When Failure Leads To Discovery

Have you experienced that moment of failure that instead of leading to defeat spurs you onwards to try even harder? You set a goal for yourself, and even if you are met by dead ends at every turn, something wells up from deep inside and makes you dig your heels in. Isn’t it strange how sometimes falling down will leave you with such a sense of hopelessness you can’t find it in you to get back up, yet somehow, at other times, it is like a fire ignites within the deepest cavities of your being and you think oh, heck no. I don’t accept this.

Yesterday evening, I decided to go back to those lonely forest roads to make another attempt at finding my way to the lake. This time I asked Lilli if she would like to come along. She told me you know what my answer isOF COURSE! Loke tagged along, as well.

forest-fern-moss
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vibrant-fern-close-up
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Gravel roads lead through this area, and we met a tractor with a big load of timber on our way there. I had already thought that maybe these forests are plantations. Although not all of them seem to be actively harvested. But it would also explain why it’s such a desolate place. Maybe the forest owners have wanted to keep it that way? These are just my own wonderings; in all honesty, I don’t know all that much about how these things work. Still I find it interesting that wilderness exists right in the middle of clusters of towns and villages. And it all surrounds this lake. It seems almost a little mysterious.

 

sunset-through-spruce-branch
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We followed one of those forest machine-made paths and turned off a little before that brushy area I stopped at the first time. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the ground was covered in blueberry bushes, and they were so full of berries. I had given up on picking blueberries this season, but wow. They weren’t those little pearl-sized berries, either. They were enormous. And, of course, Loke decided it was an excellent place to have a poop. Haha In the end we had to return to the path when that whole blueberry field sat on a plateu, and the trees below it were so densely clustered I decided to search for another passage.

If I had followed that path the first time, and not stopped to stare at the thick brush of tall grass and raspberry bushes, I would have noticed it continued. So yesterday evening we wandered along that until I saw what were probably trails trampled up by deer or elk. Lilli, Loke and I followed in their steps, which lead us deeper and deeper into ghostly alleés of old and near bare-branched pines.

naked-spruce-branches
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forest-floor-spruce-foot-ferns
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What leads me to believe that this area has not been visited by any machines for a long time are the sizes of these trees, the thick and wild undergrowth, and the irrigation systems covered in green sheets of algea and tiny-leafed floating plants. A miniature landscape of moss and lichen flourished on the banks of these ditches. I have never seen anything like it. It didn’t occur to me to take photos of it because we were met by these at every turn, not even a hundred meters from the lake’s shore, and I became so disappointed I swore. Lilli said loudly MOM! Quit swearing so much.

In a last, stubborn attempt — we didn’t have too much left of daylight — I began to drag felled but thin pine logs which I threw across one of these irrigation ditches to create a bridge. They weren’t sturdy enough, though, and then Lilli started crying when I forbade her to cross. You didn’t even let me TRY! I pulled one of those traditional I am the adult and if I say they aren’t safe it is because they aren’t. I tried already! And she was wearing rubber boots which is not a good combination with slippery old wood.

The funny thing is that on our way back, I managed to lead us a different way than we came, and we got boxed in by these irrigation systems. So we had to jump. The one we crossed wasn’t as deep, nor wide and trecherous as those close to the lake.

rusty-old-tractor-cabin
55-250 mm / Lilli: I wonder what happened to the tyres?

Before getting back on the path, we stopped in a clearing when we saw an ancient, rusty tractor cabin. I took the opportunity to take some more photos while Lilli had a drink. I noticed then that I had forgotten to bring my 10-18 mm, so when I wanted to get some landscape photos, I pulled out the 18-55 mm that came with the camera. I haven’t used it since I bought the wide angle, and while I really was reminded in post-processing why I got the wide angle, I also realised that my photography truly has gotten better. So it isn’t entirely the lense’s fault. 😉

walking-among-pines-and-moss
18-55 mm / I kind of liked that I am blurred in a somewhat sharp setting.
moss-lichen-lingonberry-pines
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blurry-loke-among-moss-and-branches
18-55 mm / Loke rarely is still for more than a couple of seconds, and with the waning light and longer shutter speeds, it was a true challenge to capture him.
loke-in-the-forest
18-55 mm / But I did manage one! Lilli stood in front of him, talking, haha. 🙂
lilli-and-loke-in-the-forest
18-55 mm / Loke is in heaven when he has this many sticks and branches to play with. ❤
sunset-clouds-over-forest
18-55 mm

After this last shot we began our trek back to the car. My disappointment over not reaching the lake had completely settled and I was just so happy for this time with my daughter. As I write, she is most likely having candies and chilling with her grandfather in Rauma. Jay and I will go to get her tomorrow afternoon.

The lake still remains a mystery, but as I mentioned in the beginning, I am more determined now to reach its shores. There is another road that leads past it on the other side — a little further away, though — and I am going to explore what possibilities exist there next time. I do however believe I was meant to come this way first. If I hadn’t, and a clearer path indeed lies on the other side, I wouldn’t have ever discovered these old tree plantations to which I will return to take more photos of. I found them so incredibly beautiful in their ghostliness. Like old souls carrying secrets and wisdom from a time long gone. A kind of sadness clung to them, too, and I felt it as we made our way out of those alleés. I know I won’t be able to forget them.

autumn-aspen-leaves
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autumn-leaf-close-up
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By the time we got back to the car it was nearly dark, and we were all so ready to go home. I always get so tired after having been in the forest. I tried to explain it to Lilli once, because it isn’t the kind of sleepiness that makes me want to find a bed. Just so thoroughly content and relaxed. All that air and the smells of earth, recin — a sweet yet prickling freshness — and even the damp moss has its own charm. Oh, and the mushrooms. I absolutely love the smell of mushrooms. But. Lilli just gave me an odd look, wondering how I can be tired and not tired simultaneously.

I hope to be able to invite you to the next chapter of this search for those elusive shores soon. As I write this, Jay is getting the sauna ready, so I will wish you all a wonderful Saturday evening. Much love. ❤

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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!)

ToweringClouds

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.

HiddenWagon

MossCoveredGround

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.

HorseWagonShed
The old horse wagon shed.

LabourCottageRoof

LabourCottageCreepingVines

LabourCottagePlayfulShadows
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. ❤

TyoTupa_3

TyoTupa_4

The Passing Of Time

Transition, change, and the passing of time. For this week’s photo challenge I actually had just the spot in mind, but it wasn’t until today I gave my new-found project a bit of a break. And of course the clouds decided to rush on in. So I took a stroll through my photo library and found some other photos that will do just as well.

LingonberryFlowers

I am sure I have seen the Lingonberry flower on many occasions throughout my life, but it wasn’t until the other week, when I went for a walk after the rain to take photos along our little road that I noticed them. Actually acknowledged the Lingonberry bush blooms. So simple and so delicate. Just like most native flowers here in our part of the world. I really like that. And I love lingonberry jam with meatballs (or elk stew), mashed potatoes, and creamy brown sauce. In a couple of months, those quite sour but oh-so-delicious and healthy berries will have taken these flowers’ place.

BnW_Blowball

These Dandelion blowballs will soon be but a memory of another spring and early summer having passed. We are now in July already and I cannot grasp how fast the time simply flies. It reminds me of this quote my brother used to have on his DeviantArt account (I think it was DeviantArt): Time flies like the wind, fruit flies like bananas.

MossCoveredRocks

MossyTree

There is something about moss that is very dear and special to me. Not only is it a recurring feature in both John Bauer’s and other old Swedish illustrators’ work, but it instills a sense of mystery and magic of those days of old. I remember when I took that photo of myself sitting on a mossy rock. I forgot to mention, then, that beneath all that moss were rolls of seemingly ancient, rusty barbed wire. I sat stiff as a bowstring while taking those photos, exercising great care not to shift my weight. I wonder which generation before us left it there?

FishboneBeardLichen

BeardLichen

I have both heard and read that the beard lichen only survives where the air is unpolluted and clean. With all these climate changes and chaotic articles about how we are living on borrowed time and destroying our world, I look at these lichen (and much else in nature) and I cannot help but think that nature has always been a master at adapting to change. If we cannot find a way, I have faith in that nature will. It would do us so much good to have a little faith, too. This magnificent world we live in is far less fragile than we seem to think it is. Or so I personally believe. That is not to say we should carry on with our destructive habits, and I do believe nature’s way of stabilising itself, regaining its balance, is potent enough and of such magnitude it could destroy us.

I hope you all had fun with this week’s photo challenge. It’s so great how it makes us stop and think, to contemplate life around us from different perspectives. Later this evening or tomorrow I am going to have a peek at what you have come up with. For now, I wish you all a cozy Sunday. Thank you so much for reading. ❤