Soaking Up The Beauty Of Early Winter Light

Hello my dearest friends and readers. I woke up at 04:30 this morning. As I sat on the toilet, eyes grainy with sleep, I thought that I would put on some coffee, do a blog post, and then go back to bed. Haha, I don’t know why I get these ideas when I am dead tired, but ever since I uploaded the photos I took yesterday to my computer I have been eager to share them. So I sat down with a cup of hot coffee and got to work. Ever since Wednesday I have felt under the weather, like I am getting sick, and everything takes a hundred times longer than usual, so just before seven o’clock I had only one photo left to save when this awful nausea hit me. I really slid down in my chair and couldn’t move, afraid I would throw up. I just stared at that save-box and thought just think up a name for the photo and save it, then go to bed.

I did and I slept till 11:00! And now I’m here again to photo bomb you. 😉

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I mentioned in my last post that I barely lifted my camera for the past few weeks. After my confession to Jay, talking with my friend, and telling you all about it, I felt light as a feather. It really is true what is said about sharing our burdens and relieving the weight of it. Yet this felt more like throwing it off completely and suddenly it seemed like the walls around me were torn down and I could run out in whichever direction I chose. It’s just incredible how we with our thoughts and perceptions can either create a suffocating prison for ourselves, or a vast wonderland of endless possibilities. And all it takes is a little honesty — with ourselves and others. Just wow. Don’t you think?

So yesterday I spent over two hours outside. First, I took Loke for a walk along our little road that leads toward the neighbours and our mailbox. Jay drove past me at one point to get Lilli from Lappi — she had stayed behind after school to play with some friends. I like having Loke with me, but he gets so impatient if I linger too long to take photos, and since he is still so young and doesn’t always stay by my side, I keep him on a leash. So very often I find myself consumed in taking a specific shot and suddenly my arm flies out when he decides we have been still for too long. I can get so irritated with him at those times, even if I understand how boring it must be for him to sniff around the same scents for too long. He knows when I am ready to move along, and instantly starts skipping in joy that we are finally leaving whatever little cramped space I squeezed myself into to get my photos. Haha

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I love how gentle the light is right now. It’s kind of perfect when I think about it, because when the snow comes, that light dances off the thousands of shimmering crystals covering the lands and I can’t imagine how blinding it would be if the sun stood as high in the sky as it does during summer. Although it can be blinding all the same — you can even get a tan! Which makes me think of what I have heard growing up, about depression hitting us so hard here in this part of the world during these darker months. Yet if I at any time felt weary, it was during spring and high summer. I wondered earlier this year if it’s because all my depots get depleted during the darker months, but then another blogger mentioned how hard and cold the light is in spring, and I have always been sensitive to strong light conditions. I get headaches, bone-weary, lose motivation — I feel like a zombie. But maybe it isn’t just that the light is too harsh. What if the fact that I am outside more during autumn and winter as opposed to spring and summer, and with the help of the reflection off the snow, it is enough anyway? Apparently we don’t get the vitamin D humans need up here in the Nordic countries, but what if we are evolved in such a way to either soak up the vitamin D easier, or maybe we just don’t need as much. And I have heard so many stories from others who suffer spring depression as well, so maybe it’s just a myth? I find this all so very interesting. What do you think?

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We were at a birthday party recently, and afterwards we stopped by the shop to pick up some milk. Jay disappeared for a moment and when I finally saw him coming toward me, he had this quirky smile on his face and two of these tomtar in his arms. They have holders for marschaller, torch like candles that look like a really big tea light candle. Jay thought they would look great in the opening of the spruce hedge to our yard, and I agree. They look so adorable sitting there. ❤

jay-coming-to-talk

I actually went out twice yesterday. My fingers are so incredibly sensitive to cold and moisture these days, and they turn corpse-pale and I lose all sensation in them, so I can’t be out for too long at a time or it becomes extremely painful. Not all fingers are affected actually, only some. It’s so strange to see a couple of my fingers look so totally yellow-white next to the ones not affected, and it’s not the entire finger, either, only from the second or last joint down to the tip. My mother has the same problem.

Jay was away on a business trip a couple of weeks ago, and when he came home he had gotten me a new lens for my camera! It’s this amazing little lens; a 50mm with the smallest f-number at 1.8. I used that for all the photos in this post. But what I love the most about it are the beautiful close-ups it produces. Right behind Jay in the last photo, between those two buildings are a few red currant bushes, and when I first tested the lens I took a few photos of them at sunset. So the reason I went back outside was to get some more, because they just looked so beautiful and I only got a couple of good ones the first time. I’m still trying to get a hang of the focus on the new lens — it is a little trickier than I am used to.

red-currants-in-sunset-depth-of-field

magical-sunset-and-depth-of-field

dead-plant-in-magical-light

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I have also finally started collecting photos to put up on a page called Printler. It’s a Swedish-founded online photo print shop, and it’s for photographers as well. Best of all — they recently went international. I wrote them earlier this year to ask if I could sign up to sell my photos, and they told me that so long as I have a Swedish ID number, I can, which I have. But I wasn’t sure how it would work with taxes and in practice, since I live in Finland. They also told me then that they would launch outside of Sweden this autumn, so in the end I decided to wait. Meanwhile I considered the fact that as a non-professional photographer without a business registration number, you get 30% of the profits, as opposed to up to 50%. If I have understood it correctly. I thought about this for months, and now I have decided that I will sign up. I follow this wonderful blogger and photographer, Jonna Jinton, whom I know some of you also follow, and after having read how stressful and time consuming it can be to have a web shop and handle all packaging and postage yourself, I think that any reduced profit (if there even is any, considering I’d have to pay for the prints, postage and handling if I had my own web shop anyway) is more than worth my own peace of mind. Printler handles all of that. The only thing I have to do is take photos and upload them to my own personal gallery. That’s it. I think it’s a great option to start with.

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soft-light-on-old-barn

After creeping around in the bushes to get my close-ups of the berries, I took a walk down behind the farm. I mentioned we had workers digging around in our fields to put down new electricity cables, and I think that, too, kept me from taking my beloved photo walks around the farm. I’m not as strict with requiring my privacy when I photograph these days, but it still felt awkward to have strangers driving and walking back and forth in our private safe haven. Especially with all the noise from the machines.

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muddy-trenches

pipe-for-wires

I was so shocked when I walked around the orange digger to find a huge trench cutting through our little road. It made me realise how long it has been since I last walked this way.

trailer-full-of-muck

But this digging is done by Jay and his father. Instead of paying hundreds of euros for labour to dig down the pipe through which the fiber cable for our new internet connection will go, Jay decided to do it himself. He and his father also know what lies beneath the earth around here, so they know precisely where it’s safe to dig and where not to. I don’t know if I mentioned that the workers cut through a cable that shut down electricity to parts of our farm, including the heating system that brings the hot water from the barn to our house. On a Friday afternoon. Luckily it wasn’t so cold then, and one of the workers managed to patch it up till we could get an electrician to repair it.

logs-and-magical-light

winter-apple-in-soft-light

The sun played peek-a-boo all of yesterday, so I am very glad I went out twice and stayed for so long. I got to capture so much beauty from the softness of these early winter evenings. In fact, it isn’t really only in the evening the light is like this — it is an all day blessing. From early morning till early sunset. Actual winter sunsets are something from another realm. I will make sure to capture some of those moments, too, and share with you. Especially when the frost or the snow stays from dawn till dusk.

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magical-bokeh-and-branches

magical-bokeh-and-spruce-branches

Now we have to get ready for town. Lilli is going to stay with her grandmother till tomorrow, which she reminded me of when I told her we are going into the forest this weekend to collect some things for Christmas decoration crafting. Haha I finished scraping off glue and sanded off some paint yesterday from the wooden panelling around the closet in our new bedroom. (Yes, I am still at it! Haha) I accidentally smeared green paint onto them when I painted the walls several weeks ago. So, hopefully, I will get the last painting job done tomorrow before Lilli comes back, and then I’ll get started on the guest room. Just as long as it all gets done before the 23rd of December, when my parents and my sister come over for Christmas! ❤

Haha, another long post! I will leave you now, though, and wish you a wonderful Friday and weekend. Many hugs and much, much love.

Walking A Frosty Wonderland

Hello my darling friends and readers! I started this post earlier today while listening to some music and going through the photos I took this morning. I finally made it out to capture some frost! And the air right now is absolutely amazing. Rich yet crisp, with a touch of that clean, wintry scent.

frosty-leaves

Earlier this year we got some papers from the local council to negotiate the rerouting of some electricity lines in our village, and that we were to get an electricity station on our lands through which these new cables will go. As unesthetic as it is, there wasn’t much to do but to like and accept the situation. At least we got to decide where the thing was to be placed. And so, for the past few days, now that the harvest is pretty much done, all kind of vehicles have been driving up and down our little road, and machines have delved into the fields.

electricity-box

diggers-in-the-fields

workers-in-the-fields

On a more positive note, however, this has eased the installation of a more reliable and faster internet connection through what we call fiber. Not sure if it’s the same in English? For years now we have had internet problems, and we even switched to mobile internet since it worked better than ADSL. That hasn’t exactly been ideal either, but we have made do. Now though, as soon as all the work is done, the days of our connection dropping out whenever it feels like it are over. Hopefully.

sun-glow-through-frosty-maple-leaf

Today was Lilli’s last day of school before a five-day autumn break. We did intend to go on a little trip, but since the harvest took so long, everything else was pushed forward, and with colder days and frost long past the morning hours, every day counts to prep the fields for winter. This weekend Lilli will spend some time with her grandmother in Rauma, though, and she always loves that. They both do.

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Jay asked me to come photograph the fields and met me to show me where, then ran back to work.
ploughing-the-fields
Jay’s father does the ploughing.

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Meanwhile, I’m working on getting myself back on track. Going to bed earlier, for one. Since I last wrote I believe I hit that wall, and the time for a change is now. Not later. No more excuses or justifications as to why I have to stay up a little while longer to get this or that done. Last night I crawled beneath the covers a few minutes past ten at night, as opposed to two in the morning. I slept like a log for over eight hours, which was long overdue and did help, but I felt almost drunk when I got up, so this sleeping business has moved up to top priority now.

I must tell you how much warmth your words in response to my latest post gave me. I felt the smile all the way down in my toes. It’s like having my very own cheerleading squad and I can’t express in words how incredibly grateful I am to you for such wonderful support. It really means so much to me. So thank you, from the bottom of my heart. ❤

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This morning I had every intention to finally get some photos taken I have been planning for some time now, and to write a post about that dream I have had for the longest time and am now pursuing. I took my camera with me when Loke and I went for our morning walk, though, and got stuck photographing a frost-covered wonderland. By the time I got back inside the joints in my hands ached so badly I nearly cried. That’s what I get for leaving my gloves inside and thinking a short walk with Loke wouldn’t turn into anything else but that. Haha So instead I will leave you a couple of photos from this weekend, when Jay joined me in the living room while I was practicing. It will give you an idea of what this new endeavour of mine involves. 😉

(And excuse the mess. Neither of us are the tidiest people in the world. Haha)

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me-and-my-cello
Photo by Jay.

A cello. To me it is the most beautiful instrument in this world — well, I do love all bow instrument. If I say much else I will not be able to stop, so I am saving it for another post. I am curious though if any of you play an instrument or have any favourites? I tried for years to learn playing the guitar but my heart wasn’t in it. It just didn’t fit somehow.

Now, I want wish you the best week and to send you lots of love. Take care of yourselves and each other. ❤

Staying True To Yourself

Hello dearest friends and readers. I sat down last night to write a post but it took me long into the small hours of the morning, and in the end I went to bed close to tears. Not only because I was just tired, but because in spite of planning for an earlier bedtime, my tasks drag out for so much longer than they normally do. On top of that I am haunted by this impression I get nothing done, and all those photo and art/craft projects I planned have fallen completely to the sidelines.

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The “big” road that goes toward Lappi town and Rauma.
the-farm-from-afar
Our farm as seen from where you turn off the big road and into the village.

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I took these photos a couple of weeks ago and meant to post them to show you what our little village looks like. Since then, most of the leaves have fallen to the ground. Some trees hang on to them stubbornly, still, but those birches in the last photos are now completely bare.

flooded-field-in-sunlight

We have also had so much rain coming down that the creek next to the fields below the house has flooded. After clearing the meadow I showed you some photos from in a previous post, some of the hay and weed piles remained in the meadow. With all that rain, those piles ended up partially in water and it was so much work to go down there the other day to get it onto a trailer. I walked through water halfway up my boots to the river bank to move it closer to the tractor. Old Fergu (the 1960’s Massey Ferguson) would have gotten stuck if we had taken it into the flooded areas.

hay-on-a-trailer

Last week I took a few days break from Instagram to focus solely on painting our bedroom-to-be. I don’t know what is up with me this autumn — usually I am so full of energy and inspiration that I don’t even have to try. Instead I feel like I am moments away from losing my mind. So I put everything else on hold to be able to paint one room. As I write it, it looks so silly but the only way I get things done right now is to grab onto whatever motivation hits me as it comes. Not a moment later, or I lose it. So that is one of the main reasons I haven’t updated. I didn’t even take any photos of the progress because my singular mantra was paint paint paint. Get it done.

a-forest-road

Of course, now it has come to a stand-still again. I was missing some things to fix the wooden panelling around the closets, and then I waited to go into town. Even knowing I would lose my momentum. I can’t put into words how frustrated I am with myself right now, haha. If I don’t laugh at it the frustration would turn into annoyance and I would end up in tears — which can help. Do you ever find that after having cried, all that which was bundled up inside you disappeared with the tears?

a-forest-bird
This bird ran around in the forest next to one of our fields, burrowing down into sand and dirt, only to run along again and disappear. I have no idea what bird it is — do you?

So much is coloured by the strange grip melancholy has on me lately, but sometimes it is like that, isn’t it? In spite of our best efforts, in spite of maybe having had a really productive and energetic period, these lows arrive when nothing works. Not even photography. Either I haven’t felt like it, or I have forced myself outside only to come home and be overwhelmed by disappointment. More so than usual. Which I know is because of my mood.

rowan-berries

But I love taking photos after rain. All that dew covering the world outside wraps nature in a mystical mantle and I feel like I enter another realm. The sun may peek from behind steely clouds, but the light is mellow. Sombre. Captivating. In tune with my soul, which I sometimes think is toned in blue. As the days grow shorter I sense a change within me, but it also brings the challenge of keeping balance. A challenge in which I seem to have lost the upper hand. Instead of becoming immersed in a world of ideas and projects, I have this autumn slipped right through a rabbit hole to find myself all but apathetic. With only sporadic yet sudden and unpredictable onslaughts of motivation.

So despite my adoration for sombreness, I didn’t like any of the photos I took in the past week and almost deleted them completely. At least I managed to shake myself enough to say you will get past this, be spontaneous but not rash, be impulsive but responsibly.

birch-leaves-whirling

Chaos. That is what I have felt a touch of in the past week. Thoughts flit from one thing to another — a million and one things can go through my head in one day yet by the time I go to bed I remember none of it. Only that I had so many things to do and not even a fraction got done.

aspen-trunks
Aspen trees are my absolutely favourite trees. I just love them so much.
aspen-leaves-and-branches
And the rustling sound of these leaves in the wind is unlike any other.

So last night I battled with myself whether to write or not. Even though I want to share my journey in all its colours and shades, I can’t help but ask where to drawn the line. Is there a limit?

wind-blown-web-threads

During those days, when I hardly looked at my feed on Instagram, didn’t sit down to edit photos nor did anything with my photography or my artistry, I wondered about trying to find a job to earn money. The thought made me ill. I have never and doubt I ever could be motivated by money. Even if that money would allow me to get new camera equipment so I could stop stressing about my current camera not being capable of certain things, or the fact that the best lens I use right now isn’t even my own. Not even that trumps the lump in my stomach I got at the thought of going into a workplace to do my nine-to-five. I have done it and every single time I end up having a mental breakdown.

I mentioned these thoughts out loud the other day to someone, and I instantly felt that familiar outsider sensation. Like there is something wrong with me. Why can’t I be like others and just go to work? I managed to squash it quickly, but in that brief moment I wished my words back and felt so incredibly small. Insignificant. Inadequate. Just a failure. In spite of the person passing no judgment and offering only encouragement.

rowan-berries-in-water-puddle

The thing is, if I do not have the freedom to change my position or my surroundings when I know I need to, I feel trapped and can’t function. I am that sensitive and I can’t seem to do anything about it. I spent years and so much effort trying to fit into the traditional work place and I still suffer from how deeply it disrupted my own sense of self. When I have to fight to be myself on a near daily basis — to me that is a strong enough reminder how capable we humans are to change. Even change that is not in tune with who we are. And it breaks my heart when I think and wonder about how many of us force ourselves into careers and jobs to secure a pension for when we get old enough to retire. That we would have go through half a lifetime (and more) and many times not even then be able to do the things we really want.

I am fortunate, though. Truly blessed. I have a partner who doesn’t mind me not going to work — and we can live on his income. It worries me all the same. That I am not doing my part, even if I know he doesn’t think like that. In spite of having reminded me time and again that it really is all right, these thoughts and the accompanying sense of inadequacy wells up inside me when I think of how I contribute nothing toward paying the bills. I can’t put money into my daughter’s fund. On top of it all, I have a loan from my studies in Sweden which I am supposed to begin paying back next year.

When I came back home before Christmas last year, my entire being was convinced I would figure it out within a year. That I would by the end of 2017 be in a position to at least start paying off my loan. Yet here I am, with a little over two months left of the year, and the reality is close to suffocating. In spite of all this, I also know I won’t give up. Isn’t it strange? I still believe it will work out in the midst of my doubts and the odds seemingly stacked against me. That belief is the one thing that keeps me above the surface, the one light that I aim at the shadows when they begin to drag me below. I can’t explain it, nor do I understand it. But I will hold on to it all the same and continue. I have given up too much in my life to do so again. And it has been at these exact times, when all has felt impossible, that I have dropped everything and run away.

Not again. Never again.

If chaos is what I am right now, then so be it. I have my family, I live on a beautiful farm, I can walk out the door and be embraced by nature. I have you. And even if I am disappointed in my camera, I can still capture the journey with it in the best way I know how.

I will leave you with the last two verses of a poem I read a couple of years ago. The Guy in the Glass by Dale Wimbrow. I hope your week has gone well and I wish you a lovely weekend ahead. Much love. ❤

You may be like Jack Horner and “chisel” a plum,
And think you’re a wonderful guy,
But the man in the glass says you’re only a bum
If you can’t look him straight in the eye.

You can fool the whole world down the pathway of years,
And get pats on the back as you pass,
But your final reward will be heartaches and tears
If you’ve cheated the guy in the glass.

 

Autumn, Fire And Rainy Days

Good afternoon dear friends and readers. I hope your week started off well and that you are blessed with “better” weather than we have been lately. I have to say that I actually don’t mind this dusky light nor the rainy days. Somehow it enhances the colours on our vibrant forests and it all feels so mystical and cozy. I am not sure how much longer we will get to keep the leaves though. A couple of days ago the winds arrived — those strong, cold autumn gales which tell us colder days are on their way — and since it hasn’t only been raining water, but leaves, too. It’s such a powerful sight I just stop and stare.

windy-autumn-trees

I tried to capture those whirling leaf clouds but they didn’t turn out as well as I had hoped, and after scaling down five hundred photos to thirty, I still felt I had to take some out, so it didn’t make the final cut.

rain-drops-on-window

I have this immense struggle with being able to perceive how much time something takes. Not only that, I get stuck in each little element, so everything I do seems to take half an age to get done. Do you ever experience that?

I sat down yesterday morning to pick out photos from Monday and write about what we got up to that day, but then I looked out the window and just listened to the soothing melody of rain drumming against the sill. My mind whisked me away. I’ll get some photos of these rain droplets on the window. One thing lead to another, and I ended up on the door step where I sat for I don’t know how long to capture the rain.

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By the time I got back, my coffee was cold and I had to make some more. I don’t know how healthy my coffee consumption is, but editing photos requires a couple of cups. At least. Loke was sleeping on the floor but kept an eye on me, in case I might disappear outside again. He used to be a destroyer of worlds when left alone, but he seems to have calmed down. These days I rarely see him standing on the recliner to look out the window to see where we are.

sleepy-loke-dog

When I finally was able to sit down again, I only got halfway through the photos before we had to get ready for Rauma. Every Tuesday afternoon Lilli has art school, but we left earlier yesterday to have time to run some errands first.

While Lilli went on an excursion with her art class, Jay and I had coffee at his mother’s place. She is on her last year of work and retires this coming spring, so she has been saying she will come out here more often, and to help out in the garden or whatever we might need. I hold admiration for a great many people, for all kinds of things, but there is something about Jay’s parents and others from this generation — nothing seems to slow them down. They find and carry out a thousand tasks in such a way that to me appears seamless and effortless. I do know it isn’t always as easy as it seems, but I admire it all the same.

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finnish-autumn-farm

So. On Monday Jay and his father had to clear a meadow full of wild hay and weeds, then burn it. Jay asked me to come down and take photos for his “archives”. He got that “tough” camera for himself to document the work on the farm, but I understand wanting photos taken from afar, so that all of the action can be seen. I hadn’t ever really looked at the farm from this angle, especially not when the fields are bare. It really does look big from here, as a friend told me, and it was so nice to get this different perspective of our home.

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Loke joined me.

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men-on-tractor-in-forest-meadow

Jay found my camera before I could upload the photos. I asked him to come to watch them with me yesterday. These photos turned out great, honey, come have a look! He told me he had seen them already on the camera. Lots of artistic ones, he said with that little funny smile of his. He doesn’t get the point of leaves in focus and the digger and its purpose all blurred out in the background. Haha I explained then that I wanted photos for myself as well, for the blog. He thought I could just blur out the faces, but to me that ruins the feeling in the photo. I did however do that on the top photo for Jay’s father. I don’t know if you can tell — I tried to keep it as subtle as possible. And luckily half the face is hidden behind the exhaust. Haha

autumn-leaves-and-digger-out-of-focus
One of my “artistic” photos. Haha 😉

That “wagon” Jay sat on behind old Fergu (a Massey Ferguson from the 1960’s) is ancient, and meant to be pulled by a horse. It’s amazing and great how they still find use for these “outdated” tools and vehicles, and that they actually work.

So first they cleared the wildness with it — I think it just rakes and rips out the worst of the hay and weed, the tall and dry — then used the bright orange digger to gather it into piles for burning. For this kind of work, I am glad it has been so wet lately. With winds like we had on Monday, I worry it would have spread so easily. But they know what they are doing — I just get the pleasure of running around with my camera to document it all.

combine-harvester

While Jay’s father collected the hay and weeds into piles, Jay took the combine harvester to some smaller fields close to the river to finish some areas left from last week. It has grown unevenly, and some of it wasn’t fully ready. He called it cherry picking and showed me some photos of what was left. Apparently the combine has been having engine trouble, and conks out, so I don’t actually know if he did manage to get the rest on Monday.

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I keep thinking I want to get out and take photos on these darker days. Mostly, I struggle to get out of my head to begin with, but I am also so frightened of the higher ISO (light sensitivity) numbers. This is also why I rarely take nor show photos from inside the house. Well, that and the unbelievable mess everywhere. Haha

When I was out on Monday (and yesterday) I had to use an ISO of either 400 or 800 to be able to keep the shutter speed at 1/500 second to freeze movement. And as far as I have understood it, to get greater depth of field, clarity and colour, I couldn’t use the smaller f-numbers. I used 7.1 and 8 now, for most photos. (On the zoom lens I am still borrowing, I normally use f4 – 5.6.)

After having looked through all these photos now I see that an ISO of 400 I can accept, if I must, but the photos in which I used ISO 800 turned out too grainy for my tastes. I can fix it somewhat in Lightoom, with luminance and colour correction, but it softens the entire image and I lose clarity and sharpness. I did however consider that maybe I just have to work around it by composing images that look good that way, if you know what I mean? To keep that in mind when I shoot, so that a soft, dreamy film suits the composition of the entire image. It’s not a problem if there is no wind and I can use slower shutter speed, but I do have to keep the tripod with me since I am very shaky with my hands.

autumn-aspen

In spite of the gloomy lighting and leaving the house without the tripod, I managed to wander off into the forest. All these colours had me so distracted, and the smells were divine. I ended up by the little river and lost track of time. When I got back, Jay had returned to take over managing the fires.

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autumn-reflections-in-water

Jay is never surprised when I disappear like that, and I really am so glad I can. In fact, had it not been for Jay asking me to come outside on Monday, I might not have made myself. This strange lethargy continues to hover over me, but when I do get outside it dissipates almost immediately. I don’t know if I can call it lethargy, because my mind is like a beehive. And I can’t relax, even if my butt seems glued to its spot at times. Either way, I can only keep trying to overcome it until I do. And rest. I am at my wits end with these short nights and my brain ding-dong-ing whenever I slip out of my sleep just the slightest. I get moments when I don’t feel like myself at all. Do you ever get that?

smoking-fields

When I got back… No, wait. Haha I went back inside after I took the photos of Jay and his father driving Fergu. My camera had something stuck on the lens and I had to clean it. Jay came inside to tell me when the fires were burning, and I went out a second time. That was when Jay left with the combine harvester and I disappeared into the woods.

I am sitting here laughing so much right now. If you only knew how many times in a day this sort of thing happens to me, or the amount of times I think I have done something when I haven’t. So, you know what? I am not going to re-write all this. I have already been writing on and off for a couple of hours now.

Are you certain you would want to visit a wellness center under my management? Haha

pitchfork-in-burning-hay

man-with-pitchfork-in-burning-hay

man-smoke-and-fire-in-field

At least there would be someone close at hand who could handle a fire. 😉

Well, this has been my week so far. How about you? Have you had or do you have anything special on the schedule this week?

Now I am going to call and make an appointment with my hairdresser. I would like to liven up my hair for some photos I am planning, and if all works out, I’ll be a little more redhead than brunette. I have coloured my hair a lot throughout my life, but completely blonde is something that I can’t seem to take care of, so I promised myself to not do that again. I have very fine strands of hair and I end up looking a little like those tiny trolls you can put at the end of pencils. Haha

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End of photo bomb. ;-*

Many hugs and much love, darling friends and readers. ❤

The Depth In Fields

Living on a farm surrounded by fields, this week’s photo challenge instantly made me think of the endless options to capturing these vast and somewhat flat canvases in a photo. My biggest struggle here when it comes to bringing what I see with my eyes into the image is: where do I focus and from what angle? While we can do amazing things to our images in post-processing with Lightroom and Photoshop, it cannot (in my opinion) compare to what our eyes can take in and the images they produce in our minds as we stand there and just gaze.

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I often stop to aim my camera at the fields–especially this time of the year as they begin to turn golden–only to end up deleting the capture straight away because it just falls flat. Do you know what I mean? In all honesty, that happens a lot when I want to capture landscapes. I got that wide angle lens, for example, that I had been wanting to get for so long, and yet somehow I can’t help but feel disappointed by how it pushes my vision into the background. I do get to capture the wide spectrum, but what my eyes see–the magic in certain elements that makes what I see so wonderful–trails off into the distance.

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I have three lenses, but I am shooting mostly with my Tamron 90mm macro at the moment. As a result, I am moving around a lot, but I do get what I want with it. And while I have started wishing for a lens with wider zoom options, I think this way the challenges I meet are good for my creativity. To not have too many options forces me to come up with solutions and puts me in situations I might not have ended up in if I could just reach for another lens.

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So instead of being sad for not managing to capture the wonderful beauty of the fields the way I envisioned to begin with, I focused on the contrast between sharpness and blur created when using the smallest f-stop on my macro lens. All the images in this post are shot at f2.8. And I am honestly so very happy with the results.

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I absolutely love the effects and textures I can achieve in post-processing. Truthfully, even without any editing at all many photos turn out great. I just find it so much fun to play around with them, especially when I have gotten my settings just right. The glow, the shimmer and sparkle, or the filtering effects of swaying foliage or leaves in the nearest foreground. Together with that one area of focus, I get to translate the magic I feel–even if it turned out differently than I first imagined.

Thank you so much for reading. I wish you all a great Friday and a wonderful weekend. Much love. ❤

Among Old Buildings

Good evening, everyone! Yesterday was truly one of those overcast days, and I kept waiting for the sky to open up with showers but it didn’t until sometime during the night. Later in the afternoon, early evening, the clouds broke apart a little. It was the loveliest light, so I grabbed my camera and went outside.

OvercastEvening

FilteringRays

Usually I don’t go outside with my camera unless it’s early or late. And I always seem to chase that mesmerising evening sun. But what a treasure this turned out to be. In edits I found myself leaning toward different settings, since the ones I mostly use didn’t really bring out the feeling in the photos I had when I shot them. (A lot of photos in this post, by the way!)

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DarkerClouds

These clouds were absolutely amazing. Every once in a while a sliver of light would come through here and there, and further away the sun sent out its soft caresses to the trees.

WildBloomingRoad

In my latest reply to the weekly photo challenge, I told you I had a particular spot in mind. And I am so grateful for the response. Thank you all so much–for the likes and the lovely comments. ❤ One of you in particular expressed a wish to see this place, so that was actually my main goal for taking this walk. When I saw that sun filter through the clouds, I thought oh, this is perfect. So thank you, Chronicles of Wonder, for inspiring me to go get that shot.

On my way there, though, I stopped (as I seem to be obsessed with lately) to capture a few closeups.

ButterBlooms

WilderWeeds

WildWeeds

Jay was out in the fields with the fertiliser, and when he was done, he came right at me. The spreader was still spinning, even if he had turned it off, so a few pebbles bounced off my shirt. I joked you threw crap on me! Good thing it isn’t actually manure. Not that he would have been sad to see me put my shirt away, considering he thinks it looks like a potato sack. Haha

TogetherInTime

Last time I came here, taking care not to step too much on the moss, it was spring. The ground must have been quite chilled still, and relatively solid, because now I sunk into the clay as I got in between the buildings. It is a wonder the buildings stay upright on these shifting foundations. Although… they do tilt a little.

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EnduringWheel

I told Jay I wanted to rescue this wagon–what is left of it–and bring it to the garden, and he didn’t quite agree. He tells me he likes looking at it where it is. Also, after some closer thought, I wonder if it even would stay together or if the wheels are rotted. So it will stay. I must agree with him; it does look beautiful. Just as it is. Which is probably exactly why I thought of it as the perfect showcase for transition and the passing of time.

This little hidden treasure is only one of many on our farm. Even though I get immensely frustrated over all the things inside the main house left from previous generations, and we are literally swamped in the clutter, I am also so thankful so much history remains (mostly) intact on the property.

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The old horse wagon shed.

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LabourCottageCreepingVines

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Photo taken on another occasion a couple of weeks ago.
LabourCottageVines
Also captured a couple of weeks ago.

This last building is called työtupa in Finnish. I have translated it to the labour cottage. It used to be the main building (built around 1880). Jay’s grandfather grew up in this house but moved out before World War II. The house we live in, or a part of it–it has had extensions later on–was built some time in the 1920’s.

For years I have wanted to “write an article” on this farm, mostly told through photographs. Now that I am blogging, I think it is time to get started. It will take some time to gather material, but hopefully before the end of this year I will take you on a tour through the generations this place is built upon.

Until then, I would like to share two photos I took many years ago now (and actually shared here on WordPress on one of those blogs I started but never continued), from inside the työtupa.

I wish you a wonderful evening, and thank you so much for reading. ❤

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TyoTupa_4

Morning Dew And Gold In Hand

Good morning, everyone! I woke up early this morning. I only needed to go to the toilet but then I saw the morning light carefully kissing our fields and going back to bed was no longer a priority. We have this saying in Swedish–morgonstund har guld i mund. Directly translated I think it would be something along the lines of the morning hour holds gold in its hand. (This mund sounds like mouth, but Wiktionary says differently. Who knows?) It basically means that he or she who rises early can accomplish much. For me this saying was literally true this morning. Everything was truly glowing. Golden and dreamy and so magical.

Radiant Stalks

I didn’t notice until I went back inside, but my fingers were stiff and numb with cold and my sneakers and socks were soaked by the dew I had been running through. I felt wonderful, though, and made some coffee before I went to settle by the computer to do some editing. And this is where I have been for the past hour and a half. Two cups of coffee later, I am finished with gathering the photos I want to share with you all. I ended up with so many. Haha.

Brilliant Fields

Sunrise Field

Dreamy Fields

Oh! Do you remember my post about the dead birch? As I stood there, shooting the fields it caught my eye. A few beams of light from the sun filtered through the pines next to it and it looked so magical.

Passed Birch

And there is something so very special about the morning dew. Soft and dreamy. Not so much when my shoes and socks are drenched, but I don’t mind. It was so worth it.

 

Morning Dew Web

Webglow

I walked along the edges of our fields for quite some time, marvelling at the spider webs. They are so pretty in the mornings. Or in the evening sun, when they look like spun gold.

Before I went back inside, it occurred to me that the edge of our garden where the old apple tree grows would probably be catching its first rays of sunlight. I hurried there after capturing some wild chervil (cow parsley). We call them hundkäx, which sounds like dog biscuit. When I was little I wondered who came up with that name because they looked nothing like dog biscuits to me. Maybe they tasted like them? I never tried to find out, though.

I wish you all a wonderful day.

Wild Chervil Glory

Wild Chervil Dew

Apple Blossom Blooms

Morning Glory Blossom

Among Fields And Smiling Finns

Yet another weekend has passed and we are gearing up for another week. A busy week. For farmers there is no such thing as weekend, though, and Nine-To-Five doesn’t exist. The field work has commenced so we are looking at a very full-specked stretch ahead of us. For now, though, may tractors, their drivers and the harrowed fields rest for a few hours before it’s time to go again. Unless that rain we’ve been promised comes pattering down.

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Looking out earlier as my partner’s father was out there, I remembered how after sowing birds come flocking. And I’m not talking a few–literally tons. Okay, maybe not tons, but a lot. Seagulls. We don’t really see them around, and in spite of being in the Land Of A Thousand Lakes, we do not have any major ones closeby. But that doesn’t matter; once those seeds are in the ground those gulls somehow find their way here. This year I will be sure to have my camera ready!

Tonight, however, I am readying my camera for something else entirely. While thinking ahead of the week to come, and what opportunities to grab to practice my photography, it suddenly hit me. Sammallahdenmäki (Moss Cove Hill). All the years I have lived here and I have completely forgotten we have a prehistoric archeological World Heritage site, practically in our local backwoods. It’s the perfect spot for light hiking and an afternoon picnic with my daughter. So once that sun peeks out again, we are off on a little adventure.

What about you? What does your week look like?

I will leave you with a photograph I played around with of my special guy–he came back from parking the tractors for the night as I was trying to catch the sunset. For now, I wish you all a wonderful Sunday evening and a great week.

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I call it “The Smiling Finn” – a rare but oh-so-charming sight to behold.