Yesterday evening the weather was good and I got to take a nice long walk around Tromsøya (I hope you all enjoy these posts about my walks around Tromsø, because they’re often the highlights of my weeks). I know many of you are trying your best to hang on to what’s left of summer, but here in the Arctic, fall is truly beginning (and I have to admit I’m quite happy about it). Autumn is a special time in Tromsø. The transitional seasons are short here (snow in September is not unheard of), but somehow that makes the way they mark the passage of time even more special to me. Ephemeral joys, and all that.
I love the life cycle of the fireweed. Five weeks ago it was in full bloom, and while there are a few stubborn blossoms still clinging to their stems, now most of the plants have lost their flowers and opened up their seed capsules (I love the silky hairs of the seeds). And in fall, the green leaves turn a vibrant red-orange. Many of the fireweed plants have turned already.
The leaves on the birches and the rowans have started changing, too. There’s still a lot of green – in some places the change is overall and subtle, and in others great tufts of leaves have changed at once. In a few weeks everything will be golden and red.
Autumn means a return to the most beautiful light. During the midnight sun, the light can be very mundane – the most beautiful time of day to see the sky is the middle of the night, when the sun is low in the sky (and if it’s overcast, the sky is just the same all the time). There are no sunsets. I’m so, so excited to have proper sunsets again, because the sky here is so incredible.
And of course, with sunsets comes a dark night sky again – the return of stars, and the return of one of my favorite things, the northern lights. The sky was clear enough on Friday to see them, even if they weren’t very strong.
So I’m quite content to welcome autumn with open arms. Bring on the changing leaves, the northern lights, and the stars. I’ll keep walking with my camera, the closest thing to bringing you along with me.