Saturday, November 22, 2008

Beautiful Sodankylä and its wintery coat!

Its been a beautiful week WEATHER wise in Sodankylä - but not so much health wise...with the family struggling with coughs and cold-flu symptoms! It's the season for it!

This week I had so many things planned to blog about and yet none came to better late than never.. here is my run down! It's a bit long - mainly pics and I have more to come - but they will be on another blog!

I began my week with a visit from an Owl. Now, I've never seen a real Owl in the wild before.. I've heard them and also seen them in Bird this was a bit of a shock - especially considering that I was upstairs in my bedroom at the time and it was daytime! It was around 1.30pm!

There on the branch of the tree right outside my window was this cheeky little chappy. I first of all saw him arrive and thought he was a big sparrow...silly me.. but he was REALLY twee! He was all of 15cm (6"). It wasn't until he moved his head in an owl like fashion that I thought OMG it's a baby owl! He sat there a few minutes...enough time for me to call one of my sons to witness him too.. but unfortunately I didn't have a camera to hand.. so no photo of him. However, this is another image - that I found online to show you the type of owl I mean!

I am saying it's a he, because I later Googled the bird and discovered it was a Pygmy Owl.. (apparently active daytime and not during night) and that males are smallest, the females are around 20cm (8") and he was nowhere near that size. He was SO cute!

Here are a couple of links to Pygmy Owls:

So, that makes Waxwings, Woodpeckers and Owls that I have now seen close well as lots of Bullfinches! They are all adorable birds. I am also pretty sure that I saw an eagle once, a couple of years back.. but there was no one else with me - so I might have been mistaken. It's lovely to have so much nature! What with red squirrels, hares, reindeer etc..

Here are images from downtown Sodankylä, earlier this week. It was a glorious day on Monday. The sky was a beautiful blue and the air (as it has been all week) was crisp and fresh! Sodankylä town centre is linear, running more or less south to north. As you can see.. there were not many people about! :D

From the far end of town..looking back to the centre...

One of the FOUR garages in town.. surprisingly several of them in a small area!

An old fashioned wooden house, refurbished to a dresswear shop.

Car park infront one of the supermarkets and also just by the Post Office.

Tip: If you want to see more of Sodankylä, enter the town name into youtube. There are several videos of drive throughs listed there. It seems quite a long drive through..but what you see is pretty much all there is!

I've actually been delighted that the snow hasn't disappeared on us - so no ice! This is the first year in the four that we have lived here that there hasn't been several inches of thick ice everywhere for a few weeks! BRILLIANT. There were a few skiddy days on the roads where it was 'difficult' on the roads and pathways.. but that is nothing really, not compared to how the past four Octobers have been here! (Remember that my first year here, I slipped and broke my elbow on that ice!)

We were down in town because Mark had to get a "Lääkärintodistus" (a doctors sick note) from the local hospital to be off sick from work. Having spent a few hours in there waiting for that.. all he wanted to do was goooooooo home and curl up in a ball.. but LOL.. I still made him stop the car, so I could just jump out to take pics! Rotten me...but it was just SO lovely AND of course, the light is disappearing rapidly, so light like this will be limited soon - to catch really good pics. It probably won't be bright like this again until February.

Heading home towards Kitinen River Bridge - and the sign for Tanhua, Savukoski

To the right side of the river

Looking to the left side over the bridge

The Kitinen river is frozen beautifully!

The temperature has been dropping to -17c on some nights.. so it's COOL! It's one of the things I like about living here.. the meteorological conditions! It's so nice to get definite seasons! :D