1. Ice Swimmer says

    The larch is in front of Finlandia Hall next to the flag poles.

    In the second photo, it was snowing. It’s taken in the park between the main street of Helsinki, Mannerheimintie and the bay Töölönlahti, north of Finlandia Hall. Over the bay in the left are the Linnunlaulu cliffs with the nice villas and the gorge blasted through the cliffs for the railways and in the middle and the right the lights of the railways to the Helsinki Central Railway Station can be sort of seen.

    The third is from a bus stop in Munkkiniemi in Western Helsinki. The name is a bit misleading as you can’t see the actual bay Saunalahti, I think the reeds on the left are in the bay Pikku Huopalahti, which is basically the narrow part in the bottom of Saunalahti. I think the little pond wasn’t there before the 2004 record-breaking sea floods, there was just some lawn there. A bit south of this place, on the eastern shore of Saunalahti is the old Presidential Residence Tamminiemi, which is now a museum. On the western shore of the bays, there are large parks and some buildings.

    The last one is from one of the oldest residential areas of Helsinki, Kruununhaka and the flowerbed is on the east end of the street Meritullinkatu, close to the stairs that go from Meritullinkatu to down to the street Kristianinkatu, which is some 15-20 metres lower. Does anyone know what are the flowers and what’s that little bush?

  2. Ice Swimmer says

    Marcus @ 1

    A spy or assasination thriller. There were a lot of spies in Helsinki during Cold War. The 1975 CSCE conference* was held at Finlandia Hall. There would be a lot to work from.

    * = Department of Redundancy Department

  3. jazzlet says

    I agree the flowers look like hydrangea, if it is the flower head will eventually go brown, and the leaves will drop, but the ‘petals’ will stay attached so you’ll have a brown flower instead of a blue one. Sorry no idea on the bush.

    That larch is gorgeous.

  4. rq says

    Very small hydrangea, but that’s what the northern climes will do! :)

    #2 looks like a perfect stock shot for a thriller novel

    A very noir, morose, straight-faced Scandinavian spy thriller where all the tension is created by trying to figure out who will smile first. I love the moodiness of the photograph, the soft, eerie, unnatural quality of the light. There’s something just out of frame, down that path to the right…

    I love the larch in the first, too -- it glows, especially with those low grey November clouds in the background.

  5. Ice Swimmer says

    Thanky You, jazzlet and rq!

    Hydrangea would be called hortensia here. Easier to pronounce as the vowel harmony rule* isn’t broken in that.

    rq @ 8

    To the right from that path there is a small sandy field with a few outdoor chessboards and there is a free public toilet back to the right. One could have a dead letter box using them.

    * = a, o, and u can be in the same word or part of a compound word, ä, ö and y likewise, but you can’t have both groups in the same word or part of a compound word, e and i can go with both.

  6. lumipuna says

    Ice Swimmer:

    I think the little pond wasn’t there before the 2004 record-breaking sea floods, there was just some lawn there.

    Has it been regularly filled since 2004, or only occasionally after sea floods and heavy winter rains? This October and November have certainly been rainy. (And more coming, nearly 20 mm measured at Kumpula weather station over the last 24 hours, when everything was already soaking.)

    I think the other small bush is some Spiraea species or hybrid, general Finnish name pensasangervo.

  7. Ice Swimmer says

    lumipuna @ 11

    I think it’s been a pond most of the time for the last few years, not just 2017 and 2004. Maybe not during one of the very dry summers. My vague recollection is that it’s been getting more and more permanent and there have been times of both low and high sea levels.

    Thanks, Spiraea decumbens / lamopensasangervo is my guess as the bush was at most 30 cm high. Now, I got an earworm, S. Albert Kivinen singing “Spirea” (a protest song in Finnish about Spiro Agnew, to the tune of Mantšurian kukkuloilla/On the Hills of Manchuria/На сопках Маньчжурии).

  8. Ice Swimmer says

    Me @ 12

    Additional info: S. Albert Kivinen sang the song in his own key, in places not in tune with the accompaniment.

  9. lumipuna says

    Ok, my best guess for the pond is that the soil under it is very unpermeable and there is a built-in salaoja (undrground drainage pipe) which has been getting gradually more and more clogged over the years.

    There’s a similar effect in my neighborhood, on a forage field bordering on Viikinojanpuisto in Latokartano. A depression in the field collects rainwater, which tends to stay in despite piping. The pipe was re-installed a few years ago, which helped a little, but now it seems to be getting clogged again.

    In weather like this, there’s a puddle of maybe 1000 sq m, overflowing to a footpath (similar to the one in your pic) next to it.

  10. Ice Swimmer says

    Wikipedia says salaoja(literally secret ditch) is French drain (+quite a few synonyms). I guess the sea flood in 2004 could have pushed mud and debris into the French drain.

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