What is 'Ruska'?

Autumn ruska in Lapland / www.lifeinlapland.com
If you've even been to Lapland or you have looked into traveling to the region during the Autumn season, you've probably heard or read about the Finnish word Ruska at some point in time. But what does it mean exactly?

Ruska is a phrase that describes the changing colors of leaves that occurs in Autumn in Finland. The leaves of many trees - such as aspen, mountain ash, and birch - begin to turn to bright gold or deep burgundy in mid to late September in Lapland, creating a colorful spectacle that covers almost all of the surrounding landscapes. Leaves change color in all of Finland of course, but the colors become more intense as you travel further north, where there tend to be more forests and trees and less villages and towns. Its not just the leaves on the trees that change, but bushes shrubs at ground level also change to varying shades or crimson.

When the leaves do begin to change, many Finns, as well as foreigners, journey to Lapland to venture off into the forests and fells of the national parks and wilderness areas on camping trips, staying in overnight in open wilderness huts, since hiking trails are some of the best places to witness Ruska colors across the landscapes. Ruska can also be enjoyed from a canoe or boat in any of Lapland's many lakes or rivers, and the reflections of the vibrant shades of leaves over the water offer some great photo opportunities.

Below are a two examples of the colors typical of ruska in Lapland that you will see in the trees and on the forest ground, in addition to the Ruska "bulls eye" image at the top
Autumn ruska in Lapland / www.lifeinlapland.com
Autumn ruska in Lapland / www.lifeinlapland.com
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