There is this bench at the end of this line of trees. It stands there looking out at the frozen lake on the other side of the lake. Day. Night. Snow. Rain. It stands there and looks out. I look at it and think about the people who come here and sit on it. Looking at the landscape and are lost in their thoughts. Week after week. Month after month. Some of them are worrying. Others enjoy the fresh air while looking out for their dog. Some sit here every day. Some take a deep breath and try to focus on it, leaving everything else behind and trying to be in the moment for a few seconds.
The winter is very slowly giving way to spring. Not that the spring temperatures are here, but there is more light in the morning, A few weeks ago I woudl have taken this photo in the dark. There is light. ThThe winter is very slowly giving way to spring. Not that the spring temperatures are here, but there is more light in the morning, A few weeks ago I would have taken this photo in the dark. There is light. There are more birds in the trees. The snow is still here and this year it keeps falling without stopping, but something new is in the air.
The mornings are still dark, but there are subtle signs of change in the air.
I am walking on the path next to the lake. There is mild wind from the East that runs over the empty space of the frozen lake. It feels colder than it actually is. We are at -8C this morning.
The dog stops in the middle of the path and looks at a person wearing a thick red winter jacket that has stopped 20 meters in front of us. I cannot see if it is a man or a woman. S/he looks up on a tree and is pointing a smartphone up.
It is too dark to take a photo with a smartphone. Strange.
I start walking towards that person and the dog follows me, reassured.
We got closer and I hear a new sound. Something I have not heard for some time during these morning walks. There are birds singing on that tree. They are hidden in the dark but we can clearly hear them.
The woman holding the phone up (I can see now that she is a woman) is not taking photos, but actually recording the sound of the birds. She turns towards me and says: “This is nice, isn’t it?”.
It is. It seems like a sound that I had forgotten for some time.
“Yes, they sound a bit like in early spring”, I reply.
“It is,” she says, “the first sign of spring.”
This week I want to share some photos from my January morning walks.
January morning are dark. The sunrise is at about 9am. We have already passed the shortest day of the year which is on 21. December, but early morning are still with night darkness and streetlights.
I take our dog for a walk at about 7:15 and in early January i took with me also my camera. I wanted to take photographs of the path I walk every day in the forest and the park along the lake.
The streetlight with ice on them. The snow-covered party. The signposts standing alone in the cold.
Few people pass by on their bicycles on the way to work. The have halogen lights on. Multilayered sport clothes he’s to keep them warm.
We usually see 4-5 other dog owners out for the morning walk. Sometime they get closer and let the dogs meet and sniff at each other. Sometimes they prefer to stay away. We exchange few words to greet each other, with a good day, and then continue walking along the path.
Yeas, the morning in January at dark, but the days are getting longer and over the next few weeks the lights will get brighter and brighter until when the night will disappear completely.
The snows has been falling for several days. The snow machine move during the night to keep the paths cleared. They do that night after night. They move the snow on the side of the paths. There is this bench I pass by every morning. It is half submerged as the snow gets higher and higher. It sits at the edge of the light circle from a lamp post which is alarmingly diagonal. The bench seems trapped and unable to provide the sitting place it is meant to provide. In the meantime the snow continues to fall as we are entering the month of February.
The small farm, Kontiola 2021
The farm is small. Four wooden houses and a barn. They create a space on their own. Families have lived here. Different generations under the same roof. They worked the land during the short summer and waited patiently during the winter. Kids walked along the gravel road to get to the primary school no matter how cold, snowy or rainy it was. This old farm was a shelter and place where people lived their lives.
I really like this old barn. Its high roof. The stone and boulder thick walls. The shape of the windows. An old times building.