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I am fascinated with the far North– the reindeer, sled dogs, and Northern Lights of Finland. Luckily, there are many Postcrossers in Finland to keep my mailbox full of snowy scenes and sled dog teams.

Aurora borealis

First is this card showing the Northern Lights, or aurora borealis, from Paivi in Finland. It is hard to take pictures of the aurorae. The aurorae are caused by collisions between ions from the solar wind and ions present in the high altitude atmosphere. These collisions release energy visible as light. They are most commonly green, but can appear red or blue as well. The light can be bright enough to read by.

Another, cuddlier, feature of Lapland are the sled dogs:

Licking huskies

Lapland sled dogs

These are Husky dogs. They are bred to be fast, good pullers, and to have a thick double coat that holds up to the snow and cold. Both of these cards are from Paivi.

Another cold-weather animal is the reindeer:

Reindeer herd

The native peoples of Lapland hunt reindeer for their meat and hides; they also use reindeer to pull pulks, a kind of toboggan.

This reindeer card is from Taru. Taru used a really cool stamp, with a new feature that I haven’t seen on a stamp before:

FINLAND elk

The stamp shows an elk, but what is the neatest thing is that there is also Braille printing on the stamp! You can sort of see the bumps on this scan (especially right around the elk’s face). I can’t understand Braille, but I assume it has information about the stamp’s denomination and country.

I have more postcards of Finland’s UNESCO sites to share, but they will have to wait for another post. For now, näkemiin! I’m Finnished.

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