28 December 2011

Searching for a Christmas spirit

December 2011

Southern Finland had been, more or less, without snow this winter. There had been few exceptions though. At the same time, terrain had not been frozen neither so any snow would have quickly melted away had there been any raise in temperature. An there has, yesterday in Helsinki we got +10C. Very different than last two winters so far.

Spent a Christmas time on the (south) west coast of Finland. Arrived when all looked white, at least a bit, bringing some right spirit for a Christmas time.

Wanted to see how nature and life in forest would be at this time of the year. What nature would look like when there's some snow.  How forest had scoped with long periods of rain during Autumn.

Forests seemed to be full of tracks from different species of animals. At least they continued their life as usual. Water level seemed to be quite high in almost everywhere. Deer, Moose, Wood Grouse, Mice etc. tracks were here and there. Even some Swans still floated on open waters. There had been some sights of  Gray Wolfs but thanks not in my sight.

The first day I entered to a local forest, everything was covered by snow. Thin ice blocked open waters almost on every creek. The length of the day was short, day light ended already around 4PM, bringing darkness. After the day I felt ready for Christmas.

Then came rain, heavy and continuous rain. All white disappeared. Even ice from creeks vanished. Entered  again to a forest. It looked quite different, all was so green, light green. Lost a bit of the Christmas spirit. It was snow and minus temperatures which seemed to raise the spirit. Both days were cloudy most of the time. Darkness was more obvious then.

With a little snow or without, it was easy climate to animals and all nature, too. There's food, more easy to find.

If this is going to be our winter at this season, one has to get winter spirit from somewhere else, or adopt to current status as such.

Green nature at winter time looks nice, too, but to me Christmas period requires a little bit of snow, to raise the spirit.

On the second Christmas Day (aka Boxing Day), a very strong storm arrived from west (from Norway and Sweden), hitting the west coast of Finland at night and progressing towards east. Wind speed was measured even up to 30m/s, staying on 25m/s level for long periods. It brought lots of damage, cutting trees etc. Electricity was cut from thousands of households.

Went to the coast to see a power of the sea. Exceptional to me. Some photos here.

We had 12hrs cut of electricity. Visibility was brought by candle light and cooking was done on gas/fire. Sauna in a candlelight, nice experience, too. As it all was just temporary it didn't feel too bad. However, it has not been so easy for many, many others.

This Christmas was quite different compared to previous ones. Memorable indeed. About Christmas spirit? Not totally lost, but not fully recovered neither.

Photos from a snowy forest

Welcome to a snow forest!

Almost Identical Twins

Hanging on

High water level in the forest

Ice cracked


Earth not frozen yet 

A piece of a pine tree

A perfect spot for Moose hunting

Becoming pine tree


A snowy alley



A frozen branch

A shimmer of the sun

Snow forms like a cotton

On the same level with Rabbits

Light frost



Covered by snow

Ice formation

A branch


A tree

A forest after heavy rain

Getting wet

A mire

Dropping soon

As green as it can get

A flow

'Tapani' storm

Wind hit constantly at speed of 25 meters per second


  1. Excellent photography of the short white moment of December.

    The weather forecast currently contains at least some hope of whiter weather.

  2. Thanks Yeti.

    Change in wind direction would help (from east instead of from west).

  3. Really great photography here indeed!

    I'm also hoping for some snow, for the obvious reasons. The end of this year was slightly exceptional with so many deep low pressures.

  4. Gorgeous photos indeed, the before/ after also was nice. Here in Tampere it slowly starts to get a bit more white, though far from cold.

  5. Thanks guys!

    Hopefully there'd be some snow coming soon, would like to put snowshoes on.