Up on the hill in Nattavaara we can now see the sun for about one hour around midday.
It will be at least another week before we see it at the bottom of the hill.
Yesterday at about 15:00 it started to snow
Emma was pleased and was quickly outside to make her first snowman of the winter
Someone slid off of the road and into the ditch outside our house and I’m sure there were many others who had the same problem.
Fortunately, this morning most of the snow had disappeared but I’m sure it will not be long before more returns!
While I can’t get out and about, I thought I would write a little about the weather and the season.
Last year by now a lot of the snow had melted and there was much open ground, and many summer migrant birds were returning.
This year; in early March the first migrants bird species to appear was Redpoll, then Greenfinch and after Greenfinch Chaffinch arrived.
During the second half of March the weather was relatively warm and the snow was melting, but then in early April and especially during Easter the weather turned colder with temperatures at night dropping as low as -20. This made the snow surface very hard and easy to walk around on, but for predators such as owls and foxes, these conditions are not good, because the voles that live under the snow and they really on for food were now inaccessible due to the hard surface.
After Easter there came more snow and yesterday (Saturday) we had 10cms during the day. On Friday I had seen a pair of Common Cranes flying over the house and I suspect they are regretting returning here just now. Brown Bears that have been marked with GPS collars in this area are also awake now and out of their dens.
I am hoping that my back injury will be much improved by the time the weather improves and more summer migrants start to arrive.
The last 5 days have been sunny and although night time temperatures can still drop to -20, daytime temperatures have been reaching up to +6 degrees and the snow has started melting.
Great Tit, Willow Tit Bullfinch and Siberian Jay are singing during the day and at dusk Tengmalm’s Owls are singing.
We were out yesterday to enjoy the warmth and sunshine
and of course we made fire, cooked coffee and grilled sausage.
Last year I failed to reach my cabin during the winter because the snow was so deep and powdery, but this year I had no problem……..because my friend Erik (who has a cabin near to mine) was there to plough the track to our cabins with his Swedish Military Valp. He has built an hydraulic plough attachment that fits on the front and is very effective at clearing the snow.
Erik ploughed to about 1km from our cabins and Erik’s family and I drove behind the plough
The final kilometre was not ploughed (making it impossible for others to drive there), we all climbed into the valp and drove through the snow to the cabins
There was 80cms of snow on the roof
and it was dark by the time I had finished removing snow. I was working following morning so unfortunately could not stay at the cabin.
On Wednesday night between 10 and 11pm there was a fantastic display of the Northern Lights; the best many people can remember here!!
I stood in my garden watching the beautiful colours and patterns in the sky, coming from every direction (even in the south). After some time I realised I should be taking some photographs but unfortunately by the time I had fetched my camera and located my Gorilla Pod the best of the display was over. However, here are the best pictures I was able to take
In this final picture the light was so bright that it is actually over exposed with a 15 second exposure!
Although the sun no longer appears above the horizon, we still have dawn and dusk here. Dusk is at around 2pm just now
and dawn is at 9am. It took this series of pictures this morning when the temperature was -23 degrees.
and behind me the moon was shining over the trees
Here’s a short atmospheric video I also made.