Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Ice formations

A few days ago, I went to the nearby forest to collect some moss and reindeer lichen to decorate the outdoor Erica pots with. I planted the Ericas quite a while ago but somehow the finishing was left rather late. No harm was done though. This has been a mild season and we haven’t entered winter yet in the southern part of the country where we live. (According to our meteorological standards, winter starts when the average daily temperature remains below freezing point.) Some colder weather may be approaching so I must post the forest photos before the snow arrives.

When I’m in a forest, my attention is often drawn more to other things than my original purpose to go there. Now I was fascinated by some ice formations, such as those in the above photos where rain water pouring down a slope of solid rock had turned into ice during the cold night. The slope faces west where the sun no longer reaches. (This time of the year, the sun rises at about 9 and sets at about 15:15 here.)

There was also a thin layer of ice on the few wet spots on the road. Nature truly is our best artist when she can produce random butterfly shapes on a small puddle. This must be some sort of an exotic swallowtail with the long hind wings hanging like ribbons from a kite.

But what to think about the wet tracks on this bear-shaped stone in the middle of the service road (can you see the bear?). The tracks had already started to dry out and had completely disappeared when I was walking by the place on my way home. Those of a fox perhaps, or maybe a racoon dog. How about a Eurasian lynx, a young one? Not such a far-fetched idea. Neighbours of ours living by this very forest sighted one walking through their yard last winter.


  1. Those sheets of ice were amazing. Lovely to see the footprints too. That is a huge bank of moss!
    Sarah x

    1. Actually, the grey one growing on solid rock is what we call reindeer lichen. It is very common in forests all over the country, not only in Lapland a thousand kilometres north from here where some of the Laplanders, the Sami people, still practice reindeer herding.