When 25 years ago we moved to Veikkola, which is situated 30 km away from Helsinki, we could not have imagined the diversity of the wildlife in that area. One day we saw a moose, which is the largest animal in Finland with very big horns, swim across the lake. The most dangerous animal in Finland is the bear and once our neighbor saw a bear within 100 meters of our house.
Few years ago we left the Christmas ham in the porch outside our house overnight to keep it cold and in the morning the cover of the container was removed and half of the ham eaten; it was a Christmas for the fox also! Overwhelmingly the most abundant animal species in the area are birds and with the help of a bird book, we have already identified 30 different types of birds around our house.
The largest birds are swans and herons which migrate north in the spring. There is one particular heron which returns every year to its nest in a dead tree and many times we have seen the heron catching fish in the lake. Because our house is located by the lake and we often sit on the shore, the local ducks have become frequent visitors hoping to catch something to eat from us.
These stories show why animals play such an important role in my designs. For a long time we have been feeding birds which don’t migrate south before the winter and they have become like well-loved friends and it seems like the feelings are mutual. We feel like every bird is a “Happy Bird”.