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. ūüôā 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. ūüėČ

-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 Mets√§kartano, 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 Рyouth work and nature travel.

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This sight made me even happier. A circle of joy made by a peppy dog. ūüôā 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. ūüôā

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 Mets√§kartano 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! ūüôā A view with woods and a frozen lake to be seen behind it. The name of the lake is Yl√§-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 Mets√§kartano, but it’s really worth the drive. We had been at Mets√§kartano 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. ūüôā

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Here’s the front door of our apartment. The name of the apartment is VadelmaRaspberry in English (by the way mets√§forest 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. ūüėÄ

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 Mets√§kartano, 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! ūüôā 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 Mets√§kartano, 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. ūüôā

-Leena

Growing chilies

I had a sudden inspiration to start taking photos of our chili plants last night. With an inspiration like that, a tiny blog post is sure to come out the next thing…

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There are flowers…

This is actually my boyfriend’s project; he’s the one who first came up with the idea of growing chilies and he’s the one who planted the seeds, and so on.

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There are chili peppers growing nicely…

Ok, so we don’t know (I don’t know and my boyfriend doesn’t remember) the variety of these chilies, what kind of chilies they actually are and everything, so we’re just waiting… ūüôā

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…and hoping they’ll grow… That chili pepper over there is the biggest of the peppers so far.

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We have two chili plants, both of them are of the same size. They are in a spot that is a bit difficult spot to take photos in – there’s no space to move the plants around, but I don’t even want to move them around anyway, just let them grow in peace there.

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This last photo is taken today, I still tried to take a better pic of the biggest one… ūüôā

More about growing chilies here.

-Leena

Coffee owl

I came back (from Turku) to my country home here in southwestern Finland already on Tuesday, but it seems like there’s not happening much here in Owlnature… ūüôā But behind the scenes I’m preparing two blog posts, about our journey to a nature travel centre in the Eastern Finland in January this year.

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It was a very special trip for me, because I had never been in such cold temperatures before, and because there’s still snow on the ground here in southwestern Finland, too, I thought it’s still appropriate to reminisce the trip here in my new blog. So, coming soon… ūüôā

-Leena