Longer nights

Autumn nights are getting dark earlier and earlier. I love it because now I can lit candles everywhere inside and outside the house. But at the same time, now you have to remember the shorter days when planning outdoor activities in the evening.

Few weeks ago we went grocery shopping in the town of Parkano, they have some more shops there than in our home town, so we go there every once in a while. This time we suddenly had an idea to walk through a little nature path in the Parkano forest museum area. It´s a small place where it’s shown how they used to timber the forests and stuff like that. We had to be kind of fast since the dusk was all ready showing. (and excuse me for the not so good pictures, I only had my phone camera)

The museum area is located few kilometers north from Parkano and the main buildings are open only during summer so it was quiet there. The few kilometer path goes first in a forest and then along a lake. Little after the start there was a little swamp where I could have stayed the whole time. There were lot of cranberries! Unfortunately I didn’t bring any cup or anything to collect them so I just had to eat all I could and be on my way. Or eat the ones I could get to before my dog. She loves them too and since it’s hard for her to get them from the grass and the moss , she just follows me and tries to eat from exactly the same place where I’m picking them.

When  we reached the lake the sun was setting down and the lake was calm. There´s a little forest church or something like that on the little cliff at the shore on a very pretty place. The water level was really low so we could easily walk on the shore cliffs that are often covered in water. At the shore before returning to the museum area there’s a lean-to and a fireplace which you can also reach with a wheelchair.

When we walk back to our car the darkness had surrounded us so we had exactly enough time to spend on the path. I love these little trips we can make in the middle of the week without planning, it gives me energy and some change for everyday routines. We have been making these trips to some wetlands during this autumn to find cranberries but this ain’t good year for any berries , due the dry summer.

Happy Autumn and waiting for the winter to come!

Toriseva

One sunny morning few weeks back I walked along Toriseva lake, located in my hometown, Virrat, just on my own. It´s a beautiful place only few kilometers from the house where I grew up and my parents still live. So it’s really a place where I have visited many many times.

It was around eight o’clock in the morning when my husband dropped me off at the north end of  Alainen Toriseva. Alainen basically means the lowest since there are three of Toriseva lakes highest, the middle and the lowest one. They are all deep lakes with a cliff on their other side. The median depth of the lakes is 20 meters middle Toriseva being the deepest one with 37 meters at one point. The lake I followed and where the marked nature path runs is 1,2 kilometer long, the longest of all tree of them. The whole lake area is about 3 km long.

At the north end of the lake there is a parking place with a sitting area, since the road from Tampere north to Lapua goes along the west side of the lakes. The path begins there  and at the beginning you can visit the lakeside to enjoy a nice view to the lake. There´s also a coffee place, open during summers, on the top of the hill.  Coffee place is called Torisevan kahvimaja and it has been there since 1936.

The temperature was close to zero celsius when we left from home so it was still kind of cool when I reached the lake and a thin layer of mist  was floating on top of the water. Sun was rising and the sky was clear from clouds. Perfect weather. There´s never lot of walkers at that time of day, actually I was the only one. The path goes on the top of the cliffs near the edge.  The track signs and info boards were renewed during this summer so they are easy to follow. The whole nature path is a circle route with 6 km total length but I only walked the part on the lakeside since I was going to walk to my parents place through the village where I used to live.

When you reach the south end of the lowest lake you come to the high point of Inkerinkallio (Inkeris’ cliff). There´s a nice view  to the country side. In Autumn colours it looked really pretty. The Inkerin kallio gets its name from a story of a noblewoman Inkeri Kurki. The story tells that the upper class girl fall in love with a common man and the family forbid their love. They sent Inkeri away to Virrat and the boy was sent to Swedish army. Inkeri came to pray for her loved one every night to the top of the clift. When she got the message that her beloved one had died, she jumped to the lake to end her life too. They say that you can still see her knee markings on the top where she prayed.

After Inkerin Kallio the lake ends and the path goes to the shore. There´s a fireplace and some tables to have a break. From the shore you can see the cliffs very nicely. It’s a place where I spent three summers when I was around ten. It was a stage for an opera which told a story about a local bearhunter, Martti Kitunen, who is known nationally for killing almost 200 adult bears during his life (1747 – 1833). I played a part in the opera as one of his kids, no singing of course! That would have scared the audience off… On the training breaks us kids used to swim in Toriseva, which I haven’t done since. The water stays pretty cold during the summer because of the depth and the cliffs.

My walk continued on the village roads on the other side of the road 66, mostly on the road which I used to bike to our small village school by a lake. Unfortunately the school is not working anymore. The sun was shining and it was peaceful and quiet to walk on that autumn Saturday morning.

Koulunmäki 30.9.2018 M.

Editor’s note: if you have checked out our Instagram feed, you might have seen photos from Toriseva before. To see photos from summer time or with more autumn colors click the Instagram on the rightside of this blog text. Autumn is changing the colors of nature. Same place, two weeks in between.

Koulunmäki 12.10.2018 T.

12th of October

Autumn Sunday in Seitseminen National Park

 

We have spent so much time at home lately that my son started suggesting that we should go somewhere to hike and make a fire. So Sunday one week agowe drove to Seitseminen National Park which is the closest national park from our house. We know that usually on sunny autumn Sunday there is lots of people there, so we searched the map for a place little less crowded. And we were right, there were lots of cars on parking lots.  But our choice of track was good, we only saw few people and no-one at the camping site.

The first part of our walk wasn’t really a path but more as a road. The day was sunny but also cold. It was really the first day that you felt the winter is on its way. When we had walked few kilometers that road-like path, we came to a lake which was occupied by a beaver, there was fallen trees everywhere. Our path also took a turn to another direction and really got smaller and not so well taken care of. From some parts the duckboards were in really bad shape. But we didn’t mind since it was peaceful to walk without rush. Trees had yellow leaves and wind blew them around.

The beavers work followed our chosen all the way to the camping site called Liesijärvi. There were two places to make a fire, a lean-to and a little further a normal fireplace.  We chose the normal one which was in a little peninsula. We made fire and cooked some veggie burgers and had really nice time. We walked the same way back so our route was 9 kilometres long totally. Just enough for a relaxing Sunday walk. We stopped at the traditional farm of Kovero on our way home which is one of the most visited places in Seitseminen. It was already evening so the national park was quiet and the people were gone.

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Valtavaara

In the end of July I travelled to Ruka with my husband for a weekend. It was our 12th wedding anniversary and the first time ever we went anywhere to celebrate it. So what would have been a better place to spend it than the place where we got engaged.  On that weekend we went for a walk on Valtavaara that rises behind the fell of Ruka. We had never been there before and it was a warm and sunny day, perfect for walking.

The route was 6 kilometers long circle which takes you to the top of Valtavaara. The place is a nature conservation area. It was a lot of climbing from the start. Stairs and rocks. Route is really popular so we met a lot of people.

You can see really well the ski jumping hill of Ruka from the track. And see how amazing the place is where it stands. I have never been on the top of it but I bet that the view from there is great, I would never have the guts to come down there with skies though! The path also goes to a little pond where is a nice peaceful place to take a break and make a fire.

On the last uphill the stairs are cut to the rock, they blend to the scenery really well. At the top there´s a hut which was built for fire watching. Now it is a day hut for people to have a break. From the top the path of Valtavaara and the path for the Karhunkierros, the hiking route to Oulanka National park, separate. I have never hiked that track but someday I hopefully will.

The way down was a lot easier but with less open views, path run mostly in the forest. As you can see from one of the pictures it’s not only people who use the path. But these ones where a little shy and turned around when they came closer to us. Not far from the top there was also another place to take a break and also a hut where to make a fire. The temperature rise to +25 degrees Celcius so after all the climbing we were really ready to go and just relax in our hotel room.

 

Apple pie

Autumn is time for apples. All the apple trees flowers got frozen in my garden in the spring so we don’t have any apples of our own but luckily we got some from our relatives. I used most of them to make applejam which I will use in the winter for appleloaf. But some I had to save for my favorite apple pie. Here´s the recipe for it. Usually I make my own vanilla sauce but now I was lazy and used a ready one for the store. IMG_0904

Apple pie

2 1/2 dl flour

1 1/2 dl sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon soda

2 dl buttermilk or sour cream

75 g butter

1 egg

on the surface:

4-5 small apples

cinnamon  and sugar Apple pie before baking

Heat the oven 225 degrees celsius.

Melt the butter. Cut the apples in slices. Measure all dry ingredients together. Add buttermilk, butter and egg. Spread the mix into a buttered dish and line up the apples on the top. Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on the top. Bake in the middle of the oven for 25-30 minutes. Serve with vanilla sauce or ice cream.

Autumn = home time

Autumn is home time! After travelling around all summer, it is time to calm down and spend some time at home. Harvesting the last vegetables and herbs from the garden and making everything ready  for winter. This summer was really different because of the heat, for the first time I even got watermelons from my own greenhouse.

 

 

 

I´ve been without a car for few weeks now so I been driving around with bicycle. It has been good excercise after the lazy summer! And I think the Finnish country side is at its best during autumn. Twenty kilometer bike ride to my grandmothers doesn’t feel much when you got nice views to look at. Or listening to the flocks of cranes yelling in the sky. That makes me a little bit melancholic since they are leaving soon, but the feeling in the spring when first of them return to north is  then even better. Those are just the signs of seasons changing which I love.

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Autumn is also the season to go collect mushrooms. At first it was looking bad this year because everything was so dry but now some rainy days have made the mushroom situation much better. Last weekend I, my sister and my niece went to pick up some chanterels, those are the best kind of mushrooms. For me at least!  Found some, not much but some and we had nice time in the forest. If you don’t count the numerous deer flies trying to crawl to your hair and clothes.

 

 

 

This season also means morning dews which bring every spider web to sight, beautiful sunsets and dark evenings making it lovely to light the first candles. I wish you all beautiful autumn where ever you are! Enjoy it! I know I do.

 

 

 

Autumn feelings and some changes

First autumn rains after the long, dry summer! I never could have imagined how much I was missing that. The fresh air after the rain or the feeling of misty rain on your face. When the real autumn rains come I may feel differently but now it is just so refreshing. And autumn season has so many other good things that I hardly ever miss the summer anyway.

The dry summer has had effects which I haven’t seen in the ten years I have lived in our house. The little river that flows on our  back yard has never been this dry.  I took a walk along the bottom of the river and somehow it was fun and sad at the same time. I mean there were beautiful rocks which the stream had shaped to new forms, curly roots growing from the trees standing on the river bank and beautiful moss growing on the bottom which can never be seen normally.

Then the bad part was the fact that many of the normal water plants had died and in some places you could smell the rotten fish. There aren’t lots of fish in the river but some and now they had died in these little ponds where was some water left. I also collected some garbage from the bottom, plastic mostly.  The topic of the climate change was on my mind all the time walking there. I felt kind of guilty of enjoying the beautiful day and the nature around me.

But to not get too dark.. It’s not everyday you can make a walk in a river! And hopefully it will  start to fill up when the season changes. Also while talking about changes; we are about to make some renovations to our blog. The name stays the same but if we don’t manage to do the changes within this same site please look us up with the same name! We are going to continue writing about our country, travelling in Finland and our lives here just with a new layout. Hope all of you still like to follow us here!

 

Otsamo

The signs of autumn are already here althought the days are still pretty hot. The nights are getting darker, first yellow leaves are appearing and the schools are starting. My son also started school last week and the house is quiet. So I thought I will write about a place where we visited for the first time this summer and of which my son really liked.

After spending midsummer eve in southern Lapland we headed to the north. We had driven quit a lot in the last few days so I was looking for a place from the map for us to hike a little for a change. Next to the village of Inari, there´s a fell called Otsamo. I have checked out the routes to there many times but for some reason we never visited. So that was our new target. The day was really hot so for once we remembered to take some water and snacks with us.

Route to the starting point was in a really bad shape but we managed to zigzag our  way to the parking lot. You can also start the route from the village of Inari but it is a lot longer path from there. After we had closed all the curtains, to prevent the temperature from rising too high in our van, we started our little hike up. The path from the parking lot of  Rovajärvi to the top of Otsamo is about 3 kilometers one way.

First the path runs through a typical Inari forest, lots of rocks and pine trees, some of which curvy dead standing trees. The hike begins on flat area but slowly it starts to rise and the end is really deep. The pine trees change to downy birches as you climb higher and the top is clean from the trees. The climb was really sweaty but the heat got easier when the trees area ended and the wind started. And by the time we made it to the highest point it got so windy I had to hold on to my hat.

But the view was really amazing. We were the only ones up there and it was so amazing. It’s so unbelievable how the view changes when you climb few hundred meters up. On the other direction you see the view towards Inari lake, another view shows the valley of river Juutua towards Lemmenjoki area and the view to the north aint any worse. On the top there´s a little hut, before used as a forest fire guards place. Now it is open for the hikers to use and we also ate our snacks there since the wind was so strong.

We spent quite a lot of time up there enjoying the day. This is a place where we will most definitely visit again. The path back down was a lot easier, just down the deep hill. It was one of the best days of our vacation and a beautiful memory of some family quality time.

Elimyssalo

We are back from over three weeks  holiday in Lapland and East Finland.  We circled around with our camper van and had great family time.  We started our journey few days before mid summer weekend and drove north through the east border.

 

We had decided before the trip that we would travel without any timetable and go to see everything that looked interesting. One place we had always just looked on the map but never visited, because of the remote location, was Elimyssalo nature reserve. It’s located in the municipality of Kuhmo next to the Russian border. It is part of the Friendship park which co-operates with the park on the Russian side of the border. The main purpose of these Friendship parks is the protection of the wild forest reindeer and its habitats. It was hunted to extinction from Finland in early 1900 and Élimyssalo was the first place it returned in the 1950s from the population at Russian side. Now the wild forest reindeer is doing very well in the park and small population of it has also been planted back in few other of its original habitats in Finland. It’s hard to separate wild forest reindeer by looks from a normal reindeer but the forest reindeer is a bit bigger and got longer legs than the normal one.

 

The day we drove to Elimyssalo was sunny and warm. We only had planned to walk a little while but ended up making a 15 kilometers hike, as usual… And as usual we only took some light snacks with us since we were not planning to be there for long.. So typical for us and not the only time we did that in our holiday either!

Elimyssalo is a mix of wetlands and forest. It’s a good size area but not really big enough for wilderness area; nevertheless it still it has this very strong “wilderness like ” feel to it.

 

As I have written before our dog is really afraid of horse flies so having a break on a sunny place wasn’t an option and in the shadows the mosquitos attack. While walking the bugs didn’t bother at all but stopping was a different thing. So we had to walk about to the half way of our trip to  the shore of a little lake where there was enough wind to keep most of the bugs away. It was also a really pretty site with a fireplace. When we left from that site we noticed that the path from this side was much more worn out that the one we walked, so apparently the southern side of the nature park is more popular than the northern side where we came from. And when we read more about the area we realized why. On the southern side there are also more paths but also two wilderness farms on one of which they keep sheep in the summer time. So maybe on our next visit we check that out too.

 

But we were really pleased with our choice of route; we didn’t meet any people, only the singing of the birds kept us company on our way. We didn’t see any wild forest reindeer this time but lots of signs that they lived there.  Hair and footprints and faeces. We had seen this beautiful animal in the nature before on another place closer to our home where they have planted the forest reindeer in the 70s.

 

Elimyssalo also had a lot of other species that like living in the peace of the remote area, like the flying squirrel which is an endangered species. We also saw two beavers nests and they had made a lot of timber work in the area. On one wetland they had raised the water level so the duckboards where just above the surface of the wet swamp. We had to convince our dog that it was safe to walk on the floating and  wiggling duckboard, but when I went before her she thought that if mom does it I can. It wasn’t easy to change our walking order on a narrow duckboard, since I had to pass our doggy and my husband.  But I managed to do it without a swimming trip to the swamp.

 

I also saw for the first time an osprey fishing on the lake. We stopped for a long time to watch it working, even our dog calmed down to follow the flying of the osprey. Also different kinds of woodpeckers love that place, we saw lots of them flying in the old forests. They had made a lot of they funny art on the trees by hiding the pinecones for food supply.

 

I think this is a place I will visit again, I really liked it. It really didn’t have any main attraction in that side of the park but the peaceful and wilderness like atmosphere really got to me. We also had the perfect start to our holiday there!

Photos from the summer start trip in Lapland

Do you ever have the problem that you are so used to just using your phone to everything that you forget to bring your actual camera? I have that problem all the time! And that is a problem, especially since my phone’s camera is so crappy. Last time I wrote that we made another trip to Lapland in the beginning of June so I collected few pictures from my phone from the trip here, taken when I had forgotten my camera in car.

I know many people buy a phone with better camera but I don’t like to use so much money on my phone. I know I will break it anyway, I’m so clumsy! So here are some of the better pics I found from my phone. I have written a text to every picture where it is from. The one that say Simo, are taken somewhere in Simo municipality but I’m not sure where. I forgot to write what the place was. It was a natura area that had an old nature path which was partially torn down. My son liked it more than normal since it was hard to stay on the broken duck boars which went on the swamp area just next to the lake. I think he wished that mom would go for a swim..

On the fells of Saariselkä there was still some snow left and my son just had to go sliding. Of course we didn’t have any equipment with us so he used his jacket to do it. Works!

On the Simo path there were also a lot of common lizards on the duck boards. They are so funny creatures, allthought I often got scared for thinking they were snakes! Hope you can find it my photo!

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