Dec 27, 2013

Rainy Christmas

White Christmas truly was only a dream this year. Not that uncommon in Helsinki, really, but some sun and less rain and wind sort of would be nice. We had a warm Christmas despite the miserable weather, with cadles burning and cinnamon and clove smells in the air.


Dec 22, 2013

Confused bushes

We had a cold spell, with first snow and all, but then it warmed up again. It's been 3-5 degrees C for some time now, and according to the forecast, that's how it'll stay for at least the rest of this year. Not much of a winter this. Dark and rainy. No white Christmas to the southern Finland.

Today I noticed that these bushes down the road had started producing some new buds, thinking it's spring again or something! Don't they like read the sun or anything?


Dec 13, 2013

After the storm

The storm had calmed down when I got home from work. I went out for a walk with the dog. The day had been sunny and bright after the clouds parted in the morning. Twigs were everywhere, scattered by the storm winds, and one tree along our path had broken and fallen down.


Stormy night

So our snow has melted. Yesterday the ground was horridly icy, melting through the day, and in the evening a strom set in. The wind blew hard all through the night, and so I woke up from a restless sleep to a still stormy morning.


Dec 11, 2013

Hazy night

A hazy night after a hazy day. Yesterday we still had snow on the ground, but today, only ice and water everywhere, evaporating into a haze over our world.


Dec 8, 2013

Snowy yard

We have a couple centimeters of snow on the ground now, with a temperature of a few degrees below zero (Celsius). It's nice, makes the world a little less dark (despite the grayness again today). This snow won't last for too long, but makes the world slightly brighter for a little while.

Rucola covered with snow



Dec 6, 2013

Snow coming down

It sure has been coming down today, the sleety snow or something. Very wet, but staying on the ground somewhat. Most of our plants have died in the garden long ago, the last unused peppers rotting in place, everything losing their leaves. But not the strawberries, even when covered with snow. And not the rosemary either, tough thing as it is.


Dec 2, 2013

First snow

First snow fell down tonight here in Helsinki too. Our new family member Meggie didn't mind it at all. Kinda nice in my opinion too, makes the world slightly less dark.


Nov 30, 2013

Snow at Nurmijärvi

Last day of November. In Helsinki, some sort of wet sleet is coming down, melting when it hits the ground. But 30km north, at Nurmijärvi, it was snowing.



Nov 24, 2013

Last hour of daylight

We had another beautiful sunny November day. We went out walking around the fields of Haltiala and Vantaa river, saying hi to the cows bathing in the last rays of sun, and watching a bunch of magpies have their meeting in the top of a couple birches.




Nov 19, 2013

Windy Sunday

Sunday was really windy here. Actually, as I learned when I got around to reading the news, it was classified as a storm, "Eino". Apparently Eino has caused a lot of havoc (in the Finnish scale, which is really nothing compared to the storms of the "big world", e.g. at the Philippines or the twisters the U.S.), cutting of electricity from a couple hundred thousand households due to fallen trees etc. It was the worst in Eastern Finland; I here only noticed the wind pulling my car and the flags in front of Ikea blowing sideways.


November sunrise and full moon

November is mostly rainy and gray, unless we already have snow on the ground. That is, however, quite rare here in southern Finland where the snowy winter time usually begins around Christmas. Sometimes mother nature surprises us, though, and last weekend, and even still yesterday, was fully sunny - those few hours of daylight that we get.

On Saturday I happened to be on the road when the (1 day short of) full moon had just came up, the sun still setting on the opposite side of the skyline.


So, yesterday morning I walked down the stairs, at approximately 7:20, to the view of sun rising behind the houses, making the world a bright orange.


Nov 11, 2013

Ice art

Leaves on the hood and windshield of the Mercedes, frozen into the icy swirls created by the nightly freeze after a rainy day.


Nov 8, 2013

Barren trees

November has been rainy, if not as cold as most of October was. Gushing winds and pouring rain have pretty much knocked off the rest of the leaves in the birches and other trees around. Mostly overcast and wet, even when it's not raining, the weather is as dreary as November tends to be. Every now and then the sun tries to peek through the clouds a bit.

Sun setting already at 5pm or so


Sun climing up at 9am or so


Oct 31, 2013

Decaying frosty leaves

Another frosty morning today, after a week of rain. Leaves have started to decay, but today they were covered with frost. A couple of oak and buckeye leaves have found their way to the the otherwise birch and maple leaf ridden sidewalk by our house, from trees a little way down the street.


Oct 26, 2013

Morning moon

Two days ago, I woke up to my alarm, put on my house coat and started down the stairs, as usual. I lifted my eyes jp to our skylight, and I sawthe moon lurking behind the tall fir trees not far from our house, and a little bit of ice gathered on the window. Just see for yourself, behold, the not-so-good-quality photo. My hand was not exactly steady in the early morning...


A f ow it is just wet. Though the sun did come out for a while today. But still, everything is wet.


Oct 19, 2013


It's been below zero again the past nights. Yesterday morning we had no sun, and it actually snowed a bit in the day time (though melted as it touched the ground).

This morning we woke up to a frosty sunny day, the night's freeze having been enough to freeze the water in some garden containers. The colorful leaves on the deck and lawn, and the tall salads and that last flower standing were glistening in the sun.


Full moon

Last night was full moon and a clear sky.


Oct 13, 2013

Maples, maples

We went today to this area by the sea side, where maples were everywhere. And autumn as it is, the maple leaves were just everywhere!


Oct 12, 2013


It was a beautiful sunny day today, and not all that cold. Since we were home instead of out hiking or something, we decided to do a bit of grilling on our yard. There won't be too many occasions for that anymore this year; the grill needs to be stored away soon for there's no telling when the snow will start falling.


Oregano hung up to dry

Four bunches of oregano hung up to dry. What a nice smell they brought to our home!


Autumn yard

Different plants react to the cooling of the weather so differently. Our tomatoes died long ago, and the pepper plants have wilted recetly. The chilis are still going strong, though, and the bell peppers have started to change color, despite being soft and wrinkled, probably due to the frost.


Basil has wilted (ok, we have neglected the watering too, and it has been a rather dry autumn), but oregano is doing good. Probably finally this weekend we'll get around to drying it. Parsley has gone into a new growth spurt, alongside with the chives. Thyme and rosemary are doing good too; actually, the rosemary never looked all summer long as good as it does now! Red salad has grown into 40-50 cm tall flowering salad towers.


The neighbors' cherry tree has become quite beautiful, with green, yellow and red leaves, all at the same time.


Oct 9, 2013

Autumn on our home street

The trees have finally turned all colors of foliage, and the first proper rain in weeks has set in. Our neighborhood is looking like autumn.


Oct 8, 2013

The geese again

I thought the geese went south after flocking these fields the last time in August. But either they came back, or this is a new bigger flock, or, well something, but anyhow, there were hundreds and hundreds of geese on the fields today.


Oct 6, 2013

Fallen leaves

Maple leaves all fallen on a yard at Nurmijärvi, at the stables where my daughter goes horse back riding.


Quite many cattails were still brown, but some had turned into white fur already.


Oct 5, 2013

Things in our garden

Only today did I notice the *something* is in full bloom in our garden, October as it already is!


Our chilis are still going strong, even though the leaves have all but died in the firsy hard freezes last week.


Autumn in North-Eastern Finland

We drove up to Kuopio a couple days ago, just for a short visit. On our way back we drove through the beautiful lake area and visited my dairy farmer cousins on their farm. Swans were getting ready to move south, gathering up on the small lake behind the farm, where birches were yellow and the lake surface still enough to mirror the amazing autumn nature.

Sep 29, 2013

Autumn at Loppi

Another weekend, another hike. We walked an about eight kilometer hike at Luutasuo, a trail that goes through some bog and marsh, by a couple ponds, and climbs up some steep hills of taiga - boreal coniferous forest - formed by the ice retreating after the Ice Age.


Despite the drought of this year, there were plenty of different kinds of mushrooms, most of them already on the decaying side. I also found some blooming strawberries, confused by the extended warm season.



Sep 26, 2013

Autumn sunsets and sunrises

Autumn and spring are the seasons when I most probably can witness sunrises and sunsets, here in our hemisphere. In winter time, they happen while I'm at work (and except for a few weeks in late January and early February, the sky is mostly cloudy) and in summer time, fast asleep. This September, we have been out several times bicycling, at the time of the most amazing sunsets and sunrises, with the sky partly cloudy and the sun painting the horizon in vivid colors.



First frost

Amazingly, we had all of two days of normal September weather of about +10C or so, then it went down to wintery temperatures, at least for the time being. This morning there was already the first frost on my car!


Sep 22, 2013

Autumn hike

We went for a little hike today at Lemmenlaakso, in southern Finland. Autumn still hasn't started properly, even though the temperatures have dropped somewhat and leaves are falling. Forests are still quite green, flowers are still blooming. And the very dry summer and autumn so far has reduced the Kerava river into a shallow muddy stream.




Sep 15, 2013

Windy autumn day

Autumn has been uncharacteristically warm and dry this year. Everything is still green, a whole lot of flowers are still blooming, and the trees have only started to change color and drop their leaves during the past week or so. Some mushrooms are popping up here and there and the acorns are turning brown.

Today was a somewhat windy day, as we were walking along the banks of the river Vantaa, and in the surroundings of the Tuomarinkylä manor, the gushes of wind sending leaves fluttering to the ground.