1. 28.08.2014 Tuomarila Espoo, Finland

    Back on “our” side of the border. The cliff behind our apartment has many places where water naturally accumulates and flows through the shallow soil and rock. It would be quite nice to actually build up the terraces there (from the old house), but then if a stream was actually born… well, I’m not so sure that the people who manage these houses would like that very much!


  2. 28.08.2014 Kasavuori Kauniainen, Finland

    Stop 6 (shots 1-3), 5 (shots 4-6 [mushrooms]), 4 (shot 7), and 1 (shots 8 & 9)

    Walk back home. 

    1-3 show some of the scenery near the “source.”

    4-6 show some of the other mushroom activity. In the one with the log, you can see that inside the hole is water. I think this is actually the water table and not necessarily just a puddle. I didn’t stick around to test if the water was moving because I was hungry :)

    7 is evidence of the squirrels that are eating everything that even resembles food in the forest right now. All the hazelnuts have been stripped from the trees and the pine cones look like corn cobs without kernels.

    8 & 9 are back to where we started, about 3 hours earlier :)


  3. 28.08.2014 Kasavuori Kaunianen, Finland

    Stop 6 on map

    Near #6, the stream branches off into two distinct channels that run parallel to each other (like a wishbone). The northerly one is much more shallow and the stream disappears. The southerly one abruptly ends, turns to the south, and vanishes (last photo). Rocky fill separated the two streams, although I’m positive that underneath the long pile of rocks and boulders that the stream is one.

    I didn’t take too much time to see if the stream comes underneath the road since its the beginning of a residential area and Kasavuori park ends here.


  4. 28.08.2014 Kasavuori Kauniainen, Finland

    Stop 5 on map (well, between 5 and 6)

    The stream moves through a very thick grove of spruces and the water slows considerably. Many fallen trees cross the channel. Notice how the water is stained from the tannic acids of the forest soil.

    Lastly, a couple of mushrooms that looked like chanterelles, but I wasn’t sure. So I didn’t pick  them.

    I also noticed there were quite a few bilberries left on the bushes around there, which were quite a nice treat!

    PS: here comes another storm over Kasavuori’s little sister mountain (the cliff behind our house). 


  5. 28.08.2014 Kasavuori Kauniainen, Finland

    Stop 4 on map, continued

    Last from the stretch between 3 and 4. The banks rise higher as the drainage ditch was cut through the rock. When crossing over the main pathway, I found my first chanterelles of the season. Only 4, but perhaps more will emerge over the coming days.

    Also, the shots of the tree trunks are of one of the only mature oaks I’ve found growing on the mountain.


  6. 28.08.2014 Kasavuori Kauniainen, Finland

    Stop 4 on map, continued

    More from the same stretch of the stream. The different kinds of moss and lichens grow in very thick mats in the stream bed, at times disguising its path. 

    A fallen rowan tree resprouted from its tip over the stream and is now growing upright again. I think that’ll be something really unique in a few more years as they gain in height.


  7. 28.08.2014 Kasavuori Kauniainen, Finland

    Stop 4 on map

    After the last little bit of falling water, the stream straightens out. It runs in a drainage ditch that runs perfectly straight for almost the remainder of its course. Luckily, the slope is very gentle so the water never accumulates much speed. 

    During its course, water slowly percolates through the forest floor that surrounds, helping to keep it running.


  8. 28.08.2014 Kasavuori Kauniainen, Finland

    Stop 3 on map

    As soon as the pathway levels out, you can hear the rush of a small waterfall and little rapids. I don’t know when the waterfall was engineered, but it could have been when the highway was built.

    It is hard to enjoy the sound too much, though, since the highway cuts less than 50m away. I have to try my best to keep Robin out of the stream here because he goes “water crazy” and I was afraid he might try to jump the waterfall (which isn’t too high, but still!)


  9. 28.08.2014 Kasavuori, Kauniainen Finland

    Stop 2 on map

    Climbing up the “mountain.” We don’t have to go all the way to the summit (a towering 65m!), probably more like 40m above sea level before the path levels out. Those colorful apartments are the same as in the first post. With the rain comes a lot of fungal activity, so I try to keep my eye out for chanterelles (the only mushroom I’m good at identifying lol)


  10. 28.08.2014 Espoo/Kauniainen, Finland

    Stop 1 on map

    With all of the rain in the past two weeks, the springs emerging from Kasavuori are running strong. Yesterday, Robin and I took a walk to the source of the strongest of them. As you will see, a combination of heavy forest cover, combined with a little bit of elevation, are ideal places for springs to develop. Hills should be forested wherever possible as the least we can do to rehydrate our landscapes.

    I’ve included a map (from Open Street Map) showing our route, just for kicks. I took too many photos, so there won’t be just one set for each stop.

    This stream branches into three different sections (two of which reconnect by this bridge) after it is forced underneath the highway (See #3 on map). Since we’ve moved here I’ve been wondering about the integrity of this bridge since it is constantly being subjected to running water underneath it. Although the gravel is reconfigured on a regular basis to shunt the water into storm drain, the power of this stream is such that it is only a rainstorm away from realigning itself. Eventually the last storm drain manages to capture the water. I bet the water is simply rerouted to the nearby marsh/river.

    Oh, and its another heavy thunderstorm as I’m posting this. Which means more plums splitting at the seams :(


  11. 27.08.2014 Tuomarila, Espoo

    Brought home three sweet chestnuts from the Turntable where I had them growing during the summer. Sadly, I forgot about them there and the result was rather sad. One of the 4 that were growing perished, while these three are tiny little things.

    Tomorrow I’ll take some photos comparing the ones that grew in the shade on our balcony to them, but just felt like snapping some shots. The second photo shows some of the other plants I did manage to get going in the shade this year. Our balcony faces north-northeast and even in the height of summer this far north, only has a few hours of direct sunlight around 3-9am. By the end of August the sunlight is down to maybe an hour, if it woul stop raining.

    There is an English oak bottom center (red container) with some heavy fungal nasty on its leaves. I’m going to repot it with more mineral soil today after harvesting some soil from around some mature English oaks in the neighborhood, hopefully that’ll have some fungal spores (oaks use ectomycorrhizae and I only have inoculum for endo).

    Both species of Echinacea are doing terrible in the shade, they really need full sun. Only one E. purpurea survied while 7 pallidas are strugging. They are bottom center.

    One container of good king henry is doing pretty well considering the shade (right side of the box with arrow shaped leaves). 

    Not really visible at the top end of the box are two containers of foxgloves which are also doing surprisingly well in the shade.

    Lastly are the three sweet chestnuts (center left) that are quite healthy given the situation. They say sweet chestnuts don’t grow in the shade, but they are the best looking plants on the balcony. Even better than daffodils and tulips, which never bloomed!


  12. 21.08.2014 Tuomarila, Espoo

    Robin accompanied me, of course, on my foraging walks. Earlier he had found a puddle full of fallen apples and thought they were balls…


  13. 21.08.2014 Tuomarila, Espoo

    One of the semi-wild, perhaps feral (ha), plum trees I pruned and lent a hand to this spring with ripening fruit :) Quite cool. These are on the “cliff” behind our house. I’m going to thin some of the other plums since there are too many too close together, put in some clover and other hardy perennials (plums like nitrogen, cf Edible Forest Gardens v 2, 50% canopy to N2 fixers) such as sea buckthorn. 

    I’ll plant more oaks further up the cliff from acorns I’ll be harvesting. Since I don’t own the land, I’m not going to plant any of more exotic species like the N American Tulip Tree ;) Although I may put in some white beams to bring some Sorbus diversity to the site. And maybe some elderberries (Sambucus nigra), but for some reason some Finns feel that elderberries are invasive.

    Its like, they grow less than 100km across the Baltic Sea in Estonia. If they had managed to make it all the way to Finland before the time “invasive” became a thing, they’d be native. Although that is another funny discussion here because no one seems to question the acreage dedicated to potatoes, rye, wheat, apples, cattle, or any of the other staples. Forgetting the fact that a mere blink of an eye ago, even the beloved birches and pines had to “invade” Finland as the glaciers retreated…


  14. 21.08.2014 Espoo, Finland

    Robin in time out. And soon it’ll be time to go out.


  15. 21.08.2014 Stadin Puutarhuri, Helsinki

    Went to visit with Jan, the founder of Stadin Puutarhuri- one of the only (if not the only) farms within Helsinki’s city limits. Today was market day and we were blessed with a break in the line of storms that has been pummeling us for over a week. Partly cloudy skies and intermittent calm between the wind brought out a lot of customers to the farm stand. It is that yellow tent in the 8th photo. 

    As some may know, I don’t like pointing my camera at people unless asked. Even then I find it difficult. So I focused on some of their finest crops and peculiar specimens. 

    Next year, Jan’s farm should be certified organic after their final inspection this fall.

    Ah, and a big thank you to Jan for the bag of carrots, parsnips, and potatoes!