December 23, 2012

62 :: Merry Christmas

Jaana: Card illustration by Finnish artist Martta Wendelin (1893-1986).

Kia: The cards have been handmade (embroidered) in Scotland by R & M Mitchell.

Hyvää Joulua! Buon Natale! Merry Christmas!

The year is coming to an end, and we wanted to take this moment to thank you all for your visits, comments and shared photos during these past few months. We have truly enjoyed sharing bits and pieces of our countries with you, hoping that you've enjoyed seeing the similarities and differences between Finland and Scotland. We are only 1907 km i.e. 1185 miles apart, as the crow flies, but it surely often feels like a lot more by looking at our photos, don't you think!

We'll be taking a little break now for the holidays, but will be back sometime in January. Till then... best wishes for Happy Holidays and a prosperous New Year to one and all! See you in 2013!

December 16, 2012

61 :: Sunset

Jaana: On the winter solstice, December 21st, the length of our day will be a whopping 3 hours and 34 minutes.

Kia: On the shortest day of the year the sun rises at 08:46 and sets at 15:45, yielding a length of the day of 6 hours and 59 minutes.

December 9, 2012

60 :: Snow

Jaana: Winter has arrived with snow and cold temps (-23°C/-9.4°F at the time of this shot) that often bring along sunshine.

Kia: The first Sunday of Advent has brought us into full winter, with sleet and snow.

December 2, 2012

59 :: Statue

Jaana: Toripolliisi, the Market Square Policeman, has been standing on the Oulu market square since 1987 in honor of the policemen who once patrolled there.

Kia: Royal Scots Greys equestrian statue in Princes Street Gardens, with Edinburgh Castle in the background.

November 25, 2012

58 :: This Week's Scenery

Jaana: We've had sunny days, frosty days, snowy days... but for the most part our November has been made of dark, wet days. Friday was no exception.

Kia: The weather has been persistently dull and wet this year, and November has been no exception, with more heavy rain and strong winds. I've been trying to take advantage of any sunny spell for some photo shooting.

How is the scenery in your area at this time of the year?

November 18, 2012

57 :: River

Jaana: Oulujoki basking in the golden light of November.

Kia: Enjoying the last patches of autumn colors on the banks of the White Cart Water. This is one of the narrowest points of its bed.

November 11, 2012

56 :: Puddle

Jaana: In October our puddles froze.

Kia: On a sunny autumn day even a mud puddle can be beautiful.

November 4, 2012

55 :: Rural Autumn

Jaana: On October 21st the fodder bales were just about the only reminder of autumn.

Kia: On October 21st this grain crop was still waiting to be harvested. Oats and barley have been Scotland's main cereal crops since the Middle Ages, simply because, unlike wheat and maize, both are willing to grow in this damp, sun-deprived climate.

From November on we'll be posting once a week, on Sundays.

October 31, 2012

54 :: Fog

Jaana: The only thing missing was a silhouette of a moose or a deer appearing from behind the trees.

Kia: Autumn fog eating up the pond.

October 28, 2012

53 :: Autumn Colors

Jaana: The scenery overhere is looking quite wintry by now, but there are still some autumn colors to be found if you look closely.

Kia: Autumn has arrived bursting with color. The fall foliage has been particularly beautiful this year, the most colorful since I moved here.

October 24, 2012

52 :: Fallen Leaves

Jaana: Decaying rowan leaves sugared with frost.

Kia: The free fall of a little leaf frozen in time by a spider web.

October 21, 2012

51 :: Sunrise

Jaana: sunrise at 08:31, sunset at 17:31, length of the day 9 hours.

Kia: sunrise at 08:02, sunset at 18:01, length of the day 9 hours and 58 minutes.

October 17, 2012

50 :: Berries

Jaana: Our European Rowans (Sorbus aucuparia) are carrying a big crop of berries this year. According to an old proverb, it means that we won't be getting much snow this winter, because the Rowan won't carry two loads.

Kia: Autumn jewels in the shape of berries are dripping from trees and bushes right now. I especially like the deep pink berries of the ornamental Kite-leaf Rowan (Sorbus oligodonta). In Scottish folklore, Rowan trees are said to be protectors against evil and enchantments.

October 14, 2012

49 :: Autumn Bloomers

Jaana: An entire field of Sunflowers got bitten by the first frost before coming to full bloom.

Kia: This variety of stonecrop is called, rather appropriately, Autumn Joy Sedum. Its flowers bloom from August into November.

October 10, 2012

48 :: Mushroom

Jaana: The beautiful Fly Agaric (Amanita muscaria) is the most common poisonous mushroom in Finland, and luckily one of the easiest to identify.

Kia: A meaty and edible Macrolepiota procera, commonly known as the Parasol Mushroom, growing in a grassy meadow.

October 7, 2012

47 :: Autumn Reflection

Jaana: Mirror, mirror...

Kia: The beauty of autumn colors is emphasized by its reflection.

October 3, 2012

46 :: Urban Autumn

Jaana: After all the greens of the summer, I'm happy to see autumn coloring the landscapes.

Kia: The autumn foliage of ivy is so pretty and bright.

September 30, 2012

45 :: Waterfowl

Jaana: Apart from Mallard Ducks, Tufted Ducks seem to be the other common waterfowl over here, even though they are classified as vulnerable in Finland. I love their piercing yellow eyes.

Kia: Mallard ducks and Mute Swans are almost ubiquitous in Scottish rivers, ponds and lochs.

September 26, 2012

44 :: Urban Art

Jaana: Temporary wooden sculpture by architecture students on an islet in the city.

Kia: A chalk artist giving the final touches to his pavement drawings in Prince Street, the main shopping street in Edinburgh.

September 23, 2012

43 :: Capital

Jaana: This year Helsinki has been celebrating its 200th year as the capital of Finland, and it's also the World Design Capital 2012.

Kia: Edinburgh has been the capital of Scotland since 1437. It's the seat of the Scottish Parliament and Government, and the second largest city in the country.

September 19, 2012

September 16, 2012

41 :: Moss

Jaana: That rock looks like it's been padded and upholstered by layers of moss.

Kia: Because of the damp climate, moss is everywhere in Scotland, adding color and interest to the most mundane of the scenes, like this moss-covered spot at Castle Crathes.

September 12, 2012

40 :: Signs Of Autumn

Jaana: Blueberries, lingonberries, rowan berries...

Kia: Squirrels are busy gathering nuts and seeds to store for the long winter, and leaves begin to change color.

September 9, 2012

39 :: Pigeon

Jaana: The pretty coloring of this Feral Pigeon (or pulu as we Finns say) caught my eye.

Kia: The Woodpigeon is the UK's largest and commonest pigeon.

September 5, 2012

38 :: Swallow

Jaana: Barn Swallows are now slowly leaving us to spend winter in Africa. We'll get to see them again in April-June. An old Finnish saying claims that the sight of the first swallow means summer has arrived.

Kia: The Barn Swallow is the most common member of the swallow family in Britain. Swallows are common summer visitors, arriving in April and leaving in October. A well known proverb goes like this: "One swallow does not make a summer".