I started wondering today, where has all the time gone between our arrival and today. Well this is how we spent the 3 days:
We drove in total about 1000 km, of which 674 km yesterday. We crossed the border between Finland and Norway in total 4 times, of which 3 yesterday, and drove along the Norwegian-Russian border for a while. We have counted 107 Epirrita and Operophtera adults flying in front of our car, and yesterday evening saw many sitting outside on the Kilpisjärvi station walls.
Luckily not all the time has gone by sitting in the car. On our second day at the Kevo station, we sampled our transect in Nuorgam. During the summer, we found quite many Operophtera– larvae feeding on whatever was green on the trees in Nuorgam, that have suffered from defoliation of the same species already for a couple of years. Despite the weather being on our side with mild warm breeze and not too much rain, we only saw one or two Operophtera– males flying. However, on our way back to the station, we counted 100 Operophtera and Epirrita– adults flying in front of our car headlights despite heavy rain!
The next morning it was time to leave the Kevo station and head towards our sampling site in Neiden and BioForsk research station in Svanhovd. We both remembered our last time in Neiden when it was only +3 degrees Celsius, rain and wind from the north, and were just hoping for a slightly better weather this time. At first it didn’t look promising, with variable amounts of rain falling from the sky, but as if by miracle, the sky cleared up just when we were approaching our sampling transect. The good feeling got even better then when we saw one Operophtera flying on our way up. In total, our catch from this site was 7 and we even had more time now to appreciate the magnificent view over Federsmyra without freezing to death! In the evening we got to enjoy the good food and hospitality of Svanhovd station.
After a good night’s sleep, it was time for a long drive from the east coast of Norway to the western boarder of Finland. The weather was, again, on our side when the light rain ceased around noon and the roads were in good condition. The sun was even shining brightly in the evening, and when arriving to Kilpisjärvi, the setting sun coloured the fjäll Saana flaming red. It was magnificent. We got our energy reserves filled up with tasty dinner at the station and finished the evening with an Epirrita photo session. You could find suitable photo targets almost anywhere you looked, they were so many.
P.s. Pictures coming later…