Duottar – the mountain
Barren and full of life

The mountains are the home of the wind. On the highest summits it is often the wind we hear. High up among the alpine summits the wind is in the company of only the glaciers and the very hardiest survivors.

But our mountains also comprise the broad green plateaux of Badjelánnda, which lure the reindeer westwards for forage. They comprise the low fells in Sjávnja and the brushy valleys of Sarek. Here, birds suddenly fly up when you come to near. Species grow here which are not found anywhere else. Through binoculars we can see for mile after mile. White reindeer are not numerous, but they stand out like summer stars on the rim of the mountains.

Our mountains often have ancient names that tell us something about what they look like or how they have been used. The name can tell us that a mountain is round or steep, stony or verdant. Place names in Laponia tell indirectly of how our land has been shaped. Laponia has been designated a World Heritage Area partly because it is here the geological formations are seen so clearly. We see how the ice has carved out the vast valleys and how the bedrock has risen.

For the people who have lived here ever since the most recent ice age there have been many different types of land to live on. Autumn fells, spring fells and summer fells. The discreet traces we see all over the Laponia mountains tell of how over the generations we have learned how to survive life in the mountains. It is only in the depths of winter we have left the mountain and sought shelter in the forestlands.

Important rodents
Urban Emanuelsson tells of how important rodents are in the mountains.

Mountain birch forest

In Laponia, there are large areas of mountain birch forest between the conifers and the open mountain. There are seldom fires in mountain birch forest, it is instead the larvae of the autumnal moth that eats the birches in some years. If the birches are devoured a second time, they often die. This opens up the forest and there is an upswing in flowers and animals.

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Mountain birched grow either as single trunk or multi-trunk birches. There is much to indicate that felling for firewood is the reason why there are many multi-trunk birches in certain areas. There are seldom fires in mountain birch forest, it is instead the larvae of the autumnal moth that eats the birches in some years. If the birches are devoured a second time, they often die. This opens up the forest and there is an upswing in flowers and animals.