the european turtle dove in an area full of old and new houses, autumn 2020
A muscular, steel-gray wild beast of a cat was hunting the turtle dove. They arrived at a yard full of apple trees. The dove took a rest on a branch and the cat climbed up the tree, fiercely focused on the bird. When she got too close the dove lazily fluttered on another tree seeming slightly inconvenienced at most. The cat followed, tree after tree. Such a weird scenery, an unordinarinaly beautiful specimen of a common species going after another rarity to consume it. I felt like a background character in a YA novel about shapeshifters.
the black woodpecker in a pine forest, autumn 2020
I was standing by a campfire with my lover and heard a bird's cry. I had learned the call of the black woodpecker earlier in the summer so I knew to expect it. It flew right over us. Such a magnificent and ominous bird, she has something to do with Satan for sure.
an unidentified owl next to a campsite, autumn 2020
I was preparing some shibari ropes near the edge of a high cliff and caught a glimpse of brown-and-white dotted wings from above. So soft and quiet.
the european hare near the ruin of the oldest church of the country, winter 2018
In the dwindling light, on a snowy field, 9 hares at least. Probably more. I don't know what they were doing, dancing? Fighting? This was a moment before me and my partner had the scare of our lives as we thought we were going to be crushed under a falling star or a missile. It turned out to be an unusually silent helicopter.
eurasian lynx tracks on a protected swamp, winter 2018
I hope she'll be the fourth deity I'll meet some day.
the elk in a birch forest, autumn 2017
First came the deer flies and then the sudden thunder of hooves. A mother elk and her two nearly full-grown calves were fleeing from hunters. It's impossible to understand their size from pictures. The third deity I met, somehow more frightening than the first.
the orca at the northern coast of norway, autumn 2006
The pod was supposed to have migrated south already but there they were. My favorite cetaceans. They checked out the boat. The white spots shone through the surface as the rest of their figures blended in the dark water.
the eurasian eagle-owl at a lake, in the mid 2000s
Our boat was floating next to a cliff, a good fishing spot. The owl flew right by us. She was enormous and her flight was the quietest thing in the world. She was the second deity I met. What a privilege to be there and witness the absolute silence of her wings.
the brown bear near a bog, in the early 2000s
The bear was on the other side of the pond. We ran right back to the teacher. He thought we were making excuses to skip the orienteering class, but later a gamekeeper found the tracks of a young bear. She was the first deity I met. I was fascinated by the length of her claws - they can grow up to 6 centimeters, or 2.4 inches. After a decade I learned the true name of the brown bear but I won't tell it to you.