Goodbye winter, hello spring!

All leaves have fallen from the trees. Fields and roads are covered by snow. Almost all water is frozen; lakes, rivers and even the Baltic Sea. Birds migrate to the South and other animals are in hibernation, sleeping for months. Days are short and the long, dark nights are sometimes lit by Northern lights. That is winter here in Oulu – for me.

Then, at some point, the river ice starts to melt. The water is getting stronger, washing away big blocks of ice. The silence is broken and from far away one can hear water rushing down rapids. After months of white everywhere, it is a powerful experience, to both ears and eyes. That’s when spring has arrived – for me.

Copyright: Thomas Kast

Ice blocks surrounded by rapids, Koitelinkoski.

Yes, spring is finally here. A few weeks back we still had about half a meter of snow. All melted away within a few days of rain and temperatures of +10C and more. Shortly after that, the ice layers of the many rivers started to break free. The strong current pushed ice blocks out of the riverbed and along narrow points, ice damns built up quickly causing floods.

Copyright: Thomas Kast

Ice block at Koitelinkoski

Last weekend a friend and I visited Koitelinkoski, a place not far from Oulu. Small islands and rapids lay here in the river Kiiminkijoki. It is always beautiful but at this time of the year, it’s a breathtaking sight. So much water everywhere and ice blocks sitting on rocks. On top of that, slow sunsets and bright nights make great light for many hours.

Copyright: Thomas Kast

Enjoying the fantastic view at Koitelinkoski

If you ever have a chance to visit Koitelinkoski, go there for a picnic and grill some sausages over an open fire. And hey, don’t forget your camera.


Quick tip: If you want to get photos with silky smooth water, bring your tripod. The longer your exposure time is, the smoother the water will be. Choose smallest ISO and smallest aperture possible (highest f-number), then adjust the exposure time until you’re happy with the photo.

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