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17 days ago the sun should have been back after the dark period here in Elgsnes, but clouds and snowdrift has covered the sun. Today it cleared up, and the sun was visible for the first time this year. About a week from now the sun is high enought on the sky to pass over the mountain on the south side of the farm. And from then on, we wil have a lot of sunshine if the weather conditions are good.


Today the storm has been blowing from northwest over a long period. And the strongest wind reached even violent storm level. Big waves in combination with high tide makes waves crashing over the barrier of stones that is made along the beach to protect the cultivated land. From the afternoon we have also been without electricity. Click on the image to see a larger version.


January 28th is the first day when the sun can be seen here in Elgsnes. If it had been sea to the south, the sun had been under the horizon from 1th December to 11th January, but because of the mountains the sun is not seen from November 14th and is back today. Because of clouds on he sky, it was not any proper sunshine down in Vester-Raten where the sun should have been visible around 1:15 p.m. today.


A fishfarm boat passed Elgsnes this morning at the same time as the costal steamer Richard With passed on the way south. The previous Hurtigruten vessel with this name was torpedoed and sank in September 1941, but it took 52 years before Richard With, the father of Hurtigruten, got a new ship named after him.


Theoretically the dark period ended three days ago, but because there are mountains to the south, it is still two weeks until it is possible to get the first glimpse of the sun down in Vester-Raten. But the days are longer now, and the southern sky is becoming brighter day by day.


The tiny snowfall yesterday melted away already this morning, so now it is snow only along the roadsides and in the forest edges. Although we had a white Christmas, it does not seem that the winter is much different from what it has been in recent years, with almost no snow most of the time.


Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas !

The season for fishing tourism ends in october, but the boats have been available until now. However, it is time to get them to the shore and stored for the winter. Two of the boats were taken up today, while the third boat will have to wait until another day with daylight and little wind.


It has been snowing during the night, and at noon the snow depth was six centimeters or a little more than two inches. But at that hour some of the snow had melted away. Although the maximum temperature was only 2,3 degrees above freezing point, much of the precipitation during the day came as rain, which contributed to the melting of the snow.


Although there has been little snow in recent winters, we can't count on it for the coming winter. Since autumn is ending now, it's time to put down snow sticks. Regardless, it will get frost in the ground, which will complicate the job when there is a need for marking the road edge. In the photo Tore is about to put down sticks to mark the edge of the road in front of the barn.


Here in Elgsnes it is no more sunshine this year, but the sun is still shining on the mountains around us, on Grytøya, Andøya and in the mountains west of Kvæfjord. When the picture was taken at 1 o'clock p.m., it was sunshine only on a mountain top in the background.


We are now entering a period with a very special light. While the sun is partly over the horizon, we get a pink color on the sky such as this morning when the picture was taken. In the dark period, however, the light will be blue, and the nature will be seen in various shades of blue. In recent years, the Northern Lights has been a tourist magnet, while the beauty of the special light in the dark season is underexposed.


Lately it has been strong wind from southeast, but although it was windy on the eastern side of the headland down at Raten even tonight, it was a dead calm in the bay Vågen, and the reflections from the roadlights created life in the picture to the right. Click on the image to see a larger version.


Usually the northern lights is visible here late at night, but today it could be seen already in the twilight periode. The Northern Lights was not very powerful, but it was light enough for the picture to the right to be made without a tripod, which is quite unusual. The explanation for the phenomenon was that when the picture was made, it was exceptionally strong auroral activity over Greenland, Alaska and Siberia, so what appeared here was probably just some pale runners from across the North Pole.


It is more frost than snow that has addes some white to the top of the mountain on the southern side of the farm. Nature is however preparing for the winter, and even in the lowland forest there are few leaves left on the trees.


The picture shows the old buildings in Storbakkan. The farmhouse was originally the servantats' house in the trade station down at Raten, and was part of the trade when Edvard Ruud senior bought half of the property on the bankruptcy in 1881. It was then moved and established in Storbakkan. The house was expanded in the 1930s and 1960s. The old barn in the picture is from 1894, but was expanded in the 1930s and 1950s. It was in use until 1982 when the new barn was completed.


This morning there was a little sunshine, and the cows thrived on pasture. But in the afternoon it started to rain, and then the cows wantet to get into the cowhouse again. Cows have no problems with beeing out in in low temperatures, but the combination of wind and rain makes them wet and cold, so it's important that they can get in then.


This morning there was snow down to the shore on the western side of the fjord. Some of it had melted when the photo was made, but it is a presage of the coming winter. The positive with snow in the mountains is that the weather then tend to stabilize. Click on the image to see a larger version.


The days are getting shorter, and the sunset is now at 7:30 PM. But still the colors are beautiful after the sunset when September is like tonight. Click on the image to see a larger version.


The old guesthouse down at Raten is exposed for the weather, so there is considerable need for external maintenance. Now it was about time to get the house painted, and this work began today. It is used old-fashioned linseed oil paint with light English red as the main color. This is the same color as the house had until about 1870. The disadvantage of such paint is that it dries slowly, expecially with low temperatures.


The old wood fuel stove of the category Eidsfos Verk No. 60 has been restored, and is now in place in the large living room in the guesthouse at Raten. Click on the image to see a larger version.


After sunshine most of the day clouds appeared on the sky in the evening. The clouds looked like altocumulus clouds that occurs when large masses of air rises upwards in the atmosphere with condensation as a result. Often such clouds are seen in front of a cold front, but it does not match tonight's weather forecast.


It was a dead calm today and the mountains of Grytøya mirrored in the sea. Everything seems to be idyllic, but a click on the image shows a larger version that reveals the marking bouys of a fish farm. Fortunately the location is not used right now, but soon it will be full speed again.


The tiny otter to the right must have lost his mother, for it has yelled with his puny pipe voice for three days now without his mother toemerge. Yesterday evening Lorian moved it away from the road, but today it was found inside the silo building. Lavinia has now begun to feed it, but are unsure of what kind of food it should get. Someone who knows? Click on the image to see a larger version.


The fishing tourists who have been here since Wednesday last week, has had varying weather conditions. Yesterday, for example, they could not go out fishing because of the wind. But today the conditions have been ideal, with capture large enough to fill the quota. For Johann Hartl it was however special to get a halibut of 35 kg.


This morning the Bahamas-registered cruise ship Seven Seas Voyager passed Elgsnes on the way from the Magdalena fjord in Spitzbergen to Harstad. Tonight Seven Seas Voyager passed again on it's way out Andfjorden before heading toward the fjords in Vestlandet.


Since June 21th, it has only been one millimeter rainfall, so the soil is now very dry. Tonight, however, there were clouds on the sky, so it is a little hope for rain. Click on the image to see a larger version.


With 27 degrees Celsius (81 degrees Farenheit) in the shade, this has been the hottest day so far. And with sunshine from a cloudless sky, no wind and 16 degrees in the sea, it has been a lot of people at the sandy beach today. Click on the image to see a larger version.


From three o'clock to half past five in the night it was a dead calm, and the most ardent fishing tourists were out already then. But even if the wind increased throughout the day, the fishing continued. And in the afternoon Peter Rohrbach came to the harbour with a cod of 21 kilos. The image shows the proud fisherman with the big cod. Click on the image to see a larger version.


The cold weather continues, and the snow is far down in the mountains on the other side of the sound. Even the steep mountain in the picture where there is almost no snow in winter, has got white color on the upper part. Click on the image to see a panoramic version of Grytøya seen from Raten.


Half an hour past midnight there was an unusually nice rainbow over the mountain south of the farm. It is said that where the rainbow ends, there is a jar full of gold. But since the rainbow ends on the old barn at Storbakkan, there is little reason to believe the rumor. Agriculture has never been a goldmine, and even less with the current regime in the agricultural ministry. Click on the image to see a larger version.


When the main building at the trade station Raten was built in 1723, almost all communication was on the sea. And Elgsnes was in the middle of an intersection by modern terminology. It was therefore important that the main building looked great from the sea. Although the economy could be up and down, it was important to signal power and wealth to the common people and to other trade stations in the area. Click on image to see a larger version.


Today it has been sunshine from a cloudless sky, and since there are no clouds on the horizon to the north at midnight, the midnight sun is shining at this time of year. But wind from northeast reduced the reflection of the sunbeams from the sea. Click on the image to the right to see a larger version.


This morning we hoisted the Norwegian flag down at Raten, at Ebergplassen and at Storbakkan because it is our constitutional day and the 200th anniversary of the Constitution. The wind increased, however, from southsouthwest, a wind direction which provides sudden gusts here in Elgsnes, and the big flag at Ebergplassen blew down. Flag hooks made by nylon is obviously not designed for northern Norwegian weather. Also at Storbakkan the usual flag had to be replaced by a storm flag, see picture to the right. Click on the image to see a larger version.


The gangway from the floating stage in the harbour was too steep at low tide. Previously we have added steps to prevent sliding, but to make it even more convenient, the gangway is now extended. Since this week has a few days without tourists in the guesthouse, the work had to be done now. In the photo Tore about to drill one of the 130 holes that were needed to implement the extension from 6,8 to 9.0 meters.


In the spring we have three periods of bad weather and percipitation, usually as snow. It is at Easter time, around May 1st and finally at Whitsun time. So according to this, it seems that spring is on track.


From yesterday's stormy weather, the wind calmed down. And throughout the day it cleared up. When the picture to the right was made in the afternoon, it was breeze and sunshine. But like this the weather is here in the north - always changing.


Today we have had a gale from northwest. According to the weather forecast the wind is caused by a polar low pressure that should get weaker when it came to the coast. And the unusually large waves tells us that the wind has been a lot stronger out on sea. Click on the image to see a larger version.


The cultivated meadows here in Elgsnes are now so overgrazed by reindeers from Kongsvikdalen reindeer district that the reindeers now eats anything to lessen the hunger, like gardening flowers or withered grass by Normangården, the tourist house down at Raten. The reindeer have also left "business cards" in front of the entrance to the house, which has to be removed before the tourists arrive in about a week. Click on the image to see a larger version.


Almost all winter the low-pressure areas have passed south of us, and we have had remarkably nice weather. But now the depressions are waiting in line to catch up. So today there has been a gale from northwest with snow. But the wind is probably stronger out on the open sea, because the waves are bigger than the wind speed should indicate. Click on the image to see a larger version.


This morning the temperature went up to as much as 9 degrees Celsius. Later the southwest wind increased, and the temperature dropped. But wind from southwest also means rain, and the small amount of snow melted quickly. So by the end of the day, there will hardly be any snow left.


It's quiet in the harbor. It is still a month till the first tourists arrive, but there is a great deal to be done before that time. After the wood of the floating stage sucked water, it is too low on the sea. It must therefore be inserted multiple barrels to provide sufficient buoyancy. And the gangway proved to be too steep at low tide, so it should be extended. But for this work there is a need for calm sea all day, not only by sunset time like today. Click on the image to view a panoramic version.


"Mach is a snow month", the old people used to say. It is true that March seems to be a month with a lot of percipitation, but it is raining no matter which direction the wind is coming from. In recent years, there has been no real winter before the new year, but this winter the snow came in October and November. And from the beginning of December there has hardly been any snow.


The nice weather with sunshine from a cloudless sky continues, and we have even had a new moon without any weather change. But now meteorologists are telling us that the weather will become more windy and rainy. The photo shows the view from the farm to the guest house on the other side of the bay with the tiny village Dale on Grytøya in the background. Click on the image to see a larger version.


The mild weather continues with southwesterly winds and rain. An opening between the clouds gave us a moment with sunshine and a nice rainbow over the chapel here in Elgsnes. Click on the image to see a larger version.


After very low rainfall in January and till now in February, there were a few snowflakes last night. But the precipitation changed to rain today, so the snow melted away once again. Although one would expect snow covered fields at this time of year, it is nevertheless good to have some rain, because it was so dry now that only a spark could start a big fire.


After the sunset in the afternoon there were beautiful colors on the southwest sky. In the past it was said that a red evening means a good morning. I wonder if it also applies when sunset occurs early in the afternoon? Tomorrow will show. Click on the image to view a larger panoramic version.


After a long period without any percepitation, we finally got some rain. It was now so dry that it was totally forbidden to make a fire outdoor, but more rain is probably needed before the ban can be lifted. Reports of fires on the coast of Trøndelag gives cause for extra caution.


The sun has been shining on Grytlandet for a while now, while Elgsnes which is north facing, still is in shadow. But now iit is only one more day before we once again can see the sun down in Vester-Raten. The premise is that there are no clouds on the southwest sky tomorrow afternoon.


There is little left of the thin layer with snow from four days ago. White is still the main color on the fields, but the grass is more visible. And although the temperature is only four degrees below freezing point, the wind feels cold and nipping.


Wind from northeast made the temperature fall below the freezing point. But it is no help in that when around thirty reindeers are destroying the meadows. Click on the image to see a larger version.


Happy New Year!

2013 has come to an end. During the year, there has been 103,291 visits with 595,889 page views on elgsnes.no. It is 12.3% more visits and 117.0% more page views than in 2012. The average in 2013 was 283 visits and 1,633 pageviews per day. The lowest number of visitors was 28th January with only 30 visitors, while the highest was 23th December with 1437 visits. Thank you to everyone who has followed elgsnes.no in 2013!


Merry Christmas !

There are four days till winter solstice, and without snow on the ground, there is no bright surfaces that can reflect the faint sky light. Therefore, it is only a short periode from the time when the photocell is switching off the road lights till twilight arrives, and the lights turnes on again. Fortunately, the full moon lights up the landscape now when it is needed. Click on the image to see a larger version.


This is not only the blue twighlight season, but when there is a clear sky like today, the northern firmament gets a pink cast, which also provide special colour shades in the landscape. Those who claim that the dark period is black and awkward, should take the time to admire the beautiful colors nature has to offer only at this time of year. Click on the image to see a larger version.


Northern Norway is known for the midnight sun and is about to be known also for the northern lights. But the very special blue light that we have in the dark period, shoule also be marketed. Although we do not appreciate to stumble around in the twilight, people who come from outside, tells us that the light is very special and wonderful. And one thing is shure, the blue light is not volatile as the northern lights, we have it here every day!


Normally this is the most stormy period of the year. But in recent years there has been less November storms than what it used to be some years ago. But today we were reminded of the weather we used to have back in the fifties and sixties. Click on the image to see a larger version.


When it is cloudy like today, the twighlight starts early in the afternoon. The picture to the right was taken at 4 o'clock pm, and then it was already necessary to use a tripod. The landscape in the background is vague because of the darkness, while the foreground is lit by an outside light down by the boathouse.


It is a pale sunshine on the the mountain tops of the island Andøya. But the days are getting shorter, and now it's only about a week left before the sun disappears here in Elgsnes. After that, we can seer the reflections from the mountains around us for a few days. When even that period is over, we can start counting the number of days until the sun returns from under the horizon.


There is still a golden sky over the mountains at twilight time, but the blue is becoming more prominent. This is something that happens every year at this time, independent of the party color of your government. Click on the image to see a larger version.


This is how the weather can be up north: From a fine autumn weather last Sunday to storm mid-week, sunshine and hardly any wind yesterday, and then full winter today. When the picture on the right was taken in the afternoon, it snowed so much that the houses i the background can only be glimpsed through the drifting snow.


This year all agricultural work was delayed because most of May was spent to make the tourist resort ready for the guests. The delay continued throughout the year, so last grass harvesting was made today. It is about time, although we have had a great autumn, we can expect more wintry conditions at any time. At least there will be more rainfall, because there has already been a warning about the risk of flooding.


It is a long time since there was light in all the rooms of the main building in the old trade station Raten. Probably this was in the station's days of prosperity more than 150 years ago. But at that time the light cam from a lamp or a candle. And the only outside light was at that time when the barn lantern was brought across the yard. Click on the image to see a larger version.


It is not easy to be a young seagull and always come up short in the battle for food, either the older gulls are faster and more agile, or they brutally chase the young ones away. So the young seagulls must instead overcome their natural fear of humans and ask nicely for the guts of the fish. The heartbreaker in the picture was therefore served food in the boat, much to the annoyance of the adult gulls that did not dare to come so close. Click on the image to see a larger version.


The sun is ever lower in the sky, and already at half passed three PM the barn made long shadows on the ground. But the weather is still creditable with a maximum temperature today of 15,3 degrees Celsius (59,5 degrees Farenheit).


The cows are enjoying to be out in the sunshine, and eating fresh grass while waving away flies with the tail. They are luckily unavare of the major agricultural political changes that can come as a result of today's election. Although the Conservatives have tried to reassure farmers, the Conservatives and particularly the Progress Party's alternative agricultural budgets of recent years are frightening readings.


When the Hurtigruten ship Richard With was heading over Andfjorden this morning, there was a solid cloud cover. And a rain squall was hiding Andøya on the other side of the fjord. But a hole in the clouds on the southern sky made the ship bathed in sunlight against a dark background. Click on the image to see a larger version.


From the sea Elgsnes looks like a green oasis. And for those entering by road, it must also be beautiful cultural landscape. But there is no guarantee that this will remain in the future. Already in the beginning of September we risk a dramatic shift in agricultural policy that will eventually lead to the closure of large parts of then agriculture in norwegian districts.


The clouds and fog from this morning vanished, and again it was a great day with sunshine. But as usual on a sunny day, the cold wind from the north emerged in the afternoon. Click on the image to view a larger panorama version of Elgsnes.


The drought earlier this summer made the grass withering in mountainous areas. But the bluebells (Campanula rotundifolia) were not damaged, and with the competitors out of the way, they could grow rampant when the rain started.


Yesterday's sunshine and warmth was certainly too much of a good thing, because this morning the mist was covering the landscape right down to the shore. Thanks to sunshine and wind, it clared up in the middle of the day. But tonight we were again covered by thick fog.


It was almost no precipitation today, so the conditions for baling and wrapping round bales were good. With a baling machine that performs both operations, it is a one-man job. This enabled Tore to concentrate on driving bales to storage locations. But even if the baling was finished today, the transport of about a quarter of the bales remains.


Now is the time when the cruise ships come north. In the evening Portuguese registered Ocean Majesty passed Elgsnes. The cruise ship had visited Svolvær earlier in the day and was now heading for Ny Alesund in Sptizbergen. The strange thing is that they took a detour through Tjeldsundet, made a big bow outside Harstad and went out Toppsundet and Andfjorden towards Spitzbergen. The only conceivable explanation for this navigation must be a desire to show tourists the beautiful nature around Toppsundet.


After some days with clouds and rain, the weather changed tonight. It was therefore time to put in place garden furniture outside the tourist house down at Raten. It has taken some time to find something suitable since modern design goes bad with the venerable old house.


Although it has been sunshine from a clear sky throughout the day, a cold wind from the north made it unpleasant to be outside. And the group of anglers who arrived yesterday, has been ashore most of the day. However, the weather forcast had predicted storng wind today, so they went out last night and fished almost till the morning.


The midnight sun is already half way up to it's highest level on the sky. It means that a fourth part of the midnight sun periode is already gone. Click on the image to see a larger version.


The tourists who arrived a week ago, has been exceptionally lucky with the weather. There has been little wind, and sunshine almost every day. And even if they have not got any trophy fish, they expect to fill the quota of 15 kg per person before they leave on Wednesday.


The first group of tourists to the old trade station came tonight. It's a long time since it has been so crowded here, but the trade station got an inn licence from the Danish king already in 1798, so in a way it is an ancient activity that is now resumed.


Tonight the sunset was spectacular. The clouds gave a varied color pattern, and little wind caused more reflection from the sea. Click on the image to see a larger version.


Now it's only three weeks until it is midnight sun again, so the sunsets move day by day more to the north. The image was taken at ten o'clock in the evening as the sun disappears behind the mountains of Andøya. Click on the image to see a larger version.


After four and a half months work, the carpenters are about to finish the job in Normangaarden at Raten. The photo is shoving Krzysztof installing the kitchen furniture. In the kitchen the large surfaces are painted, but in the other rooms it still remains a great deal of painting.


The spring month April starts with storm from northwest. The road has been closed, so neither the carpenters nor the postman arrived. Although the wind calmed down a bit during the day, the forecast tells that low pressures are lining up with new supplies of snow and wind.


Now the sun is high enought over the horizon to melt snow in the middle of the day. And the temperature on the roof of the boathouse was high enought to make the snow slide down.


During the last five days, there have been a total of 32 millimeters of rain. In combination with mild southerly wind, this has given a boost to snow melting. This afternoon all the snow had melted away from the field Storåkeren near the shore. And according to the forecast we will get stormy weather and more rain.


In the project down at Raten a harbour is included. A local company has been working with this for some time now, and today they brought a second excavator here. When two machines are working together, they can be positioned at the same place and only move the stones without moving the excavator back and forth. But even if the machine capacity is on the spot, it is still limited what they get done at high tide.


28th January is the day when the sun is back after two months' absence. But like many times before it is cloudy when we should welcome the sun back. The days are anyway noticeably longer. So when the picture was made at 2:30 this afternoon, it was still possible to do it without using a tripod.


In the year 1700 Denmark/Norway changed to the Gregorian calendar, which corrected the inaccuracy og the Julian calendar. Today is the 20th Christmas day which was old New Year. Tonight the old New Year was celebrated with the Lord's own fireworks, a magnificent aurora borealis that waved over the firmament in different color shades. Unfortunately, it is difficult to reproduce this in a snapshot, but click on the image to see a larger version.


Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas!

Today carpenters from Nilsen & Haukland started the work with internal renovation of Normangaarden at Raten. They began in the biggest room upstairs, called Storsalen, a room which through the centuries has had a changing use from ballroom in the trade station's days of prosperity, dormitory for psychiatric patients in the late 1800's, school in the early 1900's and sewing for the Wehrmacht during the second world war.


Down at the former trade station Raten there is little left of the former greatness. Of the 23 houses in 1838, there are currently only the main building remaining. This building, which dates back to 1723, must have been impressive when it was built. With a base of 131 m2 and two floors it was huge compared to the regular houses at that time. Click here to see the buildings at Raten in 1870.


This morning the landscape had changed to winter coats. So the meteorologists were right this time. There are still things to be done outdoors, so hopefully the long-term weather prognoses with plus degrees and rain are also right.


A windy day. W have had strong gale or storm most of the day, and in the morning it was even violent storm. This evening the wind calmed down a great deal, and towards midnight there was only near gale or gale wind. Meteorologists say the wind will continue to calm down tomorrow, so maybe the worst is over for this time. Click on the picture to see a larger version.


There is currently high solar activity, and electrically charged particles are thrown into space. When the solar wind hits Earth's magnetic field, it is deflected towards the poles. And when the particles hit the gases in the atmosphere, they are lighting up and forming the northern lights, or aurora borealis, around the magnetic north pole and southern lights or aurora australis around the magnetic south pole. The image to the right was taken in this night, and if you click on it, you'll see a larger version.


The autumn has been fine so far, and because of little wind there are still leaves on the trees. So this autumn the leaves are falling, not blowing horizontally off the trees like it usually is here in the north. Click on the image to see a larger version.


Today it is 40 years since the Norwegian people for the first time said no to Norwegian membership in the EC. Endless disasters would happen to the country if the people defied the leaders and voted no. But those experts were wrong, as they were in 1994. For the "outside country" Norway, the situation is good. The same can not be said about some EU countries where people have experienced dramatic reductions of wages and social security, mass lay-offs and extreme unemployment.


The house in the picture was the main building of the old trading station from 1675. The place was known especially for liquor trade, and the ruin in the foreground is what is left of the liquor cellar, which was built of large granite rocks and with lattice in front of the window. People said that what was was built on spirits should perish. And in 1914, there was indeed an end to the trade. Click on the image to see a larger version.


The picture on the right was taken at 8:30 PM. Then it was already quite dark, so a tripod and a cable release was required to take the picture. When darkness falls, the sky is usually much brighter than the landscape. It is therefore almost impossible to get correct exposure of both. Click on the image to see a larger version where more details are visible.


Although it was announced rain, the day dawned with blue skies and sunshine. But in the afternoon, we got wind from the north and rain. Before the the clouds covered the southwest sky, the sun made a nice rainbow. Click on the image to the right to see a larger version with the whole rainbow.


After the grass was cut down at Raten, the foundations of some of the houses that once stood here became visible. Click on the image to the right to see a larger version, and click here to see the buildings of the trade station in 1870.


The evenigs are starting to be dark, especially in cloudy contitions like now. It was therefore time to turn on the lights along the private road. The lights are controlled by a timer that turns them off at night, and a photocell that turns them off during the day, so the time they are on is short. But the the day length is decreasing pretty fast now. Click on the image to see a larger version.


The otter stayed today in the ditch of the local road. When it was possible to take a close-up picture, it must be because the otter is sick or injured. Some marks on the nose seems to indicate that it has been in a fight.


When the sea is smooth as a mirror like today, it's nice to take a trip out on sea. Although one can enjoy the boat life in such days, it is difficult to get fish in this kind og weather.


When a reindeer find out that the grass on the infields tastes better than what can be find in the outlying areas, it can not be stopped by a regular outfield fence. The male reindeer in the picture is in very good conditions, so it obviously knows where to find the good grass. The picture was taken from the porch door while it was eating fresh grass from the field near the house.


Yesterday was the first day of the "dog month". When this old month from pre-Christian times have survived in the folk tradition up to the present time, is probably the reason that there are many weather signs related with this periode. In our time, the phrase "If the dog days start with sunshine, they will end with rain" is the most famous one. Click on the image with heavy rain clouds over Grytøya to see a larger version.


This field will be used as pasture for the cows in the autumn. Therefore, we have started mowing for the silo here. Although it did not rain during the day, the soil is already wet, so it is impossible to prevent some damage of the turf.


The harvesting season has started. This year we are making the round bales before filling the silos with grass, and since we don't have the baling equipment ourselves, a guy came this morning and mowed 13 acres. The weather forecast is good, so the grass will be dry enough to be baled tomorrow. Click on the image to see a larger version.


The predicted rain ended up with just a few raindrops. When precipitation sensor does not register as much as one millimeter, it is little compared with the amount of rain in the southern part of Norway. Throughout the day the sky cleared, and tonight it was even sunshine. Click on the image to see a larger version.


Midsummer celebrations were in Catholic times a memorial feast of John the Baptist's birth. But the celebration goes back to the pre-Christian periode when it was held midsummer sacrifice to heathen Norse gods. The clergy realized that it was impossible to remove the old customs, so they continued with a new content. But the saints were abolished by the Reformation nearly 500 years ago, so there is little left of the Christian content of the day. But we still make a fire at midsummer. Click on the image to see a larger version.


Today it has been sunshine from a cloudless sky, and the temperature reached almost 18 degrees Celsius (64 F). This was all that was needed for many people to find their way to the sandy beach here in Elgsnes. And in the evening many came to see the midnight sun. Click on the image to see a larger version.


This year it is only a minor field that needs calsium to get a higher pH. To avoid waiting for a special wagon, was instead a gritting machine used. Although it is not intended for lime spreading, it seemed to be pretty good also for this kind of use.


Only five days ago there was snow on the fields, but today we had sunshine and 18 degrees Celsius (64 F). This is how the weather can change here in the north. And the marsh marigold is blooming late this year because of the low temperatures we have had till now.


The wind calmed down and turned to southwest. Then one could expect that the precipitation came as rain, but instead it has snowed more than before. The snow disappeared from the fields during the day, but the postman did not come, so the mountain road must have been slippery. Click on the image to the right to see a larger version.


The midnight sun is back. Actually, this happened a couple of nights ago, but it has been cloudy till now. Even if you've seen the midnight sun countless times before, it's special when it's back. And the colors are always most beautiful when the midnight sun is near the horizon in May and July. Click on the image to the right to see a larger version.


The constitution from 1814, which we celebrate the 17th of May, starts like this: "The Kingdom of Norway is a free, independent, indivisible and inalienable Realm." Unfortunately the EEA agreement that we have with the EU is increasingly gnawing out our independence. It has been argued that we need this agreement to trade with the EU. Strange then, that an increasingly part of Norwegian foreign trade is with countries that we have no dependency agreement with. Click on the image to see a larger version.


The day began with sunshine, but when the coastal steamer "Richard With" passed Elgsnes on the way south this morning, the snow started to fall. And even if it melts fairly quickly, there has been constant supplies of new snow throughout the day. Click on the image to see a larger version.


The first blue anemone has had flower buds for a while now, and today one of them opened. It is said that it 's spring when the blue anemone is blooming.


This afternoon the temperature dropped, that precipitation came as sleet and the wind increased to gale from northwest. This was not unexpected, because a stormy period around 1th of May is so common that it has got its own name. Since the reindeers get their calves at this time, the bad weather is called "Reinkalvria". Click on the image to the right to see a larger version.


Although the snow is still covering the fields, it has melted where the road has been cleaned. In the roadside the colt's-foot is blooming. Apart from some garden plants, the colt's-foot has become the earliest spring flowers after it migrated from Harstad a few years ago. Before that marsh marigold was the first spring flowers here in Elgsnes.


The weather is nice, but as long as there is a clear sky in the night, there will also be frost. So it takes a long time before the snow is melting and the frost disappears from the soil. But on the shore, there is already spring. The seagulls and oyster catchers are making noice. And since people have not invaded the beach yet, the eagle is still resting on the outer part of Rateneset. Click on the image to see a larger version.


Today there hasn't been a single cloud on the sky, and the temperature has varied from four degrees below the freezing point at night to about three degrees above in the afternoon. Wind strength has fluctuated between light air and light breeze, so better Easter weather we can't get. Click on the image to the right to see a larger version.


Hopefully yesterday's bad weather will not be back soon. Today we have sunshine from a cloudless sky, and the snow that came yesterday, gives us a traditional white Easter. Click on the image to the right to see a bigger panorama version.


Although there was little snow before the thaw began, there was a lot of ice on the fields. But many degrees above the freezing point, wind and a lot of rain resulted in a speedy melting of snow and ice. On the lower fields there is little snow left.


The coastal route ship Nordstjernen was built in Hamburg in 1956 and has since then sailed a distance of about 7.4 million km corresponding to 185 times around the globe along the equator. On the route between Bergen and Kirkenes, she has passed Elgsnes more than 3000 times. Today it happened for the last time. In the picture, she is on the way out the sound Toppsundet between the islands Hinnøya and Grytøya. Click on the image to see a larger version.


Today the precipitation came as sleet that melted on the ground. The snow is still melting, but not as fast as yesterday. The ice layer on the private road is thawing, so soon it is possibel to walk safely on it.


March is said to be the first month of spring and the start seems to confirm it.Today it has been seven degrees Celsius (45 degrees Farenheit) and the snow is melting. But old people said that March is a snow month, so if the old truths remains unchanged, we can still get a lot of snow.


A beautiful day with almost no wind, and even though it is a thin veil of clouds on the southern sky, the sun shines through. This kind of light gives less contrast between the highlights and the shaddows and is preferable for motives like the one to the right.


Finally we got a real winter this year too. The picture to the right was made between two periodes with snowfall. And today the snow blower was used for the second time this winter to keep the private road open.


The reindeers are here again. This time there are only two male reindeers that are grazing on the fields. Hopefully they are not the vanguard of a larger flock. A few years ago there were over 40 reindeers on the fields in the spring. Then the new sawn lawn looked like it was harrowed.


The picture to the right is taken from the mountain Aunfjellet. Elgsnes is the the peninsula pointing out from the left side. To the right is the island Grytøya, and in the back is Andøya. Click on the image to see a bigger panorama version.


The sun is back, although it currently only can bee seen in a little spot and just for few minutes around 1:20 p.m. But from now it is a short periode till we get sunshine both in the morning and afternoon.


On top of the hill Masterhågen there was once a large burial mound from the early metal age, 4000 - 2000 years ago. It is likely that the stones has been used in construction work at the former trade station nearby, for today only the foundation of the burial mound can be seen in the terrain. Click on the image to see a larger version.


The sunshine is back on the top of the mountains. It is nice to see that the sun is on track, even if it is two weeks until we get the first glimpse of the sun here at Elgsnes - if it is a clear sky to the south.


This day is the end of Christmas. Before year 1700, when we used the Julian calendar, Christmas was now. But from that year Denmark - Norway started to use the Gregorian calendar, and the faults in the Julian calendar was corrected. Click on the image to the right to see a larger version.


Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas!

Although there is a little snow on the fields, this is far from the white Christmas remembered from the childhood. And more rain is expected. Even in old times rain before Christmas was normal, but with deep snow on the ground, the mild weather did not melt all of it. But during the recent years it has become more common that we don't have permanent snow before January.


11th December is said to be the devil's birthday, so what else could be expected than a develish weather. Last night there was a strong wind from northnortheast. This wind is well known and feared by fishermen. Even with today's sophisticated devices meteorologists have problems to warn about the small but intense polar low pressures that create a sudden and powerful wind on the coast. The picture was taken when the wind had calmed down.


Red clouds on the sky to the south reminds us that the sun is behind the horizon somewhere. But still it is two and a half week till winter solstice, and almost 8 weeks until we can see the first sunbeams here in Elgsnes after the dark periode.


It gets darker day by day, and from today the sun is under the horizon day and night. Since it is cloudy, and no snow on the ground, there is daylight only in the middle of the day. When the image was taken around 9:30 this morning, there was still a need for a tripod and cable release because of the long exposure time.


There is an old saying that a red evening means a great morning, while a red morning means a stormy day. The picture was taken at 10 o'clock in the morning, and then all the clouds on the southern sky were red. Click on the image to see a larger panoramic version.


Still there are a few fishermen who get their income from the sea in this area. When the shrimp trawling was stopped, the halibut population increased, and once again fishing halibut can be profitable. But also for Tore, who is fishing for personal use, it was a good catch. 21 cods, 8 coalfishes, 1 pollack and 1 ling was the result of a fishing trip that lasted three and a half hours. Click here to see a picture of his catch.


Incredible weather in the middle of November! A dead calm, a cloudless sky, 11 degrees Celsius (52 degrees Farenheit), and even the last glimps of the sun this year. What better can one do on such a day than fishing?


Last night a strong wind was blowing. It calmed down in the morning, but already at 1 o'clock pm storm clouds came drifting from the west. And throughout the afternoon and evening the wind again increased to gale.


When we hear in the news that it's snowing in Spain, and that the east coast of America is drowning in snow, it is strange that we, who live in the slope of the North Pole, still have green fields and 10 degrees Celsius or 50 degrees Farenheit. To predict the weather has never been easy, and although meteorologists nowdays have sophisticated tools, it is diffucult when the weather systems are changing as rapidly as now.


Once again, there is snow on the peaks of the island Grytøya. Normally white mountain peaks means calmer weather and less precipitation. Hopefully it will be the situation now, because in three days, from 19th to 21th October, we got 32 mm rain, which made it unpleasant to work outdoors. Click on the image to the right to see a larger panoramic version.


14th October was in old time looked upon as the first winter day. But when the ice is melting in the Arctic, we can not expect the weather to be like in ancient times. But the day length is the same, so when the picture was taken at 8 o'clock pm, a tripod, a cable release and a long exposure time was needed to show the details of the landscape. Click on the image to see a larger version.


For the first time this autumn there was snow in the mountains of the island Grytøya on the other siden of the sound Toppsundet. Probalbly this is not the beginning of the winter, but certainly a reminding of cold days to come.


The day started with a little rain. But at approx. 1 o'clock it started to rain so heavily that we had to take the cows in to the cowhouse. One and a half hours later, the picture to the right was taken in sunshine. Like this the weather is changing from one hour to another. Later, even more rain, and totally we got 9 millimeters today.


The good growing conditions this season have resulted in a second harvesting without additional fertilization. Yesterday the first silo was filled for the second time, and still we have fields to be harvested. Today it rained a little, and on Tuesday there is a new moon. So harvesting conditions next week, will probably not be as ideal as they have been till now.


Under today's fishing trip the seagulls got more and more excited as one cod after another ended up in the boat. They were both impatient and importunate, loudly claiming their share of the catch. Click on the image to see a larger version.


The day started with seven millimeters of rainfall. But the afternoon was very nice, with sunshine and no wind. Although the weather was great, and it was a lot of grass on the pasture area, many of the cows apparently were tired of being out. They were lining up by the fence to be let in at least one hour before the time. Click on the image to see a larger version.


After a nice summer, also the autumn starts well. Today it has been sunshine from a cloudless sky, and a maximum temperature of 18,9 degrees Celsius or 66 degrees Farenheit. Click on the image to the right to see a larger panoramic version.


A fishing trip today gave as result 7 cods, 14 coalfishes and 1 mackerel. In particular, the coalfishes were willing to bite, with up to five at the time. Therefore it did not take much time before there was enought dinner for a while. The seagulls seemed to have got enought food too, since they did not fly away from the boat, but just paddled to the side to make sure that they were not hit. Click on the image to see a larger version.


In today's rainy weather, with no people on the beach, a sea eagle landed. It waved the wings to dry them, but with rain in the air and 93 percent relative humidity, it was not much wing drying. But when the eagle discovered the photographer, it left with wet wings. Click on the image to the right to see the eagle flying.


Today it is 50 years since the first chapel here in Elgsnes was consecrated by Bishop Alf Wiig. On the night of 15th July 1982, however, the chapel was put on fire so that it burned down to the ground. It was rebuilt in much the same style as before, but now also with a basement with bathrooms, kitchen and a meeting room. The new chapel was consecrated on 16th May 1985. Tonight there was an anniversary service in the chapel.


Although there was a fresh breeze to strong breeze from the north today, it is seldom that wind from this direction makes damage. However, there is a reason why the boats are gathered on the western side of the harbor. Wind from norhtwest can in fact be heavy here in Elgsnes, and then it's good to have lee behid the skerries where large waves are breaking. Click on the image to see a larger version.


August starts well, with sunshine and 22,6 degrees Celsius (73 degrees Fahrenheit) as maximum temperature. Together with heavy rain a week ago, the sun and the temperature is speeding up the grass growth. And on the sky are only fair-weather clouds.


Today is the first day of the former dog month. It is said that if the dog month starts with sun, it will end with rain. During the day there has been both rain and sunshine, so we might expect changing weather to come. One thing is nevertheless sure: The period of the midnight sun is over for this year. But still the sun can create a spectacular pattern of colors in the clouds on the northern sky from a position under the horizon by midnight. Click on the image to see a larger version.


We get significantly more grass than what is room for in the silos. Therefore, a man with baling equipment came here today and made more than 180 bales from 13 acres. With a round bale machine which is both pressing and wrapping the bales, it is possible for a person to do this all alone. In the background of the picture Tore is harvesting the grass in the old way.


The nice weather is back, but for tomorrow the meteorologists are predicting rain. Pressing of round bales are therefore postponed to next week, when the weather forecast is better.


Today we started the harvesting of the grass. The plan was to start in the middle of last week, but when the technical equipment is 30 years old, it takes some time to get all the moveable parts to work properly. Once you've started, it should not be any unpredictable break before the silo is filled. So now we are crossing fingers and hoping that everything will function even this year.


There was a spectacular view outside Elgsnes tonight. Old people said that the sun is sucking water. Thus one could expect rain in the near future. But the weather radar does not show that there are showers on the way, and meteorologists predict only sunshine and nice weather. So tomorrow we'll see if it is the science or the folk tradition is best to predict the weather. Click on the image to see a larger version.


This afternoon the earth's axis seen from the sun was perpendicular to the ecliptic, so today we had the biggest altitude of the sun this year. From now on we are moving towards winter and darkness, which the photography from this evening already bear witness to. Click on the image to see a larger version.


With the present weather with sunshine from a cloudless sky day after day, there will be many nice midnight sun evenings. Most people who come here to look at the midnight sun, are leaving immediately when midnight has passed. But they are not realizing that the real midnight sun is when the sun is in the north, not when the clock shows 12 PM. The picture to the right was taken about 00:30 AM, and is therefore closer to a midnight sun picture than what visitors are photographing at midnight. Click on the image to see a larger version.


Today the weather has changed to the better, and the danylions (Taraxacum vulgare) are now in full bloom along all the roadsides. The flower looks great now, but later it has a nasty tendency to spread its myriads of flying seeds over the fields. Perhaps this is the reason for the Danes to give the flower the name Devil's Milk Bucket.


Despite the cold weather lately, the wild pansy (Viola tricolor) is blooming.The pansies are known for tolerating cold conditions, and this wild variant is even more hardy than the ones that these days are planted in people's gardens. Click on the image to see a larger version.


Tonight the northern horizon was clear enought to let the midnight sun shine for the first time this year. Click on the image to see a larger version.


Today we took the boat out, and made a short trip out on sea to check that the outboard motor was working well. The image to the right shows Elgsnes with the mountain in the background seen from the sea outside the bay. Click on the picture to see a larger version.


Although there have been no storm, the wind has still been too strong to spread the fertilizer. But this afternoon the wind dropped, and Tore started spreading fertilizer on the area down to the shore.


During the night the sky was clear. So this morning there was frost on the fields. Long before 1th of May became Labour Day, it was called cuckoo day, or gaukdagen in norwegian. This is probably the last memory from the month gaukmánaðr in pre-Christian times. An old weather sign is that if there is frost the three first nights in May, the summer will be cold. So we have to keep an eye on how the next two nights will be!


The blue anemone is blooming now. This flower needs calcareous soil, and since it is mostly acidic soil here in Elgsnes, the plant is not growing in the nature here. The blue anemone is therefore brought here and planted in the garden. And the soil is limed to improve the growing conditions for this beautiful spring flower.


The area on the picture was sown last year, and fortunately it seems that the grass has survived the winter. This area has the most stony ground in the entire property, so it is a relief that we do not need to pick more stones here for a while.


A few days ago we had full winter. But suddenly the weather changed to mild wind and rain. A lot of snow has melted in just a few days, and it seems that this weather will continue. Even though we can expect some setbacks, we can at least hope that this is the beginning of the spring.


The nice winter weather continues, with sun from an almost cloudless sky and little wind. In the middle of the day, it is a nice temperature, but in the night temperature is still getting down to nearly ten degrees below freezing point. Click on the mage to the right to see a larger version.


A few years ago we were very bothered by reindeers coming down to the cultivated area and did damage to the meadow in the spring. It could be over 40 animals at once, and they did not only damage by digging and eating, but just as much by walking on the wet surface. Now there are two reindeers down on the fields, and we fear that it is the beginning of a new reindeer invasion. Click on the image to see a larger version.


Last night it was a great northern lights. The image to the right is showing the northern lights over the mountain tops of Grytøya. Click on the image to see a larger version, and click here to see a radar image showing where it at the moment is possible to see the northern lights.


At 2:30 AM the wind speed was 25.8 m/sec, which is storm according to the Beaufort scale. This is the highest wind speed recorded since we began posting the weather data online about eighteen months ago. When the picture was taken at noon today, the wind had calmed considerably, but the waves were still there. Click on the image to see a larger version, and click here to see a video that was recorded simultaneously.


The image on the right was taken at noon today and shows the sun over the mountain peak. Two days ago, the top edge of the sun reached over the mountain, and already the whole sun is visible. The sun is not nearly as big as it looks in the picture, but the sunlight is so strong that a correct exposure of the sun would have left the surrounding in complete darkness.


The nice weather continues, but even if the sun is shining, the wind is cold. The temperature we have here on the coast, may seem unimpressive to people in interior areas, but the high humidity makes it feel much colder here than in the dry inland air at similar temperatures. Click on the image to see a larger version.


Finally a clear sky, and the sun was shining here at Elgsnes in the morning as well as in the afternoon. But the sun is still too near the horizon to pass over the mountain on the southern side of the farm. The image to the right was taken around two o'clock when the sun was visible between two hillsides.


The temperature is still around the freezing point, but low enought to make the precipitation change from rain to snow. And even though it has not been heavy snowfalls, the drifting snow is blocking the roads. But this is something we handle with adequate equipment. So for us it is strange to see how the snow can paralyze London, Paris and Washington. Click on the picture to the right to see a larger version.


28th of January is the sun day here in Elgsnes, when we can get the first glimpse of the sun after the dark periode. But a clear sky near the southern horizon is needed. And today it is far from that, no matter in what direction you look. At the time when we should have seen the first sunbeams, the weather was as shown in the picture to the right.


The sun is back after the dark periode. So far there is sunshine only on the mountains around us, but day by day the sunbeams will reach bigger parts of the mountain sides. And in 8 days time, there will be sunshine even here at Elgsnes, if the sky is clear that day.


Today, there have been some snow flurries, first from the southwest and later from the north. The temperature has been above the freezing point most of the day, so the snow has come in large flakes. Since the picture to the right was taken without dayligh, shutter speed was long, and the snow flakes therefore look like dashes. Click on the image to see a larger version.


There is a light southerly breeze and a two degrees below the freezing point. During the night we got an extra inch of snow, and when the picture to the right was taken in the middle of the day, it was still overcast, but in the evening the sky was clear. Click on the image to see a panoramic version in a larger format.


Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas !

The light during the polar night is unique. On a clear day like today, the sky is more pink than blue, and the landscape gets a warm hue. The picture shows the shoreline along the horseshoe-shaped bay. In the back you an see the steap mountains on the island Grytøya.


Now it had been snowing so much that the snow blowing machine had to be used for the first time this winter. Although there are little traffic on the private road, it must be kept open, for ourselves, for the postman and for the milktruck.


Yesterday we got more than nine inches of rain and today two inches, so the snow is gone in the lowlands. But it hasn't been many degrees above the frezing point, so on top of the mountains the precipitation came as snow. Therefore the mountains are even whiter than before. Click on the picture to the right to see a larger version.


Even photos taken after it has become quite dark can be nice when using a tripod and cable release. However, it is best to take pictures before it is completely dark, if you don't want a totally black sky. Click on the image to see a larger version.


Three days ago it was full winter. But the image to the right, which was taken today, could have been a summer picture, except for the black forest and snow in the mountains. However, the temperature has already dropped to the freezing point, so there may soon be snow again.


This day has the name Morten's Day from the French bishop and saint Martin of Tours. Today it is only roast goose people associate with the day, although this tradition is not widespread in Norway. The day was also linked to weather prediction. If it is a clear day, it will be a cold winter, and if it rains, the rain will continue until the New Year. Good then that it is cloudy without precipitation today. Click on the picture to the right to see a panoramic version.


As soon as the seagulls realize that you get fish, they stay close to the boat. And when the entrails are thrown overboard, they immediately start fighting for a titbit. Click on the image to see a larger version.


In the past, farmers used to expect snow and cold weather from now on, and therefore they considered full indoor feeding of the livestock from today. If the old saying is still valid, it is good that we finished the ploughing today.


Last night it began snowing, and this morning the roads were white, and the fields were more white than green. Although the first snow normally will melt away, it is nevertheless a warning about the coming winter.


In old time the 14th of October was looked upon as the first winter day. Today the landscape is white down to the shore around us, and the old forecast seems to be right. Only here at Elgsnes we still have green fields.


According to the weather forecast we will get storm from southwest. Southwest wind is not dangerous, but if the wind comes from southsouthwest, it can create powerful tornadoes that more than once have vaulted boats in the bay. Therefore Tore found it safest to bring the boat to the shore.


It is nice weather and good harvesting conditions. Even though we still have hope for a long, dry autumn, it is time to get the rest of the grass in the silo. So today we started this years second mowing of the grass.


In the morning it was drizzle in the air, and the rainbow was visible over Vester-Raten. But it had to be a panoramic image to catch the whole rainbow. Click on the picture to see a larger version.


In contrast to the summer weather, this autumn has been mostly fine. The temperature is almost like in the summer, there is little wind and the sun shines more than normal in September. Usually there will be a stormy period after the forest has turned yellow and before the the mountains turn white. Maybe it will happen also this year.


Tonight Lorian was out fishing in a small boat. It was more exciting than usual because some whales called "springer" jumpet up from the sea around the boat. In the picture two of them are over the water at the same time, but at this time not close to the boat. You can see video of these dolphin type whales here.


September starts with gale from the north and rain. This day was an important red-letter day for the autumn weather. Precipitation this day was looked upon as a sign for a wet autumn, which ensured enough water to grind the grain. 18 millimeters of rain in six hours this morning should therefore forecast a lot of rain during the autumn.


A short fishing trip today resulted in a catch of seven fine cods, four coalfishes and a halibut of about 10 kilograms (22 lbs.). The picture is showing seagulls fighting for the guts. To see a picture of the catch, click here.


The cows have been in during the weekend due to bad weather. After only two days in the cowhouse, they jumped and danced as was it the first time they were out. In the picture to the right, old cows have calmed down and started to eat, while the nearest cow are still running around.


Many farmers are complaining of crop failure this year, but here we had more than 5 hectares (12 acres) left when the silos were filled. The problem has been to get someone to make round bales and weather dry enought to get the work done.


"Anna Rogde" passed today Elgsnes with a lot of people on board. The ship is claimed to be the world's oldest sailing schooner, although it today is using engine power instead of sail propulsion.


Two days with sunshine from a cloudless sky has not been common this summer. Nice weather is particularly gratifying today, which is an old red-letter day. One tradition is that a rainy day today gives rain for four weeks, another that the rain today will give a wet autumn. According to this, it should be nice weather in the coming weeks and months.


The storm today was forecasted. Therefore, we started early with silage cut. Nevertheless, we got only 12 loads in the silo before the weather conditions made it impossible to continue. The wind increased, and the precipitation came as rain, sleet and hail. The weather today reminded me more of an autumn storm than summer. Click on the picturer to the right to see a larger version.


Every second day we have pouring rain or sunshine, and today it has even been more than 20 degrees Celsius (68 F). This spring and early summer we have had an unusually high rainfall, which is visible on Normangaarden at Raten. Normally, the turfed roof should be brown at this time of year, but it is still green and lush.


Since we have summer time, the real midnight sun is at one o'clock AM. The picture to the right was taken at that time last night. Click on the image to see a larger version.


Three elks passed the kitchen window today. But before the camera was in position, two of them disappeared into the forest again. It was just enough time to take a picture of the last one before it also disappeared.


The sun is back after some cloudy days, and the temperature reached today + 13 degrees Celsius (55 F). We can only hope that the nice weather will continue and the sowing can be done before it is harvesting time.


At this time of the year we get a lot of new calfs, and today two calves were born, both of them female. The first one was born this morning, and the calf to the right came this afternoon. So far in June five cows have got calfs, and during the next four weeks, we expect six more.


Despite the low temperatures are bilberries (vaccinium myrtillus) in bloom. But pollination is another story, for there are very few insects to see. Some are flying when the sun is shining, but they are few in numbers.


In contrast to agriculture, there is a big profit in the aquaculture industry. Problems in Chile has created a big demand for Norwegian salmon and trout, which are sold at high prices. The company that has established itself outside Elgsnes, is selling a lot of trout to Russia, which is now one of the most important export markets for norwegian fish.


Grilling season has begun, and today it was sunny and no wind, so it was good conditions for barbecuing down on the sandy shore. The fox has probably been sitting in the forest waiting for the the people to disappear. As soon as the humans had left, it came down to the beach to look for goodies which it from experience know that people leave behind.


After the ground dried up, we had to remove the gravel that was spread over the fields when the flood water made river of the road earlier this spring. When it was done, we got wind and rain. But today it is possible to get the fertilizer out.


We have had a cold spring till now, but suddenly the warmth came. With 21 degrees Celsius or 70 degrees Farenheit, Monica wanted to take a bath in the sea. But two days with more than 20 degrees Celsius is too little to temperate the Arctic Ocean. So her swimming was maybe refreshing, but definitely cold.


Now it is only about a week until we can see the midnight sun again, but the sunsets are already spectacular, even if this happens at 11 PM. The picture to the right shows the sun just before it disappears behind the clouds out at sea.


During the night we had no frost, which is important for melting of the snow. Therefore the landscape is noticeably more vernal today. But there are a lot of frost in the soil, and most of the culverts are still frozen. So it will take some time till the fields will change colour from brown to green.


Today it is snowing again. When the picture to the right was taken this morning, the fields were not yet covered with snow, but in the end of the day the snow depth was approximately 8 inches - despite the fact that the snow was wet and heavy, and therefore compressed.


The wild goose is back, and as years before it is grazing down at the field Storaakeren. Although the grass has not yet begun to grow, there is grass from last autumn that is still green, and the goose is eating this as long as it can't find anything better. Grazing geese is a problem for farmers in many places along the coast. Here in Elgsnes only a couple or two stops during the spring.


The snowmelting has caused damage to the public road. The ice was not removed from the ditches and the culverts were not opened by steam in advance, so this had to happen. Last weekend we alarmed those responsible for the roads, but they could not come then. The people from the municipality administration will hopefully take a look at the conditions during this week. Meanwhile, the road has turned into a riverbed.


Tonight, the entire sun is visible between the mountain Kinnaksla on Hinnøya to the left and Bjørnskinnaksla on Andøya to the right. In the passed, when the sun's position over the mountains was used as a watch, people here at Elgsnes knew that now it was seven o'clock pm. With summer time and a little more precise measurements, we know that it is ten minutes past eight. Click on the image to see a larger version.


So far it seems to be a dream Easter. The picture is taken from the mountain Aunfjellet and shows from the left the peninsula Elgsnes. In the background is the island Andøya, and to the right is the island Grytøya. In the shadow of the mountain we can see the farms in Aun.


In the past this day was looked upon as an important day for the coming weather. The weather of this day will, according to the tradition, continue for the coming six or seven weeks.


Today is the spring equinox. It means that day and night have equal length all over the globe. From now on, the day length will increase with the latitude in the Northern Hemisphere and decrease with the latitude in the south. The bright nights are on the way, but where is the sign of spring?


Today it has been snowing and blowing. The image to the right is taken from the doorway of the barn, as it was not advisable to take the camera out into the snow.


Last night the wind started blowing. During the night the wind increased, and early this morning the wind gauge showed strong gale. It is actually for the first time this winter. All day the strength of the wind has been between near gale and gale, but the air pressure is rising, so tomorrow we can expect less wind.


The sun is now up long enought in the afternoon to shine on the northwest side of the boathouse. With sunshine, almost no wind and only 3 or 4 degrees below the freezing point, the winter is the way we want. And now, in the end of February, there is reason to believe that the coldest part of winter is finished.


The fox in the picture looks out over the sea hoping that something eatable will drift to the shore, because at this time of year it is not easy to find food. But this day has the name "Peder stol", or originally the latin name Petrus Catedratus. According to an old legend, St. Peter on this day is throwing hot stones into the water to start the melting process. So from now on we should get milder days - for the benefit of both people and animals.


Clouds filled with snow have been lined up out in the fjord today. In the photo, another one is coming. Even though the wind is not strong, the waves are pretty big caused by strong wind off the coast. The waves are mixing mall particles from the sandy beach with the nearby water, which makes it look much lighter than the sea behind.


Finally a winter image from Elgsnes. And this time we hope the snow remains longer than a month ago, when it rained away after only three days. Normally, February and March are snow months, but what was usual some years ago, gives little indication of what the weather will be like when Spitzbergen has higher temperature than Oslo, and Washington DC is drowning in snow.


This is the fourth day this year that the sun could possibly be seen here at Elgsnes. Today is the first day without clouds on the southern sky, so at 01:20 PM we could welcome the sun back after two months under the horizon.


In the background of the picture you can see the mountains of the island Andøya to the right and the mountains of the western part Hinnøya to the left. Here from Elgsnes to the other side of the fjord is less than 15 km or 9,3 miles in linear distance. By road, the distance is 190 km or 118 miles. By taking a ferry, the distance can be reduced to 130 km or 80 miles. This illustrates the big difference between linear distance and distance along the road, when the land is devided by deep fjords.


The sun is shining in the mountains again after the dark periode, and day by day it gets higher on the firmament. In two weeks time, if there are no clouds on the southern part of the sky, it is possible to see the first sunbeams also here in Elgsnes.


After two days with snow, we got wind from southwest, and once again rain. It is good that the snow is wet, because this will prevent it from moving around when the wind is blowing. On the other hand, the mild periode should either be short, or it should last till all the snow and ice has melted away. Something in between can cause ice on the fields and damage the grass.


Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas!
Click on the image to
see a larger version

Last night the wind turned northerly, and the precipitation changed to sleet and snow. Although we didn't get more snow than about a centimerter, it was sufficient to give the landscape a wintery character. This is just the right amount of snow: Sufficient to make the polar night less dark, but not so much that I need to start cleaning the road.


No more berries, and even if the snow has not arrived, it is less food for the wild birds. Good that there are friendly souls who think of them now in the Advent periode. The great titmouse is enjoying a mixture of animal fat and seed.


A remarkable December, with lasting dry weather and low breeze from south. The second week of Advent has started, but there are few signs of winter. The fields are still green, and snow is found only on mountain tops.


There are still fishing boats on the fjord, although it has become few in number. Transferable fishing quotas and closure of local fish processing industry has, among other reasons, caused this reduction. At the same time the small boats have become more advanced and efficient. Click on the image to see a larger version.


Today there were beautiful colors on the south sky. The color is red because the sun is shining on the clouds from a position near the horizon. Therefore the sunbeams are passing through a lot of atmosphere, in which the short waved blue light is spread. The long waved red and yellow light reaches the clouds, which get those colours.


Here at Elgsnes the sun disappeared a week ago, but it is still shining on the island Grytøya. In the picture to the right the shadow of the mountanin Elgen is visible. Theoretically, there are still 11 days before the sun disappears below the horizon, but it is gone before that even on the other side of the sound.


The periode with sunshine has ended, and soon we will enter the polar night. The photo cell is switching on the road lights around three o'clock in the afternoon. So it was necessary to use a tripode to get a sharp photography to the right.


The red campion (melandrium rubrum) is still blooming, even though the flower is more rumpled than during the first flowering in May. When a plant, which in the past was blooming in the end of June, now is in flower for six months, this must be a sign of climate changes. The rising of sea level is also easy to see by high tide, even for an amateur. So hopefully the climate conference in Copenhagen will give some results.


In the afternoon there was beautiful colors on the southwestern sky after the sunset. Although there has been less colours in nature, we are now entering a period when the sky light is constantly changing in color and intensity. So there will still be many exciting scenes if you are in the right place at the right time.


Tore went out fishing for two and a half hours this afternoon. He got 19 cods and four small coalfish. The catch is shown in the image to the right. To avoid the small fish, large hooks were used. But even though the small coalfishes were not able to bite over the angle, they were still caught. If the angles had been smaller, the number of coalfish would have been multiplied.


The sea eagle (Haliaeëtus albicilla) is our biggest bird of prey, with a wingspan up to 2.4 meters or almost 8 feet. The sea eagle can be up to fifty years old, and from the time it becomes sexually mature and establish territory, it will stay in the same area most of the time. The young birds are moving more around.


The temperature increase continued today, and was on the highest +12,6 degrees Celsius or 54,7 degrees Farenheit. The picture to the right makes us think of summer, with green fields and rainbow. Only the long shadows from the houses reveals that it is late autumn, with the polar night ahead.


Hail showers last night turned into snow flurries this morning. However, the temperature is still over the freezing point, so the snow melted quickly on the fields. Only the roads were coloured white. But throughout the day the precipitation came as sleet and rain, and then the snow melted even there.


Finally a day with sunshine and nice weather. When the sun is shining, the autumn colors are even more beautiful. On the hill in the background there are aspen, birch and rowan, so therefore the colors and nuances of the trees are different.


According to Genesis the Lord put the rainbow in the clouds to remember his promise not to destroy all life with rain and flooding any more. We have now got enought rain for a while. So even though meteorologists predict more rain, it is still a hope that the rainbow has an effect on a forgetful God.


And broad-leaved trees went yellow
and starlings moved south.
And peaks were coloured white
like all the years before.

From the poem "Short summer" by Helge Stangnes.


Rain earlier this week, 9 millimeters of rain yesterday and 6 millimeters this morning has saturated the soil with water. So just a few more millimeters makes small streams of water on our private road. Anyway, tonight it seems that both the wind and rain is decreasing.


Yesterday's pouring rain caused that the cows were taken early in from the pasture. But today they can enjoy the sunshine. Actually, cows prefere a somewhat autumnal temperature. As long as there is no rain and wind, they have a good time even if humans find it cold.


When it is cloudy as it is now, it becomes quite dark before midnight. We have therefore turned on the road lights, among them a light down by the boathouse. The lights are controlled by a photo cell and a timer. Thus, they are turned off both in daylight, and six and a half hours during the night.


Rainfall during the latest days has caused the meadows to change colour from yellow to green. For most of the fields this is too late to get more grass for harvesting, but the farm landscape is certainly more beautiful as it is now.


Today Håkon began digging trenches for electrisity and sewer to the house he is going to build. Here he is trying to get a big stone up from the ditch, while his girlfriend Monica and archaeologist Ragnhild Myrstad from the county cultural administration are watching.


In Rateskogen near the farm, the trees have got the autumn colour. This is caused by the extremely dry summer and the thin soil layer in this area. So the yellow trees is not a sign of an early fall.


Lately it has been a lot of people down on the beach. This is understandable, with sunshine from a cloudless sky, almost no wind and approximately 25 degrees Celsius (77F). The sea temperature is 17 degrees Celsius (63F), so the bathing nymphs have fun playing in the water. The barometer shows high pressure, and the meteorolgists are telling us that this nice weather will last.


A Sunday with sunshine from almost clear sky, almost calm and 24 degrees Celsius (75F). It was a lot of people down on the beach, but in such weather it is even better out on sea. The picture shows Elgsnes from the seaside.


The last load is filled in the second silo. So the silo harvesting has come to an end. The persons in the picture are from the left Tore, Hugo-André and Lorian.


For the first time this year, it was possible to take a picture of the midnight sun when the sea was calm. Until now it has been windy, and the reflection from the sea has been vague. Click on the picture to see a larger version.


Since the beginning of June, we have only had two heavy showers. In addition to this, there has been almost constantly a strong wind from north, so the fields are very dry. The picture is from an area where the grass started to fade. So we had to change the harvesting order to gather in the grass before it was too late.


This evening we started mowing the grass in two fields. This will be baled and wrapped. On Monday, it is planned that we will start the silo harvest.


The cowberry (vaccinium vitis-idaea) is in flower now. It prefers moist and acidic soil, is hardy, but does not like hot summers. The cowberry is used as boiled or stirred jam, and is common as an accessory to venison. The fruit contains organic acids, vitamin C, vitamin A, B-vitamins and potassium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. In addition, cowberry also contains chemical substances which is believed to counteract urine infections. From old times cowberry has therefore been used as a medical plant.


It has been wind from north for a long periode now, but when a sailboat is passing by, it is suddenly a dead calm. This was apparently people who wanted to travel on sea in the old way, but after a while the sails were lowered and the engine started. In this way they reached their destination.


Because of the international financial crisis, less tourists from abroad come to Norway. But cruiseships are still sailing in the norwegian fjords. Today one of them passed by.


At last the wild pansy (viola tricolor) is flowering. This is approximately two weeks later than normal. But May was cold and wet, and although it has been just a little rain the last week, the wind from the north is still cold.


Tonight we had a short periode with sunshine between the showers. At the same time some goosanders came to the shore. This made it possible to make the photo to the right.


After yesterday's rain, we got strong wind. The soil dried, and we could continue to work on the tilled field. The area is now prepared for adding of lime and manure.


19th May is the first possibility to see the midnight sun here at Elgsnes. Most of the years there are clouds along the northern horizon at this time. So it can take several days before we can see the mindnight sun. But tonight it was possible to welcome the midnight sun already the first time it was over the horizon by midnight. To see a bigger version, click on the picture.


The 17th of May is our constitutional day, and in Norway it is normal with processions. Since there are only 3 persons living in Elgsnes, and among them only one norwegian citizen, there was no procession today. But we ran up the norwegian flag on 3 flagstaffs. Click on the picture to see a bigger version.


The bog-rosemary (Andromeda polifolia) is soon flowering in the peatbog on the western side of the peninsula. In the bog-rosemary we find the poisonous substance andromedotoxin, which can be used in a medical way. But since this is a strong poison, it is too risky to be used as herb medicine.


The fields are now dry enought to drive on with a tractor. The first job to be done is spreading the fertilizer. Normally this work is finished before the 17th of May, and we suppose this will be the situation also this year.


The time for beautiful sunsets has started. When the sea is calm like tonight, and gilded by the reflection from the sky, the sunset is even more spectacular. And now it is only 3 weeks till the midnight sun is back.


One week ago the fields were green. But at 69 degrees north the weather can change quickly. So today's picture shows a winter landscape. And it is still snowing in the mountains in the background.


The graylag goose is on it's way northward. They take a rest and eat before they continue to their destination. In Norway, the number of greylag geese is estimated to have increased a lot in the last years. As a consequence, farmers' problems caused by goose grazing on farmland has increased considerably. Till now this has not been a problem here in Elgsnes.


Witch's broom on birches is caused by a fungus with the latin name Taphrina betulina that makes the hormone cytokinin. This cause the uncontrolled growth. In old days, people belived this was connected to witchcraft, and they gave it the name witch's broom.


In the beginning of the day, we had nice weather with sunshine from a cloudless sky. But later in the day, it became cloudy again. And according to the weather forecast, the sunny days have come to an end.


Today we saw the oyster catcher for the first time this year. This kind of bird leaves northern Norway in the autumn and is back in the early spring. For some years now, a couple have had their nest on a roof where they have been protected from the fox. But today this oyster catcher was alone, so it might have lost it's mate.


Once again a sunny day. The beach looks nice, but the temperature will keep the people away for some more months.


Another nice day, but according to the meteorologist the period with sunshine from a cloudless sky soon will come to an end. Anyway - we have had some great days at the same time as the media in the capital have been complaining about weather in the south of Norway. But this is normal: Bad weather in the south means nice weather here - and vice versa.


The picture to the right was taken before we cleaned the road between the houses on the farm. A dead calm, no footprints except for those made by a hare passing by early in the morning.


Yesterday it was snowing. But today the wind turned to southwest, and we got mild weather with rain and slippery roads. In old times, when chair sledge was used for transportation, slippery roads were an advantage. But after the car took over the transportation, roads like this is not only a disadvantage, but simply a danger to traffic safety.


Finally a calm day, snow on the fields and sunshine from a clear sky. As you can see, the sun is still near the horizon, but it gets higher and higher day by day. Approximately one week from now the sun will pass over the mountain Elgen, and we will have sunshine from sunrise to sunset.


In the morning the sun was shining here at Elgsnes. After a short periode it disappeared again behind the mountain Elgen. When the sun was supposed to show up aganin on the western side of the mountain, the clouds covered the sky.


Today the temperature was almost +8 degrees Celsius (46 F). So the snow melted away, and again we have green fields here at Elgsnes. But only 2 miles away, in the background of the picture, there is snow down to sea level.


The sun is shining on the mountains of Grytøya both in the morning and in the afternoon. Only in the middle of the day it is covered by the mountain Elgen which also makes the shaddow here at Elgsnes.


Today the sun is shining on the city hall for the first time this year, so this is the municipality's official day for celebrating that the sun is back after the dark periode. Here at Elgsnes we have mountains on the south side, so we have to wait till 28th of January to see the sun again.


Along the seaside we have made a stone barrier as protection against the waves. But now the tide is extremely high, and there is a strong wind from the north, so the waves reach the cultivated area inside the barrier.


Dark clouds are coming from the north. They are so dark that one could think they are thunder clouds, but the colour indicates only that they are filled with moisture which will fall down as snow when the clouds reach land.


Happy New Year!