Monday, October 24, 2016

Low sea

One high-pressure system after another has been rotating over our part of the world for such a long time now that the sea level is very low.

There is a clear line the water has left on the reeds and the solid rock. It almost feels as if we had an extended low tide although I don’t know how a tide would feel. We don’t have the tides here and neither do they have them in the Mediterranean where we generally travel to.

Not that long ago, practically no sand and stones were visible on the cottage beach. Now we can easily check who’s been visiting the waterfront while we’ve been away. This time probably a fox. A couple of weeks ago we noticed the tracks of a roe deer on the sand. Or more likely those of two as we’ve spotted a couple a few times crossing the road very close by.

In August, we were unlucky to collide with a deer on our way to the cottage. He jumped out of the blue over a ditch dense in cattails and landed on our front bumper, poor thing. Seeing him lying at the bottom of the ditch as if sleeping but lifeless was a most saddening sight, a bit like low sea but much, much more so. For once, I am looking forward to low pressure.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Yellow broadleaves

Talking about forest, there are some rather atypical ones for our country here in the southwest. As you probably know, most of Finland is situated in the boreal forest zone or taiga where coniferous evergreen trees, mainly pines and spruces, are predominant just like in Canada and Russia.

The most common wild trees of the deciduous, hardwood type found further north are the birch, the alder, the aspen and the rowan, which do not exactly compete with the broadleaf trees of the Central European type found here. The southwest is the mildest region of the country with not only some temperate mixed forest but also some actual broadleaf ones, woodlands with trees such as wild maples, linden trees, ash trees and even oaks.

The other day, we wanted to drink in a generous dose of colourful leaf therapy and visited the Ruissalo island to walk one of the trails in the nature reserve there. The ground was covered in a fabulous blanket of yellow maple leaves. We didn’t have anything like this off Helsinki where we lived before. There were some maples scattered here and there and even an occasional oak tree in our former neighbourhood but nothing to compare with this.

When pacing through such a place you feel as if you were taken abroad, to the Baltics, southern Sweden or even further south to Germany. I can’t help repeating it: we are loving this temperate corner of our country, Finland Proper as the province is called as it is the region where the tribe called Finns originally lived.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Sunshine continued

Even though the temperature has finally dropped to more normal autumn digits – sometimes only a couple of degrees above freezing point at night – there is still no end in sight to the exceptional period of rainless days in our corner of the world.

While waiting for the rain and the winter mushroom (Craterellus tubaeformis) season to begin we have continued to visit the summer cottage every few days arranging and clearing the place out for winter even a bit more than need be just in case.

We will not know until sometime next year whether the lease will be renewed for next summer or not. The present owner has never used the cottage himself having bought the place a few years ago with the intention to build a modern holiday home there. Renewal will depend on whether or not his construction project will see some progress. Besides, I feel raking and the like are very good outdoor activities for me reluctant as I am to do any exercise for exercise’s sake. As soon as the mushrooms are springing up we will start frequenting the forest.

Monday, October 3, 2016

He is no more

Two months ago today, only a few days after a most wonderful two-week holiday at the summer cottage, my daughter’s Tidy Tiger unexpectedly came to the end of his journey. The time of his life turned to an event that could be best described by an idiom too shocking to use when telling about the sudden passing of a loved pet. He just fell and that was it. A blood clot had entered his heart and nothing could be done.

I still can’t believe we will never meet the huge cuddly bundle of joy again. He would have been 10 this December. I can only imagine how much my daughter is missing him, even though she already hunted down a new companion for Sheena from a homeless cat rescue home but more about that after we have met the newcomer. 

The above photos were taken last year when the Maine Coons were staying at our place several weeks while my daughter was travelling. I was playing with the dramatic tone mode of my new camera. I could never have guessed I would publish them in such a sad connection but I am confident all is well for Tidy Tiger now. The below is my last photo of him sunbathing in late evening light on the rock by the sea keeping company to my daughter. You could tell he had a happy life.

More about the Maine Coons, for example, here, here and here.