In January 2013, before returning to Ireland after christmas holidays visiting Hanna’s parents, we spent a few days with Hanna’s brother who lives near Urjala in the South of Finland. He took us on a walk of the land surrounding his rural home. A local feature in the vicinity was an abandoned farmstead: A cluster of empty timber buildings on a raised plot of land overlooking a small winding river and a vast plain of flat land. Instead of the usual sounds of birds, animals, and activity, this farm was filled only with the sound of silence, interrupted by our footsteps in the snow, and an icy winter wind.
On approach: Access to the farmstead was across a small bridge which spanned the almost frozen river.
The farmstead wasn’t totally abandoned; beehives were arranged outside one of the buildings.
The effects of time are clearly visible on this agricultural building.
Typical example of traditional Finnish rural architecture.
The surrounding plain with Birch forest in the distance.
A silent overgrown courtyard lit up by vibrant red berries.
After roaming around between the buildings for a while, we took a walk through a small forest which covered a nearby knoll. Kalle – Hanna’s brother – explained to us how Lynx climb the trees and lie in wait for passing deer, and then pounce on the unsuspecting mammals. Using his tracking skills he then showed us some recent Lynx footprints. Shortly after this discovery, we turned towards home, and our pace quickened, despite the knee deep snow.