“Marco!” – “Polo!”

The summer is moving on… This summer hasn’t been as hot as last summer here in Finland, but we’ve had a few fairly short hot periods this year, too. This week it was hotter than ever in many places in Europe and in a few places in Finland as well. Here where I’m living it was 32 degrees Celsius on Sunday. Yesterday it was only 23 degrees Celsius and today 16 degrees, in the daytime – last night it was around 11 degrees Celsius. That was fast.

This summer, thus far, I have been enjoying nature and gardening, naturally. 🙂 And I have been using my Instagram (owlnatureleena) a bit. I have been reading a lot. During June and July I have read 14 books and finished reading two books (I had read half of both of them earlier) and I’m about to finish reading yet another book, so this has definitely been a lot for me. And, naturally, I have a Goodreads account (leenannih) to keep track of books. 😀

Now some summer snapshots:

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A young hare in the forest. I love hares and rabbits. I had a rabbit when I was a child.

summer - kesä

Sheep here in our home village. They were baaing so much, they were just funny and adorable.

summer - kesä

We found some cloudberries in a forest we had never been before, about 20 kilometres from our home. The berries were so delicious. And we can’t remember finding this gold here in the southern part of Finland before!

summer - kesä

And there were quite many small blue butterflies flying in the forest, pretty magical… These two were on a rock by a small lake there.

summer - kesä
~”Did you say ‘itsy bitsy’…?”

A spider on our terrace. There were a few of these guys there one evening. They, too, are just lovely.

summer - kesä

I’ve tried to take pics of our summer flower bed. Last year we didn’t plant any seeds here, so there was only weed here a year ago. And this year we finally had the possibility to add a lot of compost to the soil thanks to the year-round composter we have.

summer - kesä
summer - kesä

The last three pics I took today:

summer - kesä
summer - kesä

The summer hasn’t ended yet…

summer - kesä

And now just one picture that I took in our greenhouse today as well:

summer - kesä
  • Leena

Two and a half weeks in Eastern Finland

I spent two and a half weeks in Eastern Finland, in the municipality of Rautavaara in the region of Northern Savonia, in August and in September. It’s my boyfriend’s home region and I was travelling with him and our two cats. His family has an old house there in Rautavaara, no one lives in the house anymore, it’s just for summertime visits nowadays, and that’s the place we stayed as well. It’s always about an eight hour’s drive from our home to Rautavaara, and the same back of course. – Always worth the travel.

I didn’t take pictures of, like, everything, but naturally I did ‘get caught up in some things’, and the result is this blog post here now. 🙂 I also took some pictures for our, mine and Owlnature‘s, Instagram (owlnatureleena), and the real Instagram widget has, by the way, (finally :p ) been on the sidebar of my blog for some time now as well.

lake Keyritty

By the lake Keyritty, just outside the centre of Rautavaara. It was a summery day. So calm, beautiful… just stunning! And it was completely silent here and everywhere we went. 🙂

lake Keyritty

dragonfly

There were many dragonflies flying and enjoying the sunshine by the house on many days. Here’s two of them.

dragonfly

Tiilikanselkä

By another lake on some other day. This is called Tiilikanselkä.

There are actual creeks in the forest, I’m not sure if this is one of them, or is this just some ditch…? Beautiful water areas in the forests, too, anyway.

monkshood in forest

I went mushroom hunting and all I could find was poisonous monkshood. ;p In this one forest I found monkshood in the wild for the first time.

monkshood in forest

monkshood in forest

boletus edulis, penny bun

But we did find a lot of mushrooms, too, during our trip. Here’s one penny bun mushroom or cep or porcino/porcini or boletus edulis mushroom…

craterellus (or cantharellus) tubaeformis, yellowfoot, winter mushroom

And here’s our biggest amount of yellowfoot mushrooms or winter mushrooms or funnel chanterelles or cantharellus/craterellus tubaeformis mushrooms…

In addition to cooking with mushrooms we enjoyed bilberries (or blueberries), lingonberries and crowberries in the forests.

Another lake again. I was on a ridge. There are lakes on either side of the ridge. And there are many ridges in Rautavaara area, fairly small, beautiful… with lakes, forests and swamps.

creek

A creek in the forest, so clear you can see the bottom.

creek

Tiilikanselkä

By Tiilikanselkä again, we went there actually three times during our trip. 🙂

river flows

And river flows…

river flows...

…and flows. Until next time. 🙂

-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

Harvesting here, harvesting there…

Hello from Turku! It’s this moving in and out project again that I’ve been at… and now I’m saying hello from here, with a couple of pics.

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My morning coffee here today. This is the last coffee pic that I post from here… so, that is why I’m so eager to say hello to the world, from here, now. 🙂

I just say that it’s truly interesting, enlightening and… educational to go through your belongings and your… rubbish, when you have lived in the same apartment for years, and if the place has been your student apartment… whoa! 😀

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This was yesterday afternoon in our country home before heading for Turku. Strawberry ice cream and berries – raspberries, blackcurrants, redcurrants and gooseberries fresh from our garden, and blueberries fresh from the woods next to our garden.

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And we’ve started digging up, harvesting, our potatoes. Home-grown potatoes look always so sweet and hilarious. 🙂 And they taste so delicious! Oh, and that lovely soil, too, like in this pic that I took here in my apartment in Turku today, before I started washing the potatoes a bit.

-Leena

Blueberry gold, the next peony poppy, the very last peony flower

We’ve been doing quite a lot of Nordic walking, but I don’t always take pics of it… On Thursday I took a pic – I tried to demonstrate what we’ve been doing quite a lot lately; Nordic walking and during that activity picking and eating blueberries, too (isn’t that a healthy and pleasant combination 😉 ) in the forest where one of our favourite walking trails goes.

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The starting and ending point of the trail is by the lake Pyhäjärvi, I took this pic after our walk – trying to get some of my blueberry fingers, too, in the pic. 😀 This previous blog post about Nordic walking was from the same forest, our raven forest near our home. We just love it! – There’s always a raven or many ravens croaking. Once we heard, and saw, many many ravens. We tried to count them; there was at least 15 if not over 20 ravens dashing, flying and croaking. Amazing it was. Ravens are both funny and noble birds. 🙂

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A muffin again yesterday evening… We’re lucky enough to have a lot of wild blueberries in our back garden, too. Yesterday evening we made some blueberry muffins. Muffins of gluten free flour; whole grain oat flour. Oat is the best! 🙂 So delicious and healthy. And traditionally Finnish!

poppy

Two pics of the next peony poppy flower today. This, too, is one of my ‘wild poppies’. This was hit with rain – yesterday, heavily…

poppy

peony

And the very last peony flower – just had to take pics today… Yesterday I was hoping that this would survive the rain and grow bigger…

peony

peony

…so that I could cut it for drying today. And that was what I already did, because I thought the flower is big enough to cut, to save, now. The other peonies that I cut for drying earlier, are still doing (drying) just fine. 🙂

-Leena