Snow and ice - Arctic Tundra - Swedish Lapland - Northern Sweden - Winter photography by Lola Akinmade Åkerström

“Clear skies. -28 degrees celsius,” my husband updated me. “Good chance for norrsken“. Northern Lights.

I’d seen them dance across the skies in Reykjavik about six years ago. The second they started unveiling like curtains, I snapped away, happily recording this phenomenon which often appears on many bucket lists, only to have all seven rolls of film (yes, film) completely wiped out by the airport x-ray machine.

So I quickly bundled baby up, strapped her into her car seat, piled into the car with the hubby at the wheel, and we headed towards Kallax. Away from city lights, pushing further into the darkness. Finally as far away from artificial light as we could get on short notice, we waited by the side of a desolate crunchy snow covered road.

And waited. And waited. We were all alone out there. In pitch-black polar darkness with the moon illuminating sections of sky and land.

I set up my tripod and camera but the biting cold kept forcing me back into the car to wait. Then my mind started.

What if a massive moose popped out of nowhere? An Arctic fox? Maybe a wolf?

At each growl-ish sound I heard, I was diving back into the car at breakneck speed. Heck no!.

The norrsken never did show up that night and the subsequent nights were cloudy so no luck there. But I’m planning on heading back north before spring. Further north. Back to Kiruna and Jukkasjärvi. To Abisko. To experience more Sámi culture and possibly catch those elusive lights on camera.

So in lieu of vibrant Northern Lights photos, I give you a few shots I took over the holidays from Swedish Lapland – from our small neighborhood New Year’s Eve fireworks to dark polar nights and ice-coated landscapes.

Snow and ice - Arctic Tundra - Swedish Lapland - Northern Sweden - Winter photography by Lola Akinmade ÅkerströmSnow and ice - Arctic Tundra - Swedish Lapland - Northern Sweden - Winter photography by Lola Akinmade ÅkerströmSnow and ice - Arctic Tundra - Swedish Lapland - Northern Sweden - Winter photography by Lola Akinmade ÅkerströmSnow and ice - Arctic Tundra - Swedish Lapland - Northern Sweden - Winter photography by Lola Akinmade ÅkerströmSnow and ice - Arctic Tundra - Swedish Lapland - Northern Sweden - Winter photography by Lola Akinmade ÅkerströmSnow and ice - Arctic Tundra - Swedish Lapland - Northern Sweden - Winter photography by Lola Akinmade ÅkerströmSnow and ice - Arctic Tundra - Swedish Lapland - Northern Sweden - Winter photography by Lola Akinmade ÅkerströmSnow and ice - Arctic Tundra - Swedish Lapland - Northern Sweden - Winter photography by Lola Akinmade ÅkerströmSnow and ice - Arctic Tundra - Swedish Lapland - Northern Sweden - Winter photography by Lola Akinmade ÅkerströmSnow and ice - Arctic Tundra - Swedish Lapland - Northern Sweden - Winter photography by Lola Akinmade Åkerström