Taking Pictures: a Funny Thing Happened

I was talking tons of fall foliage pictures in Helsinki because this time of the year, the colors in Finland are already breathtakingly beautiful. And if didn’t even start in Illinois :).

Boris’ apartment is right by the Sibelius park, which means any time you get outside, there is plenty to marvel, and tons of pictures are just asking to be taken.


I was taking this picture (the sun was setting slowly and shining through the yellow leaves) when I saw a car on the opposite side of the road slowing down, just like the passerby would slow down when they see you taking pictures on the street.


I could not believe this slowing down was related to me :). After all, it was the opposite side of the street. May be they slow down for the red light ahead? But thenโ€ฆ the car made a U-turn and slowed down, almost stopped, right in front of me. I saw a guy on the back seat looking out from the rolled down window, holding the camera! And he was taking a picture of this tree! After he was finished, the car drove away.


Maybe you won’t find it funny, but we laughed for another good twenty minutes, recalling the incident.

More of the Finnish beauty:

Biking in Helsinki

As I’ve mentioned, there was a lot of biking this time in Helsinki. The last two days were too cold for biking without gloves, and I did not have any biking gloves with me. But that’s the beauty of having your bike – when I could bike, I did.

I can’t even start to describe how everything in Helsinki as suited for bikers. The house has bike storage, where bikes can be stored not only standing, but also elevated.

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Day Two in Ann Arbor – History

After lunch, we went to Parker Mill Park. Lena has found information in their local newspaper about the tour which was supposedly starting at 1 PM, so she planned our day accordingly. When we arrived, there was no information about any tours neither in the parking lot nor by the visitors center which was closed. We saw the sign pointing to the mill and headed in that direction.

We entered the mill (although there was no sign on the door), and there was nobody around. We observed lots of tools and mechanisms, all labeled and being in perfect order.

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Day Two in Ann Arbor – Nature

We were planning to start from the Botanic garden, but it was not opened till 10 AM, so we went to Bandemer Park first. The views of the river were stunning! We saw lots of people walking the trails, and some even biking, although I thought there is not enough room on these tiny narrow trails.

Lena
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A Trip to Indiana Dunes

Last Saturday Igor and I went on our traditional late-summer trip to Indiana Dunes. Igor was the first to discover this amazing place (I mean, it has been known for everybody except us, so we “discovered” it for ourselves. I love each, and single thing about Dunes. Each time we are taking this long trip (I am not driving long-distance, so it is really long, with two trains and lots of walking) I am asking myself, why in the world I am doing this :). Why spend several hours to soak yourself into the same Lake Michigan, just at the different part of it. But when I get here, I instantly remember: oh, that’s why! Because the water is so clear, and the sand is so white and overall – this place talks to you!

Most of the time I am trying to get a bigger crowd to come with us, but this time I get sick just before the planned trip, and I was not sure whether I would be able to go, so I didn’t invite anybody.

We have lots of stories about the weather and how it would interfere with our trips, one takeaway was – do not trust any weather forecast. However, when Saturday morning the forecast turned to “thunderstorms from 12 to 2”. I’ve called Igor and asked whether we are still going, and shouldn’t we postpone our trip to Sunday.

After some discussion, we decided to go, and I am so glad we did!

I packed my new rolling bag for the first time. I got it several months ago to deal with my current inability to carry heavy stuff for an extended period. It was advertised as being able to walk the stairs and to roll on the beach. Both proved to be true and worked wonderfully. However, I found an unexpected problem with dragging something relatively heavy behind me, rather than rolling four-wheel luggage. Still, I need to figure out what precisely is wrong, but I had to give it to Igor on the long stretches. It worked great on the beach itself though, because unlike regular luggage it can stand it in the sand, and I could take out stuff and put in.

From Chicago, we had to take the South shore electric line from the Millennium station.

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A Workday In The Forest Preserve

Yesterday I was collecting seeds with the Friends of Deer Grove volunteers; that’s one of the happiest things you can do in the forest preserve. And there we’ve witnessed a little miracle: a butterfly just got out of her cocoon and getting ready to start her life.

Did you know that the butterflies can’t fly when they just got out? I didn’t know that! But it turned out that they need to get their wings dry and to pump their lungs to get ready for the first flight. So here she is, working her beautiful wings.

We thought it’s a Monarch, but when I’ve posted this video on Instagram, another volunteer has commented that this is a Viceroy butterfly! Maybe I will memorize them all eventually ๐Ÿ™‚

A bonus picture ๐Ÿ™‚