Tag Archives: nature

Urban Nature Part II

It was time for the yearly visit to Åland Islands.
One of the morning walk was filled with surprises, again. We stayed in the centre and I only walked at a 2 km radiance. These were meny new things to see and the scenery keeps changing from year to year. The surprises were animals, sheep on a seaside pasture.








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Urban Nature with Surprises

You can meet many kinds of creatures on your morning walks. What do you know?
I took a walk to the river bank heading towards Sikosaari nature reserve and met these guys.


Have to admit that I was taken by surprise when seeing this heard of Highland cattle in their pasture. It was odd and reminded me of paintings of cows. Victor Westerholm, a Finnish painter in the late 19th century and founder of the Önningeby artist colony in Åland. Westerholm is known for painting pasture landscapes and his work is well esteemed today. He did, after all,  found the one and only Finnish artist colony.


I had not met my destination, Sikosaari, when starting to shoot the cattle but was not even half way there. Once again I started on the path towards the nature reserve through the long road, the empty boat yards, met some cars driving to town and made it to a bridge and then to a second bridge. I could see the birdwatching towers and the lamp posts leading the midst of the reserve but decided not to make it into a half-a-day walk and turned back. Next time I’ll walk or cycle to one of the towers.

There was a swan couple with one duckling – not an ugly one.




Check these pages if you are near or plan to visit Porvoo, Finland.

Nature and Environment: http://www.porvoo.fi/en/our__services/nature_and_environment

Nature trails: http://www.porvoo.fi/en/our__services/nature_and_environment/nature_trails#Sikosaari

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Frostbrunnsdalen Nature Reserve

Greetingas from Central Swden and Dalarna.
I’m participating in another seminar and enjoying the nature while here.
Hesiterade evening we took a hike to a nature reserve
nearby and vistited also Tuna church. The reserve is called Frostdalen and the Brooke there, the brook of Trinity.
We are in Fornby, Borlänge in the province of Dalarna.










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Fog on Holmenkollen

Started the day early because I needed to a catch a morning flight to Oslo. The journey to the airport is now fairly longer but was happy to have my husband drive me there.
It was +3 C as we landed and it’s foggy and rainy.

Passed the famous Holmenkollen sports park with the huge ski jumping slopes on the up to the hills. The designation is Voxenåsen, a conference venue above the city of Oslo. Now that it is getting clearer we start to realise which wonderful views we have – to Oslofjorden and Oslo.

It is soon lunch time and I look forward to Norwegian lunch. The seafood should be splendid


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Landscapes and Artists in Önningeby and Föglö

Önningeby Museum, Önningeby in Åland Islands

course in Åland is now over but I want to share the experiences. I got home today after spending a week with 17 other enthusiastic language teachers. We all enjoyed the ‘holiday’ very much. Out dwelling, Åland’s folkhögskola in Finström, is in the middle of nature yet near everything as things are on Åland.


Ålands folkhögskola, Finström

I wrote earlier about Stendahl syndrome, remember? The visit to Önningeby artist colony the other day took me close to another seizure. Önningeby is a small village near Mariehamn, in the Åland Islands, and it was the homestead to an artist colony at the end of the 19th century. Victor Westerholm first invited colleagues to his home Tomtebo in Lemland, Åland. The time is called the Golden Age in the Finnish art history. Önningeby was especially in favour of young female painters who came to stay there from the continent ie mainland Finland. Most of the artists would first study in Finland then in Paris, and they would travel and paint both in Europe and in the home country.


This was the era of landscape painting and artists wished to move away from the bustle of towns. The colony was especially in favour of young female painters of whom Elin Danielsson-Gambogi is the most famous and renown. Other painters to mention are e.g. Hanna Rönnberg, Amelie Lundahl and Dora Wahlros. There were also some Swedish painters that spent summers in Önningeby. The most famous of them is probably J.A.G Acke and the rumour tells that many of the female artists were infatuated by him.

     Victor Westerholm’s house by the canal in Lemland.


After the visit to Önningeby we continued to Föglö, one of the municipalities and islands of Åland. On the way we had to take many ferries some of which carried 20 some cars and some only 20 people and a couple of vehicles. The landscapes near Embarsund offer most beautiful sailing routes in Åland.


At the end of the tour our guide, Kjell Ekström, took us to his studio and home in Föglö. Kjell is the very man behind the association of Önningeby Museum, an art expert and connoisseur. He was a terrific guide and help us enjoy the day very much.

Take a look at these websites if you are interested in learning more
www.visitaland.com and www.kjellekstrom.com (Swedish).

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Spring Delights – Forest Full of Life

17 May 2012

Have just had a good walk in the forest this morning. Early mornings out in the nature are something I would not trade for anything. My third month of the dolce-fare-niente (sweet-doing-nothing) has just started and I still wake up at 6:30. But I don’t really care because I’m a morning person. Luckily I am getting more sleep now and see that I do manage to sleep more than six hours a day. I’ve always liked early mornings – sometimes I go for a walk or a jog, if I’m at the cottage I might start working in the garden before 8 am after having sat an hour on the terrace sipping my coffee and watching the nature. We have the have the binoculars handy on the porch in case a rare bird should appear.


Today it was quite peaceful in the forest. It is bank holiday because of the Ascension Day. There were no bikers on their way to work and not that many people walking their dogs. Some early birds were out working in their garden patches and some joggers. This one lady passed by twice! I’m trying to restart jogging and try to do intervals – five minutes of walking and five jogging.

The forest is full of birds and their singing. Could instantly spot the robins chirping and spotted also great tits (what a name for a small bird!), wagtails, a spotted woodpecker and blackbirds. There was even a lonely common pintail by the ditch. It must have been lost without a spouse and all. The hare and fox were hiding; I guess I was out too late.  It was raining all night and the air was clear and humid, it is 14 degrees – just perfect for jogging.

The wood anemone is blooming and the flowers might be gone in a week or two. The lily of the valley is not quite in bloom yet. The cherry trees are like lovely pink clouds but the apple and bird cherry trees and lilacs are not blooming yet.

We went to the cottage on Sunday. Not much had happened in the garden yet. The ice was gone and there was no snow. The rhubarb was pushing tiny little bulbs. The lemon thyme, oregano and peppermint had survived yet another winter. The cottage is on the west coast by a sheltered cove of the Baltic Sea; the closest town is located at about 61 degrees Nothern latitude and 21 degrees Eastern longitude. In winter we get heaps of snow and temperatures duck -20 and even more.


We did not find any false morels. They were not out yet or someone had been there and picked them already. After the search in vain I was no longer in mood for nettle picking. Thus we did not have a nettle soup with false morels.

The sandpiper had her nest in the same bank as earlier and had one egg in it. The coots were not out yet and it’ll be another month before they make their evening swim in the bath beach.

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