According to the meteorologists spring already had started on 1 March. They love to calculate in whole months. Astronomically the beginning of spring is just today.
Well, kind of …
Today I didn’t work but enjoyed the marvellous weather. Bright blue sky and sun, a good day to go to the beach.
Well kind of …
The temperatures were between -10 °C and -5 °C and the Baltic Sea is still covered with a thick layer of ice up to the horizon. Sometimes it’s solid ice, sometimes it’s packed ice. No open water is in sight and therefore no sea birds neither. Just snow and ice and the blue sky.
I left the mainland at the boat harbour Tjuvkistan and crossed the ice to the islands Norrskär and Bredskär. Now I walk along the eastern shore of Bredskär and then to the island Gråsidan.
At the eastern shore there’s a long wall of ice, up to two meters high.
I walk along the shore and look at the fantastical landscape of ice and snow. Sometimes I feel like being in an open air museum. I call the exhibitions “below zero, above sea”. Here’s one of my favourite exhibits:
I go round half the island and then cross it. Although the snow feels solid – like that green floral foam used for flower arranging – I mostly sink knee deep into it. I walk back along the western shore and then cross the ice to the southern edge of Bredskär. The island has a ice wall at the eastern shore as well, partly up to four meters high. Where shall I go? Right beside of the ice wall there are snow drifts, knee deep or even deeper. A bit farther there’s water between the solid ice and the covering layer of snow. Good to have rubber boots.
I cannot decide for the best way to go. So I’m walking king of zig-zag, constantly watching the ice edge. Sometimes there’s a long line of icicles …
… and once there’s even a quite large ice cave. A pity that it will melt within the next weeks (or months?).
I continue my walk, sometimes plunging through deep snow, sometimes just walking on solid ice, sometimes breaking through the snow into water and slush (don’t worry, there’s always a thick layer of ice beneath). I cross the natural gravel bank between the islands Bredskär and Norrskär and talk the same way back to Tjuvkistan.
Today I walked only round seven kilometres, but it was good to be outside, breathing air, letting my eyes wander, catching some sun and the colours of the sky. At 12:30 I reach the car. It’s very warm in the sun and I’m dressed too warm, but the air temperature is still -5 °C. It’s a season between winter and spring which is called vårvinter – spring-winter. A suitable name.
And here comes my favourite picture of today’s exhibition-expedition. I call it “layers of ice”.
Side note: did you notice the huge rubber boots I’m wearing on the first photo? I bought them in Murmansk a month ago. They are made for ice fishing and they are lightweight, comfortable, very warm and of course waterproof. And they were quite cheap. The only drawback: They have spikes that do the opposite of what they are made for. Instead of improving the grip the spikes just slide on the ice making the boots incredibly slippery on ice. I have to check if I can remove the spikes.