Finally it’s snowing in Skelleftehamn and Skellefteå. It may soon blend into rain, because it’s not very cold, but right now it’s beautiful.
The rain of the last days has washed winter away and all snow that had covered my backyard has melted already. When I parked my car in town two days ago the whole parking place was covered with wet ice. I was very glad about my shoe spikes that prevented me from slipping.
Today it cleared up during the morning. I took advantage of the nice weather and made a kayak tour. The tiny bay where I started was still covered with 2 cm of ice but it was so soft that I could paddle through. The rest of the Baltic Sea was open. It was quite windy and so the kayak tour was quite short, but fun anyway.
I measured the water temperature at the beach: +2.8 °C. I considered taking a bath but decided against it. It was less the water temperatures but the vivid wind that discouraged me. Perhaps tomorrow …
The weather forecast was right: today it was warm and sunny. Really warm considering that it is mid-October and that it snowed last week. 20 °C we had in Skelleftehamn today! Probably the last opportunity to bicycle in a T-shirt this year.
I followed a way through the forest that I already knew but hardly recognised: The illuminated ski track between Skelleftehamn and Ursviken. (That’s what it looks like in winter.)
After a while I left this path and walked the bike along a trail marked with red crosses. Red crosses mean, that it’s a winter way and following such in summer may send you into swamps, bogs or even lakes. Although the ground was wet I was lucky. Some makeshift bridges, probably made by snowmobile drivers helped me over some boggy passages and soon I was on the other side of the lake with the creative name “Sjön” (The lake).
I continued to the right, already heading home but with some detours.
Detour 1: A short walk up the mountain Örberget. Despite of its incredible height of more than 40 meters – that’s almost 10 meters higher than the gravel road – you have a view of the Baltic Sea. The rocks were quite wet, probably because they were much colder than the air so that the moisture condensed on the surface.
Detour 2: Down to the cabins by the bay Djupviken. The photo may be silly, but it’s a reminiscence of the kayak tour last week where I carried the kayak cross the road at the very same place.
Soon I was home again where the thermometer showed temperatures betwwen 19 °C and 20 °C. Two hours later I was at the local beach, ready for a bath. After the air felt like summer and the beach looked like autumn I expected the water to feel like winter. It was cold but warmer than expected: 9 °C. Refreshing!
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.
Two photos from yesterday morning: The Baltic Sea seen from the peninsula Näsgrundet some minutes after sunrise. The frost covered blossom of the autumn hawkbit in my garden.
Today it’s the last day of September. This week brought the first snow to the fjäll and the northernmost parts of the country. Even in Skellefteå and Ursviken some single snow flakes had been spotted some days ago! And according to SHMI it is officially winter in Stekenjokk since 23 September.
From Wikipedia: The Swedish meteorological institute (SMHI) define winter as when the daily mean temperatures go below 0 °C (32 °F) for five consecutive days.
The first frost this autumn · temperature minimum last night: -3.9 °C · air temperature this morning: -2.5 °C
Two days ago was autumnal equinox, start of the astronomical autumn. Today I managed to be at the coast shortly before sunrise at 6:26. The sea was amazingly calm considering the wind of the last days, and the small cotton-wool clouds were coloured rose.
The sun rose over the island Flottgrundet and started to illuminate the rocky shore and the coloured trees.
The mushrooms sprout in the meadow next to the house of the pilot station. I lay down in the grass and made a photo from a small fly agaric covering the sun.
The morning was crisp which temperatures round 1 °C and for the first time I had to scrape ice from the windshield of my new car. While Skelleftehamn looks autumnal, other places as Hemavan or Kilpisjärvi have got the first snow these days. Even though I took my first winter bath already yesterday (water temperature 9.4 °C) it will be some time before winter comes to Skelleftehamn.
Time to collect some warm autumn colours and time for a strongly over-edited photo of the trees on a breakwater. It’s kitsch in some way, but I like it anyway.
When I saw the fog moving above the river Skellefteälven this morning I had to interrupt my drive to work to take some pictures. It was the coldest morning that I experienced here since last winter. Air temperatures were still above zero but the first ground frost was visible.
When it comes to seasons I like winter the most, but autumn is so beautiful, too.