Thursday, October 15, 2015

Time flies, it's almost mid October

Autumn seems to be turning into a winter here in northern Lapland. Usually first snow falls in September, but not this year, as it was warmer than usually. Now October seems to be what should, had snow, temperatures dropped significantly, and it feels chilly. Hunting season is going on, so it's time to go out and try to get the freezer filled.

Next set of pictures is from one hunting trip. Me and my dogs, no sign of other people there. October is not popular with hikers, so it's pretty much only hunters that you see going deeper to the woods during late Autumn.

I was planning to cross a river just few hundred meters away from the end of a logging road where I left my car. So not really far to carry a canoe there for easy crossing. Only a bit of ice on the side of the rivers, easy to break with the paddle.

Pyry was leashed the whole time we were walking, so he was free to carry his own food and some other small stuff. As an old dog he has started getting shoulder problems, so on a longer trip it's a safer bet not to let him run free. He has actually never carried a backpack before, but acted immediately like it's something he does on a daily basis. No problems at all with it.

First and last night of the trip we spent in an open wilderness hut. These always have a set of gas cooker and wood stove. Nice and comfortable. Last guesbook marking was from late September. And according to the notes from previous years there has been only a visit or two in every October. So it really is much more quiet everywhere at this time.

If there's a mattress, there's Pyry conquering it right away.....

Most open huts don't have mattresses, but some do. Real luxury in the woods I must say.

A fox hole under the woodshed at the hut. Better to keep your food stuff inside, or at leas away from the ground level. Also because of voles and lemmings too of course.

Frost is slowly melting away as the cabin starts to warm up. Time to plan next days route. 1:100 000 map is fairly enough here. 1:50 000 would be better, but no problems with the larger scale whatsoever.

As the whole Lapland is reindeer herding area, you can find this kind of fences here and there. They separate different herding areas. They have gates occassionally, and it's quite easy to find a spot to climb over or go under too. The always have a quad bike trail near them, as the fences are checked regularly. Easy walking for a kilometer or so for us.

Sunshine and sunshine, every day during the trip. Good luck with the weather!


            Moose tracks everywhere.
This capercaillie was shot for Kumu's treeing work, but you can see in Pyry's eyes he thinks it's his. Kumu is bit unsure if he should protect it or not. They both always get their share of it of course.

Kumu was treeing a pine marten too. Hunting season for it starts in November, so taking just few pics and off we go.

Dog's are always looking for a sunny spot to lay on during the breaks. Night temperatures were around -10 celcius, and during the daytime it clearly stayed below zero too.

Smaller ponds had already enough ice to walk on.

Hey man! The shelter is not properly set up yet, can you wait for a minute before getting in!

Sleeping bag is not only for people it seems.... Kumu gave me a bad look when he had to move away when it was time for me to crawl in.

No light pollution anywhere to be seen. Just the campfire, clear sky full of stars and dancing northern lights.

Kumu is always first to get up, and walking around the campsite. Usually during the night he also seems to go somewhere for a while. Too many interesting things and smells around to be just sleeping in the shelter.

In this kind of forest it's pretty important for a leashed dog to know "right", "left", "stop", "this way", and "wait". I would say that otherwise you can lose your temper in a minute.

Not like that all the time of course. No many commands needed for Pyry when walking this kind of terrain.
Occassionally when crossing areas full of dwarf birches Pyry seemed to think if I'm really taking us through this kind of terrain with him carrying this bag....

... and when getting back to tall forest he was seemingly happy.

Dogs seeking for the sunny spot again. 

Natural art on a small pond. Better than the latest Iphone cover?

It was like that always when I got a capercaillie. No matter for who's working it was shot, Pyry was sure it's his. Learning to tolerate each others near the bird.

When I got back to the point of crossing the river I noticed it's completely frozen. Not thick enough to walk, not safe enough to drag yourself in the canoe to the other side.

No reason to play around especially when being out there alone. So I decided to pull the canoe through the bushes bit upstream, where the river was only partly frozen.

Bit of work with the axe to break the ice, all the stuff to the canoe, bit of axe work on the other side, and we had crossed the river.
Other side had thicker ice, so it was relatively easy to pull the canoe where we started from, and carry it back to the car.

Just after I got dogs back to the car, this young red fox came to see what's happening here. Stayed there for half a minute before running away.


  1. Hejsan Pasi,
    if I had put together a trip out, there would be nothing more to add.
    Looks real good!!

  2. Thanks Ron! Yeah, it was very fine. Definitely not the negative side of life :-)