April – Month of the Alder

The alder is the tree of the fourth month in the old lunar Celtic Tree Calendar, and the actual dates for the month of the alder are from March 18 to April 14, although there are variations. Alders are easy to reconise even in winter time because of their small cones, and they grow in abundance on the shores of Helsinki, many of them old and twisted, very beautiful. Finding one with a suitable branch to sit on, sufficiently sturdy and low for easy access, is another matter. A colleague sent me a photo of a nice looking tree in Mellsteninranta, Haukilahti, to the west of Helsinki, and already two weeks ago I made a trip to the area to find it. At that time I did not have my camera with me, and planned to return later. This “later” was about to be too late for the month of the alder, I realised, unless I performed before my Easter holiday trip. So, without further a do, I decided to make an attempt on Tuesday afternoon between two trips. Since I had visited the tree before, I knew I would need something to step on in order to get up easily; the branch was a little bit too high to sit on directly, and there was no other branch placed in such a way that I could heave myself up. After considering some alternatives, like a bucket upside down, I found a small stool in the attic and packed it in a bag with my camera, the tripod and the pale pink scarf. Before I could take the bus out to Mellsteninranta it was already evening, with dark clouds covering parts of the sky, but I decided it was worth a try. And it was, alhough the last image was already rather murky.
I had prepared a small rope to tie around the stool, so I could get hold of it and throw it out of sight, but that proved unnecessary. It was fairly easy to frame the image in such a manner that the stool below the branch was cropped out of sight. The first version was more of a close up, with my head cropped out of sight, so I tried a slightly wider framing. That session was recorded only in part; the memory card was full! How stupid of me not to cheque that… so I made the second version once again, and by now it was already quite late. At some point it started to rain, and the drops looked nice on the sea, but the rain subsided before it had really begun. By the time I walked back to the busstop through the woods it was getting cold; I was nevertheless happy to have performed with the alder, and thought I could always return in case the material proved useless. At the moment of writing this I have not edited the works, but only looked at the material, which seemed allright.