Summer solstice

This weekend brought the longest days of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, and we even got blessed with fantastic summer weather.

Evening in the Norwegian mountains

In the far north, these are the days of the splendid midnight sun, a stunning sun that stays in the sky for days in a row.

Setting sun above Lake Törnetrask, Abisko

This midnight sun truly brings in a surrealistic experience. You can see the sun slowly approaching the mountains on the horizon around midnight, covering the world in an orange-yellow glow, only to see it rise again moments afterwards.

Rhinanthus flower

These are good times for the Arctic plant life, because they can profit of 24 undisturbed hours of sunshine. This is however no unnecessary luxury, because the growing season is dangerously short up here. The long days are the only thing allowing them to grow a few centimeters every year.

Midsummernight sun in Lapland

Sunlight will however come from all directions during the day, and the sun will never rise high above the horizon. The result is a variety of microhabitats with different temperatures and light availability, all more or less suitable for different species.

Törnetrask lake with midsummer night sun

When we go to Sweden for our field trip in July, we will still have days of 24 hours for a while. When going back at the end of August, the dark winter is again on its way, so the midnight sun will have to give way again to the northern light.

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