Thousands colors of September: The arctic Fall is back again on Senja island. And it shows!
Each year, September marks the beginning of the Arctic Fall. For many locals, this season is like a new beginning. Not that the summer wasn’t full of life and colors either, but the autumn is largely considered as a favorite time to go outdoors. It might seem odd, but as life progressively goes into its wintery sleep, the landscapes come back to life!
First off, the midnight sun disappears and nighttime comes back. Each day, we lose about 10 minutes of sunlight. With these ever shortening days, the night sky becomes darker for longer. All those dim objects like the milky way that were not visible in the bright summer nights become visible again. More importantly for many chasers, the aurora borealis can finally be contemplated again too! We’re always so happy to see the first aurorae of the season, and so are our guests. So far until now, we’ve had 2 major displays and many small ones over the observatory!
Nonetheless the Arctic Fall is so particular because of the palette of colors it has to offer. Already starting from the second week of September, the blueberry and Skrubbær shrubs are turning red on the forest floor. At the very same time, Birch and Aspen trees can take on very flashy yellows or oranges, contrasting with the ever-green pine trees.
It’s also a time where the highest mountaintops get sprinkled by the first snowflakes. The contrast between the white summits and the colored slopes are extraordinary, almost straight out of a fairy tale. The precipitations usually happen in showers, so in between we get blue sky. The blue and turquoise can also be found in the shallow fjords. Add a rainbow in there and you get the widest range of colors you have ever seen in a landscape!
Some of our guests on at the top of a hike on South Senja
Fall is the perfect time to watch the aurora and not freeze your rear off, but it’s also time for outdoors activities at the observatory. We usually take our guests on vivid tours around Senja, as well as on nice hikes to gaze at the colorful fjords from above. For nature lovers and those who have a taste for delicious natural resources, we can also go on a mushroom and berry picking trip. The hills behind the observatory are filled with wild blueberries, cranberries, cloudberries, redcurrant, chanterelle mushrooms and much more!
As birds are progressively leaving the island on the migratory journey back south, September is usually the time when we start spotting bigger animals. During the summer, moose and reindeer usually hide in the thickness of the green vegetation and are less visible. However as the arctic flora begins to decay and fresh plants to rarify, these animals tend to get further out of their shelters to forage, making them more visible.
Many people, including some Norwegian people themselves, believe that September is not a good season for the aurora. We could not disagree more! September is a PERFECT month for aurora watching. You should consider coming at this time of the year if you want to experience it while the iconic colors are peaking. We do get rain, too, but it’s never for days in a row and so far all our guests who stayed 3-4+ nights have seen the aurora to some extent! So whether you’re an outdoor lover or just a nature lover, September is the month for you!