~November reign

November, the fifth season, has been grey, brown, black… And then it started to really rain. But yesterday finally: SNOW! (The ‘third snow’ for this season.)

So now some November snapshots:

And then I was like...
And then I was like…

This was three weeks ago, after our ‘second snow’ for this season had melted. I truly loved our Jack-O’-Lantern, he was a very expressive guy. 😀

November

Still learning archery… I lost one of my arrows last summer. I shot it towards the woods and it got lost in the greenery. I think that the guy who cut the many tiny rowan trees there the other week found it and… this is how I found the arrow. Thanks! 🙂

November

By the lake Pyhäjärvi near our home on Wednesday this week. Well, that’s kinda light blue…

On Thursday:

November

Umm, our greenhouse in November. So I love all the seasons. But… meh now already… And it has been a bit difficult to get up in the morning lately. This late November thing…

November
Winter is coming
Winter is coming.

This was three weeks ago, almost right after my previous blog post. I looked out the window and saw this tiny insect flying outside and jumping on the snow there. Winter came for the tiny creature…

November

Yesterday morning, this was a lovely surprise – I heard the rain still pour down at night! And they say that the weather will now stay a bit wintry at least for a while…

November

Yesterday afternoon.

November

I’m reading Moominvalley in November for the second time. I read it for the first time many years ago when I still lived in Turku. The book was a bit odd experience to me – I was reading it and all the time I was waiting for the book to begin, so to speak, and… then I suddenly had just read the whole book. I don’t know what it was, but all the Moomin books are just great, I have now read them all and I love them, and I did like the November book already earlier, I love the language and so on, but something ‘made me waiting’… So now I must read this November book again so that I can see if I now get the nuances a bit better, or something, because I’m altogether a better person now. Well, no… But Now that I’m reading it again, I can say that I follow the book a bit better. And of course I like it a lot, and I like RuttuvaariGrandpa Grumble. 🙂

Today:

November

A pleasant morning…

November

Also because… I was watching cross-country skiing again. The Cross-Country World Cup started for this season already yesterday, here in Finland, in Northern Finland, in Ruka, in Kuusamo, one of my favourite places in the world. 🙂

November

And then sunshine! And our juhannusruusu – ‘Finnish Midsummer rose‘ bush again. This bush was loaded with white flowers in summer, but I don’t think I have any pictures of it, oh dear oh dear…

November
November

Blue sky! Haven’t seen that for a while.

The day is short; the length of the day today, here where I’m living, is 6 h 13 min.

November

A hare it was.

November

The sun was gently warming my face…

November
  • Leena

Greenhouse, hot, light, bright…

It’s officially summer! And lately… First it was very freaking windy for many days, and a bit cold, too. Now it has been very warm again, even hot (too warm 😀 ) for a few days. For example here where I’m living it was 31 degrees Celsius in the shade in the daytime on Thursday, and not much cooler on Friday, and yesterday it was around 29 degrees as well. Today it’s 21 degrees Celsius – oh, normality… 😀

Our greenhouse is ready, yay! It has been fully ready for a few days now. First pictures that I took when it was still possible to ‘see through’ the greenhouse a bit:

greenhouse
greenhouse

And these are what we put into the ground, going round and round… hmm…

greenhouse

There it is, one of them…

greenhouse

The greenhouse is almost, but not quite, under the monster, our biggest pine tree.

greenhouse
greenhouse

Two pictures from the inside.

greenhouse

A few pictures I took today, the first ‘ready pictures’:

greenhouse

It was a lot of work and everything, but “Phew!” now finally… 😀

greenhouse

There are for example watermelon and sweet peppers growing. We carried 1000 litres of garden soil in bags into/outside the greenhouse.

greenhouse

Fuchsia flowers.

And viola flowers today:

viola flowers
viola flowers

Love the scent in the air…

viola flowers & sage

Sage, too…

stars on the ground
Stars on the ground…

The stars are on the ground again this time of year in Finland. 🙂 – Arctic starflower or chickweed wintergreen in the woods next to our garden, I took this picture at around 11.55 pm on Wednesday. (And I was attacked by mosquitoes, there are plenty of them evenings these days.)

So the days are long now, light and bright. And they are still getting a bit lighter. Today for example, here where I’m living, the sun rose at 03.58 am and the sun sets at 23.03 pm – the length of the day is 19 h 5 min.

  • Leena

Winter at its peak

Wintry days continue. Lately it’s been even a bit colder. The temperatures have mostly been around -10 degrees Celsius and a bit below – I’ve seen -15 degrees Celsius at night and -14 degrees in the daytime. It’s been snowing, too, and we’ve had snow on the ground for over six weeks now. We have now over 10 centimetres of snow on the ground here where I’m living. The fresh snow has now been that sparkling type of snow, so it’s been very nice to walk out there surrounded by all that glitter. Winter’s been at its magical peak now. 🙂

pine trees

Today, here where I’m living the sun rose at 9.13 am and the sun sets at 16.13 pm – the length of the day is 7 h 0 min. Seven hours already! – On the shortest day of the year (2017), on 21st December, the day length was 5 h 29 min. 🙂

pine trees, birch trees

Blue sky, sunshine, peace and quiet… boooring. ;D

January

And birds chirping… they really were chirping loudly when I was taking these last two pictures just before publishing this blog post.

January

It’s already been snowing again today and it’s -10 degrees Celsius right now. It’s just winter now. 🙂

-Leena

The shortest day of the year

It is happening now, the shortest day of the year is here. – It starts to get lighter again tomorrow! – As in we have more light again tomorrow! 🙂 Today, here where I’m living the sun rose at 9.44 am and the sun sets at 15.13 pm – the length of the day is 5 h 29 min.

It has been a bit warmer again, and yesterday and at night it even rained a bit, but luckily we had so much snow that it has not all melted yet. – We still have about eight centimetres of snow on the ground. Christmas is just around the corner, and they say that before Christmas we’ll have some light and sunshine, and that it will even snow a bit. So, this year we ought to have at least some snow out there at Christmas, whoa!

Now today’s pics…

the shortest day of the year

First there was almost like some light in the sky… and almost like some blue sky…

the shortest day of the year

Drip, drip…

the shortest day of the year

Almost like some light…

the shortest day of the year

Light, more light…

the shortest day of the year

Still foggy, but lighter, brighter…

the shortest day of the year

As low as it gets… the sun! – Sunshine on the darkest day of the year! There was mist flowing around me in the sunshine. This day was just mistical – light and foggy, misty, magical… Who’s afraid of the dark? 😉

the shortest day of the year

-Leena

Snow, garden birds, swans calling in the darkness, the shortness of the day…

It started to snow here where I’m living late in the evening on Saturday, and on Sunday we had many separate snowfalls. It was a surprise, a very pleasant one, because the snow that we had on Independence Day had already melted away earlier. But it wasn’t that cold – around 0 degrees Celsius and -1 degrees Celsius at the lowest. Yesterday, on Monday, we had eight centimetres of snow and it was a bit colder. Today it has been as cold as yesterday and we have pretty heavy snowfall, as promised. 🙂 It has been snowing all day.

The first four pictures I took yesterday.

It's been a cat.

A snow cat it was.

a rose bush in December

One of our rose bushes still had some leaves yesterday. The sun was shining low…

About the length of the day… or about the shortness… Today, here where I’m living, the sun rose at 9.35 AM and the sun sets at 15.14 PM – the length of the day is 5 h 39 min. It starts to get lighter again on Friday next week. 🙂

feeding wild birds

Now we have two feeding spots for wild birds in our garden. This is the new one. We’ve had great tits, blue tits, sparrows, a couple of blackbirds and a great spotted woodpecker.

I’ve heard swans calling many times lately – I’ve been standing in our garden, in the darkness, and I’ve heard the sounds of swans – they’ve been flying somewhere near and some swans have been honking by/on the lake, I think.

glögi time

It’s the glögi season again! My glögi last night in the pic above. I’ve already drunk some litres of it this season. It’s delicious and nicely warming.

What is glögi? – I wrote this a year ago: Glögi is a traditional, hot and spiced drink. It’s mainly a Christmas (and pre-Christmas) drink in Finland. It can be translated as mulled wine. However, not all the glögi drinks are like wine – alcoholic drinks – some are, but, actually, we drink a lot of juice glögi in Finland, so… glögi is… glögi in Finland. As a non-alcoholic drink it’s some fruit or berry juice, hot and spiced. This one that I’m having is grape, blackcurrant and blueberry juice, spiced with cinnamon, bitter orange peel, cloves, cardamom and ginger – all the traditional Christmas or winter spices. Glögi can be bought ready-made – that’s probably why the juice glögi is so popular.

The rest of the pictures I took today.

December

December

Just love, lovely. A wish for Christmas.

December

This is some wintry December now, but we do have these changing weather conditions here in the southern part of Finland, so, let’s just enjoy this, for now, for a while… 🙂

December

At the moment we have almost 20 centimetres of snow on the ground, it definitely is the snow record for this season here where I’m living. And last winter, no, no, we didn’t have this much snow, no… So, “go, go… go outside!”, I must say to myself today. Still more snow coming down all the time now.

-Leena

At the cabin in Kuusamo I

I travelled to our (my parents’) cabin last week. The cabin is located in Kuusamo, in Koillismaa region in northern Finland. It is, naturally, one of my favourite places on earth. It took 12 hours and 10 minutes to travel there by car through the western and middle parts of Finland, and 11 hours to travel back home through the eastern and middle parts of Finland. – It’s always a long journey. But truly worth the travel! 🙂

I have pictures for two blog posts. I took all the pictures in this blog post at our cabin, in the woods, by the lake.

chickweed wintergreen, arctic starflower

The stars were still on the ground there in the north! – Chickweed wintergreen flower or arctic starflower flower. These flowered already a month ago in our home woods here in the south. It was so nice to see these flowers again, for the second time this year! 🙂

And lilacs were also flowering there! – It was very nice indeed to travel there in the town and to look out of the car window, and admire the bushes for the second time this summer…

The nights naturally were lighter up there in the north as well. Today, for example, the length of the day is 17 hours and 2 minutes here where I’m living and in Kuusamo it is 18 hours and 33 minutes.

reindeer

Northern Finland. – The land of reindeer, too! Reindeer is a regular visitor in our cabin woods as well. Or actually, the animals live there and I’m the one visiting our cabin. ;D This guy came back many times during the daytime there.

reindeer

Heeere we go!

reindeer

See you!

See you!

by the lake, in the woods

The days were warm up there during my visit, around 20 degrees Celsius and a bit above.

Black-throated diver or arctic loon was calling there on the lake. The voice is just haunting: “Kwee-kow, kwee-kow, kwee-kow…!” – very far-carrying and wonderful! And, like, moving… it makes you feel that you are somewhere special. The voice of the clear lakeland. 🙂

trees

Some of the tall and old trees in the cabin woods… And the scent of labrador tea or wild rosemary was very intense and lovely…

trees

creek, trees

There’s also a creek flowing. In our woods, like here in the picture above, the flowing of the creek is very slow, but the sound of the fast flowing of the creek can actually be heard, and it can be heard really well, in our cabin yard. Two years ago I went and searched the source of the sound with my boyfriend, and we managed to find it – some parts of it – the woods and the land there were really bushy. 🙂

beard lichen, beard moss

Beard lichen or beard moss in the trees means that the air is clean! We, too, have a lot of it everywhere in the cabin woods.

beard lichen, beard moss

cloudberry

A treasure – a cloudberry, still unripe – too bad. 🙂 The gold in the forests – cloudberries – are valuable delicacies. We would have some ripening in our cabin woods right now… buuut I’m here at home now…

The second blog post about my visit to Kuusamo coming a bit later.

-Leena

More summer, bats again, the longest day of the year 2017…

So today is the longest day of the year 2017. Here where I’m living, the sun rose at 3.52 AM, and the sun sets at 23.13 PM – the length of the day is 19 hours 20 minutes.

The bats have now been here for the fourth time. Or, we have seen them here four times now, in the woods next to our garden and flying close above our heads in the garden. Nice and delightful! 🙂 They were here on Sunday again. They always come just before twelve o’clock at night. On that night we also saw a whole rainbow here, although it hadn’t even rained. It was the first whole rainbow that we’ve seen from our garden.

The black woodpeckers have also been frequent visitors in the woods next to our garden. One really notices when they come – they have the loud and long flight call “klee-yee” when they enter the woods.

lake Pyhäjärvi

By the lake Pyhäjärvi here in our home village on Saturday. I was standing on a dock as I took this pic.

lilac

Lilac and the big Norway maple beside our driveway once more.

lilac

lilac

White lilac flowers in the garden as well. We have loads of purple or lilac lilac flowers in big bushes, but only a few white in a small bush. I must say that the purple truly is my favourite lilac anyway… But these white flowers are charming, too, and it wouldn’t be the same without these adding up to it in our garden.

lilac

red campion, red catchfly

A few more of red campion or red catchfly flowers in the garden.

river Pyhäjoki

We found this lovely spot by the river Pyhäjoki in the municipality of Säkylä on Sunday.

river Eurajoki

Welcome to the countryside! 🙂 With this pic, too, and on Sunday as well. By the river Eurajoki in the municipality of Eura.

oregano & sage

Oregano and sage. These two green friends are a bit different in the way that we, who usually grow herbs and everything from seeds, have bought them fully-grown – at half the price at the local grocery store. These are grown in Finland, which we naturally really appreciate. And these aren’t the usual herb pots that you can buy at the grocery stores in wintertime, these are for summer gardening outside… hmm, just to be specific, not that it should make much of a difference…(?) 🙂 But yeah, these for the garden actually are bigger, sturdier… And we have re-potted these, for better growth.

lettuce

Grow some lettuce, lettuce wants to grow for you! 🙂

strawberry

By our strawberry field today. There are surprisingly many strawberry flowers and strawberries growing already.

mountain cornflower, perennial cornflower

The first fully opened centaurea montana or mountain cornflower or perennial cornflower or mountain bluet flower in the garden today.

park lilac, Hungarian lilac

And our park lilacs or Hungarian lilacs have started to open their flowers now as well. There seem to be many more flowers in the bushes now than a year ago.

-Leena