We’ve made our way from Stockholm to the far northern limit of Sweden to Abisko national park, where even the pines have dwindled to non-existence and the surviving birch trees are dwarfed. The mountains still have quite a bit of snow, and spring flowers are just making their appearances. It’s the time of the summer solstice, with 24 hours of light, and midnight hiking is popular. The scene outside my cabin at Abisko Turistation looks like this.
Lake (very long Swedish name) in Abisko national park
Rushing rivers empty into the lake. This one comes through a tunnel in the rock created for the train track so they wouldn’t have to build a bridge over a waterfall.
Beautiful hiking trails from our cabin down to the lake through the elfin forest. Birch trees look to be about 12-15 feet tall.
The bedrock (granite) is very close to the surface, making plant life challenging. The rocks have been colonized by heather, moss, and an unidentifiable shrub, along with horsetails, and lichen.
A carpet of moss and lichen cover the rocks here. When I press down on it, it feels spongy and moist. This is prime reindeer forage in the winter.
It’s strange to see 8 inch tall horsetails plants just leafing out. In Minnesota these prehistoric relics grow 3-4 feet tall, and form dense clumps along waterways.
Life is challenging here in the land of the midnight sun at 68 degrees north latitude, where the sun shines all day for about 3 weeks around the time of the summer solstice.