“To double or to quit”,

27.11.2021

Tupla tai kuitti

lit. "To double or to quit", a reference to an old, now discontinued Finnish TV game show

4.-5.7.2021

The weather forecast for the next night looked promising, so I thought that it would be fun to go to Kalanti to photograph some noctilucent clouds (*). The day was infernally hot, +33 °C, so I didn't feel like going out to check photo site, so I had to find another solution.

Besides this, gas prices had been going up too much, and I couldn't even afford to drive any extra kilometer, so I opened Google Maps. It meant, that I had to guess the foregrounds of the photos, I could either succeed or not, it was like playing the game "Tupla tai kuitti", which practically means that I could win a lot or lose everything. Whether I would succeed, depended on the Google Maps view...the place looked like a peaceful countryside scene. I could park my car at the end of the field and I was already making photo scenes in my mind.

While I was driving to the site, I was a bit worried. What if the scenes weren't the same? Is this good idea after all? But I convinced myself to drive there as I had planned.

The photo site was Kallela horse breeding farm in Kalanti. The scene was very beautiful! I discovered this site last year, but too late for noctilucent clouds, but this time I was decided to succeed! It is a beautiful site in the middle of the countryside. The site is a home to tens or hundreds of horses, which are a unique aspect of this site. I parked my car to the end of a farm road, and looked up in the sky. Immediately I noticed the noctilucent clouds, and I was thinking to myself, that oh boy it's going to be a good nigh! I grabbed my equipment and walked in to the summer night. While I was walking, I heard music from a distance. I recognized "Another brick in the wall" by Pink Floyd, and I was humming the melody by myself. I noticed that the noctilucent clouds were all over the sky, except for the western sky.

I was shooting to all directions, all kinds of fascinating noctilucent cloud -forms were visible all over the sky, super beautiful waves, belts, and peculiar, irregular forms. While I was shooting, I was drifting further and further.

In the heat of the most amazing phase of the display, I heard the music again. The song was changed, this time I could hear some native American -kind of music, only it's magical melodies lyrics sung with foreign language and drumming were echoing in the calm summer night. I was thinking, that only thing that was missing, is the sound of galloping horses. It almost felt like as if I was in some kind of Western movie! And then suddenly I heard the horses galloping near me!

I felt the ground shaking as the stud of horses were galloping in a pasture about 200 meters from me. Were they just enjoying their lives or were mosquitos biting them? While I was listening the rumble of the galloping horses, I also heard some foals calling their mothers, and also mothers calling them back. I had a little break from photographing and closed my eyes. I was imagining myself to a prairie, the galloping and neighing of the horses turned into herds of galloping mustangs. I am a fan of native American music, and maybe that's why the mix of native American music and sound of galloping horses made goosebumps to arise in my skin. Hypnotic native American music was playing in the background during the whole incident. Eventually the stud became still and the song ended and silence fell again upon the Kallela horse farm.

The noctilucent clouds were fading away, so I decided to walk back to my car and call it a night. I realized that I had wandered a kilometer of my car. Temperature was still 17 °C, and I had consumed all of my water, so it was an easy decision. While walking to my car, I was thinking that photo trips like these are the spice of life as you never know what kind of experiences you get every time!

I got to say, that this trip was a different like others and I will surely remember this for a long time! :)

(*)Noctilucent clouds, or night shining clouds, are tenuous cloud-like phenomena in the upper atmosphere of Earth. They consist of ice crystals and are only visible during astronomical twilight. Noctilucent roughly means "night shining" in Latin. They are most often observed during the summer months from latitudes between ±50° and ±70°. Too faint to be seen in daylight, they are visible only when the observer and the lower layers of the atmosphere are in Earth's shadow, but while these very high clouds are still in sunlight. Recent studies suggest that increased atmospheric methane emissions produce additional water vapor once the methane molecules reach the mesosphere - creating, or reinforcing existing noctilucent clouds (source: Wikipedia).