The next chapter

It’s… next year! Hmm… 🙂

First four pictures that I took in our yard yesterday, on New Year’s Eve:

December

A deer it was… I noticed these two days ago, and took this pic yesterday, before it started snowing in the evening.

December

One of yesterday’s many lights… It was snowing and it was windy. But very nice.

December
December

A candlelit sauna and from the sauna outside to walk barefoot in snow on the terrace and in the middle of the yard. And then back to sauna, and then do it again. I love how it feels! 🙂

So I watched one more Christmas film; The Polar Express (2004). I’ve tried to watch it, on two occasions, before – some years ago for the first time and again – was it at Christmas a year ago – I can’t remember anymore, but I fell asleep, on both occasions, already in the beginning of the film. – I was interested, but I was also very tired, obviously… So now I was determined to watch the film. And what a nice adventure it was! – And I’ve been just sleeping through it before… ;D

Another film I’ve watched after Christmas is Bird Box (2018 Netflix).

And two pictures that I took today, on New Year’s Day:

January

Amaryllis. I bought it yesterday, at half price at a local grocery store. I have to find a place for it in our living room, this is not the place, just taking a… hasty picture of two things that’s been happening. – I was watching the New Year’s Concert of The Vienna Philharmonic. I love watching it every year.

It’s been sleeting and water’s been dripping again today, but they say that it will be colder in the evening again and that it will snow. And they say that then it will be cold and sunny. Hmm…

January

On the broken couch… Happy New Year!

  • Leena

Holidays, holidays…

…continue, here at home. Now pictures from Thursday and today. Just relaxing…

December

I love the novel, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens! I read it, in English, for the first time 16 or 17 years ago. I’ve watched the film by Disney from the year 2009 many many times – I love the film as well. But I watched the film from the year 1984 for the first time on Thursday, and, well, I loved that, too. Spirit!

I’ve watched some other films, too, during these holidays, some of them are traditional Christmas films, for example; Home Alone, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, The Snowman (1982), Krampus (2015), The Christmas Chronicles (2018 Netflix), Hocus Pocus (1993) [- was it Christmas or Halloween we just had…? 🙂 ]. And I’ve also watched some nature programmes and Finnish comedy Uuno Turhapuro on tv, for example. 🙂

December

Harry Potter. – First the book, then the film. 🙂 My next film is Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, which will be one of my New Year’s films, (I finished reading the book a bit over a week ago), and the next book is Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (haven’t started it yet). I’m reading Harry Potter in Finnish now first, because the translation by Jaana Kapari is extraordinary!

December

This, too, is from where I watch television… The plant, the tree in the pic is weeping fig or ficus tree.

December

Some sunshine again today, but after Christmas it’s been warmer especially in the daytime. It hasn’t been raining, but the snow has been melting a bit and it’s been a bit… blurry out there.

summer collection
December

Water was dripping from a bigger tree on me and on my camera as I took pics of my dwarf spruce and the winter lights…

December
  • 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

The heat’s been on

The summer has been unbelievably hot in Finland, as it has been all over Europe. At least for now the temperatures have gone down here in Finland, and yeah, there shouldn’t be temperatures like 30 degrees Celsius anymore this summer. (?) Anyway, this summer we learned that temperatures around 25 degrees Celsius are kinda cool. I mean, usually 25 degrees Celsius has been the Heat for us, but this summer we had 30 degrees Celsius or even a bit warmer for so, so many days that, yes, one truly felt it. And it was so dry everywhere for so many weeks that we couldn’t light campfires.

And about me, myself and I… I woke up at 4.30 am when I was working, and with so many early mornings during the week this summer, I didn’t quite yet learn to get my shi…itake together in my free time, I mean, it can be seen, for example, here in my blog… or, you just can’t see anything here… But I learned that I can make money by doing something that has something to do with gardening, funny. 🙂 And now it is the time to do… many things, I have a ton of things to do, but that’s nice, and I’m quite excited about writing here in my blog now, too. 🙂

echinacea purpurea, purple coneflower

Echinacea purpurea or purple coneflower flowers in our garden now. I planted three tiny young echinacea plants last summer and two of them have been growing this year – the one in the middle didn’t grow at all a year ago either.

echinacea purpurea, purple coneflower

Butterflies, too, love echinacea flowers… The right wing of this beauty was a bit damaged.

echinacea purpurea, purple coneflower

echinacea purpurea, purple coneflower

echinacea purpurea, purple coneflower

New flowers still growing.

echinacea purpurea, purple coneflower

Echinacea has been one of my dream flowers for my garden.

And here’s another one of my dream plants, in our garden now as well:

bougainvillea

Bougainvillea. My ‘mini Spain’. – Bougainvillea is “the miracle bush in the south” for us here in the north. 🙂 These plants are so huge in the south! And the first time I met this wonder was in Spain. My plant was tiny and there were no bracts or flowers when I bought it, and it cost me only a few euros. I’m glad it began to flower!

bougainvillea

The actual flowers of bougainvillea, small and sweet.

This summer I’ve seen a bat in our garden. One bat, only once. My boyfriend has seen a couple of bats a couple of times here this summer, but we definitely saw more of them a year ago.

And last week I saw a raccoon dog here for the first time. My boyfriend has seen it here once before this summer. I’m not quite sure how to feel about raccoon dogs here…

The summer is not over yet!

-Leena

Summer in full swing already

It’s been summer here in Finland all the time now… The temperatures have been between 20 and 25 degrees Celsius during the day, and some days it’s been even warmer than that, too… And when we’ve had like “a bit cooler weather”, the temperatures have been between 18 and 20 degrees. So, it’s been quite incredible to experience this here now… But one morning was cold this week – it was 4 degrees Celsius, whoa! But it’s been all sunshine, sunshine, and very dry everywhere…

And about myself… and my blog now. I’ve been working outside the home, so to speak, now, it has something to do with gardening (would you believe it? 😉 ) aaand not working at home with my computer means that I don’t sit by my computer that often now, because I wake up very early in the morning, and I drive to work very early in the morning – I’m some sort of an early owl altogether now, and I don’t have that much time or energy for this dear blog of mine. Well, I don’t mean that I was super blogger before, but I mean, for example, that some of the content of my blog will now be only on my Instagram (owlnatureleena), like most of the flower pictures, and so on. Well, let’s see how everything happens, just thought I’d mention that even if it looks like I’m doing nothing here in my blog, I’m actually doing many things out here and there and preparing myself for many things all the time. 😀 And yes, I still have some planting to do here at home, seeds, seedlings… Oh dear, oh dear…

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

Oookay, to begin with, our cherry tree didn’t survive the winter, it didn’t grow any leaves – it just stood there, all bare and dry…

cherry tree

So, this is our new cherry tree now. The dead cherry tree was by the woods, this is by the terrace of our house.

cherry bush

We actually thought that our cherry bush wouldn’t survive the winter, but here it still is. And it is flowering!

cherry bush flowering

It still has many flower buds, too.

pear tree

The pear tree is flowering as well. The flowers are… down there, all on the same spot… There’s been like five or six of them.

About some animals… Cuckoo bird has been calling here every day now – the delightful voice of the early summer! And my boyfriend has seen bats in our garden again. I haven’t seen them – I’ve already been sleeping…

plum tree

The plum tree already flowered, it had perhaps around 100 flowers. And the apple tree already flowered, too.

lilac

Lilacs, common lilacs are blooming now. Oh, the lovely scent…

“Oh, summer, the light, the dazzle, oh, that shi…itake…!”:

A night owl?

-A bit of a night owl…? 🙂

-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