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Tenth month on the island

Ice formation shining at the sunset.
Setting sun lit the forest.
Winter night and the stars.
Fresh snow and animal tracks on the shore.

January began with anticipating moods. Autumnal period with its harsh winds and rains lasted for months and had become too familiar. On the second day of January I left the snowless island behind and went to the city to get some supplies. On the blue hour of the evening I returned and there was a magical sight waiting - my rowing boat on the shore and the whole island behind it was covered in snow. Sea had partially frozen too. It was the last time I could use rowing boat to across the sea.

My modest cabin on the blue hour.
Snowy rowing boat waiting on the shore.
Sleet rain and the forest lit by the cabin lights.
Frozen sea before the snow cover. There my footprints and tracks of a raccoon dog on the dock.

In the beginning of January the temperature varied between freezing and few celsius degrees (28-36°F). Ice was partially frozen but wasn't strong enough for walking so I couldn't leave the island for two weeks. In the middle of the month, the proper winter with permanent snow and freezing temperatures finally came. The temperatures were pretty low reaching -24°C (12°F). It snowed almost half a meter (1.6 feet). With the harsh temperatures swans flew away. There isn't much to eat when the sea is frozen.

White moment at the shore.
Accumulating snow on the trees.
Frost flowers on ice.
Tracks of raccoon dog leading to the shore.
Small spruce tree beneath the giants.
Winterly sunset.

When everything is covered in snow you can clearly see how animals move. Tracks on the snow tell a story about how raccoon dogs search the surroundings of my cabin and yard, how mice and voles are looking for food in the snow just to quickly return to their nests beneath the snow. Tracks also showed that a rabbit and deer had visited the island.

Pristine snow on a misty day.
Textures of ice.
Topographic map on the snow.
Frost flowers on the inner surface of my window during a harsh winter morning.
Dancing branches.

Thicc snow cover looks beautiful but it also makes moving more difficult. Walking with a heavy camera bag on a half meter deep snow blanket felt challenging. At the same time it was a nice feeling to make one's own trails to pristine snow. I carefully planned my routes so I wouldn't spoil the untouched views of the island by messy footprints.

Accumulated snow on the roof just before it fell.
Stormy night and ice in the sea.
Frozen branches.
Reeds and trees covered in frost.
Swans flying to south.

For a short while the temperature rose and rain started to melt snow. Heavy snow fell from the roof and rumbled the cabin. After that winterly temperatures and moods continued with snow pouring from the sky.

Snow decorated the views through January but the sun showed itself just a few times. These sunny moments were easily the highlights of the month. Once clear weather lasted to night and stars were shining in a magical winter night. Soon cloudiness conquered the sky again.

Open spot in the sea formed sea smoke on frozen temperatures.
Risen sea showed as a snowless spot on the ice.
Untouched snow on an after sunset moment.
Red sunset on the dock.

Pasi Markkanen

I live and take photos for one year on an island located in Pellinki. After the year I will donate the best 100 images for use in nature conservation. My goal is to find 300 people that will support the project with 3 dollars a month and thus helping me to dedicate my work and life for the nature conservation. You can be one of them by supporting the project on Patreon.

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