Saturday, June 28, 2008
Dog Lake Road to Howcum Lake Road to Warnicke Lake
I drove down Dog Lake Road this morning, and turned down Howcum Lake Road
Along the way, I passed the beloved lupins, abundant along roadsides in Finland during Midsummer, which also grow profusely along country roadsides here in the Lappe, Kivikoski, Jake Township and Kam area around here,
I passed fragrant fields of Labrador Tea blooming white like bridal bouquets along roadside ditches. This low-growing plant, abundant in Vitamin C, was the savior of the early colonizers of Canada. The Anishnawbek taught them to collect, dry, and crush the leaves to make a healing tea. This helped them survive the winters.
I passed Devil's paintbrush (once used to make eye lotions), Marguerites, which are also known as ox-eye daisies (which, like dandelions, did not exist here before the colonizers brought them out of their gardens to the land they named Canada), and mouse-ear hawkweed (the yellow wildflowers just budding),
and bunches of bunchberries brightening the understory of the dark evergreens of this great conifer forest of ours
I passed bedrock that have been blasted apart to make the roads we travel.
To get to Howcum Lake Road you have to drive past Surprise Lake, which I have already told you about.
I drove down Howcum Lake Road and turned off to reach Warnicke Lake. There are numerous small, clean lakes scattered in this area just north of our city.
This is what Warnicke Lake looks like from the sauna luuku, which is a small opening up high in the sauna to let out air if it gets too hot. It is a must for an outdoor, wood-burning sauna. They get hot! The luuku has a little wooden door to slide open, and a screen so bugs don't get in. Your camera will fog up if you bring it into the sauna, so you can only see the outline of the dock up front and the trees across the lake.
I had a sauna ja otin mun talvi turkkin pois, that is, I took off my winter fur coat. This is an old Finnish expression that means you got rid of your winter skin...that is, took the first swim of the summer (or spring), by having a sauna and jumping into the lake.
The water was VERY REFRESHING. I forgot my bathing suit, so I borrowed an old one from Armi. For me, the best way to get into the lake is not to inch yourself in toe by toe but to jump off the end of the dock and immerse yourself IMMEDIATELY. After surfacing, I shouted out loud, "Virkistyy!"....roughly, "Refreshed!" There were no other people in the lake as it was a cloudy cool day. But, as you can see, there were small water bugs skating across the lake surface and a few patches of blue in the sky
and the sun did try to break the stranglehold of gray, but didn't quite make it. The lake water is reflective like a mirror...
This is the joutsen [swan] that floats by the dock to keep you company. It is plastic, so, too, the rubber duckie.
After the sauna and swim, Armi had prepared a kahvipoytä for me. As usual, there was a lot of food for just 2 folks to eat! The salmon sandwiches were very tasty! In front, you can see a wonderful linen
window hanging. It was made by a woman in Finland; it was a gift to Armi. She uses it to cover her sewing machine. I said this is beautiful handwork! Get it up on your wall and show it off! Someone spent a lot of time to make this! She said she thinks it goes against the window as it is reversible. So, we held it up against the patio window and the linen weave is so fine in places that it is see-through. We thought the pattern might be icicles. Or maybe they are conifers? But what are those 4 squares?
Armi said she needs to give it a good ironing as she washed it in the washing machine. Ooksä ihan hullu? I said, looking at her with incredulity...Are you crazy? This should never be washed in a washing machine! She said she knows that but ... I said, yes, once I was too lazy to wash my fine black wool dress by hand and threw it in the machine, too. That was the end of my pretty black dress.
What is the name of your punainen ryyjy? [red wallrug], I asked her.
I don't know, she said. Look on the back. Maybe it says.
It did not.