Inhabitant of white night forest
Kihnu is small island, 3km in the east-west and 7km in the north-south.
A half of the island is planted pine trees. I believe it's a pine tree.
Cos I see a lot of pine cones here and there in the forest. The remaining
half is a field, a residential area, wild woods and basin.
The population is 600, around 100 houses I guess. A tourist map in my hand
shows sightseeing spots and tiny squares with name. As comparing actual
landscape and the square mark, I notice that it tells every house in the
island. A paved road covers only 20% of the island's. Rest of roads are
woodland path and dusty gravel. The map tells even narrow path in the forest.
You may not get lost with it.
The island has one church. It's on the main street of the island which
stretch from the north to south in the pine woods, in front of Kihnu Museum
which is popular sightseeing spot. Even from field far away, you see the
church tower sticks out from woods.
The island has one school. It's spelled "Kool" in Estonian language.
Kihnu Kool is single story house just behind the museum. Nobody's there.
Maybe students are in the summer holidays. Then I recall the story about graduation ceremony of junior high school
in Taketomi island, Okinawa Japan where I visited long time ago. Taketomi has only one elementary school and the junior high. Therefore
the students leave the island to go to high school. That's why the residents
of the small island attend the graduation ceremony and give them a good
send-off. How about the Kihnu Kool?
The island has one Cafe Bar Restaurant. it's near the cross section between
the road from ferry port and the main street which I mentioned before.
Actually, here is a center of the village. The cafe is on 2nd floor of
wooden house and has an open terrace where you can look over woods. Maybe
beautiful waitress serve you.
The island has three stores. "Kurase Pood" which is on the first floor of the cafe bar. As heading to the west from the Kurase, you can find "Kihnu Pood" Another store on the east side of the island is "Kalase Pood" Should be misspelling of Food? Ah, 'Pood' means 'Store' in Estonian.
The island has one airport. It's in the northern part. Whole facility is
a control tower and waiting room which is built in wood just like local
houses, and two grass runways. For light plane and emergency use, I guess.
The island has one lighthouse. The opposite side to the airport, on the
south end. You goat ride a bike on gravel road for a while to get to there.
At the foot of he lighthouse, a barefoot man in short pants is laying on
the grass and reading a book. "Hello, You'd like to go up?" He
stops reading and asks me as pointing the lighthouse. I suppose he'll hustle
me. Then answer just "No, thanks" "Oh,really?" He looks
regretful and back to reading. To be honest, I wanted to go up. I'm sure
it has great view up there. I could see whole island from south to north.
Wild woods on the foot, cultivated fields, the church and of course pine
woods faraway would be in one sight.
The island has one speeding camera. The long straight in the forest between
the cafe crossing and the museum. There is a bird house like post on roadside.
Classic camera is placed in the grass window. Apparently it says "Speeding
Camera" but I don't know whether it's joke or serious. I've not seen
police station in Kihnu although I remember I saw a police car parked somewhere.
The island has one public graveyard. East side of the main road. It quietly
lays in the pine woods. I see grave keepers, old ladies with flower, people
sobbing on their knees by a brand new grave. The grave yard is history
of the island.
That's results of my three day field research.
Good news for cyclist. Kihnu Island is flat. No up and down. However the
weather changes quickly, generally bad during my stay. I have always gusty
wind. It's the first time in my life feeling the sound of swaying woods
in the wind is so loud. Meanwhile daylight is extremely long. The sun in
June glides just above the horizon for long long time and finally goes
down around 10:30 pm. Although the north sky that I can see through the
window of log house is still in twilight even after midnight. I sleep after
that. So I don't know whether Kihnu has a darkness of the night or not
in exact. But I'm sure there is light when I get up at 4 O'clock in the
In white night summer, the forest has full of lives. Various birds, snails
just hatched, snakes in the stream, wild flowers ... It's just 600 in population,
although several times of lives may live in Kihnu Island. I remember I had similar 'I'm not alone feeling' when I was kid in my father's
home in country side. However some how the lives of wild natures in the white night's forest
seems to me more mysterious.
" Forest of Kihnu " Kihnu Island, Estonia 2016