Landscapes and the sky
The Posio night sky is nowhere near ordinary. In clear nights you get to experience the bright starry northern sky and even Northern Lights – if you are lucky. The Aurora Borealis is a unique light phenomenon that can only be experienced in the polar regions of the Earth. The lights are created when the solar wind hits the atmosphere of the Earth. The Finnish name for the phenomenon “Revontulet”, the fire of the fox, derives from the Sami myth according to which the Auroras are created by a fox running across the fells and lighting up the sky as its tail hits the snow. In Lapland, the lights shine about every other clear night between September and March. A good observation spot is away from bright lights and buildings, on a clear night, in a place where the starry northern sky is visible. Hilltops and lakeshores make good vantage points. The most enthusiastic aurora hunters head for Riisitunturi and spend the night in a wilderness hut under the stars!
Even though forecasting the auroras is not an exact science, there are a few websites that provide estimates.
Birds and wildlife
Due to its varied nature and vast water bodies, Posio is a great spot for bird-watching and filming. Best sites are located near waters, for example the Posio bird-watching tower by Lake Posiojärvi. Here you can discover and shoot many species of migratory birds and waders. Riisitunturi National Park is home to many northern birds of the taiga forest. For example the Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava) and the Meadow Pipit (Anthus pratensis) have adapted to living on the bare felltops. The Whooper Swan (Cygnus cygnus) can be found on the mires, in the middle of flarks and small lakes.
Korouoma inhabits some rare bird species, such as the Northern Eagle Owl (Bubo bubo). There are also sightings of the Rough-legged Buzzard (Buteo lagopus) and the Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos). In the area, you can also find the unique cliff nests of the Northern House Martin (Delichon urbica).
Most common large mammals in Posio include the reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) and moose (Alces alces). There are also regular sightings of the lynx (Lynx lynx) and the bear (Ursus arctos). The otter (Lutra lutra) is known to live near River Korojoki. When it comes to invertebrates, two threatened and nine near-threatened beetle species are found in the area. There are seven butterfly species two of which are the Moorland Clouded Yellow (Colias palaeno) and the Pearl-bordered fritillary (Clossiana euphrosyne).
Vegetation and fungi
During the summertime, photographers devoted to shooting plants can find rare species in the Korouoma canyon. The micro-climate in the canyon differs noticeably from the surrounding areas. Therefore, the vegetation is also different. The sunny northeastern slopes are home to lush herb-rich forests with southern plant species; such as the Male Fern (Dryopteris filis-mas) and Fragrant Bedstraw (Galium triflorum). The slopes at the south and southwest end of the valley have a cooler climate, and host northern plant species such as the Rock Whitlow Grass (Draba norvegica), Alpine Saxifrage (Saxifraga nivalis) and Alpine Cliff Fern (Woodsia alpina). Exotic eastern species are represented by the fern Diplazium sibiricum and the European Baneberry (Actaea erythrocarpa), which grows mainly in the northern parts of the valley.
Korouoma has also altogether 78 different species of polypores, out of which 21 species are classified as threatened. If you are in the look out for Lappish mountain species, head to the treeless peak of Riisitunturi Fell, where you can find the Alpine Bearberry (Arctostaphylos alpina), Trailing Azalea (Loiseleuria procumbens), Alpine Clubmoss (Diphasiastrum alpinum) and the Three-leaved Rush (Juncus trifidus).