Jack’s Walk

Little blue butterfly


Little blue butterfly with gossamer wings

For once my timing was good. This morning I was taking photos of our sedum turning pink and just as I had my camera ready, this little purple butterfly fluttered into frame and stayed long enough for me to take its picture. That almost never happens for me, mostly because of the impatient and snorfling dog by my side. Anyway, my photo of flowering sedum got an upgrade. I did quick search and I think it may be a female Eastern-Tailed blue butterfly.

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.




Nightjar has submitted absolutely gorgeous Bougainvillea pictures with a short story with a question at the end. To which my answer is YES.

I let Nightjar take from here:

Last week as I looked through the window I saw a lady that lives a few streets away from me pointing her phone at my front door, as if taking a picture. I was confused at first, but then I realised what was likely going on. Our Bougainvillea is putting on quite a show this year, hanging from the balcony and almost completely covering our front door in a ridiculous abundance of pink. In fact, there is no way she was taking a photo of anything else, because everything else is under that pink cover. So later that day, I decided to go out and take a few pictures myself. Now let me ask you, if you were passing by my house and saw this, wouldn’t you be tempted to stop for a few shots too?

©Nighjar, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

Jack’s Walk

September Daisies, ©voyager, all rights reserved

Pink, ©voyager, all rights reserved

I’ve been waiting for these little daisies to bloom for almost 2 weeks and I’d about given up on them. Every day I’d see one or two small flowers open here or there, but not really together and no big show. Imagine my surprise then this morning finding the whole patch blooming at once with their shiny pink faces cheerfully aimed at the sun. Ha! I say to Autumn…not yet, not yet.

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. [Read more…]

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

Wot Lives in the Goldenrod

rq has sent us a little series about various flowers and their residents. First one is goldenrod, and it looks like  Solidago canadensis, which is quite common throughout Europe. Sadly this beautiful plant is not only strong allergen in the late summer, here it is also an invasive weed that is damaging the environment by outcompeting local species and creating essentialy monocultures in places.

But enough with being a killjoy – they are beautiful and that is important here and now.

©rq, all rights reserved, click for full size.

Jack’s Walk

Sumac flower, ©voyager, all rights reserved

This is sumac and it grows wild just about everywhere in this part of the world. It fills the ditches lining our highways and roads and it’s a nuisance plant in gardens. It’s very hardy and once it gets growing it’s hard to stop. We had one park itself right next to the foundation of our house a few years ago and we just can’t get rid of it. Every year we cut it down only to find it sprouting again in a few weeks. We tried to dig it out once, but the roots were too plentiful and too deep and the next year it popped up again. I poured bleach on it one year and watched it die back and then watched it grow back the following year. As I said, very hardy. Despite my dislike for the sumac living at my house, I do think it’s a pretty plant and enjoy seeing them when driving. In the fall the leaves turn beautiful bright colours, mostly red, but with touches of yellow and orange. It’s one of the first plants to get its autumn colour on and it’s a sure sign that the big trees will be changing colour soon.

Jack’s Walk

Milkweed, ©voyager, all rights reserved

Jack and I are having a better day today. It’s still humid, but the temp plummeted overnight and today it’s a reasonable 22 º.  We actually went for a real walk around the neighbourhood this morning and just down the street we found a front garden full of milkweed. When I was young I used to love pulling the pods apart and playing with the silk and it was awfully tempting to pluck one today. Instead, I took this photo, but the desire is strong and I cannot guarantee that I won’t pick one later.

Pollination Party – Ants and Flies

I truly am envious of Nightjar’s flowerbed.

Nightjar notes: Ants are not very good pollinators, but they definitely show up for the nectar buffet, as do flies. One curiosity I was told about the Stomorhina lunata is that the larvae feed on, very specifically, locust eggs!

©Nightjar, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

Acanthiophilus helianthi and an ant.

An ant. On a flower. In a picture.

Eristalis tenax a bee mimicking hover fly.

Stomorhina lunata