Year in Finland

Back to some colour at UnaUna!

 

Togean - UnaUnaTogean - UnaUnaTogean - UnaUnaTogean - UnaUna

We travelled to the Togean islands in Central Sulawesi between Christmas and new year. We landed in a small island, off from the main islands of the Togean archipelago, UnaUna.

We stayed in a small resort that was opened only a year ago. It is run by a young couple. He is from UnaUna, she is from Tampere (Finland). The wooden houses with the rooms have a Finnish flavour. Maybe it is the brown paint over the wooden planks, maybe the small porch where one can sit and watch at the sea, maybe it is the fresh bread that is baked every day, or maybe it is that on that small island, in central Indonesia, off the beaten track, I met 6 Finnish people all at once.

I travelled with my Olympus EM OMD 1, with the three MTF lenses I have, all of which fit in a small camera bag: 17mm 1,8, 45mm 1,8, 12-40mm 2,8. The resort looks to the East. When I realised that I thought that I would not take landscape pictures as I am more a sunset person. I checked the sunrise time and thought that for one day I could just wake up early. So I did. I woke up early the first morning. The light was amazing. The sea was calm, the horizon clear. The clouds low at the horizon over the Togean islands could be mistaken as islands themselves. The colour of the sky changing every minute . I used the 12-40mm lens at various focal distances. I really enjoyed the 20 minutes or so I spent there. So much so, that I woke up at sunrise almost every day. It was worth it. All of which made me think that for 2016 I want to go back to post/print some colour pictures again.

Finnish forest #1

Trees bottom up

I took this photo nearby our cottage in Eastern Finland. The trees are slim and light in the Nordic forest. You rarely see large, imposing trees. They are thin, not too close to each other and when the wind blows they move gently and you can hear noise from their trunk as if we would be on one of those old sailing ship travelling from Asia to Europe a couple of centuries ago transporting spices, minerals, etc.

%d bloggers like this: