Summer time has officially started in Finland now and it is still not dark at 8 pm. I went to the forest today looking for signs of spring, but except for the pale spring light there was none. There is still lots of snow and the creek is frozen. It’s been really windy lately and my only fun today was to watch the birchbark flutter in the wind. Photographing something moving so fast is a lot of fun and you never know what you’ve got before going through your pictures at home. This was also one of those moments when I was glad no one happened to come by to see me – kneeling in the snow shooting a birch trunk. That would probably have been difficult to explain. I’ve noticed that quite often I tend to drop down on my knees when I start shooting and that’s something you can see from my trouser legs which have lost color around the knees. I did the same when I was shooting the reeds in the autumn – for example Whispering Wind and Where to Start – and then there was a couple who came along the path from the forest and saw me kneeling in the middle of the path, probably singing terribly off-tune which I think I sometimes do when I have my ipod and I get really inspired by something I shoot. It was a very embarrassing moment, but also one of those moments when two worlds collide, the one where I was just before the encounter, and the one where everyone else was. The couple were amused and their dogs confused, but the moment was over soon. Another time I almost fell into the lake – I think it was when shooting ‘Dream‘ when there was another, quite a big dog suddenly next to me, licking my cheek and trying very hard to see what was so interesting in the frozen reeds. I try really hard to maintain the illusion that I’m all alone out there, but unfortunately I have to admit sometimes that it is not the case.
Yesterday WWF organized their fourth global Earth Hour. It has been estimated that over a billion people took part in it. We also turned off our lights, and it seemed that all our neighbors and friends did that as well. The decrease in electricity consumption that results from this one dark hour is not more than approximately 10 % or maybe even a bit less, but more than that I see this event as a symbol of concern and in a way also a symbol of commitment. It is wonderful to see how many people are concerned about the strain we put on nature, and it’s heart-warming to think that by turning off their lights for an hour they are showing that they are willing to do something about it. I wish decision makers would find efficient and suitable ways for people to participate, so that it wouldn’t be too big of a step for anyone to take.
We are facing the ugliest time of the year here in Finland. The ruthless spring light has no mercy when all the debris is revealed from under all that snow. And the snow turns to grey from all the dust and gravel the wind carries. Search for beauty becomes a challenge in the pale light of spring.