Worth Your Time


First, a thoughtful article by the Finnish writer Anu Partanen on why Americans shouldn’t dismiss the Nordic/Scandinavian economic model most visibly peddled these days by Bernie Sanders.

And second, the Norwegian series Occupied is great. Norway. Russian bad guys. International intrigue. What’s not to like? Check it out on Netflix.

Finnish Independence Day


Finland is not what you would call a major European nation. Tucked way up there in the upper right on the map, when Finland is thought of at all it’s usually in the reflected shine of its fellow Nordic countries, with whom it shares good clean air, progressive social policies and high taxes.

This time of year, though, not a lot shines in Finland. Sunlight last scarcely longer than a good ride across its frozen lakes. Perhaps that lends itself to Finland’s two well known -isms: stoicism and alcoholism. And this year its economy is being hammered by the western sanctions on Russia.

But Finland is plucky. For months the nation of just four million fought the mighty Russian war machine to a draw, alone, in the 1939 Winter War. With Europe’s longest border with Russia, some 800 kilometers, today Finland endures revanchist Russia’s air and sea probing without the NATO protection of its neighbors across the Baltic Sea, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

Today is Finland’s 97th Independence Day. In the USA we mark each July 4th with fireworks and parades. Finns celebrate their independence from Russia with candles in their windows, in quiet hope, remembrance and with a great deal more self-awareness, I think, than we.

(See 238 photos in the Finland Gallery at EarthPhotos.com.)

Finland in Twelve Photos

About this time most years, we’re busy at the lake with a rowboat and a sauna at our cabin in Finland. We’re not there this summer and I miss it! So let’s take a photo tour. Click ’em to make ’em bigger:


Here’s our little cabin.


Sauna2.jogJust down the path, the sauna and rowboat.



The sauna from the lake. It’s kind of hidden.


DucksFinlandOur duck family changes every year.



And in the summer, after a rain when the light’s just right, rainbows!



The winter puts on its own show. Here, way up north in Saariselkä, in Lapland, is the revoltulet (literally, “fox fire”), the northern lights.

Read on for more photos from Finland, and there are over 200 more in the Finland Gallery at EarthPhotos.com.

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