Friday, July 19, 2013

Who are saved, but die in dreams

Here are some landscape photographs taken at Korkeasaari Zoo on July 9th.

Yesterday we spent 2 1/2 hours at Katinkulta Spa at Vuokatti, because children wanted to go swimming. Outside it was +14 °C, which was too cool for swimming although warmer than day before yesterday when it was +10 °C. But inside Katinkulta spa we had it nice and warm.

Today we are traveling to Salla, which is north of the arctic circle (at 66°50′N). The weather will be rather cold, between +7 and +14 °C. But I think we'll find things to do nevertheless. On the way to Salla we plan to visit Hiisijärvi, "Goblin lake" (see here in Finnish). I found a description of the place in English, here is a quote:

Sands of Hiisijärvi date back to 1761 when farmers of Hiisijärvi village determined to lower the level of the Lake Hiisijärvi in order to get the meadows in the bank area under cultivation. They dug only a small ditch through the sandy ridge. The purpose of the ditch was to lower the level of the Lake Hiisijärvi by allowing the water to gradually run into the Pond Tenkalampi which located a bit farther down.

Unfortunately, the water flow caused ridge erosion, and since the pond was much lower than the lake, the free-flowing water stream could not be controlled. During heavy spring flooding the water flows ploughed through creating a deep outlet, thus lowering the level of the Lake Hiisijärvi as much as 14 meters.

The catastrophic flood forced its way to the Lake Pyhäntäjärvi destroying buildings and constructions located on the lakeside. From the Pyhäntäjärvi the floodwaters tumbled along the River Kiehimäjoki to the Lake Oulujärvi, where the signs of the flood catastrophy can still be seen. If the draining of the lake Hiisijärvi had not got out of the farmers' hands, the beach called Kainuun Riviera (the Riviera of Kainuu) had never been born.

Also, my two-hour walk up and down the hills at Vuokatti didn't go without aftereffects. I noticed later that my running shoes had got torn, and there were two big holes, one in each shoe. Well, they were quite old shoes, and while they fit my feet perfectly, it was time to get new ones.

So I shopped for new shoes at Kajaani, in the biggest shop there is, but it turned out that there was only one pair of shoes that fit my feet, European size 47 1/2, US size 12 1/2. There was a discount sale, so it got the shoes cheaply, and they did fit my feet well, almost as well as the old ones which had molded to my feet ages ago. The only drawback with the new shoes is the color. The old ones were gray, with some darker gray patches, but the new ones are bright red, with some pink highlights.

I thought that the children would be delighted by the color of the shoes, but even they said that the color is terrible. Well, what can one do where there was only one pair that fits the feet. So, if you see today someone with red shoes, size 47 1/2, walking at Hiisijärvi, that someone almost certainly is me.

Posting title is from the poem American Incognito by David Gewanter. I searched for a poem with the word "mammoth" in it (cf. the first photograph), and found this poem, and even though there is little common with the poem and these photographs, I liked (or maybe "was shocked by" would be more accurate) the poem so much that I'm using it for the title.

Update: I noticed that today is the day when the World Championship in Swamp Soccer starts at Hyrynsalmi, which is right along our drive to Salla. But I think I'll pass this one, although the weather should be fine for Swamp Soccer, as it is raining. Wikipedia offers some info on this.

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