Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Glimpse of the Frozen Sea

All the lakes and rivers here are frozen in winter time, and all I can see are vast terrains in white. This made me wonder how it looked like in the sea. Was it also frozen? So I asked my hubby to take me to the nearest seashore or port and find out. I imagined that the shoreline was frozen while farther out in the sea would still be blue. When we got there (the Gulf of Bothnia between Sweden and Finland, which is the extension of the Baltic Sea), I scanned the horizon for some hue of blue, which I spotted in the distance. But I learned that it was an island, not water. Between that and the port is a wide open sea.

Anchored along the shore were two sea vessels, one is a small hover craft, which is being used to transport goods when the ship can't move through the frozen water. It's my first time to see this kind of vessel that hovers some meter over the sea while on its journey.

The other is a ferry that goes to the islands.

This red building constitutes the "waiting shed" for passengers and the office.


While I was looking around, my hubby spotted two deers coming our way but when they heard his voice calling my attention, they suddenly sprinted away. (Sorry, my picture is blurry because my camera is not  powerful enough to take this long-distant shot, especially of moving objects.)

On our way back to the car, my ever-roving eyes were caught by this house partly concealed behind the lofty trees, which delighted my fancy.

Our short journey was not over yet. Our next destination was a bigger port accommodating bigger ships that travel across the sea to Finland. 


That time, several huge trucks were being loaded to the ship.


 Obviously, the ferry station was deserted. People find it more practical and easier to travel by car now by following the Swedish eastern coastline to the north, then turning right to Finland.


 I took pictures of these turbines and the lighthouse last spring. Now, the view is quite different when all around is white

.Well, as the title says, this is just a glimpse, just a few minutes of riding around these parts of the Swedish coastline in winter. I may be disappointed not to see a blending of frozen shore and the blue sea, but the things I saw there are good enough to call this trip educational and pleasurable.

 And so we went home, savoring my satisfaction over this new experience.

Monday, March 21, 2011

What To Do With the Snow

Spring has arrived and yet thick blankets of snow still cover the whole city, though little patches of ground with snow-beaten grass have emerged. Vegetation is still in hibernation and it may take quite a time before it will wake up, as it must wait for all the hills of snow to melt away. Sometimes, snow still falls in this early spring, piling more snow over the already shrinking one.

Since snow is super abundant here, the city government decided to make good use of it by erecting a snow castle alongside the city river,

where visitors can view the frozen river or watch the sunset over the river,

just sit, relax and have "fika" or snacks,

and kids can play to their fill.

They also carved this snow dinosaur where children enjoyed playing slides.

Another idea was to have a snow-carving competition for amateur carvers.

(Actually, these activities took place these previous months, January and February, but I wasn't able to post them earlier as I was preoccupied with many things. In fact, there are more winter things that I wanted to post, but I'm not sure if I can post them all before spring activities will come in full blast.)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Glitters, Glitters Everywhere

I've always been a glitter freak. I use lots of glitters in my paper crafts. I love to watch the glitters of the stars in the night sky. I revel at the sight of glitters dancing on the water as it catches bits of sunlight. The colorful glitters of city lights fascinate me. Glittery clothes attract me. And so are the sparkling glitters of diamonds and crystals. Oh, anything that glitters is eye candy for me!

No wonder why the snow bedazzles me. Wherever there is snow, as long as the sun is out, glitters abound, and they sparkle on and off and keep following me everywhere I go. Even in the night, they sparkle under the street lights. When the moon shines brightly at night, the snowflakes or snow crystals dramatically sparkle with intensity as they capture the moonlight. 

Such glitters in the snow are so magical that they keep my eyes fixed on them. I tried to capture them through my camera but the pictures fail to do justice to reality. The pictures here are the best I've taken so far. (Click images to see the glitters clearly)

These were taken in the previous months. Now, the piles of snow are beginning to shrink as the warm spring sun gradually melts them away. Yes, spring has finally come, but it would take quite a long time for all these mounds of snow to clear away. The glitters in the snow will also die out soon, but I'm happy that I've had my fill of feasting my eyes on them throughout the winter season. To me, they too are some of the little blessings from our Creator that make life pleasurable.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Finding Colors Amid the Winter Whiteness

For those who are tired of the all-white or gray colors of this long winter, the flower shops become an oasis that fills their need for bright colors. During this long winter, some flower shops host several people who either buy flowers  to decorate their homes or just look around and drink in the colors and the beauty that permeate throughout the store.

One day last month, we were among those who visited some popular flower shops and looked for potted plants and flowers to adorn our window sills. But first, we dropped by an old little cafe well-known for its delicious freshly-baked bread, cakes and cookies, to warm us up with hot coffee, chocolate and pastries.

Afterward, we moved on to the shops. The moment I entered, I was suddenly transported to spring and summer  as colorful flowers greeted me with their radiant smiles. There were fresh potted plants with pure green leaves and others with clusters of bright flowers. 

There were also artificial flowers that look so real that you can't tell from a distance whether they're fresh or artificial.

The shops also sell pots, vases, seeds, soil, gardening paraphernalia and every conceivable decoration for pots and gardens.

We bought only a few little flowerpots, but I was fully satisfied just by watching all those flowers and taking lots of pictures to preserve their beauty and to "plant" in my ever-expanding photographic garden where I can laze and merely drink my fill of their loveliness. Being there at the flower shops also animated my heart to "sing" silent praises to out Heavenly Father who, out of his love, created all these marvels of beauty to delight and enliven us.