There is a lake near here that never fails to enchant me. I’ve written about it several times and posted hundreds of photos. Yesterday I felt the need to visit it again. When I climbed up the familiar path, the sun came out, and the first snow that fell on Monday glimmered on the cliffs and under the pine trees.
Pilvijärvi (Cloud Lake) is a forest lake surrounded by a nature reserve. There are rocky cliffs and wetlands around the lake, but no farmland. The lake itself is deep and clear. Walking around it makes a perfect hike. If you’re fast, it’ll take you about an hour, but for me with my camera, at least twice as long. There is a shadowy creek hidden in between two hills and some old, tall trees. It used to be a home of some white-throated dippers, bobbing on the sheets of ice in the stream. I haven’t seen the birds there for some years now, but every winter I hope they would return. There is also a small bay opening up to the lake, and tall rocky cliffs that serve a gorgeous view over the lake. All the way around the lake there are more cliffs that take turns with patches of wetland every now and then. The path goes up and down, around the rocks and trees, sometimes in the forest – sometimes along the shore.
When the sun shines in November, it’s an unexpected gift. During November 2014 there were only thirteen hours of sunlight in Helsinki. We Finns have grown to fear November. When October is slowly closing in, we begin to hold our breaths for a month of darkness. Gradually the overwhelming blackness overpowers us, and when the first ray of light escapes through the clouds after a month of darkness, we squint our eyes, and for a awhile we feel out of place, like nocturnal fauna caught in daylight.
This year snow is early and the sun friendly. My sons are ecstatic about the snow and slope sliding. My mother waxed her skis as soon as the first snowflake fell on the ground. I can’t wait to have many more walks around the lake I love. There have been years when the snow has stayed only for a week or two, but there is also a good chance of it staying for a few months. We’re keeping our thumbs up.