Published: May 30th 2012May 30th 2012
No, this is not a prehistoric forest beast, not troll family manager, but quite a normal farm animal. True – with relatives in Scotland. Those farm animals are living here today. 'Here' – this is Vormsi, Estonia. Do you know what is Vormsi? No wonder, if you do not know. I also did not know until recently when I found this place because of my beloved Nordic Nature theme – in this case exactly to the Nordic Orchids (Military Orchid from Vormsi Island: Orchis militaris L.; some specialists think it is rather Orchis ustulata L. ssp.aestivalis, I agree with them!)
Photo Tiit Kaljuste
Vormsi – it is a small 92 square kilometer island near the west coast of Estonia. Its name is eloquent and well-founded. It comes from life directly, immediately: Germ. Worms, Swed. Ormsö means 'Snakes'… The island is colorful, unique, with its nature and posture. A lot of things here are saved from Swedish (yes, yes) shape of the farms in despite the use of modern benefits, either, such as a laptop. The island is very close to the continent (about 12 kilometers), but maintains its pace of life, the passage of time, events, and the natural circulation of labours. Like Jūrkalne case (see Baltic Amber – Jūrkalne, 06/04/2012) this is a great merit
of the Soviet regime – all nearly 50 years after the war there was a completely closed area. Now, of course, in summer here are many tourists. But they in the majority are such tourists who know where they are going and what they want – to be together with and inside of wild flora, hear and maybe see many different birds, go right into the sea with all the stones and leached snag logs. And the vegetation here is rich and singular. Not just accidental I mentioned already the orchid – there are at least 30 species of them. However, perhaps the most typical, most relevant are the juniper trees – almost all the coasts of the island scattered in rich (again we can remember Jūrkalne and their junipers (see Nordic Cypress, 30/03/2012).
Photo Jaan-Matti Lillevälja
But the lighthouse area has a different background – true forests. And its embankment is clearly Nordic: one feels or almost 'smells' the harshness of the whole – rock ridges and piles at the very coast, large stones with their backs of the head out to sea still far from the shore, some pines obey the strength of winds and curve as taking care of themselves, another withstand straight. The lighthouse itself – as everywhere, and yet also quite modest, silent, minimalistic. And right beside – a simple orange-colored forest road with a kind of clay and gravel, with not very thick and tall trees guarding it.
One of the peculiar echoes of island’s history – local cemetery in the village of Hull. The round gravestones date back to the 17-18 centuries and create a very ancient and sort of holy feeling. There are about 300 of such Celtic round crosses.
Photo Modris Putns
Photo Marko Mumm
Photo Ede Meresmaa
Though the nature remains the most value impression. There are many swampy and boggy places and in the wet summer you better take some rubber booths with you. But even the springs, the little brooklets and two lakes, which begin to trend to overgrow – all of them are beautiful in their natural, unaffected, artless being.