3 weeks ago
Just for fun today I thought I would share a photo of somewhere completely different. This is the Caledonian Forest’s bigger cousin - the Boreal Forest which rings the north of our world. Specifically, Arctic Finland.
This was a truly unforgettable day in the forest. The snows of the hills around us were so thick that the forest was ‘snow drenched’ - the trees becoming unrecognisable as growing things, and instead more like twisted and shrouded giants asleep in their winter robes. You could not help but lower your voice, and look over your shoulder now and again to check they were not moving.
The key differences between the Boreal forest and the Caledonian are climatic. The forest of the north has evolved to handle these extraordinary depths of snow, so the forest is dominated by spruce which sharply pointed to reduce the quantity of snow that can burden the tree in winter. Spruce is comparatively rare here in the Highlands of Scotland (at least, natively speaking) and the dominant tree in the forest is the Scots Pine. The pine has a much broader canopy, and under burdens of snow this heavy the tree would break. But the pine is much better suited to heavy rainfall and waterlogged, acidic soils.
Still, every forest is beautiful in its own way, and I hope I’ll be back among the spruces of the north someday, exploring the largest forest on earth.