The colours in the beginning of May vary in shades of brown. Green vegetation exists only in the needles of pines, until towards the end of May when the ground has shades of green. In June ground is already covered extensively with green vegetation. In mid-May terrain is still wet from the water of melted snow, after the middle of the month terrain begins to dry up.
Weather in early May could still be cool but warms up towards the end of the month. Evenings and mornings are light and nights only have a short time of twilight. The twilight of night gets shorter towards the summer and from mid-May nights are beginning to get light enough for photographing through the night. If there is a full moon it is possible to photograph bears with the full moon in the background or in the light of the full moon. In addition to bears, wolverine move regularly in the area, sometimes bringing their cubs.
Timetable and Weather
5.00 pm Info, after that a short walk to the hides (500-900 meters).
7.00 am Return from the hides.
In the beginning of May temperatures at night are about zero and by day between +5 and +10 degrees.
In the end of May temperatures at night are between +5 and +10 and by day between +10 and +20 degrees.
In mid-May the sun sets in the evening about 10.15 and rises about 3.45 am.
Clothing and equipment
There are sleeping bags in the hides. It is advised to sit in the sleeping bag on the chair. This will help you stay warm and be able to photograph comfortably at the same time. Because the weather could still be cold in early parts of month it is good to have warm general clothing, warm hat, warm gloves, woolen socks and moisture-resistant footwear.
Tips for photographing in spring
- Sometimes snow may fall even in the beginning of May, so it is good to prepare for that. During the snowfall it is recommended to use a small air blower to clean the lens of snowflakes or alternatively use waterproof lens covers.
- It is important to have spare batteries with you because cold weather drains batteries faster than usual, in the hide batteries should be kept warm.
-If using a large aperture lens (f/2.8), it is possible to photograph throughout the night.
Bears rutting season begins in spring during mid-May and lasts until the end of June. During this time the behaviour of male bears changes compared to previous or later months. Bears mark the area in different ways, such as rubbing itself against trees while walking and also standing up on two feet, they also snap small trees. Male and female bears can move together during the rutting season, at other times they move separately.
Other grown-up male bears can also follow female bears on heat. Big male bears can measure their strength by voice and physical contact. This time of year small, young bears are wary and they avoid meeting bigger bears.
All hides are suitable for photographing during the rutting season since the bears will walk around the whole area. Recommendable lenses are in the range of 200-600 mm focal lengths. Distance to the mating bears varies from 30 to 80 meters.
Bears mating takes place from late May to the end of June. Mating of bears can be seen every year, but photographing it is challenging, due to not knowing the location and timing of the bears. From the perspective of the photographer, bears can be on the wrong side of the hide or behind trees, or if mating happens during twilight then enough light may not be present.
The best chances to photograph bears mating are at the swamp and open places from hides 1-6, 8-13 and 17-25
Beginning of Summer
In the end of May spring turns to summer. At this time, it is light enough to photograph throughout the night.
The conditions of early summer are particularly good for photography on the banks of the ponds as well as on the swamp since the undergrowth has not yet grown high. At this time, the feet and paws of the bears can be seen better and focusing to the right target is easier because there is no high vegetation in front of the bears that may hamper focusing. Especially photos with bear reflections in the water is better to photograph this time.
The terrain is no longer wet from melting snow so the splashing sound from bears walking cannot be heard as in spring and autumn. Therefore observation of the surroundings is especially important so photo situations are not missed. Bears move around the hide area and also near the hides, this is why focal lengths can be between wide angle and 600 mm.
At the end of May the ground turns green and birches grow leaves. Birch leaves grow in a few days to full size if the weather is warm enough.
Young bears may come early in the evening because they don’t have the same circadian rhythm as adult bears. Young bears are also curious and occassionally come near to the hides.
Wild Brown Bear Ltd
88930 Lentiira (Vartius)
© 2018 Wild Brown Bear Ltd
Tel +358 40 5469008
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