The beauty of the nature never stops fascinating me, especially with focus on the natural elements: air, water, soil and of course fire. When you combine all four, to me; one are close to nirvana. I had series of quality times together with my wife the last week of 2008, including our New Year celebration in our vacation home in Mariestad, Sweden and one in particular, I would like to share with you. We went to the local beach around 4PM, to watch the sun set and this was the scenery which greeted us:

Red Sky on Scandinavian Beach #4

Along the shore of lake Vänern (the largest in Northern Europe – ) it was frozen and the sun made a spectacular image in the sky and mirrored it on the icy surface. This skies on fire phenomena occurs as sunlight passes through the thick layer of air at sunset, since the shorter wavelength portions of sunlight are absorbed or scattered away. This leaves the longer, deeper penetrating wavelengths to pass through the atmosphere – these are the red, orange and yellow wavelengths. It happens all over the world of course, but more regularly at the northern hemisphere around winter solstice, when then the sun is furthest away. You might have heard the good, old weather saying too: “Red sky at night; sailor’s delightRed sky in the morning; sailor take warning.”

So let me share some more of this Scandinavian, Winter Wonder Land beauty with you (all pics are taken with my Nikon S2 – click to enlarge and enjoy):
Red Sky on Scandinavian Beach #2 Red Sky on Scandinavian Beach #5

Two hours later (around 6PM), it was even more mysterious:
Red Sky on Scandinavian Beach #9 Red Sky on Scandinavian Beach #10

Another interesting phenomenon about the Nordic countries, and one of the main subjects on my blog, is the significant four seasons. I mean, when these pics was taken, it was around -10C (14F) and if you aren’t dressed properly, you’ll freeze your butt off. However in 6 months, people get rid of almost all cloths (yea, topless is quite normal) and have great fun, swimming in the lake in the temperature around 20C (68). Let me give you an example:
Red Sky on Scandinavian Beach #1 Ekodden Beach #8Left: Januar the 1st 2009 – Right: July the 15th 2006.

Whatever the time of year it is most important to take advantage of the beautiful nature all around us. When the daytime is short it is especially important to get out when it is still light out and you appreciate the daylight much more. In the summer when the sun stays up until almost midnight where we live, then you look forward to late August when you can finally see the stars again. One thing is for sure, the beaches and sunsets are just as beautiful both winter and summer and each season has its own mystical charm. Hope you are taking advantage of the beauty where you live. Stop in and tell us about it here!

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  1. That first photo is particularly gorgeous, Renny. ;-)

    It was over 10C here today but the rest of the week it’s supposed to be below 0C for highs and even colder at night. There’s a beautiful, bright full moon to see though.

    Hope your back is better…

    Off to vote for you!

    Love and hugs,

    I knew you would love it Diane.
    We’ve had above freezing for week to and rain, but suppose to get snow again in the weekend.
    Sorry, my back still hurts – that’s why you don’t see me around that much…
    Thanks for your support and hugs back to you!

  2. You’re still in the Top 3, Renny! BTW, in my part of the world 20C is considered as “cold” (LOL)

    At least I’m close to it Amadou!
    BTW; Shows, everything is relatively (LOL)

  3. Beautiful photos, renny! I wanted to vote for you but it came up with an error “page not found”… I guess I have to try it again tomorrow. :)
    Sue’s Daily Photography

    Thanks Susanne, what a great compliment coming from a great photographer like you!
    Try to vote again – their servers where down for a while, due to heavy traffic!

  4. Gorgeous skies! It’s been grey and bleak here :(

    Thanks Teena! Here too the last days :(

  5. Beautiful clicks :)

    Thanks :)

  6. Those are really stunning photos. To tell you the truth, I think the winter shots are more beautiful than the summer ones. I could sit and gaze at them all day.

    Thanks A. and I do agree with you: a peace, fresh, crisp and colourful view.

  7. Beautiful shots indeed. Norge på sitt beste!

    Hi Sam, always great to welcome new visitors. Norge på sitt aller beste – eller Sverige da, siden dette var i Mariestad :)

  8. you know i am always learning something new here. until the end of this post i hadn’t thought about how the long summer days could make you miss the stars and anticipate their return.

    Glad to hear Michelle – the aim of my blog you know! Its hard to see the stars in fully daylight you know – but the are still there :-)

  9. What a beautiful landscape ! We had temperatures until – 15 °C in Brussels/Waterloo ! In the Ardennes it was worse almost – 20° that hasn’t happened since 20 years ! Since yesterday it’s + 2 °C and the snow melt.
    I hope you win !!

    Yes, I know you’ve had plenty of winter in mid Europe too.
    Thanks Gattina and for your support too !!

  10. Hello Renny… your photos are absolutely breath-taking, but my fav is the first one. What a treat for Diane and you… wow… I know that had to be a great experience and perfect times with your wife. Glad you got to enjoy it!

    Great post, and have a great rest of the week

    Hi Jess, great to see you again – sorry I can’t return the favour as much as I wanted, due to my bad back :-(
    Yea, that’s what I call quality time!
    Wishing you a good one too.

  11. The shots are awesome Renny. I will say that for me 68 degrees is pretty cool. Here our summer temps are in the 90s or better. Okay, it’s hot. Our winters aren’t all that cold either. I think today the high is supposed to be 61 degrees.

    Have a terrific day. Oh, I’m voting for you every single day too. Big hug to you and Diane. :)

    Thanks Sandee. It’s cool and even more; it’s refreshing :-)
    Wish you a good one too and thanks for all your votes! Hugs back :)

  12. Beautiful pictures, Renny. I can’t seem to get the Blog Awards page to load. I hope you did well.

    Thanks dear blog friend!
    Please try again – I know they the page is very stressed, so don’t give up!

  13. Do I vote in the comments Renny ???

    No Eric, you have to click the banner to go over there to vote. However, I’m afraid the poll is over now.

  14. Sky on fire is a really good description. It is so beautiful and the sky is so clear. Isn’t it amazing, the complete contrast between winter and summer…winter you have layers of clothes on, in summer you have none!

    There is something for you on my post today, if you care to drop in.

    Yea; The magic of the significant four seasons!
    Awwww, thanks for the Award – I’ll have to pick it up later as my back still hurt and I have to limit the time on my puter :-(

  15. beautiful sight, renny! nice captures!

    Thanks acey!

  16. Amazing pictures! I’ve downloaded the original size of the first picture and made it my desktop background.

    Thanks! Must be great to have a reminder of the Scandinavian beauty every day then :-)

  17. The best part is sharing those sunsets with you of course!!

    I do agree dear – nothing compares!!

  18. Such stunning scenery indeed! I’m always captivated when it’s dusk this time of the year. The sky is just amazing.

    So sweet to be sharing those moments with Diane!

    I knew you would love it Mark.
    Sharing more than double the adventure you know!

  19. Congrats on the 4th place award, btw! Bravo!

    Thanks Mark – I’m thrilled of course and thanks for your support and votes!

  20. I love the shore of lake Vänern, absolutely beautiful. No problem on the plug, nice to get to know you and your site.

    Hi, new blog friend and I’m glad you liked it.

  21. The dramatic change in seasons is really something. And how soon we forget the season we left behind! Beautiful stuff here; thanks.

    Glad you got the spirit Sandy :)

  22. What a lovely paradise! :D

    I do agree! :D

  23. i love the pictures!! :)

    Me too!! :)

  24. Hey Renny,

    Fantastic photo! Even if freezing, the landscape is marvellous…look at that sky!

    I like the way you call mystery to the delights of nature (I call it that too…because that is exactly what it is)!
    I love watching the four seasons passing by; seeing one beginning and then switching to the next one and so forth…it’s magical! It reminds us of the cycle of life!

    I looked for the results of the weblog awards and unfortunately your blog was not victorious, but at least you were a finalist (congrats)! Who knows what this year will reserve you :D?

    Great post, my friend! I hope you’re feeling better from your back!


  25. You are so right, Renny. I think I need to get off this chair and go take a walk! HA! What beautiful images from your Nokia phone. They never cease to amaze me!

  26. So beautiful – love the first photo the most.

  27. Wow, the colors are just amazing! It does look cold yet it is just unique and beautiful. I rarely see sunsets like that…

    Your phone must be great, pictures are crisp and clear!

    I knew you would like it and I love to share, you know.
    Well, this time it was my Nikon S2, but my Nokia is great too.

  28. Congratulations on being a finalist! That’s fantastic!

    I’m enjoying your photos. It’s bleak, gray, damp and ice-encrusted here, so I’m lingering on that summer beach shot!

    Thanks Lynda – I think so too :)
    Glad you enjoyed this one too!

  29. Gorgeous photos of the wonderful sides of Scandinavia. The snow storms I can be without…. *giggles*

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