Wednesday, April 30, 2014

I’ll call you when I’ve finished one more page

This photograph was taken at Tremanskärr on April 26th. A cone had fallen down so that it stayed in this position, and it took a while to understand what kept it upright.

I have written here at Light Scrape a few times about the great colleagues I have at work, but today I thought about something else, which is even more remarkable: the bosses are great. And I'm not joking here, this is how it is.

I think I know something about bosses, having worked well over 25 years in various positions, also in management, seven years as a group manager, and seven years as a director with managers reporting to me. I had great people working with me during those days, and I learned a lot about leadership and what it takes to be a good boss.

So, what makes a good boss? Well, here is just one example to think about: organizational changes. A good boss minimizes organizational changes, which often work like poison on the workplace. If there is a problem, all too often the standard reply is that it will be fixed in the next organizational change (instead of just fixing the problem on the spot).

And when the organizational change happens, a couple of things may indeed get fixed, but a dozen new problems will appear. And those new problems are promised to be fixed ... in the next organizational change.

Professor Kiti Müller has written that Finland is the country in EU which is the most active in initiating organizational changes, and she has written wise words about how that poisons the work environment. We inflict unnecessary suffering to ourselves here in Finland.

But as I said, I have good bosses, and I feel blessed. Today I realized I shouldn't take for granted such good things.

At one point I speculated here at Light Scrape what I would do if I would suddenly get rich (an unlikely scenario if any). I wrote about walking four hours each day, and reading books four hours each day. But I think I would also like to continue with the work I have, which is rewarding and challenging. And despite being often extremely busy, and despite the rapid rate of change all around, I like my work, especially the people I work with.

(Posting title is from the poem Love and Work by Rachel Wetzsteon.)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

I blush to trouble you again

Yesterday and today I have been so busy that a lot of things which should have been relatively easy got complex. When details get mixed up or there are changes in the plan, a lot of things are in a danger of slipping.

But starting on May 1st I have four days free. I have plans for walking in forests and swamps, and that is great.

(Posting title is from the poem Sent with a Flower-Pot Begging a Slip of Geranium by Christian Milne.)

Monday, April 28, 2014

My frog is a frog with a reason, of course

On April 26th I walked for two hours in the forests and swamps at Tremanskärr. At Kurkijärvi lake there wasn't yet much spring foliage in evidence, but some frogs were singing.

Speaking of frogs, I was disappointed yesterday that there weren't frogs making music at lake Vähä Romlampi in Nuuksio. Is that time already passed, or was I too early?

I looked at the previous years, and I have caught frogs in photographs quite a few times during spring, in late April or early May. It may be that it is already too late for this year to catch the music.

(Posting title is from the poem My Frog Is a Frog by Jack Prelutsky.)

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Somewhere the original harmony must be found

On April 21st I visited Porkkala peninsula with my youngest daughter. She had keen eyes, and spotted a lot of things which I missed.

Today I walked for two hours in Nuuksio, northeast of lake Siikajärvi. My intention was to check out whether there would be frogs making spring music at a little lake I have visited before, but no luck. Maybe it is still a bit too early in the spring.

(Posting title is from the poem Music by Juhan Liiv, translated by H.L. Hix and Jüri Talvet.)

Of how we’re each surrounded

Yesterday I worked for a couple of hours outside the house, in the garden and so on, and that felt nice. Some rain would be good to have, to clean up pollen and dry dirt that is covering surfaces, but otherwise it isn't yet too dry in the garden.

Yesterday evening I explored the swamps and forests at Tremanskärr, walking for two hours. Some of the more shadowed swamps were still partly frozen, and spring hadn't yet gone very far. In fact, there were still a lot of blue anemone flowers to be found, and wood anemone was just opening up. But in more open places the sun has of course managed to advance spring much further. And frogs were singing at lake Kurkijärvi.

The photograph was taken on April 12th in Meiko.

(Posting title is from the poem Surfaces by Kay Ryan.)

Saturday, April 26, 2014

And never ever ever stop wondering why

On April 12th and 13th there was still some ice remaining in shadowy spots of forests, where water had been flowing on top of ice and frozen there. Today the temperature is at +15 °C, and sun is shining, and the last bits of ice are melting away. And the fresh green color of spring foliage is painting the landscape in pastels. I need to get out for a walk and take photographs.

(Posting title is from the song I F***ing Love Science by Hank Green.)

To see clear, resist the drag of  images

Sometimes when you are tired the mind makes unexpected interpretations. I took some photographs of a fly on a catkin, and then there was also a photograph of a dry old tree, and for some reason my brain thought that there is a giant fly hanging from the top of the tree. Strange, isn't it?

(Posting title is from the poem Pathetic Fallacies Are Bad Science But by Marie Ponsot.)

Friday, April 25, 2014

The bond of live things everywhere

I have got about nine hours of exercise so far this week, six hours riding the bicycle and three hours walking. I felt a bit tired after commuting by bicycle on Tuesday and Wednesday, but today I felt good.

These photographs were taken in the forests near lake Munkträsk. This isn't a place I would recommend visiting, as there has been a lot of logging going on in the forests, including clearcutting.

(Posting title is from the poem cutting greens by Lucille Clifton.)

Good losers don't laugh last

At Porkkala peninsula there were not only rocks and sea but also some forest, in clumps surrounded by rocks. And there were even little bits of swamp here and there, providing nice surprises when walking.

(Posting title is from the poem Glad by Coleman Barks.)

Thursday, April 24, 2014

A way to light - to light

I have taken photographs using aperture priority mode even since I got my first camera, the Minolta XG-1 SLR. I used a couple of point-and-shoot cameras in between, but I returned to aperture priority when I bought the Panasonic LX3, and I continued with the same settings on the LX5.

When the click wheel got stuck on the LX5 I was unable to change aperture, which was stuck to the minimum setting, f/2.0 at the wide end of the lens. But I have been using the same custom settings nevertheless all this time, until today.

After the previous posting I decided to try out the P (program) mode on the LX5, and here you see a sample.

There is nothing special about the photographs, but I think the selections the LX5 made concerning aperture and shutter speed were rather good, so I think I'll continue trying out the P mode. However, I need to change some of the default settings, such as the film mode, to be able to get the results I want, escaping from the oversaturated colors which are the default.

(Posting title is from the poem Aperture by Nuar Alsadir.)

The sky rolls in and out on its journey

I'm not sure whether this photograph is worth posting. It is of course technically flawed, shot towards the sun, with glare wiping out a lot of the detail. And as the click wheel on the LX5 is stuck I was unable to change aperture from f/2.0 which resulted in overexposure.

I should switch from aperture priority to program mode (it isn't a good idea to use aperture priority if one isn't able to change the aperture, yes?), but I'm just too lazy to change any of the settings on the LX5.

However, I feel good when I look at this photograph.

(Posting title is from the poem Lauderdale by Laura Newbern.)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Open, upturned, outstretched, uplifting him

Here are more photographs taken at Porkkala peninsula. I feel the call of the peninsula, but maybe I can resist for a while. But there is so much to be explored further...

I still have feelings of sore throat, and I have been somewhat tired during the last few days. But that may be due to lack of sleep. In any case, commuting by bicycle feels good; I wouldn't like to sit in a car or a bus when the weather is sunny like this.

(Posting title is from the poem Argyle on Knocknagaroon by Thomas P. Lynch.)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

To dance upon the air!

I got a sore throat today, but there were no other flu symptoms. Perhaps this is something minor. In any case, I commuted by bicycle, without feeling especially tired afterwards, so I guess I'm more or less ok.

These photographs were taken on April 19th at Porkkala peninsula.

(Posting title is from the poem The Ballad of Reading Gaol by Oscar Wilde.)

Monday, April 21, 2014

There's a certain sadness to this body of water

I visited Porkkala peninsula on Saturday, and on Sunday I wrote that I need to resist the call of the peninsula. Well, the call became irresistible, and today I went to Porkkala peninsula once again, with my youngest daughter. We saw a lot of interesting things, and enjoyed the visit greatly.

These photographs were taken on Saturday at Porkkala peninsula.

(Posting title is from the poem The End of Landscape by Randall Mann.)

Till all the skins we’ve shed lie sparkling

These photographs were taken at Korkeasaari Zoo on April 18th. Taking photographs of caged animals isn't something I especially enjoy, but having a camera with me I took the opporturnity.

(Posting title is from the poem The Courtship of the Lizard Lover by Kate Buckley.)

Sunday, April 20, 2014

To a passionate longing without a name

Here are some little details in noticed at Porkkala peninsula. I think the flower is Corydalis solida, even though its pose and length reminds of Corydalis intermedia; in any case this is the first time I have seen this flower. Of the second species I have no idea, I found it 5 meters from the sea.

Today I walked for two hours in the forests east of lake Munkträsk, but it wasn't so nice as there had been a lot of logging going on in the forests. But there were signs of spring anyway.

(Posting title is from the poem The Teak Forest by Laurence Hope.)

Ah stay, my heart, the weight

Yesterday I wrote about being overwhelmed by the landscape at Porkkala peninsula, and one aspect of it was the difficulty of knowing how to capture the landscape in a photograph. There was just too much to take in at once, an impressive amount of small-scale details and the grand vista of the sea.

Anyway, here are four photographs taken at Pampskatan, which is the south end of the peninsula, almost like an island, sea all around. It was dry, and the effects of drought were visible in the landscape.

I'm still remembering the impressions of the peninsula, and it is calling, calling, but I must resist the call, I must, resist.

(Posting title is from the poem Sea-Heroes by H. D.)

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Do you even know what it looks like, smells like?

Sometimes one can get overwhelmed with a landscape, and so happened to me today. A friend suggested that Porkkala peninsula would be a nice place to go for a walk, and today afternoon I decided to check it out.

The road to the peninsula is a narrow one, curving a lot, going up and down small hills, and driving the car was an experience in itself. In fact, there were bicycles and motorbikes on the road as well. I had to stop a couple of times to read the map, and parked the car in a place which wasn't so good, but next time I'll know better.

From the car I walked up to the Telegrafberget hill, and that was already something, as there were little pockets of trees and even swamps bitween the rocks on the hill. And from the top of the hill there opened a panorama view over the blue sea - blue all the way to the horizon, and blue sky above.

From the hill I descended to the west side of the peninsula, and walked on top of the cliff toward south, taking quite a lot of photographs on the way. I walked all the way to the south end of the peninsula, Pampskatan. There were some people walking with dogs, a couple of people camping, and some people observing the birds.

I returned via the east side of the peninsula, where there were some well-traveled paths, and a parking place nearer than where I left the car. I guess parking place may be hard to find during busy summer months, but now there were only a dozen cars.

The wind from the sea felt good, but I started to wonder how it would feel during a storm. Maybe the best time to visit the peninsula would be during an autumn storm. Hmmm, I have to remember this.

The photographs that I took may not be that good, as the ground was very dry, and thus colors were muted. But the experience of the landscape was profound, and I have to return to Porkkala at some point. However, the drive takes almost an hour, so this isn't quite so easy as going to Meiko or Nuuksio.

The photographs were taken yesterday at Korkeasaari Zoo. This fellow, a European bison, seemed to know how to handle a piece of wood.

(Posting title is from the poem Everybody Has a Heartache: A Blues by Joy Harjo.)

Their looping eyes continually

Yesterday there were plenty of (common) gulls at Korkeasaari Zoo, keeping lookout on bits of edible matter. In fact, in some places there were more gulls than people, and at least the humans that were watching how animals behave were closely observed in return.

(Posting title is from the poem Kalaloch by Carolyn Forché.)

Friday, April 18, 2014

Here, a clearing of grass is a clearing of snakes

I went today with the daughters to Korkeasaari Zoo in Helsinki, and we walked around the island for three hours. My feet are a bit sore, because I'm not used to walking on a hard surface, I much prefer forests and swamps. But otherwise the day was excellent, sunny and reasonably warm, and the wind wasn't too hard either.

Tomorrow I'm planning to walk by the seaside again, but I haven't yet decided exactly where to go.

The photograph was taken at the southwest corner of Stormossen swamp on April 17th.

(Posting title is from the poem Moon Grass Rain by Fady Joudah.)

Or be caught by a vain affectation of wit

During the walk at Stormossen swamp yesterday I spotted some red color.

(Posting title is from the poem The Lover: A Ballad by Lady Mary Wortley Montagu.)