Sunday, August 30, 2009

Abruka Island

During our holiday in Muhu Island in the end of July, we made a family day-trip to another - much smaller - island called Abruka Island. This was a wish of my father and as none of us had been there before, we all decided to go.
We had to take a small boat (which takes on 14 people) from Kuressaare (Saaremaa Island) to get to Abruka. Since Abruka does not have any shops or eating places, then we had our picnic things with us + also swimming things as it was a nice sunny day and we could enjoy the real summer.
The area of the Abruka Island is 8.78 km² and the population is almost 40. Once, it even had a school there (when the population was much higher - 150), but now, even a shop isn't left there; and most people who live there are retired. The nature of Abruka Island is a bit different than we can see in Muhu or Saaremaa, it has a big nature reserve with loads of huge lime trees and ferns. Another interesting fact is, that in 1878-1880 a "deer park" was founded on the island, when 13 deer were brought from Kuramaa. There are deer on the island even today, and actually we saw one when we were returning to the port after our day in Abruka Island. Unfortunately it was too far away to take a good photo.
Photo: Erik, I and Kert on the way to Abruka.
Photo: Mom and dad on the way to Abruka.
Photo: Taken from a boat when we had almost reached the island.
Photo: We are standing next to the map to see the best walking paths.
Photo: I and Kert next to the old boat called "Abruka".
Photo: Some funny people greeting us in Abruka.
Photo: One of the oldes lime trees in the Abruka reserve park.
Photo: The only windmill in Abruka.
Photo: Our swimming place.
Photo: Kert and Erik on the swing.
Photo: Kert making a wish against "Ringing Stone". This is a strange stone - it seems to be empty inside and when you knock on it with other stone, it makes sounds... There's a legend that one should say a secret wish while knocking and it will come true... We all did it!
Photo: Erik in the museum of Abruka.
Photo: A flower pot in Abruka.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Summer in our garden - Vol III

Summer seems to be soon over... Luckily August has been quite nice in Estonia and our garden is blooming continuously. Mostly it's thanks to roses which are grateful bloomers from the end of June until October; but I have some other flowers/bushes which have been blooming for a really long time. So, this entry is dedicated to my favourite long bloomers among perennial flowers.

Perennial a plant that comes back every spring. Therefore, they need to be planted only once - each winter, it dies back to the ground and returns in the spring from their root-stock. They are easy to grow and colourful to watch.
When I first bought the bergamot flower (we call it Monarda), then I didn't think much of it. But now, when they have bloomed in my garden almost for 2 months, I really appreciate them - it's a wonderful red spot in my garden and I love it!
Photo: Monarda "Gardenview Scarlet"

Echinaceas (Coneflowers, siilikübar) are well-known herbs as they are known to be good for your immune system. I have three different types of echinaceas in my garden: normal purple one (called "Magnus"), white (called "White Swan") and red (called "Sundown") They have been blooming for many weeks and I love to watch them from my kitchen window.
Photo: Echinacea "Magnus"
Photo: Echinacea "Sundown"
Photo: Echinacea "White Swan"

Phloxes bloom for many weeks, too. They are easy to grow and are goot for cutting as well. Several colours exist among phloxes; in my garden, there are 5 different ones: light lilac ("Laura"), cherry red ("Tenor"), violet with white heart ("Sternhimmel"), pink with red heart ("Landhosczeit") and pink-white stripes ("Natascha").
Photo: Phlox "Laura"
Photo: Phlox "Tenor"
Photo: Phlox "Sternhimmel"
Photo: Phlox "Landhosczeit"

Buddleja (also called summer lilac) is grown in Estonia as a perennial, too, although it's a bush in warmer countries. It's appriciated for it's value as food for many species of butterflies. My Buddleja davidii is called "Black Night" and I see a lot of butterflies in our garden...
Photo: Buddleja davidii "Black Night"

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A day at Pille's

Every summer, we have an annual visit to Pille's place in Rapla county. Normally, we are celebrating Estonian Re-Independence Day together in August 20 (which is a free day from work), but this year, we had to re-shedule the visit since other plans in August 20. So, we agreed to meet in August 15 - yesterday.
It was a lovely day, especially since the weatherman was kind to us once again. Even when there were some dark clouds in the sky, it never developed any rain and the sun was out most of the time.
Photo: Marit and Tanel - Pille's children.
Having fun on trampoline:

Pille and Avo have a lake full of fish, and we had a delicious meal made of barbecued trout. Besides, Pille had cooked a very good zucchini casserole and we had 2 cakes: apple cake from Pille and red-currant biscuit cake from me.
Photo: Avo is fishing for our meal.
Photo: Avo is cleaning the trout for barbecue.
Photo: We are ready to eat! Erik, I, Ragnar, Eve, Pille and Marit, Avo and Tanel, Kristi
Photo: One of our desserts - apple cake.
Photo: Another dessert - red currant cake.

Our tradition is to do some sport events on that day, too. Last year, it was Bejing Olympics, so we honoured the win of our discus thrower Gerd Kanter; this year, it might happen again - as exactly yesterday, the World Championships of Light Athletics started and next week, we are hoping the gold medal for Gerd again...
Our sport events were more serious this time as besides discus throwing, we also had a competition in shooting (the reason for that is very obvious - Pille's husband Avo is a hunter...). You can onlu guess who won shooting - yes, it was Avo - almost a professional shooter :). But Ragnar gave him a very good competition and it was a draw for a very long time. Discus was won by Avo as well - like last year. He seems to be very athletic... But I think everyone were happy to do some sports - most of all, the most important is the participation, not the victory!
Discus throwing:


Saturday, August 15, 2009

House keepers

Our two housekeepers - Betu and Tony - are very happy this summer since we are spending a lot of time in the garden together with them. Tony is not so naught anymore, but sometimes - when we go out to visit our friends or make a small trip - he forgets his good behaviour and can do many tricks with our plants... so we never know what is waiting for us when we come back home!

Monday, August 10, 2009

A day trip to Woman's Island (Naissaare)

Yesterday - on a nice warm sunny summer day - we decided to have a picnic and beach day in Woman's Island (Naissaare). It's situated about 20 minutes-boat-ride from the port close to our home and it's beautiful out there. Since there is no regular boat connection, then we saw only a very few people (who had come with their own boat, too).
We went there with Erik's cousin Martin, his girlfriend Piret and their boat. A nice day indeed!
Naissaare is 18,6 km2 large and it has 3 inhabitants.

Photo: I and Piret being ready in the boat - soon we are off!
Photo: After about 20 minutes boat-trip we can see the island..
Photo: I and Erik on the beach of Woman's Island
Photo: On the walk along the beach
Photo: Getting the boat ready for going back... and the waves are much higher! But we will be safe at home.