Norwegian Language Blog

Disappointing Autumn Colors in Norway Posted by on Sep 21, 2011 in Nature

I was on a run with my dog in the nearby woods after work yesterday and remembered that last year at this time, I was not at home in Minnesota.  I was enjoying høsten (the fall) in Tromsø.  In fact, at exactly this time last year, I was returning from a jakttur (hunting trip).  I accompanied a friend and 8 of his friends in the jeger og fiskerforbund on a delightful adventure into the mountains of southern Troms fylke (county), more accurately the municipality of Salangen.  Den samme gruppen går på rypejakt hvert år (The same group goes grouse hunting every year).  I believe the gang returned recently from this year´s jakt.  I´ll have to get the scoop.  From what I´m reading, rypejakt has suffered this year due to the consequences of the very våt sommer (wet summer).

In Norway, the sommer sesong saw an unusually high amount of precipitation, which has had major impact  høsten.  While dreary and wet, Norway om høsten is typically stunningly beautiful with all of the different farger på trærne (color on the trees).  We Minnesotans enjoy the beautiful farger as well om høsten, so I have complete empathy with the Norwegians´ lack of this very important part of høst.  Besides the great lukter (smells) of harvest and bål (fires), and the various høst matretter that can now be enjoyed, the display of farger på trærne is something we look forward to om høsten.  Without this, it almost feels like you go directly from sommer til vinter.

The våt sommer created the perfect atmosphere for a fungi that attacks bjerketrær (birch trees).  Bjerketrær leaves typically change from grønn (green) to gul (yellow) to orangsje (orange) before they fall off.  This year, the leaves turned directly from grønn to brun (brown) or grå (gray) in late August and to make matters worse, the leaves completely fell off the trees.  So now, in mid-September when the leaves are supposed to be at their peak in terms of color variation and boldness, they are dull and disappointing.  Fortunately, there are still some trær that do have their leaves and the leaves are colorful.  Furthermore, the fungus that has hit bjerketrær all the way up to Finnmark fylke does not kill them; they will be healthy in the spring.  As the vakre farger (beautiful colors) om høsten is a very key point of attraction, tourist hot spots will simply have to find other ways to entice tourists to visit om høsten.

In case you are traveling to Norway om høsten, I shall suggest a few activities that you can pursue in the absence of the vakre høst farger:

jakt etter bær og sopp (hunt for berries and mushrooms) and lag noe som smaker godt (and make something that tastes good)!

-enjoy hiking or camping in one of the following four national parks: Jotunheimen, Rondane, Dovre and Dovrefjell- Sunndalsfjella

gå på fisketur (go on a fishing trip-laks or salmon is of course one of the most popular…)

-go river rafting

-go on musk ox safaris in the Dovrefjell region

There are also many festivals across the country that one can participate in or attend.  I shall go into more detail about these in a later post.  Until then, enjoy whatever kind of vær (weather) your høst has brought you today.  Here in MN?  Drizzling and cool.  Off to Pennsylvania this morning where it is rainy and warm!

PS the pictures in this post are from my time last year in Tromsø om høsten.

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About the Author: kari

I attended St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, where I majored in Norwegian and History. During college, I spent almost a year living in Oslo, Norway, where I attended the University of Oslo and completed an internship at the United States Embassy. I have worked for Concordia Language Villages as a pre-K Norwegian teacher and have taught an adult Norwegian language class. Right now, I keep up by writing this Norwegian blog for Transparent Language. Please read and share your thoughts! I will be continuing this blog from my future residence in the Norwegian arctic!


  1. Line:

    I like reading your blog, and it is nice to see how you put the Norwegian words into the text. Since I am Norwegian, I learn even more English on by reading your blog.
    I have a few comments on your translation. I hope it`s ok for you.

    “jakte etter bær og sopp” – normally, we say: “sanke bær og sopp” – “sanke” in English, it`s close to: “gather” or “samle sammen” in Norwegian.

    Have a nice weekend.

    🙂 Line