Category Archives: English

Grey Day in Rekdal


On thursday 20 July 2017 it is high tide (190 m) at 10.30 am in Rekdal, a village on the northern coast of Vestvågoy on Lofoten. I am planning to record the view on the shore together with a small birch every hour during this day, starting with high tide at 10.30 am (190 cm) and continuing through low tide at 4.50 pm (48 cm) to the next high tide at 11.10 pm. (198 m), hoping for shifting weather, that is, some bursts of sun shine amidst the grey clouds, and it looks hopeful. There have been sunny moments this morning already. Changes in light conditions make it worthwhile; the shifts of the tide are not that visible since the sea is not very shallow in the spot I have chosen. I am eager to get out, but there is one more hour to go before the first image. A close-up of the birch to begin with:
 

 
10 am (or a few minutes before) – grey, grey, grey. Wind from the north, no sun any longer, half an hour before high tide, the top of the rock near the shore is still visible above water. No traffic on the road, but far away the sound of a motor boat heading out; I can see it as a small dot. Approximately three minutes with the tree is enough, I assume. There is already a path across the meadow formed by my repeated comings and goings between the camera and the tree. For a moment I think I should try to walk outside the frame to keep the grass intact in the image, but decide to let it be. Before I go to stand with the birch I take a few still images of it. And then, afterwards, I only turn the camera and the microphone off and leave them standing on the tripod out there on the shore. Hopefully they will not attract the interest of seagulls or other birds.
 

 
11 am, the same view, the same sea, the same sky, the same tree and the same grass. It is past high tide but I cannot see the difference. Perhaps the mountains on the horizon are a little bluer, but I could be imagining. The camera will register the nuances, though. Some seagulls pass by, and a caravan drives past behind me on the road, otherwise nothing is happening during my moment with the birch. Even the wind seems to have calmed somewhat. A long day ahead, monotonous, but pleasant as long as it does not rain…
 
Noon, the sun is shimmering through the clouds in the south, enough to create a shadow in the grass when I walk to the shore, enough to brighten the green on the grass and to strengthen the blue shade of the grey sea. The tide should be going out now, but I cannot see it in the bay with the tiny birch; on the other side of the cliffs the beach is more shallow and the seaweeds are now showing up above the water. I wish for more sun, for the warmth it gives and for the contours it creates in the landscape. The wind from the north is not strong but chilly; it is hard to imagine that there is nothing but the arctic sea in that direction; next stop Svalbard.
 
1 pm, grey again. The pale sun hides behind the clouds that seem to have grown thicker again. The tide is slowly going out. A small white boat is coming across the bay, stopping behind the cliffs to the left, perhaps the neighbours were out on a tour. I am no longer expecting surprises, this seems to be a grey day throughout, only minute changes in the quality of light. No directions, no shadows, no stripes of sun moving across the mountains. Subtle shifts rather than dramatic effects. And I did choose a very generic piece of shore with no high cliffs or steep slopes in view, nor any of the features that make the landscape in this area so exciting. And now I cannot change my mind any longer.
 
2 pm, the weather as before, the wind a soft breeze now, the tide going gout, slowly. The sun shines through the clouds, not enough to give shadow, but enough to brighten the colours. The meadow is very still, so quiet that I could hear somebody closing a car door on the road behind me. I would like to make some close-ups of the rocks here, they have strange curved shapes, formed by the sea. But I have left my camera standing on the tripod in order to get the images as alike as possible. With these subtle changes it is even more important that the framing stays constant. Here in the north it would have been fascinating, and easy, to record a full day and night, because the site is so close to the house, and there is light all night, too. For some reason I was tied to the idea of the tide and of making a companion piece to The Tide in Kan Tiang, which was only one day, and not even all the way to sunset actually. The Tide in Rekdal does not sound as good as a name, but this little valley and village is called Rekdal, so I should stick to that. Because the tide is hardly distinguishable in the images, I could of course rename the work to Grey Day in Rekdal, for instance.
 
3 pm, a pale sun shimmering from behind the clouds, warming my neck as I stand with the birch on the shore. The cliffs in the bay are lit by the sun for a moment, but they are outside the frame of the image. The tide is rather low now, revealing the pebbles and the seaweed on the shore, but the camera cannot see them, because of the high grass. The day is moving fast now, it is already afternoon, but the evening will be long due to the light. At some point the sun will hide behind the mountain but will hopefully be visible again when it slides closer to the horizon in the north. These are the last days of the midnight sun here, they say.
 
4 pm, the wind is increasing again, the pale sun has moved towards west as expected, the tide is even lower now. For the camera the shore looks the same. Funny that I chose a spot where the tide is the least visible. Although I can see the shoreline change where I stand by the birch, the camera cannot. Absurd to speak of the tide in Rekdal, when no tide whatsoever can be distinguished in the image. A slice of blue sky, however, has opened amidst the clouds, like a brushstroke of colour across the sky. And some white foam appears in the bay, where some underwater rocks are closer to the surface at low tide and cause the waves to break there. Basically this image I am repeating is so unspectacular that I wonder how I can relate to it or write to it, with it, for it… Or then I will not. There is no need for all recordings to become works.
 
5 pm, the tide is turning; there is more blue in the sky and the sea is thus more blue as well. Seagulls are screaming, the waves have foam when they reach the shore. In the image the sky looks divided in two parts, a grey part and a blue part. In the unframed world around me, there are all kinds of clouds moving around. The mountains on the other side of the bay are decorated by their shadows. The zipper of my crimson sweater is not working well, not yet broken, but problematic. So far I have chosen to struggle with it until I could close it before entering the image. In the worst-case scenario, I might have to leave it open or close it around me by my left hand. So there might be some action after all…
 

 
6 pm, partly cloudy, sun on the mountains on the other side of the bay. Now the wind is cold, the tide is coming in, but the water is still low. The rocks covered in seaweed look like lumps of old wet rags abandoned on the beach. Repeating the same image every hour gives very small shifts between the images, and also very little time to do something else between the sessions. Walking down to the shore and back up into the house takes some time, as does writing these quick notes after each image. When I look out the window I see a dozen or more of images worthy of repeating. But it was my choice to find a small tree alone on the shore, as a reminder or repetition of the one on the beach in Kan Tiang. Todays images have nearly nothing in common with that work, but the idea of creating a companion piece got me going. If I had more time I would probably transform this to something else, find another place and try to recognise what is the special thing to record in this landscape…
 
7 pm, cold wind, evening approaching. It is full day light at this hour up in the north, but the feeling of evening is here nevertheless. The mountains on the other side of the bay look bright and seem very near, but the meadow on the shore is in the shadow of the mountain behind me. I have managed to edit some other video works between my visits to the shore. Moving between the images on the screen in front of me and the images I can see through the window, both fascinating in their own way, makes for a strange duality. The work I am editing is called Cami de Cavalls and recorded two years ago on Menorca, while walking on a dusty path in the heat of the Mediterranean Summer, a world as distant from this one as it can be. I wonder where I will be editing this cold cool minimalist view – the image I am creating is rather different from the rest of the surroundings, which are spectacular and aw-inspiring.
 
8 pm, cold and windy. This time I had to do the session twice because the memory card was full and the first session was thus too short. I also realized the battery might be finished soon, so for the last two sessions I had better carry a battery with me. I would prefer not to change the battery now, however, because removing the camera from the tripod involves of risk of disturbing the image. It would very likely mean a slight shift in the framing, and that would be silly now, at the end of the sequence. Wondering whether the sun will come out on the other side of the mountain before I am finished; it might do so only around midnight, and I have decided to finish at ten. If the tide would be visible I could go on until high tide at 11 pm as planned, but as it is, that is rather pointless. Some sunlight to finish this video would not hurt, however.
 
9 pm, windy as before. The sun will probably appear from behind the mountain later tonight, but so far the meadow is in shadow and it is getting rather cold. Luckily we are having a picnic by the boathouse with the remaining artists and one of the neighbours, a barbecue of whale meat (!), controversial but delicious. I was sitting and chatting away with a glass of red wine when I realised that it was time to take the next to last image and hurried to the camera. I cleared away the material from yesterday from the memory card and hoped that the battery would last. And it did.
 
10 pm, the last image. The tide is fairly high now, covering most of the rocks and coming further in still. It is cold despite the light and I decide not to make an extra image at 11 pm hoping for the sun. At the moment of writing this it is eleven o’clock, and there are blue clouds all over the sky in the northwest and the north, so no direct view of the sun. Good that I did not wait; enough for now. I am eager to see what the images actually look like when taken together. Here is the last one:
 

 
While the surroundings looked like this:

 
 
 

Rainy Day in Rekdal


Participating in the event Between Sky and Sea: Tourist organised by Performance Art Bergen in Kvalnes, Lofoten, I gave a talk there, “Between Sea and Sky with a Tree”, and used an old work, The Tide in Kan Tiang as an example. Seeing the magnificent landscape I immediately thought of creating a companion piece to that work, perhaps recording the tide here with a tree for a day or a day and night. Yesterday I set out to look for suitable trees – most of them are small rowans with some sturdy mountain birches in between them, and look more like bushes. I wanted to find one relatively near the house where I am staying to make the repeated visits easier, but did not find anything inspiring.


Today, relaxed after my talk last night, I headed out again despite the rainy weather and decided to try a really small birch on the shore, which could be framed to stand there on its own with the sea in the background. While I was placing the tripod next to a rowan it started to rain more, and I tried to cover my clothes with my raincoat while entering the image. My spontaneous plan was to record a long enough sequence to use together with the other work, which is 11 min 52 sec. It was cold and wet, but bearable after all. The surprise awaited me when I looked at the material. The raindrops really covered the image, both me and the tree, at times, and although the overall image is rather bland and grey, these sudden blobs might make for an interesting video.
 

There was a moment towards the end, when the raindrops washed the lens clean, and a sudden sharp image of the tree and me on the shore looks almost normal. I include it here below to give an idea of the situation, although a series of still images with the white or grey blobs might well be more interesting. And probably more interesting than the video as well. I am happy I did not wear my usual pale pink scarf, because my ordinary dark crimson clothing suites the environment much better. But I am slightly worried that the sound might be really bad because of the wind. While I was only planning to do some test images, I did not bother to use the external microphone with wind protection. Perhaps I will return to the little birch tomorrow and revisit it with one or two-hour intervals for a day, although I guess the bay is fairly deep there, so the tide is perhaps not so visible. If the weater clears up a little bit the changes in ligt might be worth recording, perhaps even the midnight sun…
 

 
 

By the Lake in Parque Ibirapuera


A visit to the famous Parque Ibirapuera in Sao Paulo was part of the preliminary tourist activities in connection to participating in the IFTR (International Federation for Theatre Research) conference next week. Together with Pilvi Porkola I followed Tero Nauha, who had been in Sao Paulo before, on a long and winding walk to the Ibirapuera park with the aim of visiting some of the museums there, and also perhaps sitting in a tree if a suitable one would show up. I imagined Sao Paulo to be a place where I would not want to walk away from my camera and leave it alone behind my back, but the park turned out to be calm and peaceful with strolling families. Almost immediately upon entering the park we saw some small trees by the lake, and although it seemed strange to jump on the first one, it proved clever, because most of the other trees where big and beautiful but nothing to climb in with my skills and limited strength. I invited Tero and Pilvi as my assistants to relax on the grass and keep an eye on the camera, while I tried to find a comfortable place in the small tree by the lake. That proved easier said than done. Of my repeated attempts I actually edited an additional video called “Finding a place in Ibirapuera Park”. The main work, that is, the version where I sit still on the lowest branch of the tree, called “By Lake Ibirapuera” looks rather peaceful, which is an illusion, because the position was extremely uncomfortable. This small and beautiful tree which resembled an acacia, but quite definitely was not an acacia, proved rather unwelcoming despite its low branches. It provided a perfect place to watch life on the shore, however, and in the water, too, which housed big fish coming to the shore, perhaps expecting to be fed, and beautiful black birds.
 

 

 
Pilvi took some images as documentation, which show the situation better than the video stills:
 

 

 

 
 
 
 

Rain, rain, rain


There was no chance to wait for nicer weather, this Monday morning was the only time, in the coming two weeks or more, I could visit the trees in Helsinki because of travel. So nothing to do but to go out and hope that the camera would survive the drizzle. I put my phone in one of the pockets of the bag and the keys in the other, and realized only half way down the stairs that I needed my purse, too, if I wanted to take the boat to Harakka Island to water the plants in my studio before the trip. I began with the alder, and then continued up to the elm on the hill. The foliage of the elm provided some protection for the rain, but the drops were becoming bigger and the drizzle turned to rain. The camera was collaborative, however, no problem, so I finished both images and walked down to the pier to wait for the boat. Only one the way did I look for my phone, and realized to my horror that the pocket of the bag was empty, and so was the other one, no phone, no keys! Should I turn back and search for them by the trees; they had probably fallen out without my noticing, that is, not get off on the island, but take the ride back? And what if I did not find my phone, could I travel to Sao Paulo in the afternoon without a phone? Or should I take the chance that I could find somebody to let me in to the building on the island? Yes, I would try. So I jumped off and let the boat continue to Särkkä without me. I expected the exhibition in the old telegraph building to be open, but the doors was closed. Through the window I saw Virpi and went in to ask her for the keys to the house. And at that very moment I put down my bag, and realized it had pockets on both sides. There they were, the phone and the keys. I laughed and excused myself with my age and went up to water the plants as planned.



On the way back I thought about this pseudo-drama and the way everyday life is full of such incidents. The real drama, however, might be taking place in silence before my very eyes. The elm is suffering of an attack by some strange fungi or perhaps insects, something that destroys its leaves…
 

 
 

June – Month of the Oak


The image that I had in mind for the oak in the tree calendar was of an old oak tree with a rough bark and some strong branches extending almost horizontally from the trunk. Oaks tend to grow that way, and they can get very old, too. The other requirement was that my ideal oak partner would grow somewhere in the eastern shores of Helsinki, as a counterpoint to the birch, rowan and alder, which have all been on the western shores. Although I already recorded the Hawthorn as the tree of June I would add the oak for June as well, because the month of the oak stretches from June 10 to July 7, at least in one of the versions of the calendar, and I would not be here in the beginning of July. Most oaks in Finland are planted, although there are oak forests in the southern parts. Last week I made a trip to the Arabianranta area near the Vantaa falls, and found only one oak in the park there. It was growing in the midst of shrubs and did not look like an ideal partner at all, so I let it be. Today I decided to take the metro to Brändö – Kulosaari, an island and old villa area east of the centre, to see if I could find any old oak trees there. And funny enough, I found exactly one in the Eugen Schauman Park. It is not very old and it has no branches to sit on or even hang from, but I decided this would be my partner and so be it. I tried to reach the lowest branch but did not get enough of a grip to hang from it and could not stand the stretch for long. I tried with the other arm as well, but in the end I realized the right thing to do was to lean against its rather slender trunk and relax. So I did just that.
 

 

 

 
The following day I edited the simple version, leaning against the oak, into a video work called Oak in June (8 min. 10 sec.). But I wanted to document my attempts as well, and compiled them into Oak in June – testing (3 min. 32 sec.) Both can be found in the research catalogue as Oak in June.
 

June – Month of the Hawthorn


After spending quite some time trying to find alternatives to the old hawthorns in the Observatory park I nevertheless decided to perform the image of June for the Tree calendar there. I remembered the hawthorns from 2010 when I was preparing the small audio work In the Shadow of a Hawthorn for Olohuone (Living Room) urban festival in Turku. (The work is fairly well documented on the Research Catalogue). At that time I read all I could find about the various types of hawthorns growing in Finland. Thus I was quite sure I would still recognise a hawthorn even before they were in bloom. Of the four types of hawthorns that I chose to work with in Turku at that time at least two could be found in the park in Helsinki now. The small old hawthorn trees on the slope with their twisted trunks were of the species Crataegus Rhipidophylla, I suppose, while the hawthorns that formed a hedge on the panorama spot were probably of the common type used in hedges, Crataegus Grayana. Some hawthorns of that type were growing uncontrolled on the slope near the street to the south of the park, and there I also found a beautiful small tree or actually a large bush with several trunks growing from the same root, right by the sidewalk, an example of Crataegus Monogyna, as far as I could judge. I chose that one and the hedge as my partners on Tuesday evening and decided to return in the morning when there would be less people in the park and a better light.
 

 
On Wednesday morning, after visiting the elm and the alder as usual, I walked up to the panorama spot in the park and placed my camera on tripod in such a manner that neither the nearby tree on the left or the rubbish bin on the right were inside the image frame. To my great surprise the huge boat that had arrived into the harbour below was not visible in the image. I made a few try-outs to find the right spot to stand in, on the steps in the opening of the hedge, placed my weight evenly on both feet and took hold of a branch of the hawthorn with my right hand, ready to stand there for ten minutes or so. But of course some groups of people appeared from nowhere and wanted to go down to the terrace below. Luckily I was standing close to the hawthorn so they could pass behind my back.
 
The other hawthorn was not as easy to pose with. I did not find a comfortable way to sit on it or lean on it but placed myself between the trunks somehow, keeping myself there by pressing my feet to he ground and my back to one of the trunks, avoiding the thorns. I tried to stay there in a half laying position, looking at the confused tiny ants climbing up and down along the trunk. I could not hold that position very long, for although it looks comfortable in the image it was rather painful to maintain. And this time, too, there were some passersby entering the image, while using the tiny path behind the hawthorn: a woman with a dog seemed to park there for ever. But perhaps some passersby are refreshing, after all. While editing I have to see whether the image is more interesting with or without these “intruding” figures. The important thing is that I managed to create something before the end of the month of the hawthorn, 12 of June, at least following the variation of the calendar that I have used so far.
 

 
Returning to edit these notes in Hamburg, after an enjoyable and exhausting PSi (Performance Studies International) conference on the theme of Overflow in the premises of the legendary Kampnagel, that morning with the hawthorns only a few days ago feels strangely distant. Already tomorrow, however, I will return to the vicinity and take up my practice of visiting the trees again.
 
 

Excess and Overflow of Artistic Research


Three mornings in Helsinki, sun on two of them, which is not so bad after all. Tis is one of the most previous times of the year, “mellan hägg och syren”, as they say in Swedish, literally between bird cherries and lilacs. Not all bird cherries are blooming yet, but most of them, while the lilacs are only opening slowly. On Monday morning in rainy weather I was fascinated by the difference in the view from my place under the elm ( see image above) and the view for the camera from the place for the tripod, either up on the slope or then next to the rock closer the elm. But on Tuesday and Wednesday when the sun was shining I forgot all about it and simply enjoyed the season.




The leaves of the elm are hanging low and really hide me well in the first image, which is alright and gives some variation to the series, although i did not plan it. On Wednesday there was a woman in a red cap sitting and drawing on the rocks, and she inevitably came to perform in these images, too. My thoughts were on the trip to Hamburg later in the afternoon, to join PSI #23 Overflow there. The Performance Studies International conference is a yearly occurrence somewhere in the world, and for some years now I have been engaged in the Artistic Research Working Group with Johanna Householder and lately also with Bruce Barton. We are going to have three sessions with short presentations by artists and researchers, titled Excess and Overflow of Artistic research, and I am going to present this project there as well. I actually made a compilation of all the snapshots I have posted on tumblr so far in the blog of images called Year one with plants. There I take one image of a plant each day, and in the winter months it was harder than I expected. But this time of year there is a profusion of vegetation everywhere, the difficulty is in choosing.
 
 

An Elm Tree After All


In ten days the trees in the park had really changed, and had rather big leaves now. Already during my last visit the flowers of the tree up on the hill revealed that it is an elm, and now when the leaves have come out there was no doubt about it. Elm trees grow only planted in Finland, so it is not as familiar to me as some other deciduous trees. All the elms I’ve seen before have been solitary or planted in rows and therefore this group of five trunks from the same root deceived me to assume it was some type of willow. And the way some small branches are growing directly out of the trunk near the ground made me think of a linden tree. Anyway, an elm is an interesting acquaintance. I visited the tree on Thursday and then again on Saturday, after a rather busy week. Not only did I travel to Oslo for a meeting directly when returning from Venice, where the research project How to do things with performance? organised a two-day event at the research pavilion called Accessing Performance. Preparations for Art Fair Finland 2017 were in full swing and I had to go there and set up my contribution, a four-channel version of the video installation Solsidan, which I made while staying at Solsidan in Stockholm during the winter 2015-2016 and which I have not shown anywhere else before. The video projectors were difficult to place and my media players are made for home use and not really reliable when running nonstop for days, but somehow I managed to set it up.
 
Sometimes everything seems to happen at the same time, and these days have been like that. There was an editorial board meeting and a pre-examination board meeting and on Saturday there was a non-human seminar (in Finnish) organised at Reality Research Centre, where I had promised to contribute in one of the panels. And there was an opening of an exhibition of self-portraits called Me: Self-portraits Through Time in Kunsthalle Helsinki, where one of my works was shown, too. I was very happy to be included in this large group of historical and contemporary Finnish artists, although I never thought of the work they had chosen as a self-portrait. Year of the Rat Uphill – Downhill from 2009 is recording time passing and the changes taking place in the environment while I am walking down the stairs to the northern shore on Harakka Island, and back again, once a week for the duration of a year. And why not, since I am the person walking, you can of course say it is a self-portrait. In short: sitting with the elm tree and the alder for a few minutes these two mornings felt really important and invigorating in the midst of all the hustle and bustle. Not only people but the trees and all the vegetation around is buzzing with life at this time of year.



 
 

In A Roundabout


The first “free” day in a while, and a sunny one, yesterday, on Lido di Venezia, seemed like an invitation to take a walk with my camera, tripod and scarf to see if I could find a tree to perform with somewhere on the shore. The previous days I had spent on Giudecca from morning til night engaged in an event called Accessing Performance, as part of the Camino Events related to the Research Pavilion organised by University of the Arts Helsinki and many others. The event was inspiring, but now I needed a break. So I walked and walked, enjoyed the fresh summer and admired the pine trees leaning here and there. Some of them were supported by huge crutches, so I realized I should not increase their burden by trying to sit on their trunk. And the background with rows of bath houses would not have been very exciting either, so I decided to return to the hotel. On my way back, crossing the street, my eyes fell on a strange tree in the roundabout, or rather a thick branch extending close to the ground, almost like the trunk of a giant elephant. The tree looked inviting simply because of that large very low bending branch. That is a place to sit, I thought, and immediately decided to try, despite the strange location in the middle of the roundabout.
 


When I went closer, I noticed there was some little toy on the branch. I did not move it but sat next to it.
 

 
Trying out various positions for the camera on tripod I ended up making four attempts. The first one was a spontaneous placement of the tripod and resulted in a silhouette image with the human figure and the tree as dark forms in the foreground with the traffic in the roundabout in full light. I decided to make another version from the opposite direction, perhaps to use in combination with it. That image had a more balanced light, but looked rather flat, with my back very close to the camera and thus too big. I tried to move the camera further away and get a little bit more of the curvature of the branch within the frame. And in order to maintain the logic of pairs, I took another image from the other side of the tree as well. The last image turned out to be the best one, although my wish to include more of the main trunk of the tree makes the composition slightly imbalanced. With a photograph that would be easily corrected with a tighter framing on the right, but video is more complicated. And since I have a habit of using all the material, having a hard time discarding less successful alternatives because of my love of variations, I will probably edit videos of all four versions of these images.
 

 

 

 

 
Lido di Venezia was my home base the first time I came to Venice in October or November 1996 (or was it 1995?) to write and compile the text for a radio play loosely based on the structure of Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino, and to do some recordings as well. I lived in a pension on Via Marco Polo, a small street on Lido, which gave the radio play I worked its title. That work I used as the first entry on my Harakka webpage created in 2000, as if my life as an artist would have commenced with that work, and not with the Bacchae in 1978, see Via Marco Polo 1-3 for more about the radio play. I took a walk this morning and found the street, but there was no pension there, although one of the villas looked strangely familiar.
 

There was an old cemetery at the turn of the road, which I cannot remember at all, although it must have been there twenty years ago. It was closed, no access, and that seemed like a sign. The past is a strange land, a closed cemetery we have no access to.
 

 
 
 
 

May – Month of the Willow


This Willow grows on Harakka Island, right outside Kaivopuisto Park near the centre of Helsinki. Originally I thought I would look for a willow a little further away, but a few days ago when I visited my studio on the island looking for some old files I noticed this huge shrub on the hill and decided that this would be a slightly different tree to work with for the next calendar entry. The willow, Saille, is the tree for the fifth month of the Celtic Tree Calendar, which I am now performing by creating small still-acts with the tree of the month in Helsinki with environs. My interest is not so much in Celtic lore, but in finding out about the great variety of trees growing in my extended neighbourhood. So on Saturday morning I took my small boat and rowed across to the island, managed to get past the fierce male geese protecting their spouses sitting in their nests, and place my camera on a tripod on the hill.
 

 
The willow is fairly big, with its branches spreading over a large area, sticking close to the ground. The first image I made by sitting for a while on a boulder next to the willow, but although surrounded by its branches I was not really in contact with the willow. I wanted to sit on the trunk of the willow itself, too, and that was possible since some of them were fairly thick. Only the beginning of the session were I forced myself in among the branches was recorded, since I forgot to check the memory card, which was full again. But that did not matter so much, because my position in the image was bad, much too low, and sitting there listening to the bumblebees for an extra round was a pleasure.
 

 
So I made a third attempt, and this one turned out to be my favourite. The willow covers most of the image and I am almost hidden in it; my scarf is somehow caught by a branch so it almost looks like it was hanging there by itself.
 

 
The calendar image of the month of the willow, which extends from April 15th until May 12th, at least according to some sources, is thus not presenting a singular tree by the shore and a human figure sitting in it in the manner of the previous calendar images. Rather, this image shows a mess of twigs with the human figure half hidden among them, presenting another way of performing with a tree. After this experience I am no longer worried about some other types of vegetation included in the tree calendar like common reed or ivy.