Sunday, July 7, 2013

A July overnighter with the kids

Living in Southern Finland, the summer isn't really my favorite time of the year to walk in the woods. It is often too warm and there are usually far to many mosquitoes to make it really comfortable. Around Midsummer the bug situation here was really bad, but in the two weeks since, the situation has improved considerably. And when the kids suggested a short overnighter, there was really no reason not to go out.

I decided to go to Marttila, where I've been on bike and skis a number of times before, but never by foot. My plan was to see if it would be possible to camp in the same excellent place as in March, when I went there with Toni. It is a half hour car drive away, which isn't too bad.

We started walking around six o'clock in the evening.

The dry pine forest isn't generally the one to find many colors in, but this time the Small Cow-wheat provided plenty of yellow.

Otherwise the forest is mostly the same color as any time of the year without snow. Outside the summer the green on the ground is browner, though.

The going was quite slow because of blueberrys.


Yet another blueberry break.

Fall color? Now that Midsummer has passed, there has been changes in the nature. The fall colored blueberry bush is just an outlier, but the very noticeable change is the lack of bird song. Two weeks earlier you could easily hear ten bird species singing, but now you just here a few ones now and then. And some birds have actually already begun the migration southwards.

One of the many species of blue winged butterfly.

Despite the rather pleasant temperature of a little under 20°C and a slight breeze, the water tasted good.

After Karhumäki (Bear hill) we continued on a short boardwalk section across the mire.

Cloudberry, the gold of the mire. Unfortunately, only a few ones were ripe enough to eat.

Arriving at Hirvikallio (Moose cliff), the goal for the night.

I had found a couple of good tent spots a little earlier, but decided erect the tent on the cliff this one time, if it would be possible.

Taking photos of the mire. The view from the cliff was quite acceptable.

This was one of those evening that you don't encounter very often. Not a single mosquito, a slight breeze and warm enough that a T-shirt sufficed. The air felt very fresh and it was very enjoyable.

The pancakes weren't too bad either.

The boys already had their pyjamas on.

The boys went into the tent for some reading, while I stayed out the enjoy the evening.
 The new tent, a Fjällräven Akka Endurance 4, was bought mostly for winter, family and basecamp purposes. Being a roomy and fully storm capable winter tent, it is too heavy for backpacking, but I had to try it anyway.

Time to sleep. The sunset was at 22:55.

The night was silent and the temperature went down to around 12°C. We got up at seven and had our breakfast.

After having packed down the tent, I checked to see if there were any traces of hour visit. The lichen and moss was slightly pushed down, but that should normalize soon. Still, I won't use the same tent site again, however nice it is, since the ground was unnecessarily fragile.

Almost on the move again.

A sleepy butterfly.

On the mire again.

More cloudberries.


Another sleepy one.

Soon back at the car.

It doesn't have to be complicated, a simple little outing like this one can be very nice.

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