Jul 22, 2010


i've been at the cottage all week and there has been many birdy moments, here are some of them.

these barn swallows had a nest on a lamp right above the balcony, loads of poop...the five babies were fun to watch, it's amazing how close i could get

these two seemed to kinda hang out together

this one then, had i put my hand thru the curtain, i could have touched it

the same one, it was looking around like it would like come in...

these three were a tight pack, just inches away from indoors

tried to capture mama feeding them, but i was too slow

this hungry baby is a blue tit (sinitiainen, parus caeruleus). i wonder why would a bird with so much yellow be called anything blue?

the babies were (well, still are) quite vocal for food

doesn't the mother look a bit tired for flying in all those insects?

mom and dad were sitting at the sauna yesterday evening when they called me to get my camera. this mama red-breasted merganser (tukkakoskelo, mergus serrator) had parked herself and two of her babies on the rocks right next to where we swim after sauna

the mama took off to swim around, leaving the babies on the rock to rest

i was 4 meters from it and shooting away with my camera, it didn't seem to mind

after about five minutes mama circled back to the babies, called for them...

...their descent from the rock was all but gracefull, water suits them so much better

they seem to have had a nest somewhere near as my parents have seen them around before. sadly, the mama bird had more babies then

Jul 20, 2010

flora & fauna

it seems that the peonies lasted only a week this year, could be the heat, could be how the stars were aligned. i took tons of pictures of them but i'll spare you and post only a few.

this, to me, is very close to a perfect color combination, LOVE the pink

or, maybe this pink is prettier?

all that ruffle about to burst

as beautiful as these are...

...they are no match for these budding beauties right after refreshing rain

the same rain that refreshed the peonies soaked me and the dog. i like walking in pouring rain, i'm not entirely sure the dog was all too happy

despite the cradle i made for the peonies, the stems seem to tire under the weight of the flowers

this barn swallow and his/her mate have made a nest on a lamp (not used in the summer) in the carport at the shack. the nest and the pair of them flying around are harmless enough, but the poop that the baby-birds keep dropping on certain someone's car wasn't. it was either move the nest or move the car...certain someone now parks his car under the hot sun...

Jul 18, 2010

summer chore & grilled chicken, 2 salads

i'm not sure if this summer chore of washing rugs is widely done outside scandinavia, or maybe it's just a finnish thing.

on friday it was time to haul the kitchen rugs out to be washed (long over due...with the dog shedding and me spilling "stuff" on them). the traditional way would have been to haul the rugs to a lake front and wash them there. but who bothers to carry water with a bucket when you can use a garden hose, i don't!

i didn't mention i would be doing the washing, did i? this was a perfect opportunity to make use of certain someone. make him scrubb...

...make him jump up...


while hosing water (light enough job for me) i killed several of these blood-hungry beasts. i did check the dictionary for what they are called (paarma in finnish), it said gadfly or horse-fly.

i now know more about these monsters than i ever cared for, about their larvae and where they might lay it. and it takes quite a whack to finish one off! just for the record, i hate these buzzers, as i hate those other flies that bother moose in the fall, those ones that after landing on you, drop off their wings and start crawling towards the softer parts of your skin to lay their eggs, ew!!!

now that i've taken a few deep breaths to calm down myself, we'll go to friday's very late lunch, sweet-chili grilled chicken. just toss the chicken pieces (i used cutlets) into a plastic bag or a dish, pour in sweet-chili sauce, mix well and place in the fridge for a couple of hours (up to 12).

when grilling, try to get rid of most of the sauce and place on a hot grill for a couple of minutes per side (if using cutlets)

easiest tomato salad ever, slice (as thickly or thinly as you like) very ripe tomatoes and onions. i like to serve mine like this, but you might opt for layering them differently. maldon salt, crushed black pepper and olive oil on top, or any herb that you might have

as i might have mentioned, i'm going thru a phase with avocados...for this salad (greens, cukes and avocado with lime vinaigrette) i scored the avocado, poured some lime juice and sprinkled some chilli powder on them. lime juice prevents browning in the avocado and the chilli gives a nice kick to the salad

as it's season for new potatoes we had them as well

for friday evening i sat on the deck reading my cookbooks and listening to certain someone and the drummer rehearse for their gig next saturday, the semi-acustic duo sounded quite catchy. in fact, i liked it better than their regular trio with a bass player and a more electric sound (sorry!)