Matka – An expedition to Finland. Part #2.

Part #1Part #3

imageAfter visiting Martinselkosen Eräkeskus Wildlife Centre, we headed towards the Boreal Wildlife Centre. There was a two hour drive between the two, with this place being further South. This meant that there was less snow in the area and more green forest! It’s crazy how sort of isolated Finland felt. This two hour drive was literally down one big road with only trees surrounding each side. Occasionally there would be a building, but 90% of the drive was just trees. Oh and the occasional rabbit running down the side of the road.

On the first day/night, we just explored the area a little and relaxed mostly. We were actually so tired that we went to bed quite early, and set an alarm for 11pm to get some night shots! I really wanted to do a timelapse but it just didn’t work out. I don’t have the right lens for it so anything I try just seems kind of lacking in some way ha.

Anyway, this night was brilliant. There’s something quite eerie about being outside in the middle of the night, in a new country and with the knowledge of there being bears about. (Not anywhere in the immediate surroundings, of course!) We ended up seeing a tiny glimpse of the Northern Lights! It was only a bit of green in the sky (which was hardly visible to the eye but could be seen in camera) but it was so awesome. Green, purples and pinks… The sky was pretty!

I definitely need to see them properly to really tick seeing the Northern Lights off a bucket list though. A visit to Iceland is top of the list!

The next morning we did some more exploring. Walking in the woods and just taking in the beautiful scenery. I took so many tree photos here.

Also managed to see and photograph a red squirrel and brambling. The red squirrel had funny colouring! Body mostly grey, white chest, red tail, red paws and red face/ears! It was cute though.

After lunch (3pm in both of these centers) we headed out for our first night in the hide. This hide gave us a very wide an open view – a lot different from the trees and the swamp in the first place. We were waiting for 4-5 hours for the first bear to appear but, once one had arrived, two more quickly followed. There was one bear that had a white patch on it’s back and I think it looked awesome! Whilst we were waiting for the bears, we just had lots of ravens in sight.

Now for the best bit… The morning of our second stay in the hide, we saw two wolves! Yes, wolves! We felt so lucky because the guide had told us that the wolves would constantly patrol their territory and as a result they would only pass through the hide area once every 7/8 days. They didn’t stay for very long, but I’m happy that I managed to get some photographs! It was an incredible sight.

Phew, that was a long one, wasn’t it? Next Friday post up is Rovaniemi!

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