Rare Swans In Finland National Forest

Our guest post comes from Bill & Bonnie Neely of: Real Travel Adventures Ezine – Your free online monthly travel magazine with hundreds of features and photos on travel to anywhere.

photos courtesy of Bill and Bonnie Neely

To begin our excursion, we had checked out the directions to the nearby Salamajarvi National Forest. We drove and drove and drove, nearly 90 km before we realized the little sign we first saw, which we ignored (thinking there would be a big sign telling us where to turn,) was the actual turn sign.

So we went 270 degrees around the circular route too far, but we finally found the park and stopped to hike on the boardwalk through the bog. Bog seems to be old moss that is decayed by the snow and compacted through the years to be like a huge, black sponge, with new green moss on top.

The water from snowmelt is black all around like a sort of swamp, hence the Park Service makes boardwalks.  The forest was pretty, of rather spindley pines, spruce, and birch, the only kinds of trees we’ve seen. We saw some unusual birds and hiked about a mile to a big lake and a little farther our boardwalk ended at a swamp we couldn’t cross.

The boardwalk was a bit teetery and gave us a bit of an unwanted thrill at times when the big wood pegs, which held the flat hewn boards to the round cross beam logs, had given way, and we nearly fell into the soggy bog.  In a dry place Bonnie tried stepping into it and sank way down….like sinking in very deep snow….very interesting and so soft!

We passed a green field and saw a large flock of the rare, wild, white swans we had read about. One of our group hiked across the field to photograph them and the others watched a farmer glare at her bold and annoying intrusion, but she never saw him. She had on a white running suit and was hoping the swans would think she was a giant swan, although they scared into flight as she got close.  But we had been privileged to see one of Nature’s rare and wonderful species.