Spitsbergen and Antarctica through the year, month after month! In 2020, our traditional Spitsbergen calendar is – for the first time ever – a real double calendar, so you get an additional twelve Antarctic images in addition to the Spitsbergen photos. What we are doing now is simply using the back side of the sheets which, until now, have been blank! So you can turn the calendar around in the middle of the month if you fiel like it, thus switching from an Arctic impression to an Antarctic one :-)
The new Spitsbergen-Antarctic double calendar for 2020 will take you through the polar seasons.
The year starts with a view of the infinitely long glacier Bråsvellbreen on Nordaustland or, just as icy, with a large iceberg near Port Lockroy in Antarctica. In February, we discover dinosaur tracks on the remote east coast of Spitsbergen – that makes even the usually rather sleepy Weddell seal in Antarctica lift her head! Then the flowers of the rather rare Arctic-alpine fleabane bring some first colours to the tundra, while a rare glimpse of an Emperor penguin next to an Adelie penguin gives a good impression of the amazing size difference between these two species.
Most of us associate polar bears with ice, but they are also excellent swimmers, as we see in April in Spitsbergen. At the same time, the icy coast of the Ross Sea is still locked by dense drift ice – good polar bear habitat, but none around …☺ You may instead find a wintering Arctic tern here. We find one in May in Spitsbergen, where she is getting ready for breeding soon. At the same time, the breeding season in the deep south is over for most animals, including a mighty male elephant seal on Macquarie Island which is resting in the tussock grass after a long and intense breeding season. There are far from as many flowers in Antarctica as in the Arctic, where we will find beautiful purple saxifrage in many places in June. But then, the Arctic does not have albatrosses – for these majestic king albatrosses, you have to travel as far as remote Campbell Island!
We spend the Arctic summer in Spitsbergen in the beautiful Liefdefjord on the north coast, enjoying the wildlife in shape of a well-fed, happy bearded seal, a good mountain hike with fine views and the lovely coastal scenery of some small islands over the months of July, August and September. At the same time, we visit large numbers of king penguins and fur seals on the surf coast of Salisbury Plain in South Georgia and, just a few weeks later and not far away on the same island, a colourful macaroni penguin.
But seeing one of the elusive type D orcas in the Drake passage really requires a rare lucky combination of right place and right time!
In October, the polar foxes have to get ready for the Arctic winter which is approaching quickly now, while spring is coming over the icy mountains of the Antarctic Peninsula. In Spitsbergen, the sun finally disappears for several months under the mountainous horizon, giving way to stunning polar lights over the famous polar bear sign near Longyearbyen, while the king penguins in South Georgia are really getting ready for the summer and the chinstrap penguins on the South Shetland Islands are flat-out busy finding enough food for their chicks.
The double calendar Spitsbergen & Antarctica 2020 – Impressions by Rolf Stange is available in two sizes: the larger A3 format and smaller in A5.
And there is, of course, a new Spitsbergen calendar every year!