Jack’s Walk


Autumn leaf, ©voyager, all rights reserved

Well, there it is. The first colourful leaf of autumn laying on our forest pathway. The trees themselves haven’t turned colour yet, but slowly the signs of autumn are beginning to appear. Around our neighbourhood the hydrangea blooms are withering and big pots of colourful mums are appearing. In the country John Deere green tractors go back and forth and back and forth preparing the land for winter.  It’s sweater season and it’s my favourite time of year.

Jack’s Walk

Big Bob the red oak, ©voyager, all rights reserved

One of the nicest words in the English language is home, and that’s exactly where we are today. Home. We’ve been away for nearly 2 months and, as nice as it was to be seaside, I’m happy to be back. Jack feels the same way. This morning we went to our favourite forest path, Trillium Woods, and Jack ran around like a puppy with his tail held high and a bounce in his step. He peed on trees until he ran empty and then he air-peed some more. Jack grew up on this little forest path. It’s where his big sister Lucy taught him to climb and chase and I imagine these woods still carry her scent even though she’s been gone for a year. This is home to Jack as surely as our little house is and today he’s a very happy boy. There is no better welcome home.

Harakka Island – Chapter 9

We’re back to  Arakka an Island and in this chapter Ice Swimmer takes us to see views east. Off we go…


Chapter 9 – Views East


1. Birches and Särkkä, ©Ice Swimmer, all rights reserved

From the front yard of Vellamo, we take another look at Särkkä, also seeing a few birches and the tower of the church in Suomenlinna. The church tower has a dual role as a lighthouse.

[Read more…]

Harakka Island – Chapter 8

It’s another chapter of Ice Swimmer’s Harakka an Island.  We’ve climbed down from the top and we’re ready to go. Lead the way Ice Swimmer.


Chapter 8- East Shore to Vellamo


1. A Birch and Särkkä, ©Ice Swimmer, all rights reserved

A bit to the south of the crossroads, there’s birch and we can see the island Särkkä in the southeast. Särkkä is next to the Suomenlinna Sea Fortress and the fortfications in Särkkä were built to support the main sea fortress. Nowadays Särkkä is used by a yacht club as a base and there are two restaurants there.


2. Footprints or Whose Island Part 3, ©Ice Swimmer, all rights reserved

Also on the eastern shore, webbed feet are quite numerous.


3. Strawberries ©Ice Swimmer, all rights reserved

Wild strawberry plants were plentiful, but there were very few berries.


4. Stone Ruin and Vellamo Cottage, ©Ice Swimmer, all rights reserved

The Vellamo House/Cottage is a nature fairy tale house for kids featuring books and educational play facilities.


5. Entry, Ice Swimmer, ©all rights reserved

This mystery path through the bush starts next to Vellamo.


6. Duckboards or Pitkospuut,  ©all rights reserved

The mystery path features duckboards, in Finnish pitkospuut (free translation: lengthwise planks of wood), to walk on. We don’t (or more like, I didn’t) want to get ticks so, we leave the mystery be a mystery.

Next, we’ll go to the front yard of Vellamo to take a look east.

(link to previous post, Harakka an Island: Chapter 7)


Harakka Island – Chapter 7

When we last left Ice Swimmer’s series Harakka an Island we were at the top of the island. Where to next Ice Swimmer?


Chapter 7 – Back from the Top and Downhill



1. View East from the Laboratory Front Yard, ©Ice Swimmer, all rights reserved

Now we’re back from the top of the island, in the front yard of the Artists’ Building, looking east, the pier is behind the red wooden buildings. We’ll go a bit south and go down the hill back towards the crossroads.


2. Down to the Crossroads, ©Ice Swimmer all rights reserved

We’re going down the same road we got up to the Artists’ Building. The history exhibition building is to the left and the pier from which we came is on the other side of the crossroads. We’ll be going to the right from the crossroads, to the south.

(link to previous post, Harakka an Island, Chapter 6)

Harakka Island – Chapter 6

It’s time for the next chapter in Ice Swimmer’s series Harakka – an Island. Our guide will take it from here. Thanks, Ice Swimmer.


Chapter 6 – Top of the Island


1. Odd Spruce, Rocks and open sea, ©Ice Swimmer, all rights reserved

This view is from the top of the island, towards southeast. I wonder what has happened to the spruce.

[Read more…]

Jack’s Walk

©voyager, all rights reserved

It was raining this morning so Jack and I went to Terracotta Park, hoping the canopy would help keep us dry. It did, more or less, but we still came home with wet hair and feet. Oh well, it was a good excuse to make hot chocolate, curl up together on the sofa and share a few maple cookies.

Tree Tuesday

Our tree this week comes from the down under part of the planet courtesy of Lofty who says:

The Dwarf Peach tree is just over 2 metres tall after 25 years with us, and is now putting on a beautiful feast for the honey bees. Just about every other bush or tree on the property tries to overpower it, but we don’t let them. The coming storm will probably strip off many of the blooms so I had to get a picture today in between gathering clouds.

What a glorious tree. The flowers are such a pretty pink and there are so many of them, I hope the coming storm won’t cause too much damage.Thanks so much for sharing, Lofty


Dwarf peach tree, ©Lofty all rights reserved


Floral detail, dwarf peach tree, ©Lofty all rights reserved

Harakka Island- Chapter 4

We’re on to chapter 4 of Ice Swimmer’s series, Harakka, an Island and today we’re heading toward the water. I’m always drawn to big, open water and these photos show off the sea beautifully. I’ll let Ice Swimmer fill you in on the details.


Chapter 4 – West

The western shore of Harakka is visible from Uunisaari and one conversation with Nightjar in the comments of a posting with a picture of Harakka from Uunisaari sparked the idea to go and explore the island.


1. Open Sea in the Southwest, ©Ice Swimmer all rights reserved

There is a path from near the northwestern corner of the Artists’ Building to the other side of the earthworks behind the building. The path leads to cliffs on the western shore of Harakka. When looking southwest from the path one can see some islands, but also open sea.

[Read more…]

A tree story

Raucus Indignation sent this in a few weeks ago and I had planned to post it on Tree Tuesday, but I’ve now decided that this submission is about more than just the tree so I’m posting it today instead. I’ll let Raucus explain:

I have many old apple trees around my home.  The property is on an old orchard. This one didn’t survive the winter.  It will be replaced by another apple or maybe a hazelnut in honour of Caine.  I’ll send photos of the new trees once they’re planted.

I’m sorry to hear about the lost apple tree, but I think that planting a new one is the perfect way to remember a friend who loved trees and the birds that make them home. I look forward to seeing the photos of the new tree once it’s planted. Thanks so much for sharing, Raucus.


©Raucus Indignation, all rights reserved

©Raucus Indignation, all rights reserved

©Raucus Indignation, all rights reserved

©Raucus Indignation, all rights reserved