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Trees

The Priest’s Pine

“Papin Petäjä” or the priest’s pine is a memorial tree or historical tree and as such truly remarkable, with engravings as far back as 1750, but also very unremarkable standing next to the parking lot by the lake amongst other pine trees of similar size in Hossa Natural Park with stunning views around every bend of the road. A group of artists from Mustarinda in Hyrynsalmi drove up to the park for an excursion to “Värikallio” or colour mountain, with old rock paintings and spectacular nature. On the Hossa tourist website listing all the attractions of the area I saw this pine tree mentioned, and on the way back from the park we managed to find it. There are some remains of stone-age habitation on the spit nearby, and this pine tree shows that the place has been important later on as well. Before there were proper roads Christian priests used to move between villages by boat, and stop in some places to baptise people. This pine tree seems to have marked such a spot.

(image from the website)

By the time we were beginning our journey home and stopped briefly by the pine evening was approaching and we had a long way to drive; there was no way I could perform with it there and our brief encounter could not really be called a meeting either. I had managed to drop my phone in the lake, and had to borrow the phone of my colleague to make a quick video clip, more as a souvenir than anything else. For some reason I cannot upload it here, but a few still-images from that blurry video in evening light, which seems to colour the trunk with shades of blood, can perhaps give you an idea of this nearly dead and rather unremarkable albeit venerable old pine tree:

By Annette Arlander

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