Harakka Island – Chapter 5


It’s time for another chapter in Ice Swimmer’s series Harakka – an IslandThanks again Ice Swimmer. Now, take us away…


Chapter 5 – On the Way to the Top of the Island


Fireweed behind the laboratory, ©Ice Swimmer, all rights reserved

We come back from the shore and take a closer look at the fireweed behind the Artists’ Building, the former laboratory.


Fireweed near the Laboratory, ©Ice Swimmer, all rights reserved

There is more fireweed near the building and also some shrubbery and young trees.


Kasematti, ©Ice Swimmer, all rights reserved

As the island has been a military site, there are multiple casemates (in Finnish, in singular: kasematti), built by Russians when Finland still was a part of the Russian Empire, that were used for storing ammo and this is one of them a bit south of the building.


Fireweed by the Wall, ©Ice Swimmer, all rights reserved

Now we’ve taken the path south, past the casemate to get to the top of the island. There is an area protected by the wall with, again, some fireweed and some benches.

Next we’ll be getting to the actual top of the island.

(link to previous post, Harakka an Island: Chapter 4)



  1. says

    Ah, the not-humble fireweed. Pioneering plant whose fluffy seeds get everywhere. I see it does not colonize only abbandoned rubble heaps and bomb craters, but islands too. I love the first picture. It reminds me of some places near my home, thus giving me a strange feel of connection.

  2. Ice Swimmer says

    jazzlet @ 1

    Some of what’s over the wall was shown in the previous chapter. The wind turbine in all the pictures is the same one. However, who knows what secret structures and wildlife is hiding where we can’t see.

    I would have also liked to see many places closer, but that wasn’t an option as humans are only allowed to move on the paths unless it is necessary to go off the path to get away from a bird potentially or actually defending their nest.

  3. rq says

    Fireweed colonizes everything, I’m sure. Lots of it in roadsides and ditches here. I particularly like the last shot.
    And yes, what is on the other side of that wall…?

  4. Nightjar says

    Fireweed doesn’t grow here and I had never seen it. Looks beautiful. I especially love the last photo, such wonderful light!

  5. jazzlet says

    Thanks Ice Swimmer!

    Fireweed is a willowherb, it’s an early coloniser of disturbed ground, hence the name, it filled the bomb craters of Europe during and after WWII. It can be be a bit of a thug spreading into large patches as well as seeding all over the place, but it’s a good nectar provider and if you want rid it can be dug up easily enough.

  6. Nightjar says

    jazzlet, thanks for the information on fireweed. Sounds like Datura stramonium here, in terms of ability to quickly colonise disturbed soil. Hopefully fireweed doesn’t smell that bad when handled…

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