Wednesday, September 30, 2009

koivunlehdet ja lappajärvi - birch leaves and lake lappajärvi

I tried to wait until the last minute to declare that fall is here.

The temperature actually dropped to slightly below freezing the other night while we were at the cabin, so I guess that can only mean that autumn has officially begun.

I don't mind. I like the light that is available at this latitude at the end of September.

maissi - corn

As some of you may well be aware, I like to eat corn on the cob. It's a food that I learned to appreciate at a very young age. My old man grew sweet corn every summer when I was a kid.

Most corn on the cob available in Finland is from Spain or Israel. Usually it is pre-cooked, so all you have to do is heat it up. It's corn, it's on the cob, it is not sweet.

Corn on the cob, like asparagus, is better when fresh. Absolutely fresh. I'm talking minutes here.

Tired of inferior product, I embarked on a mission - to grow my own sweet corn on a rocky lakeshore under tall pines - in Finland.

After last weekend I can say that the project was a success.

The vegetables have all been eaten. The garden will be resting for about 8 months or so.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Muutamia arkkitehtonisia yksityiskohtia - A few architectural details - Villa Rana & Ryhtilä

A few shots of buildings located on the Jyväskylä campus that I appreciate.

Villa Rana. Designed by Yrjö Blomstedt and completed in the early 1900s.

Ryhtilä (literally the place of good posture, built in 1895, designed by architect Theodor Granstedt, originally a gymnastics hall for male students).

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Mikä onnenpekka - What a lucky guy

I don't usual do linky-type posts, but this caught my eye today. According to this article in Helsingin Sanomat a gentleman in Joensuu found some truffles growing in his compost pile.
Same article in Finnish here.

The truffles are of the variety Tuber borchii. Whether they are valuable or not I'm not sure. There is a Finnish truffle center in Juva.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Finnish Cultural Assimilation Lesson #19 Aku Ankka - Donald Duck

This year's birthday present was a subscription to Aku Ankka.

A lot can be learned from the citizens of Ankkalinna both culturally and linguistically. You will learn vocabulary from Aku Ankka that is difficult to pick up anywhere else.

Just don't tell anyone that you like Mikki Hiiri (Mickey Mouse), Finns prefer Aku, in fact some even identify with him.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Kokoontaitettava lastenamme - Folding baby tub

Flexibath by A Real Cool World. Works well for us. We don't really have the room for a regular baby tub and we like stuff that folds anyways.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Ween Maan Wiljaa

With its cutesy old-fashioned W's instead of the more modern V, Ween Maan Wilja (the harvest of water and land) is best described as a harvest-type fall festival that intends for you to buy things. Food, handicrafts, more food, and a minimum of crap vendors. Lots of canned meats, baked goods, marinated garlic cloves. It will still be going on Sunday the 20th of September. Ween Maan Wilja is located down by the Paviljonki convention center.

A few photos from the day:

Baskets, both wood and plastic

Muikku (vendace) frying. Its just not a festival without muikku.

Fried muikku with vegetables and fried potatoes.

Wool and felt clothing from the crazy grandma clothing booth.

The only words you will need to survive in Finland.

Loimulohta ja pannukahvia. Flame broiled salmon and camp coffee.

The metrilaku (licorice by the meter) is always so cheerful looking.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Mexico sketchbook excerpts

We spent spring in Mexico a few years back. I was just going through my Mexico sketchbooks for the first time in a long while.
Here are a few of the things that I found:

Thursday, September 17, 2009

suppilovahvero -Cantarellus tubaeformis

The poor cousin of the chantarelle - Cantarellus tubaeformis.

I'll saute these little guys with some onions and potatoes. In a moment I'll be heading to Lake Tuomiojärvi where I hope to catch a fish or two to round off the meal.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

A couple things that I'm working on

Studio time has been slim the last few weeks. With a new little family member, visitors, time at the inlaw's cabin, getting back to work, etc, it's been hard to make the laughably short bike commute to the Rifle Factory.

Hanna's theater season has started, so there have been practices and performances during which I try my hardest to keep Reino entertained.

We've been on walks taking pictures, spent time on our stomachs, and if he is in a good mood I get some time with a marker and a sketchbook.

Here are some details from a couple of larger marker drawings.

A few photos taken during walks with the boy.

This gentleman was pretty excited about his new boots.

A stand of pines on the University of Jyväskylä campus. Near Ilokivi.

A large mountain ash. Also on campus.

The skeleton of an unidentified fish. Anybody out there got a clue as to which species this might be?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Puolukoita - Lingonberries

Puolukka - Vaccinium vitis-idae, also known as lingonberry or lowbush cranberry. This berry can be found in northern climes around the world. In most of Finland they are ready for the picking.

I discussed Everyman's Rights (Jokamiehen oikeudet) in a previous post about blueberries. Please familiarize yourself with these simple rules before venturing onto private property. There have been some tensions between migrant/immigrant berry pickers recently.

This article in Jyväskylän Kaupunkilehti highlights a camp recently discovered by a landowner which was occupied by up to 30 people who started fires without permission, peeled bark of living birch trees (which ultimately affects the value of the timber) and were found to have been harvesting moss by the trailerload. Such behavior doesn't seem to be in the spirit of Everyman's Rights.

Everyman's right in brief (From Ministry of the Environment website)

Everyone may:

walk, ski or cycle freely in the countryside, except in gardens, in the immediate vicinity of people’s homes, and in fields and plantations which could easily be damaged

stay or set up camp temporarily in the countryside, a reasonable distance from homes

pick wild berries, mushrooms and flowers, as long as they are not protected species

fish with a rod and line

row, sail or use a motorboat on waterways, with certain restrictions;

swim or wash in inland waters and the seawalk, ski and fish on frozen lakes, rivers and the sea

You may not:

disturb other people or damage property

disturb breeding birds, or their nests or youngdisturb reindeer or game animals

cut down or damage living trees, or collect wood, moss or lichen on other people’s property

light open fires on other people’s property, except in an emergency

disturb the privacy of people’s homes, by camping too near them, or making too much noise, for example

leave litter

drive motor vehicles off road without the landowner’s permission

fish or hunt without the relevant permits

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Pisu Ari

The park by the church downtown (aka kirkkopuisto) is one of Jyväskylä's finer features. Unfortunately it can be unpleasant in the summer when drunken hobos and intoxicated delinquents are practically peeing on you and your picnic blanket every 3 minutes or so. It's even more annoying when these miscreants could walk just a few meters to the free of charge pisuaari (pissoire).

As with every well-labeled pisuaari in Finland, the first a is removed, resulting in the always humorous Pisu Ari.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Muoti päivät - Fashion days

Jyväskylä Fashion Days. A catwalk, a flea market, flavored licorice by the meter, fried food. Appearances by Miss Finland who happens to be from Jyväskylä this year. A speech by assistant city supervisor so-and-so. A very unFinnish twist - clothing stores are open until 11 pm tonight.

Uusi matto - New rug

A new rug for the living room. Soft and warm.

It was made by Botnia Carpet of Alajärvi.