This year we thought we'd buy some "Nordic skates" (here they're called retkiluistimet).
These attach to the bottom of regular boots or in some models require you to use particular ski boot bindings. We bought a set that attach to regular boots because we often like to ski and hike in places. Ski boots aren't really good walking boots ...
They work best on plain ice, normally in Finland by the time the lakes are frozen they are covered with snow, making it impossible to Skate.
This year we've had a long warm period in November with the temperature only dropping below 0°C in December.
We've had clear cloudless skies and -10 or -20°C all week, so we expected the lakes to be frozen and snow free.
So, armed with our new toys we set off for a local lake to try them.
We didn't expect to find that the lake was covered in what at first glance was snow, but we discovered to be frost.
It was quite simply the most stunning display of frost ice crystal growth I've ever seen.
We struggled with the skating a bit then gave up as it was too hard ... should have bought the skis.
As you can see above the ice was growing up in 3 dimensional sheets which looked like small ice plants all over the ground, with small leaves in all directions. This is how it looks close up
a beautiful "ice cover" of plant like ice structures.
Walking on them you could hear the smashing of the ice (as it was still -17°C), I felt like a kid breaking beautiful crystal in a shop with every step.
We dumped the skates in the bushes and set off on foot to explore and walk around a little.
Hope you enjoyed this little winter wonder here ... today its started snowing lightly so it's all going to be buried and crushed. In places they were so densly grouped as to look like snow at first.