Just me, the bunnies and the foxes – and all that snow

Day is getting longer here in the north. Rays of sun almost reached my favorite creek today, with some luck I might get sunny creek pictures in a week or two. There is wonderful frost on the reeds and branches but without any sunlight they just aren’t as pretty. I’m really looking forward to the upcoming weeks with wonderful winter landscapes with warmer tones of light.

Santa brought me a pair of snow shoes and they are absolutely wonderful in these forests. There is so much snow that without them you couldn’t go anywhere. With a lot of patience you could follow paths if you knew where they were. Snow on the paths is a bit harder because it has been walked on, but since we get so much new snow all the time, it’s hard to tell where the paths are. And even if you stayed on the path your foot would still get sucked into the snow every now and then.

If you leave the path you’ll be sucked in knee deep. In some parts the wind has thrown the snow into bigger heaps and in those parts it’s thigh deep. We had a few warmer days this week and now it is back to -12C, so the snow has a harder cover now and snowshoeing is a lot of fun. When I went to the forest last weekend it was too soft and the snow shoes kept sinking into the snow. Now I can go anywhere I want and it feels like the first walk in the forest in the spring when all the snow has melted. It’s a wonderful sense of freedom to go anywhere you like. With snow shoes you can walk on wetland and other such terrain where you can’t go during snowless season, so in fact you have even more freedom to go wherever you like than during summer. I found many fox tracks and followed them. Actually there weren’t any other tracks besides fox tracks, bunny tracks and mine. It was a wonderful feeling of freedom – just me, the bunnies and the foxes and all that snow.

In the Finnish language we have hundreds of words for snow, describing the different kinds of snow in different weather conditions. There is the soft powdery snow and then there is the wet sleet and the hard snow when it’s really cold. All these different kinds of snow have their own names in our language. All these different kinds of snow are also one of the most difficult things to photograph. During winter there is too little light but then when the sun is shining it easily gets too bright on the white snow. And when is the snow really white? Or do I even want it to be white in the pictures because in real life it never is? In sun light it’s golden and during the later hours of the day it’s blue. And how could I manage to portray the huge amount of it? No matter how many pictures I take in the forest it just looks like there is a normal thin layer of snow on the ground and whenever I set my foot on it, I find myself thigh deep in it. In the end I don’t really mind these challenges, that’s what makes photography interesting after all – leaving me something to wonder about next winter also.

About these ads

12 thoughts on “Just me, the bunnies and the foxes – and all that snow

  1. Melissa says:

    Good morning, Annika… snow shoes would certainly be helpful here, too. We don’t have all those words for snow, but I know what you mean. And to capture the quality of it – the depth, the fineness, the loft as if it were down, the layers, the sheen, how the wind creates such intricate sculptures, the joy of being there when the light hits it just right. So many times I take a photo that just does not capture what is so beautifully there.

    Thank you for this, this morning.

  2. Minna says:

    Hi Annika, I found your blog via Jim Goldstein’s “best of 2010″ link list, I just had to check out your site when I saw a Finnish name in list. ;) I’m a Finn living in Sweden but we have much the same conditions, darkness and snow and cold and plenty of hare and fox tracks as I found today. It appears we have exactly the same thing happening over here with the snow, it finally carried me on my skis so it was actually possible to ski off-trail, it is such a wonderful feeling as you describe!

    Anyway, I just wanted to drop by and say hi and I look forward to seeing more of your beautiful pictures from Finland! :)

  3. Thank you so much Minna! It is amazing how relatively small things make us really happy. :) Have fun skiing in Sweden and thanks for your visit and lovely comment!

  4. Rob Robinson says:

    Hi Annika, I’m glad to see you got the link on Jim Goldstein’s Best of 2010 page. You’re starting off 2011 very well too! I especially like the Intersections photo above. It is very interesting visually with an excellent composition and tells a story too with the trails of the passersby. Looking forward to your 2011 photos to follow.

    • Thank you so much Rob – it has brought a lot of people to my pages. I’m very grateful to you! Thank you also for stopping by and leaving a wonderful comment. Much appreciated! Wishing you a successful new year as well!

  5. Annie Greenwood says:

    Lovely. Beautiful writing and the subject is one that I love as well…. but you make it sound even better, with a personal understanding.

  6. Annika,
    So interesting to me, love the images and your words. Congrats on the the link on Jim Goldstein’s Best of 2010. Very well deserved. Best wishes, Sondra

  7. Thank you so much Sondra! Very grateful for your support and wonderful comments! Enjoy your day!

  8. fc3arch says:

    Love the patterns in the snow. Very interesting composition.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s