Spring has arrived to Finland

These little darlings had started to blossom literally overnight in my neighbourhood. When I took the German Shepherd out for a walk this morning, I was blown away. Every garden was blossoming. There is hope after all. You wait, and you wait, and then suddenly spring truly arrives in 24 hours. We’ve seen signs in…

Finnish winter at its best

Today it’s hard to remember we’ve lived in almost complete darkness for several months. This coincidental snapshot is perhaps the best winter picture I’ve ever taken. I love the light, blue sky, frozen reeds, and the dark branch that just happens to perfectly frame the shot. The light was so bright I hardly saw anything…

Coldest winter days so far

Yesterday was the coldest day in Southern Finland so far. Our meter showed 24 degrees below zero, but I think in the morning it was actually closer to 30. Despite beautiful bright skies and sunny weather, I stayed inside and warmed up the fireplace, watched too many movies to mention and in the evening relaxed…

Light blue moment

These were taken in a small town in Southern Finland, where I spent Christmas. It was 10am in the morning as I took the German Shepherd out for a walk. But it sure looks like it’s 4pm. When did I last see blue skies? Did we have a day or two now in December? Can’t…

Enter snow, exit darkness

This is what I woke up to today. Not a bad sight for Christmas Eve. It had been snowing at least 20 cm more in the night, and the snow just kept on coming. I sipped my morning coffee and felt happy. During the day, it started snowing like, well, pouring rain. I had to…

Frozen trees, calming melodies

A thick fog covered everything in the Helsinki area on December 19. This handsome sailboat was lighting the Pohjoisranta harbour. I was on my way to a Christmas concert by Lumen Valo, a classical vocal ensemble. The ensemble’s name literally means the Glow of Snow, and that’s exactly how the music felt like: ‘interplay of light and dark…

No bribes paid for the Christmas tree

I got myself a Christmas tree. A Finnish spruce, maybe two meters tall, and it smells incredibly good. I was just passing by the nearby market, when I saw they sell spruces. So I went to look and talk a little. Of course the trees were expensive (what isn’t in Finland?), around 50 euros depending…

Into the wild

Home forest is wonderful. To have one, I mean. It’s very quiet in other seasons, but now in the wintertime, it’s absolutely still. What little sounds there might be, the snow muffles them completely. Despite the knee-deep snow where paths normally run, over-eagerness of the dog to pull in every possible direction, and the skiers…

Snow lanterns for everyone

Getting a lot of snow is not only about shoveling, scraping and swearing. Snow lanterns are perhaps one of the nicest things one can make, in addition to funny snowmen. I made a small lantern to the steps on our back yard. Even a small candle without any cover is enough, as long as it’s not…