In the box with mole researcher Henttonen

The volunteer work in 2017 started with fixing the mole research fence.

Our first go a year ago as pals of Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park filled us with such glee, we came back for some more.

Heikki spent his whole summer vacation volunteering and I stayed to fill in parts of my park ranger certificate as an internship. The other volunteers spent the first week here.

The original plan was to paint and tidy up the Hannukuru area. However, since Spring was phenomenally late this year, they couldn’t transport all the tools on-site.

We signed the contracts, settled in and planned the upcoming schedule. No one has to work alone, since the maintenance crew always has a guy along to keep us in check. On Monday the mole reseacher Henttonen took some of us to check on the mole fence and find the tools to fix it.

So there are areas in the Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park where they do research on moles. They’ve been researching for decades.

I wish I had been there, because Mr. Henttonen is not just a researcher, he’s also one hell of a storyteller. I suspect he had a tale or two about the Pallasjärvi area.

The research areas are marked and protected by fences and every now and then there’s a hole or a tear or a reindeer knocks a supporting beam over. And because you can’t nail the beams down, you need to replace snapped ropes sometimes.

On Tuesday we went through all the fences and lifted the fallen beams, straightened the bendy bits and replaced the snapped ropes with new ones. There were four areas in total.

Now when we drive past the fences and see a part of it fallen over, we can fix it before anyone notices.

Obviously we didn’t see a single mole because it’s not like there’s an abundance of them in research areas. Not to mention the noise we made constantly. Mainly bad jokes and laughter.

We also visited the Pyhäjoki nature trail just because we could.

In August through September of 2016 we were volunteering at Pallas-Ylläs National Park. We applied a new coat of paint to several huts and other buildings, first in Hetta’s Pyhäkero and later around the vicinity of Pallaskota. Everything involving this particular experience can be found under the tag National Park Volunteers. That and The earlier adventure aka our first Lapland hike can be found here.

We’re heading back on June 2017 to clean up around the place and photograph the Ounastunturi fell area.


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