Summer in Kilpisjärvi is short but sweet. The best time to visit starts after mid-June when the lake sheds its ice cover and the birches slowly turn green. The nightless night continues until the latter part of July. August brings the cloudberry season and September is the time for what we call “ruska”, the autumn foliage in a colorful feast. Our husky puppies enjoyed their first summer and so did we!
We’ve had some busy times lately, with two new family members in our household: Maya gave birth to two beautiful puppy girls on March 21. Next winter they’ll join the husky team as sled dogs!
This is what I told my newest member of the husky team when she arrived here last month from the south of Finland: winter lives in Kilpisjärvi. And so it does. Winter surfaced again, bringing us a blanket of snow deep enough to go sledding this afternoon. Today’s sled trip, the first of the season, was also to celebrate the 13th birthday of Husky Peppi, the oldest of the team. The others are: Peni, Pyry and Sulo, husky boys who will be four years of age in January, and Kiara, a beautiful lady husky, our new team member, who turned 6 years of age two weeks ago.
The arrival of winter equals the arrival of what is called the Polar Night. In Finnish we call it “kaamos”, and as far as I know there is no accurate translation for it, but Polar Night is close enough, because the sun does not rise above the horizon for nearly two months. We have less daylight then, but we have many other types of light: the Northern Lights, which are frequent, the light of the moon and that of the stars, both of which seem brighter than at other times of the year, and the reflections of all those lights in the sky on the white snow.. Furthermore, we have what we call the “blue moments”. They occur in the morning hours and in the afternoon hours, created by the sun which is hovering somewhere close to the horizon, where it is not quite visible, but it colors the air around us in various hues of blue.
These phenomena cannot quite be described, they have to be experienced. Come and see for yourself.