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Permafrost, sled dogs and winter

September 8, 2010

Brrrrrrr! The weather forecast was spot-on yesterday, predicting that last night would be the first dipping below 0°C since before the summer. Autumn doesn’t seem to last very long here, at least not in the eyes of a soft European!

We still have a few wheatears around the place, but only a handful. Getting the remaining few onto one of the feeders is proving rather difficult. Meanwhile, a raven has discovered Feeder 1, daintily picking up dried mealworms with its enormous beak (see below).

Yesterday we had a change of scenery, accompanying Outi and two of her sled dogs to a permafrost monitoring plot. Measuring the depth of the permafrost entails sticking a long and thin metal ruler into the ground and writing the number down on a sheet – trusty low-tech kind of science. The dogs had a great time and must have covered at least five times the amount of ground we did, running backwards and forwards all the way there and all the way back. The puppy, Lumi (a Finnish word for snow), was one tired little dog by the time we got back! Our whale sightings are not completely over afterall, as four fin whales were out feeding in the bay.

Raven eating from feeder

Raven at feeder

Measuring permafrost

Measuring permafrost

Measuring permafrost

Reading the measurement, with some canine help (pic by Ruth Lovell)

Dog

Susi (Finnish for wolf)

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