Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Questioning myself all along the way

On December 25th I went for a walk with my daughter at Petikko. After eating a bit too well it was good to get some exercise. It was a fine day, but I don't think sun was visible at any point. Come to think of this, I don't remember when I have last time seen the sun. Daylight time is so short, and it has been clouded all the time.

(Posting title is from the poem The Test of Fantasy by Joanne Kyger.)

It wasn’t a great picture, no class

On December 21st I walked at Tremanskärr swamps and forest. I returned via lake Kurkijärvi, and it started to be quite dark already. I didn't see much, and even the camera had trouble seeing anything. Pictures of darkness.

On our travels we stayed for the night at Imatra. It was strangely appropriate that the region around Imatra was the warmest place in Finland yesterday evening at +3 °C. At Vantaa it was -1 °C.

(Posting title is from the poem Jena by Gottfried Benn, translated by Michael Hofmann.)

Monday, December 30, 2013

I don't know what the key opens

Today we are at Imatra, spending the night at the spa hotel. The swimming pool was tested and deemed acceptable. It was raining while driving towards south, and snow disappeared soon after Joensuu. Depth of snow at Imatra is 0 cm, and temperature is at 3 °C. Tomorrow will be a bit cooler, but I don't think there will be snow to be seen.

(Posting title is from the poem Interrupted Meditation by Robert Hass.)

What use can I make of these magical forms?

Sometimes I get the feeling that the blue moment after sunset really is magical, or as close to photographic magic as I can imagine. These photographs were taken by lake Bodom during the hour after sunset.

Yesterday I had a lot of exercise. I went for a walk in the morning, walking along paths around the golf course at Katinkulta. The average depth of snow is rather close to zero, but there are patches where there is still up to 15 cm of snow. Then I spent time swimming in the spa, overseeing the daughters.

Later in the afternoon I went for another walk. And then there was some bowling, competing with my oldest daughter. I won, but just barely. It must be something like 15 years since I last went bowling. And late in the evening I had yet another walk. In all I got something like five hours of exercise. This is surely enough for one day.

When we started our travel up north I looked up the depth of snow measurement for Sotkamo, and it was over 20 cm. Today it was just 2 cm. The warm weather and the rain have melted away most of the snow, and the ditches and lakes are flooded with water. It doesn't feel at all like winter.

(Posting title is from Mozart’s Third Brain by Göran Sonnevi, translated by Rika Lesser.)

Sunday, December 29, 2013

The eyes started from your head

There is an Angry Birds themed playground in Oittaa south of lake Bodom, which I have visited a couple of times with my youngest daughter. I'm not really a fan of the Angry Birds game, although I did play it for a while, and I'm not really keen on getting such a brand marked on one thing after another.

The two pairs of photographs here try to illustrate my disinterest with such brands. Things may look fine, but what is there under the surface of such brands as Disney, Angry Birds etc.? What I feel life is more about is illustrated by the second pair of photographs.

(Posting title is from the poem To the Consolations of Philosophy by W. S. Merwin.)

The twisted heart they thought

These photographs were taken by lake Bodom in Oittaa on December 20th, when my vacation started, exploring the lakeside with my daughter. I have been thinking about - and observing - humanity during the vacation, all the errors one makes even though trying to live a reasonably good life. Such twisted things we human beings are, or at least I am, or maybe I'm just an exceptionally error-prone one.

(Posting title is from the poem The Exorcism by Joyce Sutphen.)

Saturday, December 28, 2013

You, to teach me to see it

On December 25th I went for a walk with my daughter to Petikko outdoor area, which we hadn't visited for some time. Trees had fallen down in the recent storms, and someone had driven a car along the walking paths, crashing to a tree.

The roads have been slippery here up north, but everything has worked out fine. It is raining today, and the snow is melting away fast.

(Posting title is from the poem Accidents of Birth by William Meredith.)

At the bodom fundus of this royal park

I don't have the equipment to transfer the new photographs from the LX5, so I'm continuing with older photographs which I uploaded before the trip. These were taken a week ago at Oittaa, by the south shore of lake Bodom, showing how the ice has broken in pieces and reformed, and was melting away in the warm weather.

I has been wet also up north. It was raining when we arrived in Sotkamo, with some snowing mixed in. We spent time in the spa at Katinkulta, especially the outside pool where rain/snow was falling. That didn't feel too bad.

I have taken quite a few photographs, some of which I think may turn out quite well. As they say, bad weather for the photographer is good for the photographs.

(Posting title is from Finnegan's Wake by James Joyce.)

Friday, December 27, 2013

Fair, if you fail, I’ll judge all beauty vain

I'm feeling rather blurry, thus this photograph. When you are traveling, does the landscape change?

(Posting title is from a poem by John Dowland.)

That has turned itself into snow

Well, on Thursday I traveled by car with the children up north, all the way where show is still found, to Tahkovuori in Nilsiä, north of Kuopio.

The official depth of snow measurement is 16 cm, but I think there is less snow in the forest. However, there is snow, which changes the landscape quite a lot. And only 30 km south of here there wasn't snow at all, so the borderline of snow/no show is rather narrow.

The photograph above was taken a week ago in Oittaa, south of lake Bodom.

(Posting title is from the poem White-Eyes by Mary Oliver.)

Thursday, December 26, 2013

We were cut and filed and tooled and gauged to fit

Today I'll be traveling to north, about 500 km of driving. It may be that there is some snow still left where we'll stop for the first night, or then not, as the weather is rainy. But I guess not having snow isn't quite that uncommon, even though we have had some nice showy years in between. In 2008 we had little snow as well, even though it wasn't quite as warm as rainy as it has been recently.

The photographs above were taken earlier this month when we did have a little bit of snow.

(Posting title is from the poem The Secret of the Machines by Rudyard Kipling.)

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

They gather the blue objects of the world

I'm longing for snow.

And it may be that there will be some snow to be seen, as I'll be traveling north with the children starting tomorrow morning.

However, snow is escaping towards north because of the warm weather and rain, so even though today there is 10-20 cm of snow where we will be going, it will be certainly less snow later this week. And because of the rain I don't have much hope of skiing either. Perhaps it is better to leave the skis home and prepare for walking instead.

(Posting title is from the poem The Blue Booby by James Tate.)

I have been very fortunate in being able to use such penetrating minds

I went for a walk yesterday evening. It was raining, and sometimes the wind pushed the rain almost horizontally. I took some photographs, but even the camera had trouble seeing.

(Posting title is from the poem Flat: Sentences from the Prefaces of Fourteen Science Books by Bruce Covey.)