”Hey, easy now…” ”Heeeeeellllppp!!!” //
”My roaches are not at all used to be held on hand so they really freak out about it. I’m sure they get used to it eventually but maybe I could train them a little.” //
”If they could connect being held to something nice… Maybe they’d like to eat jam if I put some on my hand.” //
Tony didn’t care about jam. ”There’s jam.” ”Oh. Well, I’ll just sit here.” //
Bruce didn’t even notice the jam. ”There’s jam – ”Ruuuuuunnn!” //
Neither did Steve. ”There’s j – ” ”Aaaaaahhh!” //
But Clint… ”Hey, what’s this –?” //
”Oh boy, JAM! Munchmunchmunchmunchmunchmunch…” Clint might be the brain of the operation.



”Most roaches are apparently bought for food for pet lizards….” ”Well, then you can be like…” //
”You have been chosen! You have been saved!” ”<3" //
In reality: "Most of these cockroaches are bought to be pets. People buy the smaller species for food." //
"You have been… Hey, don't go!" "Escaaaaaape!"

”Years ago we zoo summer guides had our own ’summer roaches'”. Someone had named them Wanda, Thor, Black Widow and Hulk.” //
”So they were all super heroes, which I found hilarious. I named my own roach boys according to the same principle.” //
”Bruce, after Bruce Banner, a.k.a. the Hulk; Steve, after Steve Rogers, a.k.a. Captain America; Tony, after Tony Stark, a.k.a. Iron Man; and Clint, after Clint Barton, a.k.a. Hawkeye.” (Hawkeye is a bit ironic name for a creature that sees very little.)

– all black
– the largest of the roaches
– the left antenna has broken
– a feisty fellow with very loud hissing
– easy to recognize by the brown splotches on his sides
– broken antennae
– almost as large as Bruce
– hisses a lot and often jump out of your hands
– all black
– smaller and wider than Bruce
– very long and elegant antennae
– pretty calm personality
– dark brown back
– very skinny abdomen
– rather calm fellow
– possibly the brain of the bunch

Torakka saapuu taloon


”I again worked in the zoo throughout the summer and showed cockroaches to people every day. And many really liked them, despite of not expecting it!” //
”And, well, I like them, too.” //
”I’ve always liked animals, but I can’t (at least for now) have a cat or a dog. I wouldn’t have the time to take care of one.” //
”Nut roaches! They’re really easy to take care of, and at the same time they’re fashinating little creatures!” //
I got a used terrarium for them. //
”Cockroaches don’t eat that much. One apple is enough for a bunch of them for two weeks.” //
”After decorating the terrarium I was ready to get some new friends.” //
”But, many might ask… what are these roaches like?”

”There are approximately 4,500 species of cockroaches in the world! That’s about as many as species of mammals.” //
Cockroaches have a rather bad reputation even though they’re mostly totally harmless and important decomposers. //
”My roaches are Madagascar hissing cockroaches, often just called ’hissers’. They are popular pets.” //
Madagasgar hissing cockroach (
Gromphadorhina portentosa)
– Smells and feels its surroundings with antennae
– Has no wings, therefore doesn’t fly.
– Can climb up a class wall with the hooks and suckers of its feet.
– Females can reproduce without males so I only got males. These roaches don’t lay eggs but give birth to live young!
– Eats fruit and other plant material.
– The head is under the body. Poor eyesight.
– Males have humps in their front back, females lack the humps.
– One of the largest species of cockroach – up to 8 cm long!
– When they get scared they let air out of the breathing tubes in their abdomen producing a strong hissing sound – hence the name!
– Coloration varies from mahogany brown to all black.

Torakoiden seikkailut jatkuvat… // The roach adventures will continue…



”…” //
”What’s up?” //
”I’ve just totally run out of energy.” //
”Do you need chocolate?” ”Well, actually…” //
”…right now I’d need someone to firmly but gently tell me to go home.” //
”Kati. Go home.” //
”Yes.” //
”Would you like that chocolate, too?” ”Yes <3"



”…” //
”Do you guys need me here or shall I go do something else?” //
”There are three of us here at the moment… an the evening shift will come and help at half past. ” //
”So… you’re actually pretty useless right now.” //
”…” //
”Huzzah! I’ve done it!” //
”I’ve managed to teach the new guide team so well that they don’t need me anymore. Just like it should be.” //
”You don’t suppose I can just go and sip tea for the rest of the day though, do you?” ”No.”

Loistan kuin tähti tummalla tundralla


Eläintarha järjesti keväällä koululaisille konferenssin, jossa pohdittiin arktisen luonnon haavoittuvaisuutta, ja tunturipöllö oli konferenssin teemalaji. Kulosaaren yhteiskoulu teki aiheesta videon, jossa esiintyi lause ”Minä loistan kuin tähti tummalla tundralla”. Kehuin nuoria hyvästä videosta ja siitä, että saivat minut melkein itkemään kesken työpäivän. Lause inspiroi myös tämän teokseni. Video löytyy täältä.
In the spring, the zoo organized a conference for middle-school students where the topic was the vulnerability of arctic nature, and the snowy owl was the theme species of the conference. The students from Kulosaari school made a video where there was this sentence: ”I shine like a star on the dark tundra.” I praised the students for their good work and almost making me cry in the middle of my work day. That sentence was the inspiration for this artwork, too. The video (in Finnish) can be found here.



Okay, let’s go through this one more time. //
When I was eight years old, I was bitten by a squirrel. ”Ow!” //
”It wasn’t radioactive, so I didn’t turn into the amazing Squirrel-Girl. Since then, I’ve also been bitten by…” //
…a horse… ”Ouch!” //
…a tick… ”…” //
…a dragonfly… ”Ow!” //
…a gerbil… ”Ouch.”
…a barnacle goose… ”There, there.” //
…an oystercatcher… ”Easy now…” //
…a goat… ”Hey.” //
…and a classmate’s grass-snake. ”Could you please let go?” //
”None of them was radioactive, so I didn’t turn into a superhero.” //
But I did become a biologist.

Kiitos Lumihevoselle termin ”origin story” suomennoksen pohtimisesta! (Ja ennen kaikkea siitä, ettet edes kysynyt, miksi pyysin mielipidettä asiasta <3)

Monien tarpeet…


”Katiiiiiii! Time for morning tea!” ”Coming!” //
”Let me take some water from there, will you?” ”Wait a little, I’m washing the coffee pot.” //
”But we need water for tea.” ”And there are two of us and only one of you.” //
”Indeed! ’The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few… or the needs of the one!” ”Seriously?” ”Exactly!” //
”You do know that you totally misused my line, don’t you?” ”Yes, Mr Spock.” ”But I need my morning coffee!” ”And I my tea!”

(Viimeistä ruutua lukuun ottamatta tämä keskustelu oikeasti käytiin.)
(With the exception of the last panel, this conversation actually happened.)

Star Trek created by Gene Roddenberry

Sano muikku!


”Now we can see the otter very well as he’s swimming there.” //
”Now, if you look at the otter’s face closely, what can you see growing around his muzzle?” ”…” //
”A smile!” //
… //
”I was looking for ’whiskers’ but you are not wrong!”