Jul 14, 2011

afternoon at the amusement park

welcome to linnanmäki! my brother and his family came to helsinki for the afternoon yesterday for a summer staple, the amusement park. i joined them for a few hours.

gotta have cotton candy.

fun for free...

the wooden rollercoaster had its 60th anniversary yesterday. i have never in the 40plus yrs of going to linnanmäki been brave enough to ride it.

some say that the squeaking and creaking of the wooden frame adds the thrill, but i'd get "sea-sick" in no time.

more of a my kind of smooth ride.

another ride you won't get me on...kieputin / spinner. once on board, towards the end the machine stops like this for a few seconds, your face towards the ground. enough said.

another smooth ride.

a helsinki landmark, rinkeli ferris wheel. as a kid this (well, the former one) was one of the few rides that i would go on. now i'm too scared of heights.

kieppi, another ride that will surely shake and swirl your guts. my nephew rode it twice!

hiphop, discription says "stomach tickling bumps"...

the amusement park is run by children's day foundation, which donates the proceeds to finnish child welfare work.

in addition to the 40plus rides, the grouds are beautifully gardened. i tried to find info on the garden, but so far found none. i did email the foundation asking for it...

love the hanging grass.

and the hanging pinkish-purple whatever it is...

cool idea for a fountain.

on the way to the amusement park i walked under a bridge on tivolitie. the tunnel has had a minor face-lift as this artist has been doing paintings on both sides on the tunnel. she told me there will be a story about her and the paintings in the local paper next week (will link it here later, link from the newspaper's web version).

whilst i admired her work, she expressed concerns that proper lightning would not only do her work more justice, she pointed out that the tunnel was a very dark place most of the year and that for pedestrian safety the tunnel should have lights all year long.

the tunnel is a natural pedestrian route from alppila to the center of town, therefore there is plenty of pedestrian traffic also in the winter. unfortunately, many a good women have had bad things happen to them in that tunnel...

city officials, get some lights there, please!

UPDATE: artist's website here.

Jul 13, 2011

garden shots

the peas are ripening nicely...

...tomatoes too!

the "herb garden" looks weird in the light of the setting sun. clock-wise from top: two types of thyme, oregano, mint, sage, parsley and cilantro.

studied yesterday all three of the apple trees at the shack, managed to find total of six apples developing...total for the three trees! i guess i won't be making any apple sauce this year, hoping for one apple pie, though.

this lone lily has sprung up in the mismanaged stone border at the shack. see the rose on the left? just for the record, i hate it. busted my wrist to get rid of them and now, 2 yrs later, they are all over, even more vigorous than ever!

hmm, this zucchini showed at "the dump" where we take everything compostable (sans food scraps). i did grow some zucchini from seed, not all, in fact, only one, made it to garden. it'll be interesting to see if this individual produces anything...it looks healthy enought, althoug a bit tiny.

this is a weed...the ants seem to like it.

the butterfly seems to like this weed...

the spider must have had some sort of affair with this campanula...

can you spot the fly?

my uncle's wife's roses are enormous this year. she did tell me the name of the rose, but i forgot it.

her lilies are beautiful as well.

this is indoors, certain someone's mom gave this to me a few weeks ago. the coloring is enchanting, and changing with the light. it will be interesting to see how the plant survives in my care.

Jul 12, 2011

grilled veggies & ham wrapped potatoes

last week i went a little crazy at the produce counter...it seems i have developed a craving for zucchini and eggplant, bought too many and needed to figure out what to do with them (it was too hot to even think about cooking them in the oven). decided to take the easy way out...grilling them outdoors. i had also gotten two huge sweet white onions that i sliced thickly (1½cm) and skewered them (did soak the skewers for 20mins in water) before placing on the grill for a few mins per side, delish!

the sweet onion wasn't totally co-operating with me, the slices were breaking up when i inserted the skewers, so i chopped some of them. luckily i remembered that i had a perforated grill pan (that i've had for, hmm, at least 5 yrs and never used...)

huge button mushrooms turned great on the pan as well.

zuzzhini, eggplant and the onions...

i had some left-over boiled new potatoes and some serrano ham laying around in the fridge...

this was a dangerously delicious discovery...the crispy, salty meat wrapped around the sweet, soft potato, they were good even cold.

after this lunch there was plenty left over for me to take to work, for certain someone to take to work. i even made a salad with couscous on the third day...

people, eat your veggies!

Jul 11, 2011

the nest is empty

the spotted flycatcher babies grew up real fast. there is only 5 days in between the first picture and the last...

first one to start wandering about, on the right. i'm sure he was the bully who got most of the flies mom and brought them.

by this time they started to get quite vocal...high-pitched "screams"...the dog showed surprisingly little interest in them.

the morning of the last day, all of them still at home. one by one they started spreading their wings...

...one landed on the molding on the door.

this one took the longest, i bet she was the one that only got left-overs form the others. her wing looked a bit crooked, i was worried about this one as there had been strange (stray?) cats around.

she finally got the wing working (i hope) and was gone at dusk. they all stayed around the house for a few days (remember the high-pitched screams?). now we are wondering if there is going to be another set of babies before they start migrating to africa...

Jul 10, 2011

just peonies

and just a few words. the peonies made only a brief show this year. first i thought they were a bit late. when the blooms finally appeared, they were gorgeous, as always. then came the heat and together with no rain, the blooms faded in just a few days...sigh.