Finland experiencing a 90 degree heat wave is a lot like Atlanta getting a foot of snow: a quite foreign set of conditions. As you may recall from some of my earlier posts, I retreat to Finland each summer to visit my relatives (I’m half-Finnish) and immerse myself in our Baltic coast country life: fishing, berry-picking, sauna-ing, wildflower-gathering, and moose-glimpsing to name a few of the activities. This year Atlanta heat came to Finland.
Many summers, the Baltic Sea is simply too cold to enjoy as a swimming pool. In those years, jumping in the water is a test of endurance to earn bragging rights rather than a form of relaxation. But this year, with the water temperature hovering around 76° (and the air temperature at 90°), the Baltic was a sanctuary from the heat and the main attraction of the vacation. The dock was the central gathering place for all of the relatives, where days were spent swimming, diving, floating and lounging. Our very own nordic water park.
I managed to take a few breaks from the water-world to venture off into the wild with my camera to see what my lens might spot. Wild and seeded flowers prospered from all the sunlight, and therefore all the types of critters (beetles, ladybugs, bumble bees, butterflies) who depend on them were out in abundance. The raspberry, sea buckthorn, and black current season is mostly over but a few late blooming berries could be spotted (and plucked for a snack). Extremely clear water, thanks to the cloudless sky and endless scandinavian light, meant we could peer down at perch sunbathing in shallow waters.
If the skies are unfettered by clouds, the light during summer is so strong it almost has the quality of stage lighting. If you’re by the sea, light bounces off the mirror-like water back at you with multiplied intensity. But, by August, there is a powering down at the end of the evening (unlike Midsummer in June when the light doesn’t abate much). When the light eventually gives way at about 9:45pm and sets behind the horizon, it casts a beautiful glow back onto the darkening sky, a treasure for a photography enthusiast to try to capture.
Here, a glance at my Finland: