Marja-Leena Rathje
Home ::: spring, lichen, moss

spring, lichen, moss



Last Saturday night turned clear so were fortunate to be able to watch the supermoon's rise but were not so impressed with it, for we've seen better, August moons for example, though it looked pretty reflected on the sea.

Sunday and the spring equinox was glorious with clear blue skies and warming sunshine, so rare, so missed and impossible to resist. Birds entertained us with their singing above us in the trees while we worked most of the day in the garden, cleaning, pruning, spreading compost around the blueberry bushes, that sort of thing.

I even started some vegetable seeds at last. The solarium was very warm for them that day but unfortunately turned cold again that night and since. I keep moving the seed trays around inside the house trying to find a warm place for them. Snow still keeps coming down on the mountains, no worries about enough water for summer's drought.

I found an intriguing twig under the magnolia tree and brought it in to scan later after finishing the garden chores. Today I've been having some fun with the images. Here are two for your enjoyment, more to come...

Marja-Leena | 22/03/2011 | 11 comments
themes: Canada and BC, Nature, Photoworks


Coming over here is like visiting an oasis in the desert as the news gets worse and worse. I'm so happy that you are getting beautiful days at last.

Hattie, you are quick on the draw, I just posted this! Aye, I know the news is just horrible in so many places. I've had to withdraw from reading so much of it. Having fun with scans is a great way to take one's mind off the worries. The weather was still cold and rainy yesterday and today but tomorrow looks to be nice - we sure need it!

It is all white and bright here.. I do miss green and working in the garden. The pictures are great!

Those are wonderful images. I'm afraid I don't understand how you do that. I really hope to be able to come up to Vancouver and learn how it's done and what equipment you need.

They look like those frilly, vegetative seahorses--or else some decked-out stick insect.

Why! It's dancing!

Marja-Leena! We've tried to figure out only for 40 yrs with my husband what's naava in English. Now I figured it from your posting: lichen. Sounds like it's German word, though. Thanks!

(Although you might find it cheap thrills!)

Leena, I hope spring comes very soon to all of you in Finland - you've had an unusually white winter. Hyvää kevättä!

Anne, I would love to have you visit and to share what I can - welcome! In the meantime, you might like to read this post about 3D scanning from my archives, in case you missed it. Feel free to ask questions here or by email.

Marly and Rouchswalwe - you both make me smile, as if we are children playing in the garden - like my grandkids!

Ripsa, well! Now I'm thrilled to know what lichen is in Finnish! Yes, the 'ch' seems German but my online dictionary says: ORIGIN early 17th cent.: via Latin from Greek leikhēn.....interesting... and I'm sure you know the reindeer live on lichen.

Make it yet more complicated: I understand that there are tens of different species of lichen. I said naava, and I should've remembered that it is the common name for lichen growing on trees, also on tree trunks, but then there are a bit different looking lichen that grow on the ground and, of course they're called in different name: jäkälä.

These days in Lapland it's hankikanto, which means that on top of the meter/two meter snow there is a ice sheet which carries people and smaller animals. But sometimes the ice is so thick, that reindeer is not able to break it in order to dig for lichen to eat.

So: the reindeer owners go around with Ski-Do's and other bad smelling motor vehicles to take hay for reindeer, so that they would not die.

They're like little pieces from a magical landscape. You have such a fine sense for subtle beauty.

Ripsa, yes there are an amazing number of varieties of lichen as I saw yesterday at a biodiversity museum (which I'll post about soon). I've read or heard the word jäkälä somewhere but had not remembered it and its meaning until you mentioned it, I like it's sound. And yes, I've also read about reindeers (and Canadian cariboo) starving when the ice is too thick, or where some areas have been taken over by logging or mining. It is surprising how nutritious lichen is for these large animals. Apparently the reindeer's digestion is not happy with hay, though it beats the alternative. Ski-doo's are now a common and more efficient form of transportation in the far north but yes, nasty-smelling, noisy and polluting, sigh.

Susan, you too see the magic in these images and often portray them in your lovely watercolours. For me, it's part of a new found passion in recent years for looking ever closer at small things, and scanning or macro photography is an exciting way for me to capture that. The transformation from seemingly ordinary to extraordinary is magic!