National Geographic : 2009 Jun
alluvial grasslands---it is a kind of crossroads for species that normally do not overlap. Here is one of the few places where European, Arctic, and even Siberian species come together, min- gling at the very edge of their ranges. I came to Oulanka, as so many visitors do, to witness the grandeur of its glacial landforms--- especially the canyons carved by the Oulanka River, which ows eastward through the park toward the border of Russia, just a few miles away. But the farther I hiked along the park s popular footpath, the Karhunkierros (Bear s Ring) Trail, the less I found myself noticing the major features of this landscape: the kettle holes---basins created by melting boulders of ice le behind by glaciers---or the gaping crevices worn away by the Oulanka River, or even the canopy of pine and spruce boughs overhead. Instead, I found myself lost in contemplation of the forest oor.