The beauty of the nature never stops fascinating me, especially with focus on the natural elements: air, water, soil and of course fire. When you combine all four, to me; one are close to nirvana. I had series of quality times together with my wife the last week of 2008, including our New Year celebration in our vacation home in Mariestad, Sweden and one in particular, I would like to share with you. We went to the local beach around 4PM, to watch the sun set and this was the scenery which greeted us:

Red Sky on Scandinavian Beach #4

Along the shore of lake Vänern (the largest in Northern Europe – ) it was frozen and the sun made a spectacular image in the sky and mirrored it on the icy surface. This skies on fire phenomena occurs as sunlight passes through the thick layer of air at sunset, since the shorter wavelength portions of sunlight are absorbed or scattered away. This leaves the longer, deeper penetrating wavelengths to pass through the atmosphere – these are the red, orange and yellow wavelengths. It happens all over the world of course, but more regularly at the northern hemisphere around winter solstice, when then the sun is furthest away. You might have heard the good, old weather saying too: “Red sky at night; sailor’s delightRed sky in the morning; sailor take warning.”

So let me share some more of this Scandinavian, Winter Wonder Land beauty with you (all pics are taken with my Nikon S2 – click to enlarge and enjoy):
Red Sky on Scandinavian Beach #2 Red Sky on Scandinavian Beach #5

Two hours later (around 6PM), it was even more mysterious:
Red Sky on Scandinavian Beach #9 Red Sky on Scandinavian Beach #10

Another interesting phenomenon about the Nordic countries, and one of the main subjects on my blog, is the significant four seasons. I mean, when these pics was taken, it was around -10C (14F) and if you aren’t dressed properly, you’ll freeze your butt off. However in 6 months, people get rid of almost all cloths (yea, topless is quite normal) and have great fun, swimming in the lake in the temperature around 20C (68). Let me give you an example:
Red Sky on Scandinavian Beach #1 Ekodden Beach #8Left: Januar the 1st 2009 – Right: July the 15th 2006.

Whatever the time of year it is most important to take advantage of the beautiful nature all around us. When the daytime is short it is especially important to get out when it is still light out and you appreciate the daylight much more. In the summer when the sun stays up until almost midnight where we live, then you look forward to late August when you can finally see the stars again. One thing is for sure, the beaches and sunsets are just as beautiful both winter and summer and each season has its own mystical charm. Hope you are taking advantage of the beauty where you live. Stop in and tell us about it here!



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