December 23, 2012
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
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
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
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
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
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
November 4, 2012
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
October 28, 2012
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
October 21, 2012
October 17, 2012
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
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
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
October 3, 2012
September 30, 2012
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
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
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
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
September 9, 2012
September 5, 2012
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".