Snow for Christmas - Jyrävänjärvi Lake

The magic of Christmas in Finland; freezing temperatures, northern lights and special memories being made. The docile edge of Jyrävänjärvi Lake was freezing from the edges inwards, each day a little less flowing water and a little more ice.  Exploring the lake at dusk, about 2pm in this part of the world was a magical end to Christmas Day.  Hand held with as short an exposure time as I could get away with I stood balanced on the edge of the bank (I think) with my camera, the ice beginning to sing as it adjusted to my weight.  Not wanting to hang around and watching the battery life on my camera diminish before my eyes it was a couple of exposures and then time to trek back through the snow to the warmth of our little hut.  The lake is large but this quiet corner is the last tranquility before the lake flows into the raging river past Myllykoski in boiling winter rapids.

Jyrävänjärvi Lake has small summer lodges on the shoreline

Jyrävänjärvi Lake is ideal for winter skiing, the summer islands becoming the focus of the vast snowy expanse as winter takes a hold. The island trees that stand isolated in the summer months, only reached by kayak become heavy with snow in the winter months and reachable by ski.  During the arctic winter the sun barely makes it over the horizon making the sky glow in every shade of orange.  The days are filled with golden light dancing over the tree tops and the fresh snow.

By night the sky lights up with greens and reds as the northern lights dance far above. I stand mesmerised on the shoreline, the ice of the lake singing beneath my weight, the darkness heightening my awareness of the sounds of the arctic night. It is cold, -23C cold, but that is forgotten as the lights swirl above me. Initially just a cloud of white but brightening as the night continues, the stars that were bright now a forgotten beauty as this illusive visitor overpowers everything else in the sky.

Jyrävänjärvi Lake is situated in the southern corner of Oulanka National Park. It is a short drive from the ski resort of Ruka and the airport at Kuusamo.

See more in my Oulanka National Park and Riisitunturi National Park winter guide