Some more outdoor hobbies

The first picture I took on Sunday:

January
~’How do you play this instrument…?’

Archery! Getting to know archery, learning archery, actually shooting an arrow from a bow… I’ve wanted to do this for many years, we both have, my boyfriend and I, but we started this only just before Christmas. It looks easy, but when I had the bow in my hands for the first time, I didn’t know, I didn’t understand, which way to hold it… That was funny.

Now we just shoot arrows in our garden, without a target stand, but we’re thinking of building a target stand to my boyfriend’s field for example. We have a lot to learn, but it’s so nice to learn and to finally do something that one has been admiring for a long time. Yay! 🙂

January
January

We had the super blood wolf moonsuperverisusikuu in Finnish, early in the morning on Monday, yesterday. I set my alarm clock for 6.25. When I woke up first I looked out of the window with my still sleepy eyes and saw a shiny edge of the moon and thought to myself “good, not cloudy…”, then I went outside and my eyes were still a bit blurry, but I could see that the moon was already turning red. I looked through binoculars and suddenly my eyes were wide open: “this is really happening!” – No clouds this time. I even had time to make coffee and then enjoy my coffee watching the total lunar eclipse. My coffee was hot, but I was freezing a bit at the end of the event, because it was around -20 degrees Celsius.

January
The picture in the book is by Lesley Anne Ivory. The book is Cats Among The Toys by her, from the year 1993.

Morning coffee today…

January

It was cold last night, well under -20 degrees Celsius. Now, in the afternoon, it’s -10 degrees Celsius and it’s snowing.

  • 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

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