Helsinki Finland Update

Finnish Lawn Ornaments.
Chilean Flamingos, Phoenicopterus chilensis, Korkeasaari (Helsinki Zoo).
Image: GrrlScientist, 20 November 2008 [larger view].

What have I done and seen so far in Helsinki? So far, I’ve;

  1. visited the Korkeasaari (Helsinki Zoo), where, among other things, I watched endangered Przewalski’s horses actively working at increasing their tiny population — and no, I did not photograph that, but it sure was tempting!
  2. met some of my host’s friends over beers .. many many beers …
  3. had beers on the SS Hyöky, oddest quaintest little boat-bar/museum I’ve ever visited (yes, I have lots of photographs that I plan to share with you soon)
  4. eaten dozens of delicious pastries and quiche — the Finns can really make fabulous pastries!
  5. Kansallismuseo (National Museum of Finland), and saw a really interesting exhibit of the history of Finland from prehistoric times through the present
  6. Sea Life Helsinki, where I watched lots of fishes (after eating a few smoked fishes myself)
  7. Hakaniemen Kauppahalli, where I bought, and then ate within a few minutes, sometihing like 500 grams of smoked fish — of course, I “forced” my host to also eat it along with me!
  8. Ataneum Hall Museum (the Finnish National Art Museum), where I saw lots of art I’ve never seen before by artists whom I’ve never heard of before — art that appears to have a strong Japanese influence, except that it doesn’t at all — why doesn’t the Met have a Finnish art show so these works can be exposed a larger audience?
  9. Gallen-Kallela Museum, which is kept in his very wonderful house — a house that completely entralled me
  10. Tuomiokirkko (Helsinki Lutheran Cathedral), where I photographed the largest pipe organ I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen plenty of them in my life. I hope to return to photograph this church a little more before I leave, and possibly to attend a service so I can hear that organ being played
  11. Today, I will visit the Helsingin Luonnontieteellinen museo (Helsinki Natural History Museum), Kauppatori Helsingin, where I will photograph lots of dead fish, and Suomenlinna
    And tomorrow, I will go birding in the area all day long, and the bird I most want to see is the Steller’s White-tailed (Grey) Sea-eagle, Haliaeetus pelagicus albicilla, although I am happy to see anything.


About GrrlScientist

grrlscientist is the pseudonym of an evolutionary biologist and ornithologist who writes about evolution, ethology, and ecology, especially in birds. After earning a degree in microbiology (thesis focus: virology) and working at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, she earned her PhD in zoology from the University of Washington in Seattle, where she studied the molecular correlates of testosterone and behaviour in white-crowned sparrows. She then worked a Chapman Postdoctoral Fellow at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, where she studied the speciation and distribution of lories and other parrots throughout the South Pacific Islands. A discarded scientist, she returned to her roots: writing. Formerly hosted by The Guardian (UK), she now writes about science for Forbes and for the non-profit think tank, the Evolution Institute and she writes podcasts for BirdNote Radio. An avid lifelong birder and aviculturist, she lives with a flock of songbirds and parrots somewhere in Germany.
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0 Responses to Helsinki Finland Update

  1. Hai~Ren says:

    Sounds like you’re having loads of fun!
    Steller’s Sea-eagle? Aren’t those restricted to the north Pacific? You don’t mean White-tailed Sea-eagle Haliaeetus albicilla, do you?

  2. indeed i do. unfortunately, i didn’t see either sea-eagle species, but i did see a saunaduck. i’ll let you entertain me by filling in the species name for me. 🙂

  3. Jusu says:

    Museovirasto = National Board (or Bureau) of Antiquities.
    Kansallismuseo = National Museum (of Finland).

  4. thanks for the corrections, jusu. i am already making plans to begin learning finnish after i return to NYC, so hopefully, i will return to finland this spring (summer?) with a better command of the language.

  5. Library Diva says:

    Hi Hedwig, haven’t been by in a while. It’s so cool that you’re in Finland, and it sounds like you’re loving it! Good luck with Finnish. In college, I had some friends from Finland and I understand their language is very difficult, one of those ones that’s not related to any other tongue. Enjoy the rest of your time there!

  6. moikka, library diva! it’s GREAT to see you again! i am back in the USA now, although i am thinking i’d rather leave the country — for good — since my employment opportunities here have never been worse in my entire life. sad, but oh so true!