Tuesday 15 November 2011


These two postcards arrived within the last month.  I was struck with just how similar they were in spite of coming from almost opposite sides of the earth.  The first - clearly - is from Ohio while the second comes from a little boy in Finland.

I would have called them haystacks. The Finnish postcard translates heinäseipäät as hay poles, while the postcard from Ohio describes them as wheat shocks, so it seems they are two different things.

When I was a child I can remember "helping" the local farmer who must have been a very patient man.  He made haystacks that were dumpier, not as long and thin as the Swedish ones.  Monet produced a whole series of paintings of  haystacks but his looked like small, round houses.  There must be all sorts of local traditional haystacks but I must say I had never thought about it until I received these two postcards.
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  1. How odd. Just last night, I was looking through a heap of slides I took whilst I was living in Finland in the eighties.
    And a field of haystacks just like that.
    The finns stick an upright pole in the ground and toss hay at it, they put cross-bars in as the stack gets higher, keeping it aired and off the ground.
    My picture was taken in Ilomantsi,North Karelia, close to the Russian border.

  2. Those haystacks would be perfect for a scary movie, because they look like they could shuffle along as if there were a person inside. Here's how the movie starts:
    It's dusk and two lovers are kissing in the field where they have gone to watch the sunset. The girl closes her eyes, but when she opens them it appears that the haystacks have moved...

  3. @Stuffellaneous, it must be a common sight, I take it.

    @soubriquet, so that explains the shape and the translation. There really is a pole in there. Thank you for the explanation. :)

    @Christine, have you ever considered a new career as a writer of fiction? Try it.

  4. Or you get the mechanically-made ones in UK that look like massive, rolled drums of hay. How amazing that these come from opposite ends of the world and that you have younger fans!

  5. They look like little hairy beings headed off for a gathering.

    I can almost hear the shuffling feet and the scratchy drag of the straw as they process to the place of gathering.

  6. I found a needle the other day. In a drawer, not a haystack. I have never found a needle in a haystack. Or a haystack in a drawer, come to think of it. Maybe in Finland. Probably in Ohio.

  7. I love the postcards. I've never seen hay in fields like that, only after it's already made into bales.


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