As we all know, Märket is a small, stony islet in the middle of the Sea of Åland. The body of water has been here for thousands of years, and the small bump of land has risen from where the masses of ice had pushed it. For the first time, the islet was recorded in a map as late as in the 1780s. Then it was a fiefdome of seals. Humans came to find its surroundings trecherous for their ships. In 1885, a lighthouse was lit. And here, in the living quarters of that very lighthouse, we record our weeks of lighthousekeeping.
This week, we decided to introduce some current occupants of the islet Märket - one for each day of our stay. The day of our arrival was, exceptionally, Sunday.
Goldcrest - regulus regulus (lat), hippiäinen (fi), kungsfågel (swe).
There are loads of goldcrests on the islet at the moment, as they are either on their way south or looking for a nice place to stay here a bit norther. I dare say Märket is not something they'll find comfortable in the long run, but for the time being, the goldcrests seem to be just fine thank you very much.
If the front door is kept open, as we humans would often prefer, some of the more adventurous goldcrests fly in. Like this one. Identified as a female by the bright yellow stripe on her forehead, she flew in and began to raid the spider's larders of the tasty little bugs. Of the awestruck male ape with his iPhone on the ready she hardly took any notice.
When the goldcrest tottered in the central corridor, the resident human shut the door, the bl**dy ape. She did sound rather irritated. Later, she found her way out as we hoped she would, either through the door or by the hatch upstairs, opened just for her and her mates.
Emilia - human being (eng), homo sapiens (lat), ihminen (fi), människa (swe)
This is Emilia, a homo sapiens. She regularly visits Märket and can most often be spotted at the islet in early spring.
She isn´t bothered by company (she enjoys lovely people!) nor does she mind spending time alone. Her favorite activities seem to be washing the dishes in a bright, warm morning sun as well as napping on the rocks.
She can easily be identified by her red beanie.
Emilia has a weird habit of sleeping outside, no matter what temperature. This human being also enjoys swimming in the ice cold sea.
Frog - sammakko (fi), groda (swe)
A frog has been met on Märket. This handsome prince has encountered a female human being at the islet on several occasions, always at sunset and always pretty much at the same destination.
He doesn´t seem to have hurry anywhere so it can surely be taken as a hint of growing fond of her.
Future has to tell what these two are up to.
Petja - human being (eng), homo sapiens (lat), ihminen (fi), människa (swe)
Here is the human male in his middle years, who met the Goldcrest on Sunday, wielding the iPhone and in awe. That seems to be his general disposition towards the stony, sea-y world around him.
Human Petja is fond of birds, whom he, however, does not know very well. But when some of these unidentifed flying objects are thrown in by the Eastern wind (now 6,9 m/s), it is him who likes to be asked to come to rescue. He has been very happy to take the little one (rather stubbornly and unsuccesfully trying to force its way through the glass window) gently in his hand and let it meet the air and weak sunshine of the day.
"It was very warm, the bird. And small. Very lovely indeed, but scared of course," he describes the first time encounter. He did desinfect his hands afterwards.
Of the arachnoid entities the man is not fond of at all, quite the opposite in fact. Days of acclimatisation have somewhat helped ease his squeamishness in this regard, as finding a tiny spider swinging in his burly beard he did not scream. Not very loud, anyway. Maybe it was more like a grunt. A high pitched grunt.
Bug - öttiäinen (fi), kryp (swe)
These little critters fall into the category of UFO as well. The primates on the islet are happy to be educated, should a member of the audience have some more information in the matter.
Quite possibly these residents known familiarly as "bugs" are very common. They are, at least, numerous both outside the lighthouse and inside, falling prey to the aforementioned arachnoids and birds.
Food chain - fascinating!
Marcus - human being (eng), homo sapiens (lat), ihminen (fi), människa (swe)
Of all the three primates currently residing on the islet, Marcus is the most frequent visitor. He has ten Märket weeks under his belt. Per year. Or thereabouts - he has lost count after 50 separate visits. A proper study of the migratory habits of marcuses might be in order!
With his smart mind and handy upper extremities, Marcus takes responsibility of the proper flow of electricity and of the devices that depend on it.
This week, the report would be transmitted in smoke signals were it not for Marcus' insight and knowhow regarding servers and that kind of magic. (The other humans provided enough smoke anyway, just in case.)
The presence of Marcus on the islet can be easily detected: just see if the Åland flag is in the mast!
Smoke - fumus (lat), savu (fi), rök (swe)
Smoke has been on the islet as long as the humans. The primates who have excelled in lighting fire and controlling it have done so at Märket for cooking, for heating, and of course, for keeping the lights on for seafarers.
The Lighthouse is mainly heated by the tall fireplaces in the corner of every room. Carrying the wood up and lighting the fire is a chore that the current residents of the human variation share with the generations of lighthouse keepers before them.
When the wind blows from North-East, as it often does, it is tricky (if not impossible) to get the fireplaces going without filling the room with smoke. This week, the humans managed to make the alarm go off at least three times, starting to heat at a more proper wind which then turned, or defying the direct orders not to, printed and pinned on the door. (Yes, it was that burly one with iPhone glued to his hand.) The smoke was thick at first, then it got out through the open door, and up via the long staircase, and of course the way it should, by the chimney and into the air. The Lighthouse lodgins are now pleasantly warm at circa 18°C. The comfortable, age old scent of smoke lingers, ready to welcome a new crew.