After a couple of rainy and snowy days, the weather is turning. Today will be sunny so I drove to Måns-Erstjärnen, which is one of my favourite places. But I’ve never walked all the way around it and today was the day to do it. Twice, as it turned out.

Anyway, when I arrived at the location, some clouds had moved in so it wasn’t as sunny as hoped for. But I didn’t have any plan B so I started walking. Initially I followed the water, which was not so smart – the wind was breaking up the water and with the dull light, there was nothing to shoot anyway. Then when I arrived at the far side of the lake, the clouds finally parted and I got the light. Which was just perfect, because by now I had discovered that the real photo ops were on the ridge which surrounds the lake so the wind wasn’t an issue. From the ridges at the far end, there’s a view in every direction – Skarsfjället, Mittåkläppen and Stor-Axhögen in the west, and Anåkroken and Ånnfjället in the east. In fact, the view of Ånnfjället is just about the best you can find here. It was just stunning to look at, but a lot harder to shoot because it was morning which meant that the mountain was more or less backlit.

Backlit scenery in the morning

So I walked around the lake and didn’t get a lot of pictures, but I was overwhelmed with the potential. I had no option – I just had to walk around the lake again in the afternoon. So I drove to Funäsdalen and had a big lunch and wasted some time until it was mid-afternoon, and drove back to Måns-Erstjärnen. And would you believe, the same thing happened as in the morning – clouds. Or in fact, just one cloud. I would estimate that the sky was 70% blue but all it takes is one big cloud which keeps morphing itself in front of the sun instead of moving away. When I reached the far end of the lake, I decided to wait it out. I just couldn’t give up now… and it didn’t take so very long until I finally had the light again and this is where the fun started!

I thought it would be a windy day!

I was even more amazed when I noticed that the wind had died down to a point that the lake offered me a clear reflection of Ånnfjället. I managed to get a shot of it while the water was almost dead calm but by the time I had set up the tripod in order to take frames for a stitched panorama, the wind had picked up a little bit. But I was still surprised – this was supposed to be a week when it’s very windy all the time…

What a place! It’s only a 6-7 km hike around the lake and apart from a short stretch it provides good photo opportunities, especially in calm weather when you can use the water in the compositions. It will be worth doing in the summer as well, even with all the mosquitoes!

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