Sunday night was a full moon and it’s the first time this winter that it’s coincided with clear skies and a fresh covering of snow. I’ve been told several times that it’s very special to see the snow covered mountains by moon light, so I took a late night drive out over Senja to check. In fact I was treated not only to moon light but also a good display of the northern lights too.
These pictures are from the drive out, on the 861, first up the east coast of Senja, with views over the sea to the mainland with Kisterfjell, the lights of Trollvik and then Lenvik Church at Bjorelvnes. Unusually large areas of the sea are now frozen, due to a large amount of fresh melt water and rain which is ‘diluting’ the sea, allowing it to freeze at high temperatures.
Having turned west at Gibostad, it began to snow (not in the forecast and with the distinct possibility of no more photographs). Thankfully just after passing through Lysnes the snow and cloud disappeared, to be replaced with moonlit mountains and norther lights. These views are also from the 861 headed towards Fjordgård and I was amazed to see just how sharp and deep a shadow could be cast by moon light! Taking long exposure pictures (30 seconds) you see the effects of the earth rotating, as the stars become ‘lines’.
Driving past the turn-off to Fjordgård, the 861 becomes the 862 (the “classic” tourist route around the north west coast of Senja), first with views over Mefjordbotn:
and then across the main body of Mefjord to the mountains which divide it from Fjordgård, including the spectacular cliff of Segla. If you zoom in (click view full size under the images) you can see the lights of the salmon farms out in the fjord, and past them, the opening to the Atlantic Ocean, with a bank of cloud out to sea.
And a final look back across the frozen Mefjordvatnan.