With wolves in the woods
Pyhäranta 28th of April 2021
What a trip! I won't forget this trip anytime soon, I wouldn't have believed that I would come home with scenic night sky photos and with sound samples of wolves! How did all this happen? I promise, it is quite a story, so sit down and relax, now we go!
The Sun had not even set, when I started my journey towards Pyhäranta. I parked my car in the end of some forest road and started walking through the woods to a rocky outcrops that are higher than surrounding terrain. The scene was like Lapland, there are lot's of cup lichen on the ground and old but small-sized pine trees with twisted trunks and branches. I didn't even need any flashlight during the trip, even though the Sun was setting. Also navigation was working well, and I was able to locate my planned photo site easily. I sat onto a trunk of an old, fallen pine tree, and enjoyed a moment of silence without doing anything. While I was waiting darkness to descend, I was listening to birds in the distance. I heard ural owl, eurasian eagle-owl and boreal owl..the voices of the birds became louder as the night progressed. I heard also swans flapping their wings in the water and plaintive calls of cranes from somewhere far-away.
I was still waiting true astronomical darkness and forest to wake up. Eventually darkness swallowed the photographer and the forest around me literally woke up!
While I was taking a photo of the Milky way I heard first howl, that was soon joined by another, until I heard just continuous howling, that was soon joined by a third one, it sounded puppy-like. Soon also fourth one joined, also puppy-like. At that moment I grabbed my phone, but it was difficult to get my pocket opened with my frozen hands. Okay, I admit, my hands were shaking a little bit. I pressed the shutter of the camera and started to record the howling with my phone. I heard the puppy-like howls now a lot closer to me, while the tone of the adult howls had turned more commanding.
At that time I started to feel more nervous, I was whistling and making noises with my tongue (it's a trick that works with wild bores), by doing this I let the wolves know that I am here. I got really scared when the wolves replied to me, now I heard howling, barking and growling from every direction. Oh my god! Was it a mistake after all...at that moment the pack of wolves suddenly went all silent. The whole nature surrounding me also became totally still and silent.
The owls fell silent, the swans had became quiet, apparently the kings of the woods had spoken. The unbreakable silence was eventually too much for me to bear, so I happily packed my stuff. Humidity was rising and temperature had dropped 2 degrees below zero, so it was clearly a good time to start walking to the car. It was time to say goodbye to the stars. Without being too much afraid, I walked to the car, even though the situation had been quite intimidating. Afterwards I was able to put things in correct perspective. Retrospectively thinking, I was more afraid in Lepäinen, when a drunk driver drove by us and hit a railing of a bridge nearby. With people there are many kinds of situations, and they are often frightening, because people always play dirty game and don't follow any rules, while animals do!
This pack of wolves probably just wanted to let me know their presence, so that also you lady know that you are on our territory, that's it!