Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The deadly adder hiss

I thought I would wait until tomorrow with processing of the photographs taken yesterday and today at Meiko. Today I walked there for 3 hours 40 minutes, yesterday 3 hours 20 minutes, making it seven hours in all.

Yesterday I walked in the forests and swamps north of Meiko lake. Today I explored the south side, circling around Vaipo lake, walking across Slätmossen swamp to Vitträsk lake, and walking from there to Meiko lake, which I circled around when returning.

I didn't get really lost, but I was a bit confused about directions when going from Vitträsk to Meiko. It was before noon, 11:30, and I thought that keeping sun behind I would get easily to the lake. But I forgot daylight saving time, which meant that I was walking northwest instead of north, and in this direction the south shore of the lake was much farther away than I thought. I should have used the compass.

On the other hand this was a shortcut, at least in distance, but it was heavy going as there was wet ground to cover, with trees fallen across the way, and ditches which had flooded. Luckily I have tall rubber boots which made it possible to wade across the ditches.

And the rubber boots proved usedful also when I met an adder on the north shore of Meiko lake, curled up in the sun. I took a couple of photographs but the adder didn't like to pose and soon went away, hissing. In addition, there were blue anemones to admire at Meiko lake. It always seems that they appear overnight, the first real sign of spring.

(Posting title is from the poem A Double Standard by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper.)

He would be felt through some aperture

Here are more photographs from Sunday, taken at Luukki in the Revonkorpi forests and swamps. I haven't processed the photographs from Monday and Tuesday, there is material for several postings later this week, more than a thousand photographs. The warmth of the sun brings out blue anemones as well as adders.

I walked for seven hours on Monday and Tuesday, and I'm feeling good. As a poet said, "To be human is to walk"; and if a poet didn't say so, she should have.

I may go for another walk, with the children, on Wednesday, May Day, which is a holiday in Finland, celebrating spring which is finally here.

(Posting title is from the poem Feel Me by May Swenson.)

The almost infinitesimal trails of thought that flash and flash

I took these photographs on Sunday in Luukki, near lake Myllyjärvi, from where I walked northwest towards Revonkorpi. As you can see, snow had melted away, except in some shadowed spots where it still lingers, and may stay for some time.

On Sunday I walked for two hours, and on Monday three hours and 20 minutes. For Tuesday I'm planning yet another walk, in a place which I haven't much explored before. I'll take my compass and orienteering maps (several of them) and try not to get lost, at least not too much lost. The weather forecast promises rain for the night, but it should clear up by morning.

(Posting title is from the poem Zen Living by Dick Allen.)

Monday, April 29, 2013

All this looks easy but really it is extraordinary

I went today for a walk in the forests at Meiko, and walked there for 3 hours 20 minutes, which was less than planned but enough for me. I walked along a circular route, starting from the parking lot near lake Meiko, going to lake Kotolampi, and from there to lake Mustjärvi.

Here I made the first change to my planned route, as there was too much snow in the valley east of the cliffs south of lake Mustlampi. I climbed back up on top of the cliff, to admire the view, and descended again down to the valley near lake Mustjärvi. I walked around lake Mustjärvi, and walked west from the west side of the lake along a stream which ends in an open swamp. Here there is a chain of swamps going to northwest direction, and I walked along the chain on the south side of the swamps.

I found a swamp with a little lake in the middle, and here I rested and ate picnic on the rocks warmed by the sun. There was a crane looking for lunch on the marsh, but so far away that my LX5 didn't have any hope of catching it in a photograph. I was feeling rather good, and ahead of schedule, so I decided to go further than I had planned, and thus I continued along the chain of swamps all the way to lake Tränuhals, which I have never before visited.

Here I decided to test my orienteering skills, walking across the forests of Dorgarn towards a path near lake Meiko. I set the map bearing to the compass, and selected along the direction of the travel arrow a landmark such as a tree or a rock, and walked there, and then selected a new landmark, walked there, etc.

At one spot I was climbing up a rocky hill and I almost stumbled on a tent erected there. Another tent was nearby. I didn't see anybody outside the tents, maybe they were exploring the nearby landscape.

When I got to the path I was aiming at I was abashed, as usually I tend to get a bit lost when walking in a forest. But this time, focusing on map reading and compass bearings, I got exactly where I was aiming at, a bend in the path, with a precision of 20 meters. Quite a surprise!

I was also ahead of schedule. I estimated that my walk would take less than three hours if I returned to the car via the path I was on. So, I decided to go south to lake Meiko, walk along the shore, and return to the parking lot from there. I was happily tired when I returned home.

I have 755 photographs waiting to be processed on the computer, but I'm too tired to do it right now. So here is a photograph taken on Saturday at Tremanskärr.

(Posting title is from the poem Pretty by Stevie Smith.)

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Red is the thunder in our ears

Here are photographs taken earlier this week when we had some rainy days. You can guess why places with color were attractive for taking photographs.

Today I'm planning to go for a walk later in the afternoon, to explore spring. I had trouble sleeping and while half-awake I was planning which route to take in the forests at Luukki. I think I need a compass to be sure to get where I want. But it may be that the children want to go for a walk also, and then I need to take a much easier route.

TOP had a posting about vacuum cleaners, of all things, and this made me think about the various shapes a vacuum cleaner can have.

The models shown in the TOP posting remind me of old comics (and movies) from the 1950s and 1960s. I wonder about the ergonomic problems with such models which have the motor built-into to the handle and the nozzle, which means that every time you move the cleaner you have to move the motor as well. I guess this type of vacuum cleaner is called "upright", whereas I'm used to the so-called "canister" type.

Currently I use an Electrolux UltraOne vacuum cleaner, which has proved to be a good one, even though not the absolutely most quiet model.

Today I decided to look for the bags for the vacuum cleaner, which are of "s-bag" type, and I realized there are huge differences in the prices. I ordered one of the cheapest varieties on offer, containing 15 bags and three motor filters. The price was only slightly higher that the cost of 4 original Electrolux bags.

Update: I walked for two hours in the forests and swamps at Luukki, north of lake Myllyjärvi, in the Revonkorpi area. I got a bit lost when I forgot to read the map carefully, walking past the north end of lake Hauklampi until I realized I need to go south instead of northwest. I was confused by a stream which I thought was marked on the map, but this one wasn't, as it probably is a stream which dries up during summer and is thus not on the map. This week I got 7-8 hours of exercise, and for the next three days I'm planning 8-12 hours of walking. Have to see how it goes. I'm pondering whether I should walk along routes which are clearly marked, or go to places where there are no paths to follow. I have some orienteering maps I could use, but the problem is I often forget to read the map and thus tend to get a bit lost.

(Posting title is from the poem The History of Red by Linda Hogan.)

And build on nothing but a passing cloud!

Here are more photographs taken yesterday at Tremanskärr. I like my tall rubber boots a lot, they allow exploring places which would otherwise be out of reach.

(Posting title is from the poem The Skylark by John Clare.)

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Like melting snow upon some craggy hill

Since last Sunday I posted photographs taken at Tremanskärr, and today I returned there.

The flood had decreased by 20 cm, and there was little snow, except in the shadowed spots on the north side of hills. In the snow there were signs of deer and moose, and their droppings as well.

I got tired while walking, but it felt good. Tomorrow I'm planning yet another exploration, maybe I'll visit the same place as last Sunday, the swamps and forests north of lake Myllyjärvi in Luukki. One could once again compare the situation to how it was a week ago. Spring makes rapid progress.

(Posting title is from the poem Slow, Slow, Fresh Fount by Ben Jonson.)

Friday, April 26, 2013

The ceiling is a landscape

I'm starting to touch the bottom of the barrel, or how the saying goes? Anyway, these photographs are taken last Sunday at Luukki, and I haven't had time to look at any of the newer photographs. Yesterday I didn't take any photographs, it was such a busy and tiring day. The return flight was delayed by over four hours, so I was at home much later than expected, and didn't get much sleep before going to work.

While flying over Finland yesterday it was apparent that snow has melted away fast. Even 500 km north of here a lot of the ground starts to be bare of snow, partly because there was less snow than here in the south. I'm planning to do some walking during the next few days to explore the forests and swamps.

(Posting title is from the poem The Surrealist Learns To Fly by Jennifer O'grady.)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

If thou and thy white arms were there

I'm traveling on Thursday, and thus I prepared a posting in advance, to appear while I'm away 500 km north of Helsinki. These photographs were taken on Sunday at Luukki near lake Myllyjärvi. There was still some snow left especially in the shadowed parts of the landscape, but I think most of the snow will melt away this week.

(Posting title is from the poem Should the Wide World Roll Away by Stephen Crane.)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

That was the daylight’s assignment

I'm still posting photographs taken on Saturday Sunday at Luukki near lake Myllyjärvi. And it is good that they the photographs from weekend last, as I haven't had much time to look at any of the newer photographs. Tomorrow I'll be traveling, so it is uncertain whether I'll be able to post. Well, maybe I'll prepare yet another posting from the photographs from Saturday Sunday to appear tomorrow. (Addendum: I got confused about when I took these photographs, I'm just too busy right now...)

Art pointed out a new camera, the Panasonic LF1, which borrows from the earlier LX7. However, for me the deal-breaker is the wide end of the lens, which is 28 mm (equiv.) instead of 24 mm as in the LX5 and LX7. But otherwise the LF1 seems to be competent, though focusing on somewhat different kind of needs than LX3/LX5/LX7.

(Posting title is from the poem Snapshots with Wide Apertures Shown on the Road by Pimone Triplett.)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

We need the landscape to repeat us

I'm still posting photographs I took on Saturday at Tremanskärr. Here you see the flooding in forests, where rain and melting snow have gathered in puddles waiting for the ground to thaw to allow the water to seep away.

(Posting title is from the poem Heart’s Needle by W. D. Snodgrass.)

Monday, April 22, 2013

Stomping on the pedals of my little bicycle

These photographs were taken on Saturday at Tremanskärr, at the swamp and at lake Kurkijärvi. It was a fine day to explore the changes wrought by spring.

I commuted by bicycle today. It took 44 minutes to get to work, and 43 minutes to get back home. It usually takes longer for the return part, because I'm more tired at the end of day, but today I needed to be at home earlier, and thus I pedaled faster than usual. And it felt good to ride the bicycle. In fact, even though I got home on time, I didn't get too tired. Practice helps.

(Posting title is from the poem Transcendentalism by Lucia Perillo.)