Today we had the annual meeting with our association mörkrets och kylans glada vänner – “The happy friends of cold and darkness”. This year it took place on the island bastuholmen near Kåge. And while most others had a sauna and a winter bath – water temperature: 5.6 °C – after the meeting, I preferred to sit at the fire with a good friend. I was quite glad about my warm jacket that protected me against the chilly wind. The first cooler days after after a warm September.
Yesterday I saw images of the first snow of the season in Kiruna. Today we talked about winter bath and and winter swim. Now I really start longing for winter – my favourite season – and the first snow.
Yesterday we had the first frost with -0.6 °C and it felt cold the whole day in the chilly wind. Today we had -3.2 °C in the morning, but the wind is gone. Not too cold, when you compare it to Karesuando where the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute measured -12.9 °C at seven o’clock today.
What is Scandinavian luxury?
When you drive home from a good rehearsal with the chamber choir and see a faint polar light through the front side window of your car.
When you arrive home and ignore the aurora, because you saw it already at least five times since August.
When you, just before going to bed, open the door and look outside.
When you sit on the wooden panel just in front of your front door and look at the intensifying Northern Lights, already wearing your pyjamas.
And make some photos – just half a meter from your front door. They won’t be the best, but you don’t care.
When you just slip into your boots and take another shot from the garden.
When you can experience this without being in a holiday – like it happened to me one and a half hours ago: That’s Scandinavian luxury!
A cold side and a warm side. The difference? 19 Minutes and 500 meters.
It’s really fascinating that even larger water areas than mud puddles start to freeze over after just three mornings with temperatures below freezing; today round about -5 °C.
-5.6 °C showed the thermometer when I woke up at 6:15. I don’t need to look through the window to know that it’ll be a nice morning with mostly blue sky when it’s so cold in early October. And so it was.
The photo above is taken almost at the same place as the 1st photo three days ago. I prefer the older motive but like the intense colour of the sunlit clouds in the background. To other shots:
Have a look at the second photo, the one with the grass in the foreground. Why isn’t the horizon straight? That’s because I stood knee deep in the water myself, breaking the ice. When this happens, water from the hole will start to cover the ice. I just could take my camera, look through the finder and – click! – take a picture. One second later parts of the ice were covered by a thin layer of water.
That was the main problem: There is no save ground round these swamp ponds, where you could take your time for making pictures or even use a tripod. No, you stand knee deep in water on unstable ground, knowing that another step could bring you in much deeper water. I’m always afraid I could fall into the water and drown my expensive camera. It will me much easier when the ice is thick enough to stand on.
After a while the sun started to rise. Time for some more experimental images:
I realised the frozen bug on the second photo first, when I looked through the images at home. It’s hardly 2 mm big but looks quite huge on this macro photo. Learning: look at the motive even more precisely.
Even after switching to standard time you don’t have to stand up extremely early to catch the sunrise over the Baltic Sea. Sunrise today was 7:06 and since I already was awake I took the car to the shore. Sky was clear and illuminated in warm orange colours while the open sea was of a deep blue. A nice contrast and since there ware hardly any clouds the photo has some kind of an abstract look. When the sun came – click – I made this photo:
After two warmer weeks it was chilly this morning with temperatures round -5 °C. Of course the sea is still open, but the water puddles on the waterfront were covered with ice.
Did I say “of course sea is still open”? Well, not everywhere! After making the photos above I drove to the little beach Storgrundet where I saw the first thin layer of ice lying on the cold sea water. (The photo itself is far apart from being good – I’ll try to make better ones tomorrow morning if it’s as cold as today.)
Another chilly morning, with -7 °C it was the coldest in Skelleftehamn this season. Again I woke up quite early and took a tour to Storgrundet. There lay more ice on the sea than yesterday and you could see that it was partly ice floes that froze together the night before. However, the beautiful ice rim that I photographed yesterday was gone.
I made a short stop at the lake Snesviken, that is round about one kilometer long. Since we had only two frosty nights after a longer warm period with day temperatures above 10 °C, I was sure that the lake was completely open with perhaps a bit of ice at the shore.
I couldn’t believe my eyes when I realised that almost the whole lake was covered with ice – after only two frosty nights. Incredible how fast it goes!
This evening I had a meeting in Ursviken at the Kanotudden – the canoe bay, where the canoe club has its location. This bay is part of the Skellefte River and it starts to freeze over, too. I really like the clubhouse. It’s a pity that it’s hardly used in winter time – it would be the perfect location for a public winter bath site!
A picture from yesterday where the morning was as cold as the day before. This will close the little series about ice on the Baltic Sea because today morning it was more than 10 °C warmer and hardly any ice was left. Tomorrow it all will be gone until it starts to get cold again.