A white veil. Valkoinen huntu.

The cherryplum trees “Podarok of St. Petersburg” are in to blossom. In two sunny days the trees are suddenly full of small white flowers, every branch is fully covered with these flowers. At the end of August these trees have small, yellow and very sweet plums.

We planted these trees inthe spring 2012, they were about 1,20 m/ 3,5 ft high.

Poda puut

Poda lähikuva

Poda oksa

Today, Friday, + 25°C/ +77°F!

What a day we had, the first warm day! The sun and warm wind made a miracle under our old oak. In the afternoon it was all yellow. Yellow wood anemones had opened their buttons, and small Gagea lutea, I cound´t find an English name for it, we call it käenrieska, a cuckoo´s bread, I don´t know the reason. Just a guess, cuckoos are cuckooing at the same time these flowers are in blossom.

I have in my camera 50X optical zoom, and I took the last photo of a bird high up on the top of a spruce.

Keltavuokot koko
Yellow wood anemones.
Keltavuokot lähi
Yellow wood anemones.
Käenrieska
Gagea lutea.
Kuusen latvassa
Watching the world on the top of a spruce.

Our spring is late.

Our spring is late about three four weeks. Here is some photos taken 18.5.2016. At the same day this year, today, we have nothing, our trees and plants are just trying to awake. The temperature is warmer, today + 10°C/ 50°F. Now it should be almost  summer temperatures, not like an early spring. Do we have summer this year at all?

The years 1866-1868 were terrible years here, lakes were frozen at midsummer. Then it was a warmer period and people could seed grain and potatoes. But the first snow came in August and destroyed everything. The next summer was cold and rainy. The famine was here, people had nothing to eat. They left their homes, started to walk from house to house begging. Roads were bordered with starved bodies. They were buried to graveyards together, nobody knew who they were. About 8% of the whole population died to hunger and diseases. Some villages were empty, no one survived.

If you are interested to read of these famine years in English, click the link.

Famine_of_1866

Kirsikka viime vuosi

Finnish Sauna.

Some of our followers have asked about our sauna, what is it like and what happens in our sauna. I found this great article, in English, written by Pirkko Valtakari, former executive secretary of the Finnish Sauna Society.
Here is the link http://www.sauna.fi/in-english/finnish-sauna-culture/

And if you “google” a word sauna, you will find pictures of our saunas, a cottage by a lake, a small sauna in an apartment and everything between these.

Please read it, if you have not been in a finnish sauna.

 

 

 

Siilin talo. Our hedgehog´s house.

Inside this pile of leaves is a two room house. It is made so that water, rain or melting snow, can´t wet a sleeping hedgehog. The leaves keep the house safe and a little bit warmer. The house is in a quiet corner of our yard.  The hedgehog, we have seen only one this spring, has made two doors. That white spot is a water bowl and in the evenings we give him/ her cat food.

Every autumn in newspapers is articles how to make a house for a hedgehog. Every year we have them less, traffic is the most dangerous enemy. These winters without snow and often changing temperatures also kill them, if they have shelter only of leaves or hay. They get wet and freeze, when the weather is cold again.

PS. It is snowing now.

Siilin pesä

We had three hedgehogs living in your yard during the summer 2013.

Siilikolmikko

 

Sunday 30.4.2017

This winter is not giving up easily, snowing started yesterday in the evening and it is still snowing. I don´t know what happens to our flowers and trees. Our hedgehog was searching for food again last night in heavy snow. We feeded it and then followed it to see where it is going. Under the oak it lost the way home and my husband carried it to it´s home. He said that it was the first time in his life he was carrying a hedgehog.

Taka.jpg

Where is the spring?

It has been snowing and raining for days, the temperature is below 0°C,  32°F at nights. Yesterday evening we saw a hedgehog walking in the snow and we gave it cat food. This hedgehodg has slept the wintertime in it´s house in our yard. Today snow melted away in the afternoon, but this night will be cold again. Our spring is soon one month late.

Today by the lake Kyrösjärvi.

Veneranta sade1

Coltfoot and ice.

Today, at Good Friday, was a very cold day, only 0° C, 32° F. The sun was shining for a while. We were driving around to see some hints of disappeared spring. Our lake was sleeping under ice. Coltfoot was in bloom by a stone warmed by the sun. Two so different photos. Coltfoot is in Finnish leskenlehti, a leaf of a widow, maybe because it is alone in bloom so early in spring.

Voikukka

 

Jäinen järvi

Vi-Purrs by Jeanne Foguth. Book Review.

V-Purr

Vi-Purrs by Jeanne Foguth, the Sea-Purrtector Files Book 3

Close your eyes , feel warm winds of Haiti on your skin. Suddenly you see a car,  a grey king cab, driving slowly. Behind the wheel is a man, a very hairy man, in the car sits two adult cats, one kitten, a rat and a chameleon.

Xander the Purrtector is, of course, there,  the other adult is Sharkey. Do you remember her from the Red Claw? She has already finished her education and is a Purrtector herself, too. The kitten is Mischief, the stubborn apprentice of  Xander. The chameleon is helpful Mars. The driver, Rufus, and the rat Scar are from the terrible laboratory of a mad doctor Moreau, who made weird creatures by mixing different DNAs.

Xander, “James Bond” of Catamondo,  is again in Haiti to find out that the explosion in the lab really destroyed everything, because they have  heard news that something weird is still happening. The Purrtector of the Dominican Republic has disappeared and somebody has an evil idea how to destroy  the whole Catamondo. This mission is not the easiest, suddenly the furious hurricane hits the island and at the same time dangerous bird flu spreads rapidly.

Jeanne Foguth is obviously an expert of feline behavior and she compounds in a very lovely way our habits with cats every day life.

The book, as the Red Claw and Purr-a-Noia, has the same two levels, telling how it is possible to live all together, in peace. Just think the group in the car, they could eat each others, but no, they have a mission and they will succeed in it together.

I highly recommend this book to everybody , it is a book of very special cats, but also an adventure book full of information of Haiti, its flora  and fauna, and a book of friendship.

Kristiina Rantasalo

March 2016 and 2017.

Last year in March we were driving around this countryside taking photos. The days were sunny, the sky bright blue and the spring was so near.

Kevät 2016

Now the wind with wet snow is trying to hide us under white drifts.

Lumimyräkkä

So we sit inside watching ski competitions in Norway.

TV

Book Review: Purr-a-noia by Jeanne Foguth.

51KrzjMjseL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

Xander the Hunter, one of Catamondo´s Purrtectors, receives a message from Haiti. Purrsey Lourdes, Purrtector of Haiti, tells that her country is in revolt. She needs help and advice how to keep peace on her jurisdiction.

Xander reads her message for the tenth time, and recollects how beautiful eyes she has. So who can say no, and Xander sails with Whispurring Winds to Haiti.

There starts an adventure, dangerous and twisted. Following Xander`s paw prints a reader gets to know Haiti, is`s history, religion, people and it`s animal kingdom and Xander finds out there is now really something wrong, as Purrsay said.

Xander gets new friends and enemies.He learns to know what is wrong and where.  Who is that lovely little girl using a pink flower as a rain hat, why Xander is having a talkative scarf?

Reading this book like an adventure book, I had a feeling I am adventuring with Xander ” James Bond” Hunter. These two heroes have an ability to make sudden and  right decisions and also react immediately. They know  High-Tech equipments and they really use them. They both remember beautiful eyes, too.

This book has, like Red Claw, many levels, it is an adventure book with a social meaning. This book shows how important is education, health care to every one, cats, dogs, humans. It is also  a book against racism. Jeanne Foguth has a talent to tell all these issues in her own way. The riots started in this book when kittens and puppies were planned to have only one school.

If you want to know about the end of this book, I tell you it is really a happy end.

 

 

 

 

Skiing.

In Finland every municipality has places for skiing, big centers or smaller ones.In small places are only ski tracks and maybe a hut with a possibility to make fire like this one we visited today in Vatula, in a town of Ikaalinen.

Kota.jpg
A hut.
Kota takaa.jpg
Do you see those small windows?
Opasteet.jpg
Guide signs. Reitti and ura means route, kota is a hut, laavu is a wicket.
Liikennemerkit.jpg
Traffic signs. Dogs have their own park near ski tracks.