At Helsinki Zoo

Throughout the spring and summer we had plans to go to the Helsinki Zoo. Yesterday morning I checked the weather forecast for two weeks ahead. It still is warm here. The day temperature around 20 degrees Celsius and sunny. (Much warmer than last time, 2,5 years ago, when we where at the Zoo with our nice.) Soon to change. In the beginning of next week it will drop to about 10 Celsius.

Lion with cubs at Helsinki Zoo IMG_7690CC Lion with cubs at Helsinki Zoo IMG_7692C

Yesterday was a perfect day to finally go to the Zoo. We were looking forward to see the lion cubs born in the spring and the new pandas. The cubs have grown but still are very cute and full of energy. Unfortunately they were the only ones of the big cats we saw. I guess all the others were napping. I took a couple of pictures of them but they are no good. It’s hard to shoot through the glass with the sun from behind.

Buffalo at Helsinki Zoo IMG_7701C

IMG_7702C

Look, a buffalo :) Good, no glass. Click ! Eeek, the buffalo turned and ran towards me in high speed. He snorted angrily. I could see steam coming from his nostrils. Ugh, I thought he would bang his head into the iron bars !Uff, you SCARED me! ! ! YOU behave like a buffalo !

Finnish Championship Art meets sand at Helsinki Zoo IMG_7708C

Second place: “Hyvää Syntymäpäivää” (Happy Birthday) by Tarja Matikainen & Riitta Matikainen.

Sea eagle at Helsinki Zoo IMG_7713C

Sea eagle at Helsinki Zoo IMG_7714C1

Sea eagle at Helsinki Zoo IMG_7715C

Angry Bird ;)

In the summer the Finnish Championship Art meets sand was held at the Zoo. Wow ! The sculptures still are in good condition. I said I’ll also take pictures of them and the sea eagles. A large bird with strong beak and strong claws.

Leif said take your time, take as many pics as you want to. Off he went with a see you at the bear castle. In less than ten minutes I was done with the photographing. I went to look for Leif. What ! No Leif nowhere. Has he been swallowed by the earth or by a bear. No problem, I’ll call him. Oh no, he has my bag. I had asked him to carry it as it was so heavy. In the bag, of course, my phone and money. He had tried to call me only to hear my phone ringing in the bag. At last, after, about 45 minutes, I heard him whistle and holler. He had spotted me on the bridge from the island to the parking lot. While he was waiting for me he had a long nice conversation with a woman from Switzerland. So typical of him :) It was a hopeless feeling without a telephone. I hope it will not happen never again.

Apple Jam

Sunday afternoon I was lying on the sofa reading a book. It still was a very warm day (and still is) so the door to the terrace was wide open. Suddenly I though I heard someone calling my name from outside. Then one more time. Yes, our neighbor calling my name. I hurried out. There she was on the other side of the fence, smiling saying sorry to disturb. I said no, no, it’s OK I was just reading and was so into the book it took me a while to really come out of it back to the reality. Well, she said, just came to tell you if you are interested and want some apples you are welcome to pick. Was I interested, yes, yes, thank you I said. We have one apple tree of our own but this year the apples are no good at all. The worms have destroyed them. I went over and picked about two kilograms.

The next day I washed and cleaned the apples thoroughly. Usually I peel and core but this time I didn’t as my husband says the jam is much tastier by leaving them. I searched the web for recipes. One, with the ingridients sugar, cinnamon, lemon and vanilla, caught my attention. The vanilla was new to me. Next time I’m making apple jam I will put some vanilla into it.

Once more, dear neighbor, thank you :)

apples IMG_7639C apples img_7640cc apple jam IMG_7641C

Amanita muscaria

Amanita muscaria also known as fly agaric or fly amanita.

Wednesday morning last week when Leif came back  from his and Canelo’s  morning walk he asked have I seen there is a beautiful “flugsvamp” (= Amanita muscaria) right outside the gate. I said I had the evening before when I came back from the evening walk. Did you take a pic he asked. Nope, I said, I didn’t. It was raining and I didn’t want to take my camera out from my pocket and the mushroom still was very tiny, just had popped it’s head up through the ground. He said that in his opinion the fly agaric is the most beautiful mushroom of all mushrooms. I told him I too think they look nice and how I every fall, when I was a kid, at school, loved to draw and paint them. He suggested I take a picture of it. Since I actually have so many pictures of fly agaric from all previous years, I had no intention to shoot any new ones. But, okay, if you want me to I’ll do it.

The next days we kept asking each other have you seen the mushroom today ? The color is so nice and bright. Then, oh, now the hat is really big. Then, awww, the color is fading. Today Leif said no need to take anymore pictures of the mushroom, in his mind, it was practically gone. I couldn’t resist, I took one more pic. He was right, the mushroom’s “best before” has expired.

i have always wondered why the name refers to flies. I have never seen any flies or other insects, snails or anything on them. I guess it’s because the poisonous. I believe I have, if not hundreds of pictures of the amanita muscaria, but very well dozens of them I will not take any new pictures anymore next fall or the next or the next . . .  ;)

Amanita muscariaI, fly agaric, flugsvamp, kärpässieni MG_7511C

Amanita muscariaI, fly agaric, flugsvamp, kärpässieni IMG_7540C

Amanita muscariaI, fly agaric, flugsvamp, kärpässieni IMG_7546C

Amanita muscariaI, fly agaric, flugsvamp, kärpässieni IMG_7547C

Amanita muscariaI, fly agaric, flugsvamp, kärpässieni IMG_7570C

Amanita muscariaI, fly agaric, flugsvamp, kärpässieniIMG_7572C

Amanita muscariaI, fly agaric, flugsvamp, kärpässieni IMG_7618CC

Amanita muscariaI, fly agaric, flugsvamp, kärpässieni IMG_7619C

Amanita muscariaI, fly agaric, flugsvamp, kärpässieni IMG_7636C

Quismo

Quismo napping on his fav spot, on the backrest of the sofa. The pet blanket is from Lidl. I bought three of them, that was already some time ago.  One each, Quam, Quismo and Canelo. The cats’ blankets have cat pattern. Canelo’s blanket has dog pattern.  As soon as I had bought them I was concerned about wasting my money for nothing. What if the cats wouldn’t like the blankets. They can be very picky about what they want or not. To my relief they accepted them. Much less hair on the sofas now and easy to clean.

Quismo, bengal cat IMG_7597C

Quismo, bengal cat IMG_7599C

Willow Warbler ?

Willow Warbler, Pajulintu, LövsångareIMG_7443C

Willow Warbler, Pajulintu, Lövsångare img_7443c2

 cropped from the above picture

Is this little bird a willow warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus)? I think it is. Yesterday I noticed many of them flying from leaf to leaf picking insects. I wanted to get a little closer for better pictures but as soon as I took a few steps forward they all flew away. After a while they came back. I had to shoot them from a safe distance. I read that willow warblers in August-September are migrating down to central Africa. Isn´t it amazing that these tiny birds are able to fly that far ?

Mortti and Me

My sister's horse Mortti  012C
Mortti and me :)
My sister's horse Mortti IMG_7386C

A week and a half ago we went to visit my sister and her horse Mortti at the stable. Last time I learnt how much Mortti loves carrots so this time I had about half a kilo with me. My sister said you give him the carrots. How nice. I liked it very much. Mortti quickly munching all of them. When there were no more he gave me a look, saying; was that really all ? ! Yup, sorry Mortti, that was all for this time but don’t worry, next time I’ll bring a kilogram with me. He was OK with that and went back to eating grass.

Thank you dear sister and Mortti for having us there again.

Keväällä kun käytiin ekalla kerralla talleilla ihailemassa siskoni hevosta näin miten paljon Mortti tykkää porkkanoista. Joten kun puolitoista viikkoa sitten kävimme siellä taas niin otin puoli kiloa porkkanoita mukaan. Morttihan popsi niitä hetkessä ja katsoi minua siihen malliin silmiin että siinäkös kaikki ?! Voi reppana, kyllä siinä kaikki tällä kertaa mutta ole huoleti, seuraavalla kerralla otan kokonaisen kilon mukaan. Mortti jatkoi ruohon syömistä.

Kiitos rakas siskoni ja Mortti. Oli kiva taas tavata.

Yuk ! Lily Bugs, Stink Bugs !

This summer the lily bugs hit hard. There has been so many of them. They practically destroyed all the lilies on the front yard. It’s a pity as they actually are both colorful and beautiful.

Lily bug p8150217c

Lily Bug

The picture of the red lily bug isn’t sharp enough because I had to hurry as these bugs are super quick to drop themselves and hide. 

Stink bug p8290249cc

Stink Bug

Today I saw an other kind of bug. A black/orange one. He was on the other side of the house, in the Day Lily flower bed. The stink bug, on the other hand, was in no hurry. Or maybe he tried to fool me by not moving. Making me believe he was dead or invisible. I took a couple of pictures.Then grabbed him with a plastic bag, turned the bag inside out and stomped on it. Ugh, I don’t like to do it but, had to, after all the damage they do to my flowers.

Watch up all beetles ! Stay away from my garden ! Don’t touch my flowers ! Next summer I’ll fight you hard !