Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Autumn it is.

At least according to calendar that's the case. And it looks like autumn, but feels like August. This year July was rainy, August was like July usually, and now September feels like August. We've had sub-zero nights, but in daytime it's very warm. It keeps mosquitoes and other insects moving still.
It affects moose hunting a bit too. Just few days ago I had a good size male in my sights, as my older dog Pyry was barking at it just 50 meters away. But being already afternoon, and nearest road 7km away, there was a risk we wouldn't get it out of the forest by the dark. In warm weather I didn't want to risk a big bunch of meat to get bad. Later when it gets colder there's no problem with that of course, even if it goes to next day to get it out. Bird hunting is easier, you just carry your catch with you...
For me autumn always means spending most of the time in the forests. So here are just random shots from different trips.

Nice scenery in Muotkatunturi wilderness area.

 At this time of the year moose are usually around the marsh areas, especially in the early morning. Orange gear is mandatory when hunting moose in Finland. Even here in the north, where hunting is usually different compared to common larger group hunting in southern parts of the country.
Last year also red gear was allowed, but for this season law changed. You have to wear orange. That explains the all-new look of my vest and cap...

This year vole population has been good. It has an immediate effect on  the birds of prey. Almost every day you see hawk owls and short eared owls.
These three short eared owls took off just in front of me, and were circling around me, suspicious to see if I'm up to their catch on the ground.

  Men in orange. Pyry thinks this will help his changes of getting a bit of soup...

Autumn colours everywhere. It lasts just a while before all the leaves will fall, and soon it's winter again.

This pic is taken in Hammastunturi wilderness area.
As Kumu is to be mainly a capercaillie hunting dog, I sometimes keep him leashed while passing an upper fell area. Where tall forest ends there's much nothing but voles, lemmings, ptarmigans, and willow grouses to chase. And occasionally a moose too. Better to save young dog's energy for assumed capercaillie land.

Kumu has shown great interest in moose too, as just yesterday he was baying and barking at one for two hours. I just stayed away, not showing any interest on it. Then he gave up, and came back.
Spot a nordic spitz crossing the marsh?

Pyry treeing a capercaillie in Lemmenjoki national park just before hunting season for them started. He gave me a surprised look when I approached with a gun, but didn't shoot. Hard to explain to a dog that only two more days and the season starts.

In the search of a moose. A small river in the middle of marsh. It's not the lightest terrain to walk carrying a semi-heavy backpack....

...But the autumn colours are rewarding!
How nice it is to cool down in a river!

 It's a treasure for woodsman; fatwood rich in resin inside a rotten looking stump and roots of fallen pine. You need no drugs when you have this nice aroma to smell.

All his life Pyry has been good at resting rest during breaks. Here he's enjoying sunshine after running few hours free.

A campsite in the wilderness. Someone has been camping here before, so why not to use the same fireplace with a ring of stones.

First day of capercaillie hunting, and immediately got Kumu his first one! Can't wish much better start for a young dog.

 What else there's to do at campfire during dark evenings but to watch the fire and warm up your toes, and to plan where to walk next day.

Soft people like me want a nice start for the morning in the woods, so I always prepare kindling for the next day. Especially in the winter.

A modern man takes selfies, right? Face covered to keep the identity hidden, or maybe to be less noticeable when approaching Kumu treeing a capercaillie.

And there's his second bird! He has shown really good interest in capercaillies, but I was more than pleased that he found and was treeing and barking many of them right during the first days of the season. And he quite easily ignored the reindeers we occassionally saw, which is a positive thing in reindeer herding area.
This short eared owl doesn't look happy at all that I almost stepped on it. When I was walking it took off right next to my foot, flew on a tree, and gave me an angry look.

Usually during the breaks Kumu trying to catch some voles near the camp. This time warm weather and running two days free in the forest has taken it's toll, and he's ready to rest while I'm having lunch.
Beautiful dawn in Lemmenjoki national park. Nice to walk and breath fresh air in untouched forests. Subzero night makes all the sounds bit crispy, and it feels like you make a lot of noise just by walking, especially when there's no wind at all.

Surprise surprise! More autumn colours. This is popular hiking season too, and then in October it's already a low season in tourism before the winter season starts.

Yeah, ok, you can stroke me if you want.

My master seems to be taking a nap by the fire, why wouldn't I too. But better to hide from that annoying smoke that's whirling around.
And what is a set of pictures from Lapland without one siberian jay!


  1. Great pics and post! I have also noticed the strange weather this year. Spring seemed to come very late this year, and I also heard some baby birds chirping in a nest in late July. Then today, late September, I saw caterpillars crawling around! That's unusual for Finland, isn't it?! Maybe I just never noticed them at this time of year before, but it seems strange to me.

    Thanks for sharing your trip reports! I really miss Lapland and want to visit again. My sprained ankle from the summer of 2014 seems to have healed fully, so maybe I'll have to start planning a Lapland trip for next year.... :)

  2. Still very warm here too. I woke up 5am today, and already +9 degrees, so not even close to zero. You better start to plan your trip early enough, because it's next year before you even notice it. Time seems to go fast... ;-)