Friday, February 28, 2014

But the Lion just can’t trust his teeth

Luomus, the Finnish Museum of Natural History, provides lots of things for the photographer. And it was nice to see how the children used their phones to take photographs and record videos.

(Posting title is from the poem Why Nobody Pets the Lion at the Zoo by John Ciardi.)

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The question that he frames in all but words

Luomus, the Finnish Museum of Natural History, has great exhibitions, and here are some bird-related views. It is great that you are allowed to take photographs inside the museum.

The weather is holding near 0 °C, and it hasn't been raining or snowing, so the conditions are excellent for commuting by bicycle. I haven't yet changed summer tires to the bicycle, but maybe there is time for this during the weekend. Another thing is that the sun rises already at 7:26 AM, which means that soon there is no need to use lights in the bicycle while commuting to work.

(Posting title is from the poem The Oven Bird by Robert Frost.)

Had nothing else to do but act as scribes

On February 19th I visited with the children Luomus, the Finnish Museum of Natural History. There is plenty of things to see, and what is even better, you are allowed to take photographs inside the museum. Here you see a sample of the collections.

(Posting title is from the poem Cacoethes Scribendi by Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

First you figure out what each one means by itself

Here are some more abstract compositions, photographs taken on February 18th in Vaakkoi.

Today I commuted by bicycle, after a pause of two weeks, and it felt good. In fact, it felt really good. I was using studded winter tires, but they are unnecessary, as there was no ice on the road at all. I need to install the ordinary tires, and then it will be even better, because then the commute time is 10 minutes shorter than when using the winter tires.

(Posting title is from the poem Breakage by Mary Oliver.)

If you have ever gone to the woods with me

These photographs were taken in Vaakkoi on February 18th. This is a nice place for walking, this time of the year, as there are few people who walk here, and the road noise isn't too bad, at least in the north parts of the area.

But this isn't quite so fine landscape as certain parts of Nuuksio, in which you can experience nature in a more wild form, or Meiko, which is much less known and thus even less visited by people. Also, this is moose territory, not so much roe deer here, compared to Meiko. But for picking blueberries (and maybe even cloudberries) this is a fine place during summer.

I'm now reading a book of poems by Mary Oliver, Swan: Poems and Prose Poems, which has been translated into Finnish.

Why didn't I know of Oliver before? She has won the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize, and has a really long career, not to speak of her skill of being an "indefatigable guide to the natural world, particularly to its lesser-known aspects."

I'm hooked after reading only a couple of poems. As an example, the prose poem "How I Go to the Woods" starts as follows (here I looked up the original version):

Ordinarily I go to the woods alone, with not a single friend, for they are all smilers and talkers and therefore unsuitable.

(Posting title is from this poem.)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

To say loses itself in the bend of winter

These photographs were taken in Vaakkoi on February 18th, showing some of the lakes I visited while walking around the area. There was still plenty of snow left.

Today the depth-of-snow figure at Vantaa airport is 0 cm. And the length of day is 10 h 5 min, which is fine indeed. However, as there is no snow left, the night gets very dark after sunset, quite a different feeling than a week ago.

(Posting title is from the poem Black Mare by Lynda Hull.)

Now that we have done this where else do we go?

On February 18th I had a long walk in Vaakkoi, circling the area in an anticlockwise direction. There were quite a lot of moose tracks, but few signs of people having walked there recently.

(Posting title is from the song Road to the Hill by Ewert and The Two Dragons.)

Monday, February 24, 2014

Within one heart so diverse mind

These photographs were taken on February 17th in Luukki, near lake Hauklampi. I need to start processing photographs on the computer, I have almost 1500 of them waiting - but this is the step I'm not especially keen on as regards photography. But walking in forests and swamps with a camera, that is another matter, I could do that all day long if it would be financially possible.

After the vacation I had an excessively busy day, and quite a pile of e-mail to go through. I did have 1/2 hour for lunch between meetings that were one after another, but the lunch turned out to be a work meeting as well. Tomorrow is even worse, meetings one after another and no break in between.

(Posting title is from the poem Is it Possible by Sir Thomas Wyatt.)

Or told a Finn a joke or spent an hour with a Swiss-German

These photographs were taken in Luukki on February 17th. I walked to Revonkorpi, passing lake Myllyjärvi, and returned via Hauklampi. Yesterday I walked also to Revonkorpi, but took a somewhat longer route north of Hauklampi. There was much less snow left.

Back to work today.

(Posting title is from the poem Deep Sorriness Atonement Song by Glyn Maxwell.)

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Walked forth to ease my pain

It rained a bit yesterday, and the temperature has been above +0 °C, so snow is once again melting. There is a bit of snow still left, 3 cm or so, but it is disappearing day by day.

These photographs were taken while walking in Tränuhals on February 16th. Yesterday I walked the same route, very slowly, because I was somewhat tired from the long walk in Nuuksio on Friday. The melting has proceeded much further, and there is some flooding. It this continues there won't be much snow left after next week.

Today I walked for 2 hours 10 minutes in Luukki, and all in all I have walked in forests and swamps for 17 hours during the last nine days. Lots of time to see how the landscape changes towards spring.

Taking a long walk has a calming effect. I have been reading novels by Ian McEwan, Margaret Atwood and Nicole Krauss, and these have given me a lot to think about during the walks. How fragile and awkward we human beings are.

During the vacation I watched tv for zero hours, not even Sochi 2014 Olympics.

(Posting title is from the poem Prothalamion by Edmund Spenser.)

In a certain sense, they are not serious

On February 17th I visited Heureka, the Finnish Science Centre, with the children, and there was quite a lot of things to see. The theme was "Heureka goes crazy", but I wasn't convinced that the "crazy exhibition" was a success. Well, there were a plenty of things to see in the other parts of Heureka.

(Posting title is from the poem Essay on Psychiatrists by Robert Pinsky.)

Saturday, February 22, 2014

He stops, so close that he can see

I'm slowly going through photographs taken earlier, and there are over 1000 photographs waiting for processing on the computer. These were taken on February 11th in Helsinki.

(Posting title is from the poem The Ice Storm by Christian Wiman.)

To say life itself

I walked for 3 hours 15 minutes in Nuuksio yesterday, starting much earlier than usually, at 11 am, to be able to enjoy the relatively bright day. In a week I have walked for about 13 hours in forests and swamps (and on lakes), which is rather great.

Later yesterday I went with the children to Emma, Espoo Museum of Modern Art, where there were all kinds of interesting pieces of art to be seen, and also other types of exhibitions. It must be over two years since we last visited Emma.

We also visited the library in Tapiola, and the children found the selection a bit different than in the local library, eagerly looking for new books to borrow. It is great that one can borrow (and return) items in any library in Helsinki and nearby cities.

The photographs were taken two weeks ago in Helsinki.

(Posting title is from the poem Lines on Marriage by Joel Brouwer.)

Friday, February 21, 2014

It shows us paths we know well

These photographs were taken near Tränuhals on February 9th. Someone had walked there with snowshoes, but they weren't really necessary as the depth of snow was only 10 cm, and the ground was mostly frozen underneath, making it easy to walk. Since then a lot of the snow has melted away, average depth of snow is 5 cm, and in some places there is hardly any snow left. But now we are having colder weather, and the melting has stopped for a while.

Today I walked for 3 h 15 min in the north parts of Nuuksio, starting from the west side of lake Saarijärvi, going along the west side of lake Sarkkinen to lake Suolikas. Originally I planned to circle around Suolikas from the east, but I noticed that a couple of people had walked on the ice since the snowfall during night, and so I crossed Suolikas. However, when I got near the other shore the ice started to make a somewhat worrying sound of cracking, so I circled backwards a bit and went ashore at another point.

After crossing Suolikas I walked first past lake Valkealampi, and then circled around lake Mustalampi. Then I walked south towards lake Kakarlampi, passing it from the west side, and walked all the way to lake Ruuhijärvi. Next, I went northeast to lake Pöksynhaara, and from there southeast to near lakes Orajärvi and Urja. Finally, I returned via Mustakorpi to lake Saarijärvi, walking along the south shore back to the roadside east of the lake.

I walked about half of the way in unbroken snow, and the rest along paths make by other people earlier. I didn't see anyone else, and the only fresh tracks of people were those which crossed lake Suolikas. However, there were plenty of moose tracks, and I also found a place where a moose had spent the night, melting the snow underneath. There were no signs of roe deer, however, even though this should be quite nice territory for them.

(Posting title is from Carmina Burana.)