Archive for June, 2008

Fruit trees are productive bastards

Fruit trees are productive bastards. I just harvested 9 pounds of plums from the neighborhood trees, and that’s not nearly all. The ones in easy reach had already been taken, and there must be another dozen pounds reachable with a ladder. And that’s just what’s ripe right now, much less ripe in the next few weeks! I had never realized they produced so much fruit. I’ll have an outrageous amount of plum jam later this summer. I have to freeze at least most of them for now, because I don’t have time to deal with them now. And most of the plums will be ripe while I’m in Finland. It’s madness, I say!

Someday, if I ever own a home with a yard, I’m going to have fruit trees. I’ll make applesauce, peach preserves, and cherry jam. It’ll be a grand old time!

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Wrong number (and a half!)

Last night, when I called Finland to see about camping, I first got the phone number wrong. Guess which part I dialed wrong? That’s, right, the country code. So, instead of the park service in Finland, I got a very confused woman in Singapore. Fortunately, she spoke enough English to make it clear I had the wrong country.

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Canoing (really? that’s the right spelling?)

I have reserved a canoe in Teijo, Finland. I suppose that means I’ve committed to going camping in Teijo park, and now I just need to make my other reservations, which can be done online. Score!

Oh, and  I may need to acquire a decent sleeping bag. That may be expensive, but it may be necessary. Though, I did get by with a crappy sleeping bag, warm clothes, and 2 blankets on the hang gliding trip this weekend. It was actually quite comfortable. So we’ll see whether or not I shell out the big bucks for a fancy sleeping bag.

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I don’t think they smell

I don’t think they smell. Not much, anyway. But my roommate thinks my guinea pigs smell bad enough that he’d rather roast in the summer heat than open his windows and door. He said when he opened them the air did move through the apartment, but it smelled of guinea pig. Personally, I can only sometimes detect their smell–it seems to be right after they go to the bathroom. Otherwise, there’s just a faint smell of hay. And it was over 90 degrees inside today, and it will be similar tomorrow. I’m rather insulted, to tell the truth, but there’s not much to do. The worst part is that when he closes his room up, it doesn’t just affect him–the whole apartment gets hotter, since the ventilation is pretty weak otherwise. But, my room is on the cool side of the apartment, so he’s definitely hurting himself more than he’s hurting me.

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Early Israel trip

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Hyrax video

Rock hyrax look cute when sitting around, but they jump over the rocks quite nimbly. I took some videos. I apologize that they’re kind of grainy and the light is bad, and the cameraman sucks, but I did what I could.

First, see a young rock hyrax jumping around. Those little buggers can really get around.

Second, and I can’t believe I caught this on tape, the hyrax proves not to be as sure-footed as he seems. I didn’t even notice this happen when I was filming–only looking back through the video did I see it, and then I laughed out loud.

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Hot camera-on-camera action

Here are two funny photo sequences from Israel. In each case, I was taking a picture of something nature-y, and my mom got a picture of me doing it.

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First light: the hyrax

My first Israel picture: the adorable rock hyrax.

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Back from Israel

I am, indeed, back from Israel. I have about 600 pictures to go through, on 2 cameras (my family mostly used my secondary “pocket” camera, while I used the big touristy thing), but when I’m done, I’ll show you the results. The important thing is that the trip went well, and it was good both touring the country and spending time with my family, something I don’t do so often anymore.

It didn’t seem like we did so much every day; just going around in the heat and sun wore us out by dinner time. Still, when we looked back at what we did I found it almost impossible to reconstruct it. Most days we saw two major historical sites, museums, or recreational areas, but on some days we saw as many as 4 or 5 things. And I must admit Masada was much more daunting walking down it in 105F weather. (They actually wouldn’t let us walk up it because it was too hot.)

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