Lappilainen jänkämaisema helmikuisessa lumisatheessa

Lapland's landscape in a February snowstorm

Every time you work, you can hear the same quiet whining from the skis, whether plastic rubs against plastic, or the sound is the meowing of a kitten.
I used to have the same traditional metal back shoe grips, but with the new skis, the plastic ones came out and they stay on very well. They have a name, but I can't remember it now.

Jänkä landscape in the February snowfall; small, awkward-looking pine saplings and willow branches visible under the snow and indented by a ditch in the forest. Rännän's mixed saw makes the edge of the forest a hazy and indistinct dark strip against the gray sky.

Somewhere, not so far from here, families break up, some maybe forever. Fathers hug their children and wife Rajala and turn towards the battlefield.

I try to banish those images and remember that I'm in Finnish Lapland and I'm skiing on some nameless Jänkälä along Hangasoja.
The otter has made its own way, I'm following it. The trail traces the melting point of the rivulet, the same hollow of the thin snow roof. Elukka is barely visible, although the tracks seem to be from this morning. I wait a little while, but that sympathetic fish-eater stays out of sight.

"The country is foreign and the spring is cold. Natalia is freezing you..."

Värssy grinds awkwardly, earless, the face of young Sinikka Soka visible in his eyes. Elvi Sinervo, I guess, can't guess where his poem got a new lease on life, whether he wrote those stanzas inspired by his fellow Ukrainian prisoner in safe custody.

Snowshoe feeds on silence.

The snow carries forest skis quite well, only a few times it dips deeper. I cross the ditch and soon I'm in a dense mixed forest, where I have to meander between the trees. I turn behind you to a wider ditch arm and ski along its side. The fox tracks go in the same direction.

Riekko starts a few meters away. It leaves silently, only the willow sparrow is left swinging. The grouse, which carries the protective color of winter, stands out whiter, even with the snow on its underside and the gray sky. Connects low, turns and disappears somewhere.
That beautiful White Bird.

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