April – Spring!

Okay. 🙂

I have heard the blackbird sing in our garden and swans have been flying and calling – wonderful signs of spring… We have had windy and cold sunny days, and a bit warmer and sunny days, a few warm (around 10 degrees Celsius) sunny days, but naturally some grey (or… brown – no snow on the ground anymore) days, too. But yesterday it was first sleeting and then it was snowing…

A few snapshots:

April

By the lake Pyhäjärvi here in Satakunta region on Tuesday, a week ago.

April

I took this pic in the region of Etelä-PohjanmaaSouth Ostrobothnia, about 180 kilometres north from our home, on Saturday. (It was a bit over 10 degrees Celsius outside, yay!) My boyfriend had the chance to buy another forest there – the distance between his first forest and this second forest is about 40 kilometres. And this was the first time we went to see this new place.

April

There was still ice and snow on the forest road. We already had summer tyres, but luckily there were no bigger surprises…

April
~Melting clear…

We found the forest and there was still some snow in the forest as well.

April

I found beard lichen next to the forest. I love it! Beard lichen – the air is clean. 🙂

And we visited my boyfriends first forest, too, the place from where I have for example the moose videos here in my blog:

April
~Paths crossed…? – Me and a moose.

There, too, was still snow and it was even impossible to drive the road to our usual spot. (We kinda thought that there wouldn’t be snow anymore… ;p ) There were moose tracks in snow and water was flowing pretty loudly in the ditch and into the pond.

So we had a very nice road trip, charming country roads and all…

The rest of the pictures I took today:

April

My morning coffee~

So we didn’t have snow anymore… But now:

April
April

Already almost 10 centimetres of snow on the ground. But they say that it will be a bit warmer and that the sun will be shining again as well, after Wednesday.

April
  • Leena

Wintry pictures

It has been snowing quite a lot again. We have now 18 centimetres of snow on the ground here where I’m living. Snowy, soft…

First pictures that I took in our yard yesterday.

January

Norway maple.

January

The cherry tree. Hopefully it survives the winter. Our first cherry tree did not survive last winter, it was its first winter… but the tree was different and it was in a different place in our garden…

January

Snowy garden…

January
January
January

Backyard trees.

January

Winter… like in Moominvalley. 😉

Silent, magical…

January
January
January
January

Backyard pine trees.

January

We took a walk by the lake Pyhäjärvi near our home yesterday, just before it was getting dark. – The pine tree trunks didn’t have snow on them there in the woods, but they looked wintry, too – they were like light purple. That looked nice. 🙂

January
lake Pyhäjärvi, January

At the end of a cape, which is also a ridge, about half a mile long amidst the lake ( – oh dear, I don’t know how to explain this any better than this in English… 🙂 )

January

And today, in our garden again…

January
dwarf spruce, January
Dwarf spruce, blue winter lights.
January
  • Leena

Christmas, lights, flowers…

Now just pictures from Sunday, Tuesday and yesterday.

December
December

They were giving away these ‘bushes’, autumn plants with different colours, at a store, and I chose these three. The Ibiza lizard is covered in snow a bit.

December

From where I watch television and eat and drink coffee…

ice lantern

We made two ice lanterns for Christmas. I named this one a ‘Red-letter day’…

December

I was taking a picture of the sun yesterday. It’s was down there hiding behind the trees…

December

“Well, move!”, I said to myself. “It’s up to you, you know…” ;D

poinsettia

This year I have a pink poinsettia, not a red one. – It was a plan… 😉 I was waiting for some ‘direct sunlight’ to get the poinsettia look natural in a picture… the colours.

hyacinth

Well, hashtag nofilterneededHyacinth. This year one of my hyacinths is a bit different, too. – It’s dark pink, not light pink.

hyacinth
I love blue Christmas lights! ;)

I planted this dwarf spruce in the autumn. And I already have a picture of it on my Instagram without and with these Christmas or winter lights. Here it is in the dark, with the blue Christmas lights. – Blue winter lights, my dream…

And here’s another video from our trail camera, or animal camera that we had in my boyfriend’s forest. Night-time wanderers, moose! :

  • Leena

Christmas time

Many things to do… I had some interesting new working experiences – it had something to do with getting some traditional Finnish Christmas food into stores, and now it’s Christmas time… Hmm, we’re cleaning our home now, and so on…

Christmas time

My morning coffee today. So, the house is a bit of a mess. That cloth… back there in the picture, for example, is a curtain from our living room. The curtain has fallen down because its handle got loose. And our couch ‘fell down’, too, so we’re basically sitting on the floor now. And we must clean the tables and take the carpets outside and hoover the house, and… But hey, it’s the shortest day of the year today! 🙂

The next three pictures I took in our garden today:

December
From the terrace
December echinacea purpurea and peony
Echinacea purpurea or purple coneflower and peony
December

We’ve had snow on the ground for many days now. And it’s snowing right now as well, and it’s -8 degrees Celsius, so we’ll have a white Christmas this year, too!

And here’s a video from our trail camera or game camera – I just call it an animal camera. We had the animal camera in my boyfriend’s land in the region of Etelä-PohjanmaaSouth Ostrobothnia. We brought the camera home for the winter. And here at home it was possible to get the videos to computer. We got some interesting and delightful videos. There were night-time wanderers… I’ll have a few videos here in my blog, too, so here’s the first one, a hare. 🙂 :

  • Leena

Independence Day

Today, on 6th December, is the Independence Day in Finland. – Our Suomi is 101 years old! 🙂

December

By the lake Pyhäjärvi here in my home village today in the afternoon.

After the snowfall we already had… water, again, but after that it has been snowing again, just a little bit. – Business as usual.

December

Two pictures that I took in our garden today.

December

The next four pictures I took in my boyfriend’s land in the region of Etelä-PohjanmaaSouth Ostrobothnia, about 180 kilometres north from our home, on Monday this week.

December

Ice on the pond in the forest.

December

And a bit less than an hour later… Darkness falls early this time of year. But it’s actually pretty nice. – It’s beautiful. And nice for a bit adventurous soul. 😉

And it was me who drove all the way back home, it was dark and it was snowing. Well, it’s me who needs the practice, and I love it.

December

There’s stream flowing, in a ditch, near the pond. The lovely sound in the forest!

December

What to eat around the campfire? For example Karelian pies and pesto sauce. Karelian pasties or Karelian pies are traditional pasties in Finland – rye flour and rice porridge. The pesto sauce is Italian, with basil. A delicious combo… out there in the cold! And coffee…

-Leena

By the lake

It has been snowing a bit more since yesterday. I went for a walk by the lake Pyhäjärvi here in our home village today, and took some pictures. We must enjoy this weather now. 🙂

November

Ice and snow… and the sun was shining brightly!

November

November

November

Just ‘hiding behind stuff’… 😀

And I took two pictures in our garden as well:

November

Afternoon sun.

November

-Leena

Gone cross-country skiing [in Kuusamo earlier this week]

It’s been like summer here in Finland this week. Especially here in the southern part of the country it’s been warm for a bit over a week now. The temperatures have been between 20 and 25 degrees Celsius during the day. The sun’s been shining, grass is already green, the trees are growing leaves – everything is growing, everything is green… and there’s more flowers and butterflies. The scent of summer is in the air and we can already eat some herbs from the garden as well.

But I started off this week by going backwards in time, so to speak. – I travelled to Kuusamo in Koillismaa region in northern Finland, just below Lapland. This time it took 10 hours and 30 minutes to travel there by car through the western and middle parts of Finland, and during all that time I saw how the spring advanced… backwards and in the wrong direction. But that was just nice for a bit adventurous soul. 😀

We (me and my dad) arrived in Kuusamo late in the evening on Sunday a week ago, spent Monday and Tuesday there, and travelled back home again on Wednesday. After that it’s already been warmer there in Kuusamo, too, around 20 degrees Celsius, but here, in this blog post now, is one of the last opportunities to talk about cross-country skiing in Kuusamo this spring…

And in Kuusamo the roads and many other places already were free of snow and ice, spring was already there in that way – the snow had already almost mostly melted, almost… Well, there still were heaps of snow here and there, still melting and in the forests there still was snow, here and there. And the lakes were not free of ice.

cross-country skiing

So, into the woods I went. My very own cross-country skiing equipment waited for me at the cabin.

cross-country skiing

Kuusamo

In the woods, by the lake.

Kuusamo

I saw two swans flying and honking over the lake for a couple of times. I also saw an otter, an Eurasian otter that is, swimming in the ice-free water by the woods. I’ve seen that type of an animal swimming there before, too, a few years ago. 🙂

Kuusamo

And owls… I think I heard an owl calling! When I first heard the voice I immediately thought something along the lines of “this really might be an owl, there’s possibly something so specific in the voice… is it…?” I heard the voice every evening there, over and over again. Well, here, at home where my computer waited for me, I did some research and it truly might have been the voice of a northern hawk owl. I didn’t see the bird in the woods, but I might also have seen an owl flying when I was travelling in the car from the cabin towards the town centre. I saw the bird pretty well, and there was just something so specific… Or perhaps I’ve finally gone nuts. 😀 Well, nice experiences they were, even though I can’t be 100% sure… But learning new things all the time!

Kuusamo

The tracks of a reindeer on the left, my tracks on the right. We went for a walk in the woods together… Well, no, not together, I didn’t see reindeer by the cabin. But we saw many reindeer by the road when we were travelling to Kuusamo. I called them ‘Santa’s reindeer’, because they had winter coat. And before the reindeer I saw a moose standing in a forest.

And when we were travelling back home, about 11 hours through the middle and western parts of Finland, the spring advanced again in the right way, so to speak. And here at home it was like summer already! – At first all the green that had emerged while I was away really felt strange. Stranger than falling into the snow in the north. Nice and delightful, simple adventures everywhere. 🙂

-Leena