Friday, 11 September 2015

Day 254: jays, sunset, lake and starry night Northern Lights

At breakfast on our first morning we are still buzzing from our Northern Lights experience. The group that were here with Rob this time last year didn't get a Northern Lights showing until the last few hours of the very last night. We have got some Aurora photographs in the bag, so any further shots are just a bonus. Though we still want to experience them again tonight. It's rather addictive!

Today we are going to explore the Autumn colours in and around Muoni, we'll be looking out for the Siberian jay, lakes, trees, plenty of mellow fruitfulness.


We drive to a large park just bursting with browns, oranges, yellows and golds. We make camp around the fire pit. Dirk, our resident firestarter starts gathering wood whilst we point our lenses at lichen, trees, sparkling water, and those elusive jays. I'm really trying demonstrate the Siberian jay's beautiful plumage, back-lit, but it's do tricky! We compare notes over reindeer soup sat around the fire and after what transpires to be over 350 shots of jays, I hope I have some keepers after all that.

After we're all jayed out we return to our wonderful log cabins and then gravitate to the lake to wait for sunset. It's so tranquil by the lake, it's not long before a Finnish couple stroll over, light the ubiquitous fire and produce sausages from about their persons. We learn over the next few days that this just happens in these parts; a fire is for sharing, and for sausages.

After the gorgeous sunset, including the surprise of an almost naked man running from between the trees and leaping into the still, cool, lake, we wrap up for another foray to photograph the Aurora.

This time we go up into the hills to get a different angle and almost immediately start spotting green streaks over our heads. It's not so dark yet so we find a different spot where the tree line will add an extra dimension to the photos we are hoping to capture. And then we wait.

We're out earlier tonight so we have more hanging around time. A couple start to feel too chilled and decamp to the van for some respite. The rest of us hang on just for a little longer, and then maybe a little longer more.

Then in the wee small hours the light show happens. Suddenly the green streaks across the sky over our heads and it's so bright. Much brighter than last night and vivid, like a child has grabbed a neon crayon and is scribbling across the inky black. For some reason Van Gogh's Starry Night is evoked by the Kermit green swirls.

Eventually we tear ourselves away and crawl back to our beds sated, but very tired, fingers crossed, another set of Northern Lights photographs hopefully secured.


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