Elmer and the old men

This is the story of a failed endeavour turned into fruitful exploration.

Last May, I wanted to see the blossoming cherry trees. I went to Roihuvuori, where the so-called “cherry park” (Kirsikkapuisto) was opened in 2007, with trees sponsored by the Japanese community in Helsinki. Every year, the Japanese spring festival, Hanami, is celebrated there. Alas, I was one week too late, and there was nothing left in the trees. I found myself alone on the other end of the city, with the very reason why I was there, well… gone.

So I walked. The Roihuvuori water tower loomed over the area, attracting me like a magnet. The growing vegetation evoked a jungle, the perfect place to unleash my little friends.




Headphones on, I was alone in my world. After the photoshoot, I roamed in the area, watching people live their lives, disconnected.


By the sea shore, gulls were resting and preening, while a Common tern (Sterna hirundo) was on the hunt, relentlessly scanning the waters below. It’s when I entered Herttoniemen kartanonpuisto that things got interesting.

Common gull (Larus canus)

Herring gull (Larus argentatus)

There was a Thrush nightingale (Luscinia luscinia) singing on each side of the path, reminding me of an evening tour in Amager Fælled almost a year before. After the duo was finished (the one on the left was hungry, it seems), I saw the ferns. Growing on the edge of a pond, they were still on their way to the top. Winter had been long, and they were barely emerging from the slumber. Hunched like old men, meant to become brilliant heralds of lush, as if actors of a reversed symphony of life.

What do these pictures remind you of?

I ended my trip by the manor, where my Walktober started two weeks ago. I had managed to transform a boring, cloudy day into a productive adventure, and I felt satisfied.

Bird inventory

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12 thoughts on “Elmer and the old men

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