Among the reeds

In the end of February, Bearded reedlings (Panurus biarmicus) were all the rage on Finnish nature social pages. Wherever I looked, I saw loads of pictures of these adorable buggers. Naturally, I wanted to make my own images, especially since I didn’t have any of that specific species at the time.

When I noticed my friend Mika had seen and shot them twice in Espoo, I asked him for some info. I had been to Laajalahti once, but hadn’t managed to spot any reedling. This time, though, the hottest place was Kaitalahti, much further west, and several sightings had been reported to Tiira, the Finnish bird sighting database. On a Saturday morning, I embarked on an epic bus trip through the second most populated municipality of Finland. One hour and forty minutes later, I was carefully treading my path over an icy road.

Bearded reedling (Panurus biarmicus)

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Fantasy as it ought to be written

I recently finished reading the Fitz and the Fool trilogy from Robin Hobb, and the strong feelings this ending created in me pushed me to write down some thoughts. I’m aware this piece of writing is very far from my usual style, but somehow I felt the urge to share it; I hope you’ll tag along anyway and bear with me. If not, don’t worry, we’re going back to birds next week 😉

The Fitz and the Fool trilogy is the fifth series set in the Realm of the Elderlings universe, the third one to focus on the same cast of characters even though it brilliantly brings all the previous series together. It’s written at the first person, from Fitz’s point of view. A royal bastard, his life has been one of many torments.

The first series starts when the protagonist is maybe 2 years old, when he’s brought to court. Fitz and I grew up together, he much faster than I. Therefore, it’s no wonder that I sometimes recognized myself in him, in his attitude, in the thoughts he shared. How much influence did these books have on me, on the person I have become?

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Carelian Rhapsody

Last year, I decided I would visit all 40 national parks of Finland. I knew it would take some time, but it sounded like a fun project, and whenever I’ve been, I’ve discovered wonders. Remember Pallas-Yllästunturi? Pyhä-Luosto? Sipoo?

I’m still not there, but I recently added a new park to my list: Koli! Here is the story.

My parents were visiting Finland this February, and while I didn’t follow them to Lapland, I took them on a trip to North Carelia for their last weekend here. Koli is a very famous place in Finland, for the landscape there has inspired many artists, including the great composer Sibelius and painter Gallen-Kallela. In a sense, it’s the Skagen of Finland 😉

We took the train to Joensuu on Friday evening, slept there, and were off on an adventure in the morning. Koli lay some 60 km north, but we were not so much in a hurry. The weather was cold and sunny, proving once more that February was the most beautiful month of the year.

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