A sea swim in the sunset, a woodpecker, and more

Estonia 2

Place names with too many vowels! Lanksaare, Uuemaa and Urisaare of the startling green Orthodox church.

Local place name. Notice the red and white stripes below denoting the National Walking Trail

Häädemeeste (yep, there’s anotther one!) which is the nearest biggish town (it actually has a Co-op which was open on Easter Monday).

Local church, Haademeeste, Estonia
Talking of which: beautifully decorated local eggs dyed with onion and beetroot skins
A small lake nearby where I am staying, Massiaru, Estonia

I have seen some magnificent birds here. There was an aweee(p) single repeated call. A large bird, it looked like a black and grey raptor swept down over the ploughed field with a huge wing span.

Strong shadows, forest, Estonia

Pee pee pee, pee poo pee poo. I didn’t see this one but I certainly heard it. Is it the bird who mimics others? It is as if he is practicing all the tunes he can remembers in case he forgets. Or pretending to be more birds than he is!

They don’t seem to take care when cutting down the trees

A confetti of leaves
A trill of birds
A stumble of stones
A crunch of cones
A prickle of pines
The roughness of riven birch
A needle of fir saplings

Silver birches shining in the early evening sun

The straightest roads I have ever seen. They have ditches running parallel on both sides, some filled with water. Ahead they go, as far as my eye can see.

This one was a railway running from the coast inland to transport the wood and putting lots of fishermen out of work. It opened in 1923 and was finally taken up in 1975. It was the last public narrow-guage in Estonia

Four long wheee calls, a flap of large wings. I looked up, shielding my eyes from the sun with my hand. Across to a high-up tree it flew and then I heard a distinctive wooden drilling – it was a woodpecker! Much bigger than I expected, I saw it so clearly silhouetted against the blue sky.

I found the river but none of the promised beaver or otter, although there was a dam which looked as if the former had been busy. It was so peaceful that I sat on a stump and inhaled the fresh water smell

So far I have seen two storks – one flash of white at the corner of my eye revealed a gawky version of a heron in the garden; the other striding in a field, surely taller than I.

I walked along the boardwalk, three quarters finished and the scent of new-sawn pine, through the alder forest and came out on Kabli beach

Earlier I had visited further down the coast where ducks and geese took their turns in the air. There was also the wide V-shaped wedge (or bevy, aparently) of swans – necks extended – which swept around the coast.

Kabli Beach, Estonia

I have rarely seen a more beautiful sight. The Bay of Riga with an individual, gracious swan on satin water. In and out I went, it was so cold, a little deeper each time – my skin tingled.

A blood-orange sky lazed around a golden sun. Eventually I swam, legs brushing rocks I couldn’t see. Otherwise it was ridged sand underfoot

Later, sitting in gritty clothes, I marvelled at the upside down exclamation mark of magenta egg. The setting sun was suspended a few centimetres from the horizon and the matching pillar, no it was more of a column because it seemed to have rounded edges, was in the sea underneath.

Sun setting on the Bay of Riga, Estonia

It got squatter, closer to merging with the ocean. I took a stone seat full of the day’s warmth under my bottom. The view was luminous, now a magic mushroom. All the birds went on tweeting as if nothing was happening! The sky was rainbow coloured. The orb started to flatten. Then there was just the merest cap, and at the last a distant errupting volcano, a flying saucer far away, a pink dash and it was gone. My toes were numb.

I think it only lasted around three minutes in total before the sun vanished below the horizon
When I turned round, it had bathed everything in mahogany and chestnut

Yesterday, deer ran across the road in front of me. Today, I disturbed a flock who thought they were camouflaged, but I had already heard and seen them. Off they scarpered, white arses flashing up in the air as they bounded through beige bracken.

The aura of a pussy willow is the same as the cats with the sun behind them

It turns out that the round, glowing bees are wild for the pussy willow. They buzzed so loudly I could still hear them as I walked away.

Can you see the white aura around Hawthorn, one of the resident kittens captivated by something? He is so curious that it doesn’t take much to get his attention!

This morning when I was doing my exercises in the garden and was on the Wood part of the 5 Element chi gung, a tiny rustle caught my ear and there was a mouse beside me on the pile of wood shavings. In the evening I heard that one of the cats had brought one in as a ‘present’. I hoped it was not him.

Dusky pink, plum, apricot: the stalks and trunks. Anything that has the faintest natural hint of these colours picks up the evening sun and the moon sits just above the tree tops

Later I saw a black snake. It was approximately 35 inches long (70cms) with a slight yellow on its head, but it had been run over which was how I got to photograph it and measure the length with my thumb. (I thought better of including it here as it was somewhat damaged and seemed a bit gruesome somehow).

Last week’s full moon
and one more sunset (from a different evening) to end with.

I recommend the Alien Heartbeat blog for beautiful short accouts of walks in Estonia including the people he meets and gorgeous photos.