Thursday, November 26, 2015

Change of seasons

In October it's time for autumn to move off the way of upcoming winter. Like the whole summer and early autumn, it feels like weather is one month behind from it's normal cycle. October was pretty warm too, and also permanent snow was falling quite late. Now in November we're pretty much having a winter here in Northern Lapland.

Around mid-October marshes were already partly frozen, making it much more comfortable to cross them by feet.

In October we had quite little of snow. Just enough to see some animal tracks. Below there's prints left by a capercaillie. Not much traffic in the wilderness. Hikers are gone after early autumn, not yet enough snow for snowmobiles, So it's mostly hunters who are out at this time.

Kumu coming back from his loop in search of some game. Pyry clearly looks like asking him to tell what he was barking there.....

Last two days of capercaillie hunting. Season for them is on 'till the end of October. Pretty good first season for Kumu. We'll see what the future will bring.

Looks comfortable doesn't it? My backpack is packed after a break, but Pyry shows no hurry to leave.

Last catch of the capercaillie season.

Our moose hunting group had permission for two moose this Autumn. After the catch it's a feast for the dogs too, chewing some bones.

 As the November goes on, there's more snow falling too. Sometimes it stays nicely on the trees, before the wind will drop it.

Upcoming winter means the start of dogsledding season. So far running only short trips, max few hours. Possibilities for routes are quite limited still, as lakes and rivers are not frozen enough yet.

Here teams and customers just before the start at the farm.

If you're interested in a sled ride in Ivalo area, check out or their facebook here

Team at work. All trips are made with a guide driving a sled too, so no snowmobiles used at all.

Driving on the river bank. You can just see still a bit of open water on the left.

Blue colour of the arctic daytime. Approachin polar night is already showing it's colours when it's cloudy. About two weeks from now, and we won't see the sun for a month here.

Typical view at this time in Finland. Smoke from chimney slowly rising on the bright and cold looking polar sky. At the moment we have maybe 20-25cm snow, so not that much yet.

It's starting to get much more comfortable in forest to be on skis than by feet. Daylight time is getting shorter fast.

Pine marten hunting has started, so this is what we were looking for: fresh tracks! Little too late on that day though, as it would soon get dark. Now just waiting for Kumu to come to check where I'm going, and then to urge him to follow the tracks.

That hunt ended in a cave at the front of me. Kumu found that pine marten, but instead of climbing to a tree it went in a cave. As a small dog Kumu could enter too, and he was barking in the cave that seemed to be guite large complex. I heard him barking on the left, then on the right, then I heard the marten's voice too, then further in... all the time moving in the cave that had few entrances just big enough for Kumu.

Finally Kumu came out after me whistling for a while. I decided to leave right away, as I have no intentions to encourage him to enter caves. Treeing a pine marten would be a different thing.

A day in the woods without a break by the fire is a bit incomplete.... so better to have a break, and then ski back in the dark than no break by the fire at all.