Changes in the seasons are normal of course in the Northern hemisphere, and the further north you go, the more significant the contrasting seasons are. These changes make a great deal of difference from winter to summer, especially in Norway, Sweden and Finland. As always, the sceneries in nature demonstrates it the best, so let me give you an example showing two pictures from our vacation home town in Sweden:
Mariestad, February 2009.
It’s snowy and with fresh, crisp air and a low sun. However, three months later, there is quite a greener look:
Mariestad, May 2009.
Notice the flowerbed: From covered with snow to colourful bloom! Btw; Can you guess why this is typical Swedish colours?
The change in the scenery does not have to take very long. Let me give you an example from a view my regular readers have seen before:
A horse ranch in Norway April 6th.
The same ranch at May 25th.
Of course all this various from the south to the north, from sea level and up in the mountains. Oslo is on latitude 60°, where as North Cape is on 71°1′8″N. In a post from up north in Kirkenes, I told you the temperature could change from winter -50C (-58F) to +30 (86F). It’s not that big of a different in Oslo: more like from -20C (-4F) to +25C (77F).
I love all four seasons, also because of the dramatic changes and every one of them reminds you that nature is always there, although in hibernation from time to time. I can also assure you; you learn to treasure and appreciate a warm summer day at the beach when you are swimming around thinking of that in 6 month, you can go skating on the same water :-)
Another significant different in the Nordic, is of course the duration of daylight. In Oslo, the shortest day is about 6 hours and the longest 19 hours – not to mention at North Cape, where for about three month the sun never goes down: The land of the midnight sun you know.
In three weeks, we’ll have summer solstice and the sun doesn’t go down before almost 11PM. I guess you can imagine we are treasuring the long summer nights too :-)