Wednesday, 31 December 2008

snowy christmas walk

We went for a short hiking trip to Niemipuro between Christmas and new year, we wanted to go there by skiing, but there just wasn't enough snow.

There is this nice little cabin there. The cabin is quite small, but this is an advantage in heating up the inside. When its -15°C outside its nice to be able to heat it up to above 10°C

Inside is quite dark (unlike the way it looks in my images lit by my flash) but is very comfortably (if spartanly) appointed.

One of the things which is fantastic in Finland (and I also found the same in Northern Sweden) is that people actually leave useful items (like candles, matches and tins of food) behind in the cabin. This can be handy if you happen to stumble in with not much.

Inside the cabin on the opposite wall from the door there is a raised platform which is intended for sleeping on. Keeping people off the floor is handy as it not only keeps sleeping bags warmer but cleaner!

As well, the platform is covered with 3mm thick high density foam just like many camping mats. So even if we didn't have our mats with us we'd have been able to sleep warmly enough.

I thought you might like a quick look around the inside the cabin. Looking back towards the door you can see there is a small bench table beside the window, a box of firewood and plenty of places to hang your gear.

Its nice that these places are right around the heating stove ...

which helps them dry out! There is enough room inside the cabin for 6 people to sleep.

The cabin is more or less on the bank of the river, so its not hard to then drag yourself out of the sleeping bag to admire a beautiful sunrise (assuming its not overcast like 99% of the days in Finland)

dawn at Koitajoki

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

merry christmas

To all those who visit here ...

all the best from Sunny Suomi ;-)

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

ode to spelling checker

This lovely piece deserves to remain forever fresh on the internet.

Ode to the Spell Checker.

Eye halve a spelling chequer
It came with my pea sea
It plainly marques four my revue
Miss steaks eye kin knot sea.

Eye strike a key and type a word
And weight four it two say
Weather eye am wrong oar write
It shows me strait a weigh.

As soon as a mist ache is maid
It nose bee fore two long
And eye can put the error rite
Its rare lea ever wrong.

Eye have run this poem threw it
I am shore your pleased two no
Its letter perfect awl the weigh
My chequer tolled me sew.

Arthur On Gnome

.. I don't know who to credit for this one

Saturday, 6 December 2008

goodbye koalas

I read in a recent article in the Australian that the Koala population in south east Queensland has declined some 40%. Politicians seem to be distressed by this. According to that article "It is believed there are less than 20,000 koalas now in the wild in southeast Queensland."

and that some recognition of this being related to urban development

"The State Government will also work with local governments to draft a new local law for development approvals to ensure dogs and koalas are kept apart, with suggestions including kennelling dogs at night, new fencing regulations and no dog provisions in new estates."

Some years ago (around 1995) back in South East Queensland people united against a road development in areas of Koala habitat and at the election ousted the government supporting it.

Its lovely to see such concern for the environment (although it seems likely that some motivation may have come from opportunistic politics).

But soon after that the area seems to have been heavily developed by urban sprawl (perhaps more habitat destroying and threatening than the roads).

Ironically the Koalas would probably be alive today if the road had gone through.

No one seems to want to alter the nature of urban development, despite general agreement that its both costly and increasingly difficult to provide infrastructure to these sprawling urban areas.
So while roads are not allowed to threaten the Koala population that relentless urban development is. So areas just around where I live which were once like this:

are bull dozed over and turned into this:

There are certainly other models of development than this, which if we are to live in the area and not destroy the very reasons we find it beautiful need to be explored.

This will require planning and community involvement. I hope that this can happen so that we don't have to say good bye to both the Koalas and the natural beauty of the region.

Please go visit the Koala Foundation and give Deborah Tabart a hand!