Early springtime

It sounds better than it looks, the early springtime – it’s all still very brownish, nature and garden both, but oh, the sound of the so many birds chirping, tweeting, chirruping, a woodpecker knocking… everywhere around you, even when the sun is not shining. It’s like some jungle… or just the springtime here in Finland! 🙂

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One part of our vegetable garden. Our growing field will be expanded a bit this spring…

I was sitting on a bench, having my coffee and taking some pics.

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I love these evergreen pine trees… I like to think them as palm trees here in the north… 😉

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What’s your favourite colour?

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Narcissus, Tête-à-Tête. Waiting for the yellow delights to spring up…

-Leena

Finding stars – with a planisphere

To begin with, this is actually not my very own planisphere or star chart. This is my Christmas present for my boyfriend who last autumn said that he would like to learn how to navigate by the stars.

Well, I would like to learn something about it, too, now that there’s a planisphere in the house. 🙂 We’re both still on the learning curve with this, but I can say this is a fun and useful hobby, and a cheap hobby, even a free hobby, once you’ve got your planisphere. I ordered this one from the Ursa Astronomical Association in Finland.

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Match the date and time.

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The planisphere should be held above your head so that it’s like the stars above you. And in the pic there’s the bright moon as it was yesterday at 21:22. 🙂 (The planisphere wasn’t properly positioned as I was taking the pic.) I was standing in the light of our garden lamp post, but they say that the best light to read the planisphere in, is actually red light, because the red light doesn’t interfere with your night vision.

-Leena

Birch twigs – for the promise of spring and vitamin C

Today it was time to get a couple of birch twigs to put into a vase. I think it can be said that this is a very Finnish tradition to get birch twigs inside the house when it’s still snow on the ground in nature and the spring hasn’t come quite yet.

The thing is to make the leaves grow on the twigs inside the house – beside a window in the light and sunlight that so nicely increase all the time in March. It’s all for the promise of the spring and the rejoice of the waiting when it’s so close. 🙂 And yes, some of us also eat those leaves. The young leaves are full of vitamin c.

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I went to the other side of the hill in our home woods to fetch the twigs. There are numerous birch trees there. – The place you get your twigs should be far enough from roads and traffic and in some place where there is enough wild birch trees so that you are not harming yourself, anyone’s property or nature itself that much.

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I guess it’s more about the feeling than the amount at this point in time. 😉

-Leena

The cold fun Eastern Finland in January

Now the second blog post about our wintry trip to Metsäkartano Youth and Wilderness Centre in the municipality of Rautavaara, in the region of Northern Savonia in the Eastern Finland in mid-January. The first blog post can be found here.

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This is a peat hut. It is one of the best places to go and light a campfire when it is about minus 30 degrees Celsius outside. Kind of under earth the peat hut is. We went there skiing one evening. A campfire is so vital at those kind of temperatures.

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Outside our holiday apartment again.

The silence is something so special at Metsäkartano, the place is surrounded by wilderness. When you are completely silent and still yourself, you can’t hear absolutely anything. Occasionally just the twinkle of the falling snow on the pine trees and spruces. So peaceful and relaxing. Nature really loves you.

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On the frozen lake. On the left can be seen the main building of Metsäkartano, in the middle is our holiday house and on the left another holiday house.

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Metsäkartano has the EU Eco-label, it was the first travel resort to get it in Finland. The place is also very international with its both aspects – youth work and nature travel.

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This sight made me even happier. A circle of joy made by a peppy dog. 🙂 I can like see the brisk dog coming galloping and making the circle there and continuing his way forward.

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Frozen marsh Labrador tea or northern Labrador tea or wild rosemary. It still had the lovely and original scent, I tested.

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The best colours through my camera this winter. 🙂

So this was our winter trip. Now still waiting the spring to actually come here in Finland, there’s still quite a lot of snow on the ground here in southwestern Finland, too.

-Leena

It was cold, cold ,cold, in the Eastern Finland, in January

With this post we’ll go back to mid-January. We were on holiday at Metsäkartano Youth and Wilderness Centre in the municipality of Rautavaara, in the region of Northern Savonia in the Eastern Finland. We stayed there for a week. I have photo glimpses for two blog posts, so here’s the first one.

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This was my morning coffee view in our holiday apartment. Loved it! 🙂 A view with woods and a frozen lake to be seen behind it. The name of the lake is Ylä-Keyritty.

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This is the same view, but from the terrace of the apartment.

It’s about an eight hour’s drive from our home in Satakunta to Metsäkartano, but it’s really worth the drive. We had been at Metsäkartano once before, two years ago. In fact, we stayed in the same holiday apartment then, too. The municipality of Rautavaara itself we visit every year, especially in the summertime, because my boyfriend’s family has a summer place there.

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This is the house we stayed in. There are three holiday apartments in this house, our apartment was in the middle – you can see smoke coming out of our chimney there. We were the only ones in the house at that time. 🙂

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Here’s the front door of our apartment. The name of the apartment is VadelmaRaspberry in English (by the way metsäforest and kartanoestate or mansion). There are also our skis – we were cross-country skiing there, at the temperatures of minus 25 to minus 30 degrees Celsius. I love skiing! We would have gone skiing even more there, but it really was a bit too cold to enjoy it that much. 😀

The temperatures never rose above minus 25 degrees Celsius In Rautavaara at that time. Mostly it was close to minus 30 degrees Celsius, but even more in the night-time. The record was (it also was a record in Finland at that night) minus 38 degrees Celsius. At that night we went to sauna and came outside to this front door from there to cool down a bit. It was an experience! I had never been in such cold temperatures before. The whole trip was such an experience…

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This is the main building of Metsäkartano seen when standing in front of our holiday home. I love the old-style wooden fence.

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The living room of our apartment.

There’s different kinds of accommodation options at Metsäkartano, we stayed in an apartment which has two floors and at least six beds in total. The apartment is spacious but cosy, with a fully equipped open kitchen and a living room with a heat-storing fireplace.

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The kitchen. I took the photo so that our dishes and rubbish can’t be seen on the other side of the kitchen. :p But there’s also a nice dishwasher in the kitchen!

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This is a part of the ceiling in the sauna in the apartment. A lovely starry ceiling! 🙂 And the sauna has a wood-burning stove. I love wood-heated saunas, they are so atmospheric.

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Our cats were also travelling with us. It’s possible to take your pets into many of the holiday apartments at Metsäkartano, but there’s also an apartment suitable for people who are allergic to furry animals. Our cats already are experienced travellers – they are accustomed to sleeping in the car.

My second blog post about our trip will have more photos and feelings taken outdoors. 🙂

-Leena