Sticks and Stones of Mefjordvær

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Mefjordvær is a little fishing village on north-west Senja. It boasts a panoramic view of a mountain wall that plunges into the ocean. Mefjordvær has medieval church history and wooden artefacts that resemble St Olav which are kept at Oslo University.

Ten points if you can guess what the poles are for!

Updated 18/11/08
Good try!  (I would have said for seagulls! lol.)

The poles are the beginnings of a fisherman’s pier which is usually used for hanging nets and drying fish.  The poles are left in the water to settle.  They sink further down over time.  The tides also help the poles wiggle down to a firm base.  When they are firmly embeded, the builder then continues the construction.

Snow Tracks

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Norwegians live close to the wilderness. Even in Oslo you do not have to go far before you’re in ‘bush’. There are walking tracks everywhere – on mountain tops, beside the fjords and in the woods. In the summer it is very easy to get around on foot and on bike. But what happens to the walking tracks in winter when they are covered with a meter of snow? They turn into ski tracks, of course!

Norwegians are born with skis on their feet. Skiing is ‘winter-walking’ and is very much a part of daily life. Moose often skis to uni – from our front doorstep right up to the science building. He parks his skis in the ski-racks next to the (unused) bikes racks. (For Australians it is a little different – I haven’t quiet caught onto the gliding bit yet – I’m still stuck with the waddle.) Moose says I just have to find my ‘ski-legs’.

Most of the major tracks have lights and the snow is very reflective so it is easy to see where you’re going. In November the snow is just starting to build up for the winter, so we thought to take Lilu around our favourite lake. The birds are all gone now as the water has a thin layer of ice. In mid winter we will be able to skate on the lake (another challenge for Aussies – video). Pretty soon it will be difficult to wheel the pram in the snow around Prestvannet lake – I wonder if we can attach skis to the wheels?

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Blue Light Season

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The sun shines blue light on the earth. As it is lower in the Nordic sky during winter the blue intensifies. The light is naturally diffused but stays for longer as it gets trapped between the snow and clouds.

These pictures were taken half an hour after sunset as the light was still bouncing between heaven and earth.

Ice Breaker

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Drats! I’ve been foiled again. The ice certainly knows how to beat me at my own game.

In photography timing is everything. To get the perfect shot sometimes you have to stake out a location, wait for the right light and then make your move in order to catch the best image. I have had my location picked out for a while now and the day proved promising – a crisp clear sky with some cloud streaks. My time for the perfect light was 1:30pm – sunset! I was thoroughly prepared, baby and all, to capture a beautiful moment in time.

At 1:31pm I was still revving the car in the carpark to heat up the air-con, trying to melt the ice off the windscreen – argh! I haven’t quite learnt yet that wherever you go in winter, it will take at least ten minutes longer to get there. Shovelling snow to find your car and playing tug-o-war with the frozen doors is just a part of life in Norway.

Today, no matter how much scraping I did on the windows, nothing was going to get this ice off except hot air. (Again, I forgot last night to cool down the cabin of the car before parking it, to prevent the ice from fusing with the windows). But while sitting in my icy cocoon, I thought I’d make the most of the blurry view. I call the masterpiece above: Seeing Norway by Snow Cave.

:D

However, Lilu and I did manage to make it to our photo shoot – ten minutes late. The subject was patiently waiting for us in the sun set and made no complaint. Instead, like a true professional, sat still for her portrait in the fading light – a real joy. She was a pleasure to photograph. I’m sure we will be working with her again.

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