Bye-Bye Arctic Summer!

Did you know that we have eight seasons here in Lapland?  In addition to summer, autumn, winter and spring we have “early summer”, “late summer”, “early winter” and “late winter”.  It only makes sense because our nature changes constantly according to temperature variations and the amount of daylight.

Summer starts in the latter half of June when we celebrate the Finnish midsummer festival (yes, for those living in southern Finland the end of June marks the middle of their summer while we are just starting out up here).  This year our festival weekend turned out to be freezing cold, with snow and sleet and stormy winds.  To compensate for the cold start we then enjoyed exceptionally warm weather, with lots of sunshine and barely any rain for weeks on end.

Kilpisjärvi

The village of Kilpisjärvi viewed from the lake

Huskies were delighted to find a patch of left-over snow where they could cool off on a hot day – temperatures over + 20 C are indeed hot for these arctic dogs.   Taking swims in the lake – the water temperature reached an unheard of + 15 C – was great fun for us all, visitors, locals and Siberian huskies!

Peni swims   Peni and Pyry in summer snow   Kilpisjärvi on August 2

Now we are gradually leaving summer behind.   Before settling in for winter the nature is giving us a show of spectacular colors, which we call “ruska”.  The ruska season is particularly popular among hiking groups.  Hikes to conquer Saana Fell and across the Malla Nature Reserve top the list of routes and terrain bikers like the challenge of the road up Jehkas Fell.

Ruska    Hiking in Malla Nature Reserve  Terrain biking

And now we, too, start preparing for winter and eagerly wait for the first snow…!

According to the calendar summer is here, but for someone not familiar with our arctic climate, it may not seem so.    Part of the lake is still frozen and we had a snowfall earlier today.  We had an unusual warm spell earlier this month, with temperatures nearing + 20 C, and soon thereafter the birch trees produced the first leaves.  Now there’s a feeling of summer, despite the chilly northerly winds and the occasional flurry of snow.  Guided summer activities such as Mountain Biking and River Rafting & Fishing on River Könkämäeno will be offered in July & August.  Meanwhile we’re getting ready to celebrate Finnish Midsummer festival next weekend.  That officially marks the end of winter season in Kilpisjärvi, with the annual skiing competition taking place on Friday, June 20.

Saana 13.06Kilpisjärvi 13.06.Kesän ensimmäinen kullero

 

Joys of winter!

A sunny day in Kilpisjärvi, an invigorating snowshoe trek by Saana Fell, coffee & roasted sausages by open fire in a cozy hut.