It´s really starting to look and feel like winter here in Hossa. Permanent snow has landed and autumn has slowly developed to early winter. Wool-socks, mittens, fur-caps and long johns have to be brought into use latest now! In November the natural surrounding is dominated by stillness, nature slows down and gathers strength for the upcoming winter and this provides a great chance for recreating nature experiences; you hardly see anyone anywhere on the hiking trails and being affected by the calming effect of nature is inevitable.
October and especially November are considered as grey and dull off-season months when there isn´t much to do or see but I don´t agree with this. Snow and the evergreen coniferous forests create alternating landscapes and activities like hiking and fishing are just as enjoyable as during the summer. The surrounding does not become completely desolated and for example observing different animals and their winter preparations is a fun thing to do while being active outside.
Few degrees below zero is not a reason not to go out as putting enough clothes on and dressing in layers allows you to be comfortably outside no matter the weather and it just provides some variation; after the first night frosts that freeze the ponds and lakes enough so that it´s safe to walk on the ice, it´s time to start the winter fishing season and as the covers of snow become thicker, the snow-shoes and snow-mobiles can be taken out of the winter storage and put into use. One could say that suddenly there´s a whole new world out there to be confronted with a lot of new things to do! When you get to think of it, it´s a huge variation of different activities we get to participate when we take the yearly natural cycle to define the frames for the actions. Especially here in Hossa.
During one of my walks I bumped into a real logging site, beavers had been quite busy with their winter preparations. These large rodents known for their architecture are building their winter nests at the moment and gathering wood and branches for the winter. The animals themselves are rarely seen because their extremely cautious and move mostly during the night. Their winter nest really reflects the extraordinary adaptation to the environment in order to survive in these harsh conditions. Beavers´ long winter goes by mostly hanging out in the nest with a few degrees above zero temperature, safe from predators and eating wood bark from winter storage. Not a bad way to spend a winter!
October and November shouldn´t be despised when outdoor activities are considered, nature provides an constantly changing playground for refreshing and inspiring things to do. In my next posts, I´ll show what´s going on in the life of a reindeer herder during the early winter and introduce two local birds, both special and unique in their own way!