Monday, July 14, 2014

Bears at the Pond

I wasn't joking when I said Finland was mostly trees and water.  The view from the plane as we approached Kajaani was typical, a few scattered fields, but basically trees

and once we hit the road it was mostly a blur of green. 

Nearing our destination the paved roads morphed into unsealed roads, but with no more vehicles.  According to the local joke this (2 vehicles) is a traffic jam - a third car would constitute gridlock.

We stayed at Martinselkonen Erakeskus, an old border post (with Russia).  Comfortable accommodation, with a cute pixie house in the grounds
and various walks leading away through the trees (and the mossies which had us semaphoring away!). 
The mix was birch with some conifers

or conifers with some birch.

There was a pond which had lovely colours, but seemed devoid of life.

However one evening we headed for another pond to see the bears.  Before the trip this was the venue I most wanted to visit, but we were told the reality is it is often slow and the numbers of bears are well down on the other sites.  The possibility of reflections seemed a bit of a lost hope when we arrived and saw the breeze constantly riffle the surface. 

The light wasn't too bad for a while, but all there was to snap were a greenshank and green sandpiper.  We kept scanning for bears at first, but it wears thin after a while. 

The hours ticked by but then, after the sun had slipped away the bears started to come, and in the end we had a fairly good number through.  In the dim light the Scots pines reflected a strange purple light I've never noticed before, and in time a mist rose on the water. 
As always the cubs kept a close watch on the other bears.
Although these older cubs didn't run this time they did look constantly to their mother for reassurance. 

One bear waded out for some food on a small island but the mist on the water made getting a sharp shot difficult.  It looked better climbing out though.

The light faded further, the bears thinned out

and the night slipped away into a cool and misty morning. 

I was concerned how the pictures would come out but in the end I hope you agree some were OK, again thanks to the 5D3 low light capability.

No comments: