Walking in the Woods

Two weeks ago Mr and I went to our local woods for the first time this year. Living next to swamp and marshland has its advantages, but it also meant that for most of this year the paths were unwalkable, unless you wanted to recreate that child-traumatising scene from the Neverending Story where Ayax drowns in the moor. It was nice, apart from the fact that the mosquitos must have been starved before they got us.

Two round mushrooms

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We found lots of common earthballs (though I really like the name “pigskin poison puffball”, which would make an amazing name for a band), which are nice to look at, but not good for eating if you value your survival.

Puffbal mushroom with a hole in the top

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puffball growing on a tree

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And I met a frog. I don’t think that they are poisonous.

small brown frog sitting in green leaves

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Midsummer Afternoon – Part 2 – Fish in the Aquarium

Guest posts by Ice Swimmer


There is a brackish water fish exhibit on the island Harakka. The fishes, caught from the Gulf of Finland, spend their summer in aquariums and they are released back to the sea in the Autumn. In the Baltic Sea, both freshwater tolerant of some salinity and marine tolerant of low salinity species live next to each other.

The fish pictured here are less typical or well-known in Finnish waters.

In the first picture, a tench can be seen. In Fínnish, it’s called suutari, which means cobbler or shoemaker (but the name may have nothing to do with making shoes, the fish is called sutare in Swedish and shoemaker is skomakare in Swedish). The tenches were rather inactive in the aquarium. The tench is freshwater fish.

A Lazy Tench © Ice Swimmer, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

There are some pipefishes in the Baltic Sea. The pipefishes are relatives of sea horses. This broadnosed pipefish is one of them. The broadnosed pipefish is called särmäneula (edge needle, neula = needle) in Finnish. The “edges” are lengthwise bony plates under the skin, which make fish look “edgy” according to Finnish Wikipedia. Broadnosed pipefish is a marine species that’s tolerant of brackish water.

Broadnosed Pipefish © Ice Swimmer, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

In the third picture, we see a round goby. It is an invasive species from the Black Sea Area.

The Round Goby © Ice Swimmer, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

In the second aquarium post, we shall be playing a game inspired by “Spot the lizard!”.

Most Boring Game of “Find That Lizard”

In case you don’t already know, “Find that lizard” is a fun game Dr. Earyn McGee is hosting on Twitter, where you get a photo of a yard or something with a lizard hidden somewhere, often showing how well these creatures blend with their environment. Well, my own lizards are lazy, which is why I got to take this shot:

©Giliell, all rights reserved

As you can see, the little fellow lost its tail and is currently regrowing it. You sure deserve a break, buddy!

Have some Flowers

While we took a look at the cultivated garden yesterday, today it’s time to look at the wilder side with some flowers.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

These poppies are just amazing. Too bad the rain ruined them all.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

Here’s some simpler ones.

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Last year I threw some cheap flower seeds on one area. They turned put top be white mustard, which bloomed last year, and alfalfa, which is growing like mad this year. The bees love it, the degus love it, I’ll let it flower so it can seed next year’s crop as well.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

And a colourful beetle. It was somewhat shy and I only had the mobile, so the pic isn’t great.

Winter Wonderland 2: Swanlake meets Frozen

The swans are the mascots of the whole village. The old pair divorced and moved out some time in 2019, so last autumn they got a new breeding pair with two juveniles. They have shelter on a little island and get fed and I must say, they are remarkably relaxed for swans, especially since the pond has been busier than I’ve ever seen it. Can’t wait for Covid to be over and people going elsewhere again.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

Back at the Zoo 6: The Birds of Prey

Always one of my favourite parts. Sadly but understandably they don’t fly them for the visitors right now, but still some amazing creatures.

©Giliell, all rights reserved The bald headed eagles always look pissed, but so would you if you had become a synonym for the USA

©Giliell, all rights reserved this girl is on fire

©Giliell, all rights reserved Very pissed off eagle

©Giliell, all rights reserved A symphony in black and white

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved all fluffed up

Back at the Zoo 2: Squirrely

Pics NSFI (Not Safe For Iris)

Some versions of squirrels/rodents/chipmunks.

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©Giliell, all rights reserved The chill one

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved NomNom

©Giliell, all rights reserved Who? What?

©Giliell, all rights reserved There?

©Giliell, all rights reserved Whoosh…

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved See ya!

Back at the Zoo 1

On Friday both Mr and I had a day off. We cherish those days when we’re both at home and the kids are not, having some couple’s time. We usually try to get a few of them, a day or an evening, throughout the year, but you can imagine how that’s been going this year…

Now,usually we’d go to the spa or something, have a nice meal, too, but that’s crying over spilled milk right now, so we decided to go to the zoo, which is still open, and given that it was a foggy Friday morning, we pretty much had the whole thing to ourselves. The weather made taking pics difficult, since it was either grainy 6400 ISO pics or longish exposure, but some of them are still nice.

Let’s start with these amazing birds whose names I’ve forgotten. I remember they’re from India, though…

©Giliell, all rights reserved Enjoy your meal, little fellow

 

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

More Muskrats

This time I took the proper camera and was rewarded with some cute.

©Giliell, all rights reserved Look at those whiskers

©Giliell, all rights reserved Paddlefootses

©Giliell, all rights reserved

Sadly, what it’s swimming in is white bread. No matter how many signs you put up, telling people that feeding bread to the ducks and fish and muskrats is bad for them, some people always know better, or think that when they do it it’s different. Which explains a lot about the current shit we’re in.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

Water in the ear. Happens to the best of us.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved