It's been a week crammed with perfect moments, all involving animals.
Summer makes us feel like we are living in a zoo and as my dear sister commented; "This year nature seems to have exploded on us". Blackbirds, fieldfares and all kinds of gulls are turning up outside our little house in the mornings and evenings. Funny dog Ebba chases them away and looks very proud about it, every single time. It seems to be a game that everyone's enjoying as the birds keep coming back, day after day.
The baby elks are growing and getting warier of people, just as they should be. Thanks to the hens - who are hard at work adding nutrition to all the nettles around the place - most of the hare babies have safe havens under the surprisingly tall plants, as have our chicks. It's just to hope those safe havens continues to work for them. And if one more squirrel gets babies this summer, we simply must change the name of our home to Squirrel's Nest and be done with it.
Still, the first week of our holiday brought even more animals with it, to liven up our lives. First out was a very beautiful cow from the big farm, next door. (A few kilometers away, still next door). The cows live like royalty and wander around their field's and in the forest free as birds. This particular beauty decided to give birth to her baby somewhere quiet and secluded. Her people wished to find her to check everything was as it should be so we all plodded along looking for her.
To find a happy, newborn calf wobbling along next to his proud mother on a sunny hay field is a perfect moment. I told the farmer this and that we should be dressed in old fashion costumes and playing the fiddle, to make the whole scene complete. Like an old, black and white movie, you see? No, neither did our friendly neighbour who looked worriedly at me, probably thinking I've finally gone completely odd. It was just such a happy moment.
A few mornings later dear Ebba and I went for a very early walk. Ebba bounces off like on springs, I creak behind her, believing to meet my end at the first uphill. Once I get up that one my legs wake up and I feel there is some hope for me. Ebba is a trooper and just pulls me along, so I do try to lighten her burden by moving as briskly as I can. It's just those first five minutes.
Anyway, we got into the forest and our curious dog stopped to investigate who was climbing up and down a tall aspen tree. It sounded like a squirrel but as the sun was in our eyes, it was difficult to see. I let her get on with it so I was a bit taken aback when a funny, lit up head turned up, from behind the tree trunk. It looked like an illuminated miniature Yoda, the pointy ears and the worried little face made it very Star Wars. That’s when I realised who it was and pulled Ebba away. The small pine marten seemed disappointed to have the game aborted so abruptly but pine martens bite. It was lovely to see the small, well looking creature though and once again I felt blessed to have been granted the honor. Ebba was miffed as she wanted to stay and play with her find.
The last ‘picture perfect’ moment, involving wild animals, also occurred on an early morning walk. The sun was out and the fields had just started blossoming in yellow, it's field mustard or Brassica rapa as it's known in Latin. And yes, I know! It has already bloomed everywhere else in Europe. This is Finland, where the morning temperature outside still struggles to brake the ten degrees mark. Cold nights, cool days but our animals are happy about it.
Anyway, walking on the road, fields of yellow on both sides, Ebba and I heard the loud sound of wings working steadily towards us. Two cranes were moving from one ditch to another and had decided that flying very, very low saves energy. So, there they came flying straight at us, low enough to take us with them. We ducked down, they passed in a very stylish fashion and carried on. Even Ebba stood stock still for a moment, until she realised what large birds had just passed her by. One walker’s perfect moment can be an other's missed lunch. The cranes took no notice of us at all and were soon busy eating frogs again.
Our dear sheep are acting as brave stallions when seven young cockerels and three small hens play horsy themed games. Mandy is completely taken by this and can play along for hours on end. Mindy spoils the effect for the brave jockeys by stopping to blow on them until they fly away. Molly and My are more interested in eating so the hens can ride around the countryside on their broad backs without any interruptions at all. Molly carries three cockerels at a time on her back and takes no notice to the small tag-alongs. The hens do eat any flies brave enough to land next to them. The older hens are busy nesting and grazing, so they love the fact that the youngsters are off doing their own stuff. "Some peace and quiet", they tell me.
Dear husband has finished the summer theater for this season. They have played to a full house most evenings and the play has been well received. Now dear husband has a short summer holiday too. We have a list, long as our arm of things to do for him, Ebba and I, but we have not told him that yet.
July is coming to its end and the bilberries are getting blue and ready to be picked. It's one of my favorite time of the summer. Be well, be happy and look out for low flying birds.
A blog about a small holding in Southern Finland. Each original story is accompanied by a stunning watercolour illustration or resplendent photographs.