Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Wood pigeon eating ash leaves

In late evenings in June I noticed wood pigeons arriving in nearby ash trees and eating the leaves. I guessed they were having a late night snack before going to bed. They usually appeared around 9pm, and sunset was just over an hour later. These trees seemed to be a popular roost for late evening until the birds flew off to bed.

I posted the video on youtube and someone replied saying he had seen a similar thing but at 5 am.

5 pm in July
8.45 pm in June

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Finland, midnight sun and huskies

July 2016 I went to Finland, my first time to see the midnight sun. From Wikipedia, "The midnight sun is a natural phenomenon that occurs in summer months in places north of the Arctic Circle or south of the Antarctic Circle, when the sun remains visible at the local midnight. Around the summer solstice (approximately 21 June in the north and 22 December in the south) the sun is visible for the full 24 hours, given fair weather. ".

I was in the Syote national park, which is northeast of Oulu in northern Finland, at  65° north. This is just south of the arctic circle which is approx  66°.

At this latitude the sun did actually sink below the horizon but only for about 3 hours and it never got dark. In fact it was still light enough to take photos all night. The view at 11.20, then the setting sun at 11.30 and then the view from my room at midnight -

This area is considered to be part of Lapland which of course means reindeers! We saw a few but they were a bit 'motheaten' as they were shedding their coats. When we went quad biking they would run in front of the bikes for quite a distance

Quad biking was good fun -

Stuck in the mud (not me!) -

We went canoeing on a lake -

then had sausages and coffee

Huskyhiking - Walking with huskies was a first for me. They are lovely friendly dogs, very vocal and very strong. We had a wear a harness and were literally pulled along by the dogs -

There are 93 dogs at this husky farm -
This is the alpha dog, Elmeri

After the walk we all posed for a photo by Elmeri,

We saw wild blueberries and cloudberries and lots of flowers