During my nineteen years of job-related travel around the world, one of the countries that I most enjoyed was Finland, probably because it reminded me so much of Minnesota. In fact, and very logically, there are many Finns who have settled in Minnesota because it reminded them so much of home. There was one particular Thursday in September 2002 that I remember as if it were yesterday because of the beautiful country I experienced. Here’s an excerpt from my journal:
“A travel day. I had the whole day to get from Pietarsaari to Kuopio, a drive that should take, depending on whom I asked, around 5 to 6 hours. There was heavy fog outside when my alarm went off at 7:00, and I had my shower and breakfast and was on the road a little after eight. The fog persisted, as I had hoped, and when I passed a stand of young birch trees with dewy spider webs, I pulled over. I had to be really careful of my footing, as there were a great number of holes, some a couple of feet deep, mostly hidden by the tall grass. I wondered if the moose and elk avoided such places. I stayed with the dewy webs, not far from the town of Kruunupyy, for nearly an hour, loving every minute, and trying in vain not to get my feet too wet. Thoroughly exhilarated and eager to see what else I would find along the way, I drove on toward the southeast, happily choosing a route well off the beaten path, against the advice of the hotel receptionist I’d consulted when I’d asked for directions out of town that morning.” [As usual, click on the photo for an enlarged view.]
I’d have risked some holes to get close to a droplet-covered web like that one.
This was just one of hundreds, and there were so many nice ones to choose from!
That is one crazy design of a spider-web. Like Steve in his comment above, I would probably have risked a few holes in my youth too.
You’re so fortunate to have your diaries – what wonderful reading they must be today and so many beautiful memories :)
I have saved all my original notebooks (they are in storage at the cabin) and most of them in electronic form as well. Once I converted to digital photography in 2000, I printed them all and sent my mom a copy of each. I’ve saved a couple dozen of them and love revisiting them, as you suspected. They transport me instantly to another time.
I for one am certainly enjoying your ‘other time’.
Every once in a while I like to pick out a journal at random, and it’s like Linda’s post about the Pontiac full of Pentecostals–once I start reading, even though I know the story, it’s hard to stop.
It looks like a landing net that’s seen better days — or a fish far too large for its strength.
Yes, the webs provide a window into the unique world of the arachnids, and I find their structures endlessly fascinating.
Thank you for this interesting post. Very seldom people living abroad drive across Finland. In the north we have reindeers everywhere. I am afraid of spiders, without any reasons.
I am glad that you visited my country.
Thanks very much for your visit and your comments! I’ve had three opportunities to visit your country and have deepened my appreciation, fondness, and respect with each trip. The people I’ve met there have been, without exception, open, friendly, and helpful, and I long to return some day!
Thank you. Welcome again. By reading my post, you surely will know more and find places where to visit.
The danger of getting wet feet is outweighed by the adventure of discovering this web covered by myriads of sparkling water droplets.
Yes, far outweighed. The grass was around a half-meter tall in most places, and every bit as wet as the silk strands in the webs. It was an hour of pure (although damp) magic for me.
These are fascinating web patterns, Gary. Do you know what kind of spider made them? I am much more familiar with orbweaver spider webs, which tend to be a bit more organized and geometric. At certain times of the year, I loved to go in the early morning, hoping to photograph dew-covered webs, but most of the time I had to content myself with photograph the dry webs, which are still pretty cool.
As I wrote, I spent about an hour in this grove and I remember that I did look for the engineers of the webs, but admittedly not carefully enough, as they were certainly very close to their creations. I was, perhaps concentrating too much attention on the webs. I was reminded of the webs of long-jawed orbweavers (https://krikitarts.wordpress.com/2013/08/28/webnesday-8/) around our cabin, which can practically disappear when snugged up to a branch, but these obviously did not produce typical orb webs.
Here is a link to a posting showing some of my favorite webs from one wonderful early morning in the marshland a few years ago. I definitely can understand being so distracted by the webs that you were not as concerned about the spiders. :) https://michaelqpowell.com/2015/10/22/early-morning-spider-webs/
I remember this wonderful post of yours very well, Mike, as dewy webs have attracted me ever since my first interest in photography. Truly one of nature’s wonders!
Nature’s wonders, indeed.
I really like dewy webs, it’s just how you approach them. You got this one on the nail. Beautiful!
I can’t remember a time when I didn’t feel drawn to a dewy web, and the attraction hasn’t diminished at all; in fact, whenever I find a new one, it’s has its own charm and the magic reboots yet again.
I know, that feeling, Gary. It reminds me of my boyhood and dewy webby mornings on the way to school an how all the spider webs kind of just popped out of the privet hedges. I hope the magic never dies.
If we nurture the hope (and pass it on), the magic will never die.
It’s shameful that with a name like mine I’ve never been to Finland. But it’s high on my list of ‘must visit’ places, and it’s a life ambition to see wild wolverines in the Finnish forests. One of these days…
No shame in that at all! I hope you get the chance to fulfill that wish, but you’ll have to be very lucky to see a wild wolverine, since–as I’m sure you know–they are extremely reclusive and wary. But yes, they are fascinating, and I’d love to have the opportunity too!
That is one interesting web and the blown up view of the fog created dew drops is very pleasing. Glad you didn’t fall in one of those holes. Pretty sure I would.
That’s one of the reasons I spent so much time there, probably a quarter of which was watching where I put my feet before putting any weight on them. My hands were full of camera and tripod and I didn’t have an extra one for a walking stick, even if I’d had one. I had to use the collapsed tripod as a probe.
You were smart to keep that journal – and then not to lose it, or bury it in a garage. The photo is really nice. We’ve had days like that here and you know it’s a gift, the fog and the wet webs, and it won’t last, so you’re very grateful. Finland held a special place in my mind after I was taken to a Finnish artist’s studio in Maine back in the 1980s. The space was calm and light-filled and one drawing stood out – a branch with lichens on it. Her sensibility inspired me. I’m sorry I can’t remember her name.
I’ve revisited Finland through that journal a number of times; it’s one of my favorites. I think I’ll have to bring out a few more photos from that trip. Thanks for your kind thoughts, Lynn!