Monday, 27 February 2017

Lake in white

There are some pluses to a Nordic snowstorm (see my previous post). It is sometimes followed by a brilliantly sunny day. When returning from my mother-in-law on Saturday (she turned 90 last summer and still lives in a house on her own), we just had to stop to admire the pure white and blue views across the lake of hubby’s childhood and youth.

They said in the news the ice thickness on this lake is now some 40cm, which is about two times what is required to bear the weight of a car. We saw several people ice fishing there. Some of them had driven to the middle of the lake by car. Sadly, an incident had taken place on this very lake the same morning. Because of the fresh snow a group of three heading for ice fishing hadn’t noticed a crack in the ice and the front of their car had sunken in it. The two passengers were unharmed but the driver couldn’t be saved, not because of drowning but presumably because of a seizure of some sort.

Ice can be deceptive, even more so nowadays when the winters have turned less predictable. I feel it would be best to keep motor vehicles away from ice, perhaps with the exception of snowmobiles in the hands of experienced drivers.

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Belated winter

Remember I told we haven’t experienced proper winter in Turku this season? You see, the Nordic winter should be white. Well, there was some rather heavy snowfall in early January but we happened to be in Helsinki then. This all changed a couple of days ago when the winds brought a temperature drop and a serious amount of snow.

Yesterday, already a short walk downtown made you feel like a snowman. I have nothing against an occasional downfall of big fluffy snowflakes. But I could have managed without the piles now ploughed at every second street corner. I guess when something sounds too good to be true – such as an early spring – it often isn’t.

Friday, 24 February 2017

Persistence paid off

Some of you may have recognised the little island in the last photo of my previous post. It was, indeed, the Loistokari island facing the cottage, the island we had our eyes on all through last summer and will hopefully be observing this summer, too. 

In late January, I climbed the seaside hill of my previous post at sundown only to discover a thick band of clouds on the horizon. We’ve faced a similar sight wiping out our hopes for a colourful view many a time this winter. Luckily, I’m not the easily discouraged kind.

After a while, I noticed a slight hint of purple on the horizon. Little by little, the dismal blue grey band was transforming into a delightful ribbon of purples and pinks. Sometimes it does pay off to be persistent.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Painted seascape

I realised I haven’t posted anything on my winter visits to the seaside hilltop not far from the cottage. 

On Valentine’s Day, the views towards the sea turned stunning. Especially exactly at sunset and immediately thereafter with the curvy formations on ice and the sea lane gleaming in orange the seascape looked like the most gorgeous of paintings.

I find it inconceivable some people are actually mapping up plans to colonise space instead of promoting every measure to preserve this beautiful planet for posterity.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Swans on ice

By Nordic standards, this season hasn’t been much of a winter in our corner of the world. For a while, it seemed the weather was turning towards spring but now the report confirmed that will not be the case just yet. We’ve been rather busy and haven’t been to the sea lately. When we last drove there some ten days ago or so we found it was ice covered practically all the way to the shipping lane that is being kept open through winter thanks to regular cargo service.

Suddenly, we heard something we weren’t expecting in those conditions: the sound of the flapping wings of a swan. We spotted a pair and soon another one flying towards the rocks off the coast. A closer look revealed there were others on the far side of the large rocks. There probably was a tiny unfrozen area there providing some nutrition for the little colony that had decided to try their luck and stay put.

A few single ones were resting or pacing on the ice by the shore as if checking the situation before continuing to the safe haven by the rocks. It must be a full-time occupation for the venturesome swans to find enough to eat here this time of the year.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Bare ice

In the last few weeks, the weather hasn’t given us many bright moments. A couple of times when there’s been some faint promise in the air we’ve paid a quick visit to the cottage, timed at about sunset of course. In mid-January, we found a lonely swan standing on the ice off ‘our’ lightly snow-covered place. Disturbed by our gazing it moved over to feed from the bottom of the sea.

A week ago or so on our second January visit, the snow had melted. The bare ice cover swept even further to the sea. Also that time, the sunset seemed quite plain at first. 

Then some mist began forming over the open sea in the distance and little by little the clouds on the horizon were painted with delicate purple pink stripes. Thanks to my zoom lens, it made rather a pretty contrast to the bare ice in the end.