Thursday, July 31, 2008

Hannibal makes some new friends

Remember those new house plants I mentioned last week? Well, Hannibal the man-eating plant decided it was about time to get to know his new friends, so he grabbed a pot and sat down for a chat. I can only hope he isn't giving them any new recipe ideas.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tuesday Finds: Recyclable Geekery

Last week was full of computer-related panic, as my hard drive decided it was time to die. It's happened many times before (they just die on me out of spite, I swear), at semi-regular intervals even, which is why I'm still kicking myself for not being smart enough to make backups of EVERYTHING. In the end however, after days of many nervous moments copying files while waiting for the next crash, all was saved. Also, the hard drive is still under warranty so this turned out as mostly a nuisance, fortunately, and not a real disaster.

I had seen clocks made out of old hard drives on Etsy before and while poking around a bit more now, I found lots of other ways to recycle computer bits. So, inspired by my poor dead hard drive, here's a few of them for this week's Tuesday Finds.

Starting things off is the hard drive clock I mentioned earlier, made from an old network server hard drive and available from Geek Gear. Rather stylish, don't you think?

Olden computery parts can also be worn, it seems. This blue resistor necklace is one of many jewelry designs found at digiBling, along with other accessories made from electronic components.

For some reason I still have floppy disks lying around, just taking up space, even though it's been years since I actually had a floppy drive. Contexto puts them to much better use by making them into floppy books.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Tuesday Finds: On a Quest for Greenery

Last week I took a good look at the few plants we have in the house. These must be the toughest, hardest house plants the world has ever seen, for they have endured years of my neglectul "care".

I felt sorry for the poor things and decided to make life better for them. I dug out my plant book (for I do have such a thing, just haven't read it much) and read up on not only how to better care for the ones I have but also checked if there are plants out there which might actually thrive on my forgetful watering. There are, actually, so I got a few of them and will do my best from now on to keep them alive. In honour of my long-suffering super plants, this week's Tuesday Finds is all about plants.

This grouchy pot by JMN Pottery would be a good match for one of the aloes I got. It's just as green and spiky. Then again, it's quite possible the planter would run away on those legs together with the aloe, to find a better place somewhere far, far away from me.

Ahhhh, moss. So soft and green and pretty. And normally such a bad choice for someone like me, who waters once or maybe twice a month, but a handy moss terrarium from Made by Mavis sounds like a solution to the problem. According to the description, it "will take care of itself". Perfect!

If I fail at my quest to make my plants happy, there are still ways to keep some kind of greenery around. Greenery that doesn't need watering. Perhaps something one can wear, like this lovely felted flower necklace by Lana de Flor.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Ähtäri Zoo, part 2

As promised, here are the rest of the Ähtäri Zoo trip photos, taken by my brother. For more photos and some info about the zoo, check out my previous blog post. Thanks again for the photos, bro!

Cranes are rather stylish birds, aren't they?

The wolves were moving almost constantly, making it very tricky to get good photos of them.

And look, they had pups! Little furry things with paws that seemed just a little too big for them to use properly. Adorable!

My parents have several pheasants living in their garden, along with squirrels, (strawberry-stealing) hedgehogs, a (rose-eating meanie) rabbit and more species of little birds than I've been able to count. They've just showed up from who knows where and decided to stay. Who needs a zoo, really.

Say hello to Mr and Mrs Bear again.

The sun came out towards the evening, giving this kind of lovely light.

All four eagle owls we could see were sitting together in the middle of their area in pairs, with each pair surveying their own half with their backs to the other pair. I suspect very little goes unnoticed under their close scrutiny.

Wikipedia gives the English name ermine or stoat for these little guys. They'd been orphaned early and had to be raised by an employee of the park, feeding the large litter every 1-2 hours for the first few weeks (when did this employee sleep??). These were still young and playful and didn't stay still for more than a few seconds at a time.

Awww, it's Bambi! Or, uh, Bambi's mom? These white-tailed deer actually had a few little bambis, but the mothers kept them so far away from the public we could only see their ears and tails in the long grass. These aren't a native species, although they have nowadays been introduced to parts of Finland.

The zoo also has a section for domestic animals, like alpacas. I guess this guy is hinting that it's late and he's had enough of visitors for the day.

These little piggies were my brother's favourite. He thought they were very polite, as they replied to him every time he oinked, even while they were eating. I wouldn't be surprised if he ends up with a pet pig one of these days.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Ähtäri Zoo, part 1

Well, we're home again. Our vacation ended up a few days longer than we had planned, but that's alright. It was the most relaxing vacation I've had in years, despite rather crappy weather.

(If you're here for Tuesday Finds, sorry, but I haven't had much chance to settle in yet after the trip. They'll be back next week!)

Us entering Ähtäri Zoo, which is spread out in 60 hectares of forest. We're further away from the camera, I have no idea who the guy in the foreground is.

Halfway through the holiday we went on a one-day trip to the Ähtäri Zoo with my parents and my brother. I'd been there a couple of times before as a kid, but it was a first for Mr Morrgan and my brother. They seemed to enjoy it, especially my brother who since this trip has suddenly started to notice animals. Nowadays he mentions animals he's seen on the way to and at work, like squirrels and swans. Awesome. :D

Swans, pretty as can be. These were occupying the beavers' pond while the beavers were asleep.

He also took lots and lots of photos and I want to show off a few of them, because it turns out he has hidden talents as a nature photographer!

A couple of lazy-looking wild boars. It's a shame we didn't see any piglets, they're just too adorable. But these guys aren't too bad either. ;)

The park was established in 1973 and now houses over 60 animal species and many many plant species, most of them native to Finland. It's open to the public every day of the year.

Aren't they sweet? A couple of fallow deer having a snack.

Before going on this trip I read a book called 'Eläintarinoita Ähtäristä' by Jukka Lahtinen, who was the zoo's manager for decades. In the book he describes how the park got started and evolved to what it is now, a bit about how things work behind the scenes and of course tells many stories about the zoo's inhabitants over the years. It was interesting to go into the park with all that in mind and at the same time see how things look from a visitor's point of view.

The zoo's first animal was Köpi the moose. I wonder if this little one is a descendant?

It was a fun day for all and we spent about three hours wandering around. Well, I think it's time to let the photos speak for themselves, so enjoy! There's so many I want to show that I'll divide them for two blog posts, so come back towards the end of the week for photos of wolves, some of the domestic animals they also have at the zoo and more bears and birds. Thanks for the photos, bro!

The bears were really cool. There's just something about them I can relate to.

There were two bears together, this is the smaller one. The lady teddy, I presume?

The snow leopards were one of the non-native animal species. There's not many left of them in the wild, sadly.

The wisent, or European bison. Quite an impressive sight, even when lying down peacefully like this. These almost went extinct in the early 1900s, with only a few dozen individuals left in zoos, but are making a comeback now and have been reintroduced to parts of their original habitat.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Holiday Mode

If you've been to my shop recently, you may have noticed a message saying I'll be on holiday until July 10th. Well, due to some unforeseen events, we're still not at home. We will be by tomorrow though. In the mean time, here's a picture Mr Morrgan made and wanted me to show off to the world. It features the familiar Frederick Raven with his newest friend, Oliver Owl.

I wish it was as sunny here!
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