I sprained my knee about a week and a half ago and haven’t been able to roam the backwoods like I normally do. My knee was better this morning so I decided to give it a go and left for an adventure. I haven’t been exploring this area much yet since we moved here two months ago. There is always so much to do when you move house, and I like spending time with my boys during summer, swimming and picking berries and going to amusement parks and so on. Now we’re back to our normal routine, going to work and making the most of weekends, and I really need my weekly hike in the woods.
The forest starts from our yard – it’s such a luxury to be able to get to wilderness right from your door. I discovered a beautiful wetland that will most definitely be one of my favorite motifs in the future. I just wish I wasn’t so sleepy in the morning, that place must be gorgeous in the morning mist. What amazes me always in the Finnish forests is that no matter how deep into the wilderness you go, you will most probably bump into another adventurer sooner or later. This time I crossed a path where two men were riding their bikes, and closer to the the houses there were some people picking lingonberries.
It is heart-warming to see how many people still appreciate nature and like to spend time in the wild. In Finland anyone is welcome to pick any amount of berries or mushrooms in any forest and either eat them themselves (or put them into the freezer for winter use) or sell them to the stores or on a market. There are so many berries and mushrooms in our vast forests that there are always huge amounts of berries left in the forests that no one picks. The law is called ‘Everyman’s Right‘ and it makes some people go crazy for a while in the quest to become rich by selling a free product – until they notice how hard work it is to pick berries. There are so many forests in this country that there is no need to protect your own land ‘with a fence and a rifle’. My grandparents have actually made some money by picking berries and mushrooms, but that is only because they love to spend time in the forest and they are used to hard work.
Walking around on uneven ground all day was a bit worrisome with the knee that’s been keeping me awake many nights, but it turned out to be fine. The only problem at the moment are deer flies, and until the first frost comes there is nothing else to do than to wear a cap and have someone check your neck when you come back, after all I really wouldn’t want a whole family of those nesting in my hair. They are extremely disgusting, if you slap them they won’t die and if you try to wipe them off your shoulders they will stick to your hand, only one thing in mind – to climb up to your hair and lay their eggs there. But after the first frost comes they will be gone – really looking forward to that.