Apr 29, 2014

Pollen and pretty skies

Yesterday I was sitting on our deck in the sun with my laptop, and noticed something green falling down like light rain. Birch pollen! I believe this to be a pretty bad birch pollen year... But birches are not the only trees blooming. This big maple in the neighbor's yard, right next to our driveway turned green overnight and is full of green flowers now!


It is almost May and the days here are long. The sun rose today at 5:23 and has been below the horizon only for about twenty minutes now, as it set at 21:16. It is still light outside. We were coming home from grocery stores at approximately eight pm and the sun was low but above the tree line, shining through some cool clouds.


Apr 27, 2014


Yesterday we went for a longish walk through the forests nearby, and down the Vantaa river. Flowers are everywhere :) Wood anemonies, of course, but others too. Some yellow and some purple ones I don't know the names of. And the pussy willows shine gloden with the tinyt speckles of flowers.



As I wrote before, many of the birches are turning green with leaves pushing out :)


Garden work

Finally we got around to do some garden work. We planted basil, zucchini, aubergines, dill, parsley, beans, rucola, salad and spinach seeds in boxes. A whole lot of herbs, tomato and chili plants etc. are on the shopping list, probably getting some plants instead of seeds again later on. And we were thinking of getting some flower seeds this year too.



Chives are already growing nicely by the sunny wall, but I cleaned the pot and added some new seeds there today. I also cleaned and turned the dirt in the bean pots, and planted those beans where they were growing last summer too. Otherwise the sunny wall is still all old pots waiting to be cleaned out and re-planted. And the bunnies are waiting for some of those flower seeds ;)


Spring onions will be ready for harvest here soon!


Apr 24, 2014

Officially spring

I may have mentioned it before, but spring is official for me when the birches start turning green. Today they have :) Not all of them, depeding on their subspecies and exposure to sun and whatnot, but they have. And they are heavy with catkins too. Judging by that, we'll be having a harsh pollen year.

The forest behind our house is finally green. I have been waiting and waiting. The leaves have been inching and peeking and teasing, but today the forest was green, when we walked through with the dog.

Squirrels are dithcing their winter coats and turning brown, like the one that was running up and down th birch tree on the neighbor's yard until it stopped for a long while to sit on a branch and munch on something.

Our yard is looking nice with grass starting to grow, some scilla sibericas here and there and the crocuses, even though they are largely starting to wilt already. Last year we had one lone tulip at the edge of the yard, now it looks like we'll have a bunch!


Apr 23, 2014

Scilla siberica

The scilla siberica - a rather new aquaintance for me at least - is taking over the spring meadows and forests, popularing the areas not already taken by wood anemonies that seem to flower at the same time. They do mix at places, though, with hepaticas too. Usually all these spring flowers are not in bloom at the same time.


Apr 21, 2014

Wood anemonies

Typically, wood anemonies rule the forest floors around Mother's Day, which is the second Sunday of May here. So they are kinda early this year, but then again, so is everything. We even had +20C or so temperatures here over Easter.

This little lone yellow flower is growing there by our mailbox. Don't remember seeing it there last spring.


Apr 20, 2014

Flowers and butterflies

The warm spring days <3 We went to this dog park at Pitkäkoski today, and the day before too. There's a whole lot of hepaticas blooming in the forests there, and coltsfoot too. Trees are opening their leaves, though I'm still waiting on the birches... Catkins and pussy willows are seriously flowering. Today, I saw the first butterfly of the spring too - a bright yellow one.


In our little garden, the chives are growing. And the first bumble bee here on our own yard, too.


The Vantaa river is flowing free, has been for quite some time and througout the winter at the rapids. But there is still some icy banks left in the shady areas.


Apr 17, 2014

Wood anemonies

Wood anemonies are usually everywhere in early May, but I have seen the first ones in the forest near by today.

Also, the crocuses on our yard are finally blooming :)


Apr 15, 2014

Flowers and pussy willows

Pussy willows are starting to be beyond silky and cute, starting to turn into yellow pollen balls. Inevitable.

Flowers are popping up here and there, everywhere now. I noticed the first hepaticas in the forest and by the street a couple houses down, and there's some white flowers too, that resemble those other blue ones [edit. they are scilla sibericas].


The weather is still not too warm yet. Today it was +10C at best, but the wind was something quite horrid. It's been a game of rain and sun all day long, spring showers - even some ice balls at one point! - falling down every now and then. In the afternoon, the sky was covered in dark grey clouds, but by the evening and sunset, the sky was clear again.


Apr 14, 2014

Before and after the rain

Today, we had the first cery summery rain shower of the year. There didn't even seem to be clouds on top of us, but all of a sudden a windless rain shower hit our yard, in the middle of some grilling. It was over by the time we had eaten our dinner, and we went for a walk with the dog in the evening sun, that was making shining through some scattered clouds just above the treeline.

On my lunch break today, before the rains came, I went for a walk with the dog. The sky was overcast, the ground was soddy from previous rains and melted snow and ice, but we went walking around the footpaths. Many trees are pushing out their leaves now - rain and a bit warmer again does that - and these little blue flowers I don't recognize are popping up everywhere in the neighborhood [edit. they are scilla sibericas].



Apr 12, 2014

First leaves

The weather has not exactly been getting warmer lately, so the nature is advancing slowly. Trees and bushes have had buds for a long time already, but the weather has not been right for the leaves to pop out. Today I did notice some trees and bushes were starting to open the leaves a bit, finally.


Apr 9, 2014

Flowers and the sun

The crocuses in our yard are shyly starting to bloom. Coltsfoots by the sides of roads and fields already look like their best days are over, but they still were the first ones I've seen this year.


The Paloheinä golf course is still yellow and barren, but was bathing in sun today. Unlike the brookes in the shady parts of the woods; they are the last fortresses of ice around.



Apr 5, 2014

Spring in Seurasaari

We went for another outing in Seurasaari today. It was a beautiful sunny day, but quite windy. Seagulls were plenty, and we saw some swans too. Some trees already have buds, leaves ready to pop out any time now.




Apr 3, 2014

Catkins and pussy willows

April brought on another cold spell. No snow, at least nothing that would have stayed on the ground, but freezing winds and general coolness, especially today, when the sun mostly stayed behind a layer of thick clouds. It feels psychologically damaging, to get cold weather again, after already getting a taste of the spring warm!

Despite the cold, birds are still chirping, we are in summer time and evenings are long, catkins and pussy willows are spreading pollen into the air - and we who have pollen allergies are having a hard time.


Apr 1, 2014

The sun and the tulip

Did I ever mention how much I love the sun? And the spring, when everything comes back to life again after the dark winter times? The sun has been out most days now, sometimes amongst more clouds, sometimes less, sometimes shining in a clear blue sky. This morning it was just above this University building in the city center when I hopped off the bus. And bright behind the trees the other day when I was walking home.


Our lone tulip has pushed its head through the dirt and is growing faithfully by the hedge.