Around the moon… or Easter…

Spring, spring, Easter. It has been a sunny week. And it has been warmer again – a bit over 10 degrees Celsius, and even warmer than that – around 15 degrees Celsius it has been, too. We have seen coltsfoot flowers. And we have seen flies, mosquitoes, bees and butterflies – signs of summer…

April

The Ibiza lizard, always covered in snow a bit…? 🙂 Well, in wintertime… and this was a bit over a week ago on Friday.

April

For the moon… The moon, a full moon on Saturday, at around 1.00 am. I was ~mooning around in our garden…

A picture that I took yesterday:

April

The first flowers on the ground in our garden are crocus flowers. We have those everywhere in the garden. They are lovely surprises also because we can’t remember all the spots where we have planted them. 🙂

The rest of the pictures I took today:

April

My coffee and friends…

April

Just a few pictures of crocus flowers now… And also daffodil stems and tulip stems have started to grow on the ground.

April

‘A walk-in closet’ in the corner of the terrace – that’s the short description of our first ever greenhouse, here. 🙂

  • Leena

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

Spring waving from a distance…

…and spring is ‘throwing it right at you’ – snow, hail and shine, too! And it has been a bit colder again.

The first five pictures I took in our garden on Sunday. Sunday – funday: first the sun was shining, then some dark clouds started to appear in the sky, and then the sun was shining and it was snowing at the same time, and after that it was just cloudy and it was snowing, and then again clouds were going away and the sun was shining again, and after that again; dark clouds were appearing in the sky and the sun was shining and it started to snow at the same time… – This pattern continued all day.

March

And at one point it was hailing as well. The sun was still shining on the right-hand side when I took the picture above.

March

Spring says hello…

March

So there’s that…

March

I know what triggers you.

March

Solar power.

Three pictures that I took yesterday:

March

Coffee pic… Just to tell that the sun wasn’t exactly shining, but the scent of the coffee was wonderful, and that it was snowing yesterday, too.

March

And a bit later… Nordic walking in the forest. Ravens were croaking there, and it was snowing a bit.

purple coneflower & daisy, March
Echinacea purpurea or purple coneflower (bigger leaves) and daisy.

Purple coneflower and daisy growing in our kitchen…

And pictures that I took today:

March

Having coffee again today. ;D And the sun is shining.

March
From the garden bench.
dwarf spruce, March
~Hi!~

My dwarf spruce was completely buried under snow, now she’s back. 🙂

Sofian maailma
Sofian maailma, Sophie’s World.

I am about to finish reading this book, Sofian maailmaSophie’s World – A Novel About the History of Philosophy by Jostein Gaarder. It’s a great book! And a great adventure. And it’s a bit heavy book – there was a week I couldn’t read it, I couldn’t hold the book in my hands, because it was too heavy for my shingles…

March
  • 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

More crocus flowers, onions growing, year-round composter…

Spring days… But it’s been a bit cooler now, but not cooler than normally in Finland this time of the year; the temperatures have been around 10 degrees Celsius in the daytime. – Some days it’s been more like 5 degrees, but some days it’s been 13 degrees. And in the nighttime the temperatures have been a bit above 0 degrees Celsius. It’s been a bit more cloudy now, but in the daytime there still has been more sunshine than rain altogether.

I took all the pictures in this blog post in our garden today.

More crocus flowers. Now we already have crocuses growing in many places in the garden. We don’t even remember all the places we planted crocus bulbs last autumn, and I don’t even know all the places my boyfriend planted them. 🙂

crocus

That white stuff on the ground, by the way, is spring fertilizer for the cherry tree…

crocus

Charming surprises.

And more butterflies… I saw the first butterfly in our garden on Sunday the 15th, it was a brimstone butterfly, and I’ve seen brimstone butterflies here a few times more after that, too. A few bees have been buzzing as well, and we saw a tiny hedgehog in the woods next to our garden, too.

We’ve been working in the garden for some time now, turning the garden into our outdoor living room again, clearing it up and so on. And raking, raking again – how come we have so, so many fallen leaves on the ground now in April even though we raked, like everything, last autumn…?

growing onions

Onions, red onions are already growing, from onion sets, in these pots in our garden. Planted about two weeks ago.

composter with a crown

A composter with a crown on the top. 🙂 We have been using this composter for fruit and vegetable peels, coffee grounds, used tea bags, and so on… for over a week now. This is our first composter for kitchen waste, Biolan pikakompostori – quick composter 220eco, a year-round composter. So simple, useful and nice. And the crown is a container that we use for collecting the fruit peels, coffee grounds, et cetera, in the kitchen.

-Leena

Springy – Ice, the first butterflies, coltsfoot flowers & crocus flowers…

Warmer, warmer… The spring is near, the spring is like here! – The nights have still been a bit colder, the temperatures have been around 0 degrees Celsius in the nighttime, but in the daytime it’s beginning to feel a lot like spring! – The temperatures have been around 10 degrees Celsius and now even between 10 and 16 degrees Celsius during the day.

First two pictures that I took by the lake Pyhäjärvi here in Satakunta region on Friday.

lake Pyhäjärvi

Okay, most of Finland still has snow, the northern part of the country like tons of it – well, that’s not even a bad thing, they have lovely spring days there, too, but just for comparison – here in the southernmost part of Finland the snow has mostly melted. But for example our lake Pyhäjärvi still has a lot of snow and ice and on it, an ice cover, but there already are some ice-free spots somewhere as well.

lake Pyhäjärvi

We saw the first butterfly for this year for us on Friday as well. Not here at home, but in our neighbouring municipality Säkylä. It was a peacock butterfly.

Tiny insects have already been dancing in the evening sun everywhere here, too.

lake Pyhäjärvi

Yesterday we found a new walking track for us, and it’s not even far from our home. 😮 🙂 We took the shortest route now first, just to see the place, the forest. The forest was mostly spruce trees, but there were also some pine trees and other trees as well.

April

Parts of the track were still covered with snow and ice…

April

April

…so it was a bit slippery with these old ‘bad ice skates’ of mine. But it was warm there, I had too many hoodies on me…

April

Ants, too, were already busy in the forest.

And we saw another peacock butterfly there. A charming, silent forest it was. Glad to have found it! It’s been there all this time, but we’ve noticed it only now. 🙂

April

And we saw the first coltsfoot flowers for this year for us, too. There were several coltsfoot flowers by the car park there.

And a few pictures that I took in our garden today:

April

The smell of the earth that is free of the snow now is lovely.

April

Swans have been flying and honking here, and we hear loud voices of water fowls every evening again, from the lake I think.

We planted many crocus bulbs in our garden last autumn. And I wasn’t prepared for flowers yesterday… 😀 But yes, we already found two yellow crocus flowers!

crocus

One in the front yard and the other in the backyard.

crocus

-Leena

Always just around the corner

Still on its way, but truly approaching now – spring! The snow and ice are melting now, finally! Lately we’ve had everything, it all, something like; first we had like one warmer day, then cold weather again, and after that not that cold weather, and then a bit warmer weather, and after that the weather was even a bit colder… than then when… it was cold, and after that, it was a bit warmer again, and so on. So, we’re just waiting for it… waiting for spring, it’s drawing near; bouncing, disappearing again, springing… The usual stuff.

I took the pictures in this blog post in our garden today.

April

Good to see some moss! 🙂

April

We’ve had many sunny days and it’s been wonderful to sit on the garden bench in the sunshine, so warm. But some days it’s been snowing and sleeting, too. And finally this week; it’s been really raining, even heavily for a while, a couple of times, so the snow’s been melting faster now, but it’s not yet all gone. Here where I’m living, we’ve had snow on the ground for 18 weeks now. I suppose I can stop counting now… Maybe. Yes, what a winter it’s been! And now it’s April! – We haven’t quite felt it yet, but it is here.

April

They say that the weather was colder than usual and we had more snow than usual in March, and that spring is about two weeks late here in Finland this year, but they also say that things are getting faster, right about now…

April

Good to see the ground! And dry old grass…

Birds have been singing ever so beautifully. And on March 28th I finally heard the enchanting sound of spring for the first time this year – I heard the blackbird sing! 🙂

April

Right now, at 13.30 pm, it’s 10 degrees Celsius outside.

-Leena