Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Cars Burn Money, Bikes Burn Fat

'Somebody' has sprayed the text and images of a bike and a car on the street. It's better to spray on a spot that is in the shadow, otherwise the water will evaporate very quickly and nobody will see it. Good places would be at locations where people are walking to or from their cars. On the way from the parking lot to the supermarket etc. entrances would be fine.

A big plastic bottle with a nozzle (eg. a ketschup bottle) works fine, but dont paint with too high pressure or from too high/far, as the water will splatter and make the text unreadable. The photo was taken about 15 minutes after the event, so most of the splatter has dried and the text is readable. Practise a few times so you'll see how big the letters must be and how much water you'll need.

Waiting for the winter

There's a saying that once the Midsummer Day has gone, the summer is almost over. It's not that we're pessimists or depressed to say something like that. There's a month of weather warm enough for swimming, but not much later the leaves will start yellow. The summer is short but intense.

The weather report for the Midsummer Day weekend was wrong. It did rain a little but not nearly as much the forecast said, and there was even sun shining. The cold weather and rain did help: the number of people who drowned was the lowest ever recorded by the The Finnish Association for Swimming Instruction and Life Saving. They've kept records since 1980, and on worst years ten times more people have drowned.

Here's some shots of bikeways after the rain:

And here's a shot I took today. The Lawn Mover Man lost control of his vehicle and collided with a lamp post. Guess what is keeping the post upright? Duct tape wrapped around the base of the post! Or maybe the tape is there to keep the wiring inside of the post, so dogs marking their territory will not get electrocuted!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Rainy Midsummer

It's been raining almost every day this week, and looks like we'll get more rain for the next weekend:

I had to reload the weather forecast a few times to make sure the web page was working properly. From Thursday to Tuesday, no sun at all? Rain and cloudy, cold days? On the Midsummer Day weekend, one of the biggest holiday weekends of the year, when people want to spend their time at the cottage at country side and at the beaches? Dancing by the bonfires at the lake?


You see, Midsummer is very often spent in the country. A lot of people go to their cottage, which is often by a lake. After the cold winter, people want to enjoy the green summer and swimming in the lakes and rivers. There's bonfires by the lakes and dances at the dance halls.

Unfortunately, alcohol is often involved. Getting drunk and then going swimming in the lake after the Sauna does not mix. Getting drunk while dancing at the bonfire and then going swimming does not mix. Falling into the lake while drunk does not mix. Although not all drownees are drunk, a lot of them are.

Midsummer Day weekend is when the drowning rates are at their highest. Also there's a lot of traffic, with a lot of people travelling to the countryside to the cottages and to see their relatives. A lot of traffic means a lot of accidents too. Despite excellent driving conditions (or maybe because of them) there's the same number of fatal accidents in June as in December, when it's dark, cold and icy.

As most of the country is on holiday, there's not much for the tabloids to write about. So the number of people drowned or killed in traffic accidents is good material to them. Not this weekend, though. The cold and rainy weather means that a lot less people are going to a midnight swim. Well, I hope the drivers are careful, too.

Happy Midsummer!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Ski jumper or downhill racer?

The photos are taken on one of the jogging paths. On the right is an embankment built for noise barrier. There's a highway behind that hill. Obviously that hill is popular among 'cross country' bikers of various kinds, as they get both uphill and downhill excercise on the paths.

Apparently someone was not happy with the natural routes and decided to build his own ramp. Actually two, there was another ramp on the other side of the path but it was shorther and low so I did not bother to take a shot of it. This is not on my usual route to anywhere so I'm not sure when they've been built. Last year I went jogging a few times and I think the ramp was already there.

I don't think they got the land owners permission to do that, and nailing big, six inch nails into living trees is frowned upon. Especially when the trees grow and the nails will end up inside the tree unless removed. Nails in trees are not very good for saw blades in the saw mills.

But who built this? Was it someone who wants to practice ski jumping, or someone who wants to do jumps on his bike?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Green bikeways

Tyre marks on the dust.
'Love' is in the air again. The trees and all other plants are spewing so much pollen that even the bikeways have a green tint to them. Atleast it was green yesterday, today it's more yellow-greenish. Cars, garden furniture, anything left outside will also get covered in dust.

The day when sun never sets

Taking pictures of the sunrise or the sunset in June is not quite as easy as one might think. At least here in Very Northern Florida that could mean you'd have to stay up quite late. We're so near the Arctic circle that the sun stays up most of the night.

For example, yesterday the sunrise was at 02:35 (2:35 PM) and the sunset didn't happen at all. Yesterdays sunset happened after the midnight, ie. today. So for about two and half hours the sun is not visible, it just lurks behind the horizon. It doesn't get very dark even then.

Here's a shot of the sightseeing tower at a camping site. Notice the people in the tower, taking pictures of the sunset. It had been a very warm day, with temperatures nearing almost +30°C. It was about 11pm and there were still people playing beach volley and walking on the beach.

There was the bicycling week a few weeks ago. Part of the celebration of the week was the bicycle scavenger hunt. There was a dozen photos. You were supposed to find the location in the photo and get a code word. Collect enough locations and you're in a raffle.

This tower was one of the locations.

Sunset from the tower. Maybe I should take a time lapse to show how the sun moves almost sideways. The black spot up from the sun is either a bird or a dust specle in the lens of my camera.

The sun is almost at the horizon, and the trees and other buildings block the sun except for the very top floors of the white highrises. The funfair has arrived to town, too.

Here's a shot showing the dam bridge. The sun is behind the trees, but has not set yet. I think this was taken about 11:30pm, half an hour before the sunset.

Monday, June 06, 2011

A new raised crossing

I spotted a street where they are resurfacing the street and doing some other work too. Anyway, they have built a raised crossing. The car's will have to slow down for the speed table. The tables edges are where the red bollards are, so the hump is pretty long. The long table allows the cars to drive through with a reasonable speed, without having to slow down to a crawl or allowind speeding either.

This is a residential street so the traffic is light. The bikeway is a pretty busy one. There's a primary school about half a kilometer to the left, so a lot of kids will be cycling and walking this route. It also serves as a commuter route.
There is a MUP on the right side of the street.

They're using real stones as the ramp and on the sides. Sharp edges on the stones, though. The concerete kerbs are rounder.

You can see the side stone on the bikeway is even with the road, so even people with bikes with thin tubes can ride on. The bikeway is a little higher than the street. A slight bump, but no sharp edges. Good.

More green scenery

I thought I was going to miss the chance to take a good picture of the flowers. Usually a storm or a day with very strong winds will rip the petals off once the bloom is over. The hagberry smells wonderful!

 Just a typical bikeway through the forest. Rowans and small birches with their leaves make this forest look healthy green.
Some birches planted on both sides of the bikeway. There's some kind of park to the right. A good place for a picnic on the grass.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Pretty Dark Pictures pt. 2

I was cycling to buy some yoghurt and stopped to take some pictures. I did find some hagberry trees, but the location was not very scenic. The tree was blossoming, but the noise barrier wall with graffiti kind of ruined it. And then it started to rain so I had to quit.

In the evening I decided to go for a night ride, to take some more pictures. It wasn't too dark yet. Bright enough to read a newspaper, as the saying goes. The sky was cloudy and there was some mist in the air.

It seems that all of my pictures were too dark, also those taken in the morning. Isn't the camera supposed to automatically adjust the brightness? Maybe I should read the manual what settings to change. Or learn to use Gimp better :-) Anyway, a little editing with Gimp and here's two shots taken about 12 hours apart. One was taken about 11am, the other after 11pm.

Guess which is which?