Yesterday and today morning it snowed in Skelleftehamn. 10 cm of snow cover my backyard. The snow is wet and heavy but it brightens up the scenery in the dark hours of the day. And there are many dark hours: Sunrise 9:11 , sunset 13:40. Today I worked from home and took a break to take some pictures:
The Baltic Sea is still open. There was an ice cover between the island Storgrundet and mainland some days before, but now there is partly open water, too.
The lake Snesviken however is completely frozen and covered with a fresh, white layer of snow. The trees on the island are mostly free of snow, probably because of the quite warm temperatures.
When I drove to the peninsula Näsgrundet and went to the shore I could spot a dark, blurred object through the falling snow.It was the MTM Gibraltar, a tanker, that was towed into the port – a tow boat ahead, the ice breaker Baus behind. It looked enormous through the falling snow flakes, although it is only 140 m long.
This morning I stood on the lake Snesviken to watch and take pictures of the moonset. You read right – I stood on the lake. The ice is already at least 5 cm thick and bore my weight. Beside of that the water wasn’t deep at that spot.
After the moon disappeared behind the line of trees at the opposite side of the lake I looked for other motives. No snow has fallen the last weeks and the ice was transparent and clear. I spotted cracks and bubbles of air in the ice and even a lily pad, dotted with many tiny bubbles.
One of the cracks fascinated me. Looking from the side the tiny air bubbles looked like vertical dotted strokes, like another world.
I tried to get nearer with my macro lens to explore this little world, but if was quite complicated to take a photo of this small crack. The best snapshot:
And that’s how it looked like, when I made these photos:
During the ski tour last winter I realised that I have neither strength nor condition. The ski tour was quite exhausting. During the summer I did nothing to change this fact.
Two weeks ago however I started something new: I went jogging. Me! Voluntary! The first 500 meters I felt like an elephant on a unicycle but then I started to enjoy the jogging. Not because I love training but because I love being outdoors.
My chosen trail is a nice circular route through the forest. Ten days ago (my 2nd jogging) however I had to change the route for good reasons:
I definitely do not want to jog through the forest during an ongoing moose hunt. So I returned and jogged the same distance twice.
Today (my 3rd jogging) I could go round again. Weather and terrain conditions however were a bit different:
I made a small detour to the lake Snesviken. It surprised me to see it completely covered with ice. (Sorry for the mediocre photo, just an iPhone snapshot.)
I think it’s funny to jog through the snow. It’s even snowing right now. Unfortunately it will get warmer tonight and tomorrow. The snow will turn into rain and melt the snow. I guess it will be slippery as hell the next days. Time to buy some jogging shoes with spikes.
No, it’s not winter yet. It’s autumn. Look at the coloured trees that I photographed in Skelleftehamn yesterday morning.
No, it’s not winter yet. Well, it snowed in Lövånger – 40 km south – some days before. Yes, in the shadow of the forests there are still patches of snow. Ok, the shallow parts of the lake Gårdefjärden had started to freeze over, but it’s not winter yet.
No, it’s not winter yet. But it’s dark. And when it’s dark, there could be polar lights. Annika rang me at 19:40 and told me that strong polar lights covered the sky. And so it was. I took my camera, hopped into the car and drove to the beach Storgrundet. First mistake: no memory card in the camera – good to have a spare one. Second mistake: en empty battery – good to have a spare one. When I was ready to take pictures, the most impressive polar lights already had gone but I made some pictures anyway.
No, it’s not winter yet. But the winter will come with frost and snow – sooner or later. And hopefully with a lot of sunny days. And more polar lights.
When I woke up this morning it was still dark outside. It snowed. Big snow flakes fluttered downwards, where most of them melted instantly. They felt however comfortable on my car and started to cover it with a wet layer of snow – the first snow of the season.
It snowed in Skellefteå, too and I took a short stroll along the river before job. Temperatures were slightly above zero, so the falling snow was wet and didn’t last long. Anyhow it managed to cover the leaves, the grass and things made from wood.
I’ve been living in Sweden for more than eight years now. The earliest snowfall in Skellefteå/Skelleftehamn I experienced before was on a 14 October, but normally the first snow comes round the end of October or even later. So this year it’s quite early.
I do not long for the winter yet, because of all the coloured trees and bushes. They are so beautiful. But as soon they will become leafless I’ll be eager for the first cold days and snow that doesn’t melt away instantly.
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Thursday, 6 September
From our overnight stay Sæberg it’s only 177 km to Reykjavík, where we had to return our hired car. That’s not much for one and a half days by car. Therefore we decided to take some more detours.
First we followed the road 68 to Hólmavík, a city on Iceland’s West Fjords. We continued along the coast until we came to a junction, where the gravel road 608 crosses the peninsula. It would be possible to go round the inhabited part of the peninsula, but that’s a detour of 390 km.
Quite near the fjord Þorskafjörður, there’s a small city called Reykhólar. We considered staying there over night but since it was still quite early, we continued instead to the peninsula Snæfellsnes.
The weather had been warm, sunny, calm and friendly for the whole week. But now it worsened, low clouds appeared, it started to drizzle and got very windy. In Ólafsvík – yes, I have my own bay ;-) – we found not only a nice hostel to stay but also a nice restaurant that served us a delicious goat cheese pizza.
Sorry to say, I didn’t make a single photo from Ólafsvík that day. First we were too busy with our dinner, than with re-packing our belongings, because the next day we would have to return our car. Than it was too dark to take photos without tripod and too stormy to take photos with tripod.
The only photo I made is a snapshot I took from the bathroom the next morning. Still stormy, still rainy.
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Friday, 31 August
Yesterday Annika and I went into phase 2 of our Iceland holiday. We hired a car for a week. We had booked a VW Polo but we were lucky and got a brand new VW Golf as an update. That’s a great car to drive the 1332 km long Route 1 round the island (and probably some detours). We got our car at 12:30, went shopping and left Reykjavík as fast as possible to follow the Route 1 counterclockwise.
The first stop was at a huge parking place, where you could see the Seljalandsfoss, a 65 metre high waterfall. It is special in the way, that you can go round watch it from all directions. We were not the only ones, hundreds of other tourists went round as well, many of them without proper rain clothes and soaking wet.
A gravel path led to another waterfall, the Glúfurárfoss. It is not easy to reach, because you have to enter a hollow and wade through a stream to get to it. This waterfall may be less impressive in height and amount of water, but the scenery is more special, almost enchanted than the Seljalandsfoss. I was very glad to have not only rubber boots but also my waterproof camera with me, but half of the time I was busy with keeping the lens dry.