I was gonna go to bed…

Best laid plans of mice and men. Just as I was reaching to switch off the light, hubby hollers from the kitchen that there’s aurora borealis in the sky.

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And what a spectacle it was! First row seats on the balcony. Unfortunately it took me a few minutes to find my camera, so I missed the brightest lights, but I’m telling you – it was like when I was a child! Pink and mint green and bright as day.

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And mist! As if some god or other just couldn’t help themselves: “Look at all the prettiness I can create!”

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What a lovely end to a lovely day.

Roof drip and winter-spring

Winter suffered its final defeat the other day. Granted, it hasn’t been much of a winter at all compared to a normal year, but it’s still very clear when spring – actual meteorological spring – is about to arrive. There’s a special kind of humid softness to the air, and the once-fluffy snow melts into a compact pile of ice granules, pock-marked by dripping water and dotted by pine needles and birch twigs that have been ripped from the trees in spring storms.

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I have no idea what this is about: is it an actual spring bud, or is it a dried bud from last year that’s been sort of mummified at the moment of birth?

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Under the trees, there are pools of melted water, plip-plopping with the sound of spring.

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We call it spring-winter, and here’s a small video about it. All the signs: the windiness, the crumbling snow, the drip-drip from trees and roofs, the crystal wetness. Nature slowly waking up. I think it’s really soothing. 🙂

Low-hanging stars

This weekend, the stars were about to fall to Earth. I’ve never seen so many of them, or seen them so big for want of a better word. They were swollen with spring warmth, hanging like plums from the vault, ready to drop into our laps. The pictures don’t do them justice, but I had to document it.

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Feeling small.

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Pretend it’s an actual shooting star and make a wish.

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But spring or no spring, it was a bit cold in the long run, so it was nice to go inside and sit by the fire afterwards. 🙂

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The thing about icicles

It always jars me out of the intended illusion when people feature icicles (in films or pictures) to show that it’s really, really, cold. Because icicles don’t mean cold to me. They mean spring’s coming.

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When it’s really cold, my world is covered in frost. In dry and glittery snow.

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In contrast, icicles are what we get when the thick cover of snow starts to melt in March – slick spires that cling to the remnants of snowy roofs. They’re a response to a sun that’s suddenly giving off some warmth again. They’re a promise of melting lakes and new buds. They’re a sign that soon we won’t need jackets any longer.

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How different the world looks, depending on where you’re standing when you’re watching it!

Reindeer Monday

During an outing today, we ran into two herds of reindeer. Normally the roads are full of them this time of year, but they’ve been kind of absent lately, probably because there’s been so little snow: they can find things to eat in the forest, so they don’t have to come out and clutter up the traffic. But now that it’s snowed, they’ve finally showed up.

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When I say “finally”…

Not everyone loves them. They’re kind of a nuisance – a bit like sheep in Wales or Yorkshire. Won’t leave the road for hell nor high water. Just run in front of you for miles. I think they’re related, reindeer and sheep.

But for photography? Yes please! Look at these beauties.

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The Sami still herd them for a living, but they use modern machines like snow mobiles to work nowadays. During the winter, the reindeer are allowed to roam freely, which means that we see a lot more of them than in the summer, when they’re in the mountains.

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They’re nosey creatures. 🙂

If you look closely, you can see the misty breath coming out of this one’s nose.

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As long as you stay in the car, they’re totally calm. But as soon as you step out to find a better vantage point for snapping pictures, BAM they’re off!

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As you can see in the video below, they dig with their hooves in the snow to get at the grass and whatnot underneath.

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March sun

There’s something so perfect about snow. It’s so fragile and so pure. So easy to ruin, either by heat or by footprints.

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In a world of white glitter, the sunshine is blinding. A faint smell of snow mobile petrol hovers over the landscape, and now and again you can hear a motor in the distance.

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Clinging to twigs, the tiny balls of snow look like osier buds.

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It’s the perfect day for an outing.

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Birches everywhere shining with half-melted crystals.

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Sun filters through the smoke as you grill your sausages on an open fire… 🙂

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Yay snow!

Wow, it’s been a while, huh? I’ve had a rough “winter” (more on that below) and not much time or energy for anything. A death in the family, leaving a job, starting a new job… it’s sort of piled up.

But today was my last day before spring break (what we call ‘sports holiday’), and I had half an hour to spare after work until the sun set AND it has finally snowed, so I dashed out to snap a few pics.

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You see, we haven’t had much of a winter here this year. It’s been warm and icy and slippery and grey and brown and worthless. I’d looked forward to this winter so much because I wanted to take photos of pristine snow and bright sunlight and ice crystals, but this is what we’ve had lately:

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Yeah. Not super inspiring.

But maybe our luck has changed now, because the last few days it’s been steadily snowing, and the forest is so pretty now. Fingers crossed that the weather will be photo friendly the coming week!

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