Too much light

I probably shouldn’t say this but I’m getting fed up with the sunshine. I’m one of those people who can’t wait, so I get up early and go on my excursions despite the harsh light. It’s actually not always so bad with flowers, because it can really bring out the colours… but it also creates a shadow/highlight mess that is hard to control. And let’s not even mention landscape photography, even if the clear blue sky is like made for a tourist brochure. So anyway, I’m out there, walking all day, and then in the evening when the light is at its best, I’m too tired to care. And it doesn’t help that the sun sets at 11pm over here – that’s past my bedtime in any case! I do like my sleep, 8 hours thank you very much.

So, give me overcast weather, any time. The diffused light is great for flowers all day, it’s normally cooler than on sunny days, and you don’t have to suffer from guilty conscience in the evening when you just want to sit down with a cup of tea. Overcast is not ideal for landscapes (unless you want to photograph waterfalls, which I like), but you can’t have everything. Given the choice, I’ll take the flowers.

The reason I’m bringing this topic up now is that it has been incredibly sunny in the past days. Sunny and warm. No good for me.

* * *

When I was out on Hamrafjället again this morning, I found out that what felt early in the season in the open meadows was the high season in the forest. The flowers were really on the go, and the tall plants dominate – which I found a bit uninteresting, actually. After a while I noticed that I didn’t really even look around anymore, my mind was wandering off so I turned back and went back to the hostel for lunch and to spend the noon light indoors.

* * *

Now that the Funäsdalsfjället alpine skiing area is growing, they have installed a new lift to cater for the new slopes. They keep this lift open in the summer, so I took a late ride up (the lift closes at 4pm)… he said that they have some power supply problems so the lift keeps stopping, and so it did. There we were, merrily swinging some 20m above the rocks, and then up a bit, and a sudden stop, and more swinging. So you get a semi-fairground ride for the price.

View from Funäsdalsberget (I’m standing on ridge #5, and you can see #6 on the left)

The Funäsdalsberget mountain has a bit lumpy profile, making it easy to distinguish even from a distance. Once you are up there, you find that the top of the mountain is somewhat flat, with six ridges running parallel. The lift takes you to the first ridge (obviously), with the cabin on your left and the ridge running to the right, this is where the actual peak of the mountain is. Then between ridges #2 and #3 there’s a larger valley with a small tarn, otherwise the valleys are too small to be seen in anything but the most detailed maps. When you’re looking for the best composition, these ridges play a big role. You’re standing there on ridge #1 and figure out that you’d get a better angle from ridge #2. So you get there, only to discover that ridge #3 is now blocking the view. So you go one ridge further, and guess what? I finally stopped at ridge #5 and took my pictures.

Since the lift had stopped operating way since, the only way down was by foot. No biggie, I had figured, except the service road didn’t quite take the turns I had expected it to. So I decided for a shortcut – the shortest distance between two points is always a straight line. Straight down, in this case. I found myself slipping and sliding on the gravel, marvelling at the mountain bike downhill track during my precarious descent. The track seemed downright suicidal at places… I would burn out the brakes in no time flat! As it was now, I was only burning out my leg muscles from all the strain of fighting against gravity so I wouldn’t go down all too fast and uncontrolled. But it was fine, other than that my legs wanted to call it a day so it was a relief to see a veil of cloud to make sunset a non-event, thus sparing me from hiking up (and down) yet another mountain in search of the good light.

Mine is a cup of tea, thanks.

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