Snow & Vappu – the last day of April in Finland

It’s the last day of April and we are celebrating Vappu here in Finland. Vappu, May Day, First of May, May 1st… the main thing is to celebrate spring!

An evening in April

I wrote about Vappu already a year ago, here. 🙂 And this is just one example how the Vappu weather, actually the whole spring weather can vary here – the spring has been slow this year, as I wrote already in my previous blog post – we’ve been, like, at a standstill a bit, already for some time now. It truly can be seen in the garden and in nature…

I took the picture above and the next two pictures at around 21.30 PM yesterday. It was snowing again, and we had a garden campfire, too.

an evening in April

Despite the weather a robin bird was chirping beautifully, but only for a while – on previous nights it has been singing much longer. And a woodcock was on its regular flight as well: “orr, orr, orr, pist!” 🙂

a garden campfire

The garden campfire… but what about the traditional homemade Vappu delicacies this year – I wrote about them last year, here. We do have sima fermenting, but those munkkis I bought at a grocery store, with a bit of discount. And, by the way, we have no balloons this year.

the last day of April

The picture above and the next five pictures I took this morning.

the last day of April

the last day of April

Christmas trees… 😮

the last day of April

the last day of April

What is that? – That’s the sky clearing up a bit.

the last day of April

And it should be clearing up… :p This in the picture above is the first part of our vegetable garden – there ought to be growing for example some early carrots, early peas and garlic in the summer…

It has been snowing again as I’ve been writing this blog post, but the sun has tried to shine as well, and it is 2 degrees Celsius at the moment…

Brr... purr...

Spring! “Brr… purr… purr…” – Our radiator tiger the other day. 🙂

-Leena

At a standstill…?

The weather has been cold all the time for some time now here in Finland. Today they said that the spring has come to a standstill now… Yeah, we’ve noticed that… We’ve had some snowing, sleeting or hailing, cold winds, or even a bit crazy winds, or something like that… every day now, but the sun has been shining for a while, and right after almost every time that it has snowed, sleeted or hailed.

And I’ve seen that in some parts of Europe it has been even worse; so much snow, frost, severe frost, frost damages, frost protection with fire buckets in the vineyards for example. Oh no, sometimes it’s more about survival…

coltsfoot

This was the first coltsfoot of the spring for me this year! 🙂 By the lake Pyhäjärvi here in Satakunta region, on Friday. ‘By the lake’ means really close, this close:

lake Pyhäjärvi

lake Pyhäjärvi

The lake is free of ice! And the waves are there as well! 😀 The wind was pretty strong on that day, too…
But yes, when I first saw, a bit over a week ago, from the car window, the blue lake again after the winter, on a sunny day, it really looked like out of a fairytale… and magic! 🙂

coltsfoot

After a few steps I found more coltsfoot flowers, here’s just two of them…

lake Pyhäjärvi

I haven’t seen coltsfoot flowers anywhere else yet…

April

After hailing yesterday. It hailed and sleeted many times yesterday… I also went outside to see the dancing of the tiny snow balls when they hit the ground and the huge, but a bit wet, snowflakes – how could they be so big…

water falls down

Don’t go chasing waterfalls…? 😉

Don't go chasing waterfalls...?

Peonies in April

My peonies today. Hmm… they are a bit smaller than exactly a year ago…

yellow hyacinth

And my first ever yellow hyacinth… it’s outside now, and oh, the scent! – The scent is a bit different than the scent of the hyacinths at Christmas time. The scent of this yellow hyacinth is… yellow, a bit green… like spring!

yellow hyacinth

And the viola (no pics now) has been outside now, too. It has a bit damaged flowers now, but some flower buds as well.

-Leena

Snow, spring flowers – waiting…

The Easter weather is quite cold here in Finland! I wasn’t paying attention to the weather forecasts on Wednesday, and yesterday morning I had a big surprise waiting for me when I woke up: snow! And so much of it! It was white everywhere.

viola, snow, April

This was our viola yesterday morning… she had come here only the day before…

viola, snow, April

White, white. *Brr…*

Most of the snow melted during the daytime yesterday, but there still is some snow on the ground today.

viola

And now our viola is inside the house, waiting… Hopefully some more pictures of this plant a bit later, outside…

hyacinth

Now I have it! 😉 – My first ever yellow hyacinth, and this also is my first ever springtime hyacinth! – Hyacinths have traditionally been mostly Christmas plants or flowers in Finland, and for me, too. Hopefully more pictures of this plant, too, later…

I took the next five pictures on our regular walk yesterday.

April

It started to snow again.

April walk

sunshine & snowing

It was snowing and the sun tried to shine at the same time. – Spring has definitely arrived in Finland! 🙂

And the snowflakes were huge. It was actually really fun!

April walk

The sunshine disappeared, but after a moment again:

sunshine & snowing

Spring, oh, spring!

But remember to keep your paws (and head? 😉 ) warm!:

Remember to keep your paws warm!

…our tiger has a suggestion how to do it…

Just remember!

-Leena

By the lake yesterday evening

We visited the lake Pyhäjärvi here in Satakunta region yesterday evening.

lake Pyhäjärvi

I was eating an ice cream, but that didn’t prevent me from taking pictures at the same time. 🙂 And I took these pictures just before 19.00 PM.

lake Pyhäjärvi

lake Pyhäjärvi

The ice on the lake has melted a lot, but there was still that thin layer of ice on the lake. Only the water near the shore was entirely free of ice.

lake Pyhäjärvi

lake Pyhäjärvi

I must admit that I already miss the completely free water and the sound of waves there. 🙂

-Leena

Leaves coming out

I took all the pictures today. First some birch leaves that are growing inside the house now. I wrote about my birch twigs in the previous blog post .

birch leaves

Pure green. Pure love.

birch leaves

And the happymins! 🙂 And naturally I already tasted one of the tiny leaves… it tasted so fresh, so green, so lovely…

birch leaves

This is so inspirational, too…

rhubarb

Yesterday we noticed that rhubarb is coming through again. 🙂

Coming through!

And these, too. We have no idea what these are… They grow in a place where we put some of the leftovers in our garden – leaves after raking them and some ‘surplus soil’ when we are digging somewhere in our garden and we have to remove some land. Hmm…

lilac

Some of the leaves of the lilac bushes have almost started to come out as well. Already in the winter I noticed that the buds were very swollen! I was almost a bit worried about that. 🙂 But yes, this bush is in a really sunny spot all year round.

-Leena

Spring comes by doing, too

It’s a sunny day today. Lately we’ve had sunshine, but some cloudy, even foggy days as well. Last Friday when I woke up in the morning, it was white everywhere… we had snow, but only during the first half of the day – during the other half of the day the sun was shining, and the snow melted away fast.

coffee owl

My morning coffee today. 🙂

The air, too, has already become a bit warmer, the wind can still be a bit cool though – in the shade…

We have seen swans flying and heard them honking almost every day for some time now. It has been lovely… And one night when we had a campfire in our garden we heard the haunting calls of cranes and the delightful voice of the blackbird. Oh, spring… And on another night, when we had a garden campfire again, we heard some very loud voices of swans and other waterfowls from the lake Pyhäjärvi near our home. It lasted for hours, and we even heard some flapping of wings and splashing of water – we can’t remember hearing the sounds of the lake water before, in our garden. 🙂

digging

And we have started digging in our garden… This is just one, a bit bigger example – this we’ll be doing a lot this spring – helping the rain water to flow away from the house and away from some places from our garden lawn as well…

rocks rocks

I’ve been moving, for example, rocks, from the other side of our garden to other side, here. There’s still many more to go, some are still frozen to the ground on the other side. And these here in the picture I’ll pile in some way, and so on…

birch twigs

And it was already high time to get some birch twigs, to make the leaves grow inside the house. These are my first for the spring… and the last, too – I’m rationing every spring these twigs; I’m not like grazing, but getting just a little something for the promise of the spring, or the summer! And a little something for some additional vitamins then, too, and for some… happyminshappymins could also mean that it’s more about the feeling than the amount – as I said already last year with my birch twigs… 😉

“But I don’t always want to know about the sunshine!”:

"But I don't always want to know about the sunshine!"

"This. Is my new house..."

“This. Is my new house…”

"Just for your information..."

“Just for your information…”

Okay. 🙂

-Leena

My new houseplant – identification needed

EDIT: I got an answer: this plant is Dizygotheca, Dizygotheca elegantissima or Plerandra elegantissimaisoliuska-aralia in Finnish. Thank you Anni, for the answer! I also found these common names: false aralia and, indeed, spider aralia. 🙂

I bought a new houseplant from a supermarket called Prisma in the town of Rauma on Saturday. And I still don’t know what the plant is called! 🙂

This plant has some interesting features…

dizoigotea

This is the name tag that the plant has: dizoigotea. I googled it… and, oh dear… Google doesn’t know this either! It only gives me “dizygotic” stuff, when I search just this name in this name tag, and when I use quotation marks with the name, Google doesn’t find anything! But other people have searched this word, too, because it appears in the Google search box when you start writing it there. What IS this…? 😀

Some sort of different spider plant?

The leaves of this plant… what do they remind you of? I must admit that the leaves of this plant caught my attention. 🙂 The ‘leaf groups’ all have the same shape, just the length varies… this ‘leaf group’ in the picture is middle-sized one…

The other side of the leaves is a bit purplish.

The petioles are spotted…

…and the stems are a bit woody, the lower parts are light brown, but the middle and the upper parts of the stems are dark brown, as dark as can be seen in the earlier picture – the dark next to the petioles. (How difficult can this be…? ;D)

Some short stems and younger leaves growing, too.

Hmm… just hoping that this is a strong plant – I would like to keep this.

-Leena