About two weeks ago we were on an evening walk home from a birthday party and we were grazed by what we thought was a bird, but when we looked at where it landed we realized we were brushed by something you don’t always get to see in populated areas. It was a squirrel! This squirrel is called the Siberian Flying Squirrel. They can be found in Southern Finland and Estonia. They look different because of there big black eyes and the membrane that connects between the front and rear legs called the furry glide membrane. The other type of squirrel you see a lot of in Finland is the Red Squirrel. He looks different then the squirrels we see in Georgia, USA because it has very pointy, furry ears.
Here are two pictures I found on the Internet of the two kinds of squirrels.
Spring has sprung? Is just over 0C really spring? Maybe it is more that we are now at 14 hours of sunlight and yes that makes a HUGE difference. Last week we broke out the lighter winter wear. We thought our heavy down parkas might be done for winter #2. Saturday was beautiful +4 – yes Finnish spring weather!
Lots of playing and the girls even fell asleep at 7pm on a Saturday night. Could this be true? Christian and I watched about the French Revolution on YouTube to prepare for our trip to Paris in a week.
Sunday came and we broke out the bikes to prep. Let me remind you there is still plenty of snow and ice on the ground. However, we are seeing pavement and the street sweepers even started to pick up the gravel and the excess of dust from this and the chemical they spray to make the streets and paths accessible all winter is quite abundant. This phenomena causes a lot of excitement for the Finns! You start to see more bikes even the elderly are started to hop on the bikes. I prefer to wait for the gravel to disappear so little tumbles off the bikes or scooters don’t turn into huge drama. I have the band aids ready. That is one nice thing about snow and sledding, you really don’t need bandaids. The girls started a little rusty on the bikes, but got the hang of it pretty quick.
We had seen the the weather forecast predicting snow for Sunday afternoon and the hourly stated 2pm it would start, but that came and went and no snow. 4pm came and we started to see flurries. No big deal, but by 5pm it was snowing and Facebook of my Finnish friends were all posting the snow. I think everyone has had it for the winter white stuff and since we had a lousy wet summer, we are hoping for an excellent 2013 summer and it is deserved! I do have a much better appreciation why July shuts down in this part of the world.
As we went to bed I would say we got 3-4cm. Last winter we got the last snow that seemed to take the rest of the snow away. You could feel this last year. I’m not determined this time, but I’m hopeful this is it.
I will say I love the pure white snow and how it is in the trees. The backdrop of the bluest sky just like the cross on the Finnish flag is so beautiful and then there is the sun that was up at 6:30am making all the fresh white snow sparkle light diamonds. Makes for a peaceful and refreshing walk with oneself. Some like Yoga, but I’ll take this!
April 8th Snowfall
And then you finish off your beautiful walk with one of these – gotta love Finland!
Today Natalie’s Finnish Preschool is celebrating Isovanhempien päivä/Grandparent’s Day! They have been preparing and practicing song and dance. They are going to have few other surprises I’m sure, like coffee and pulla.
Natalie has been a little sad and not wanting to go to school since her grandparents are not here. The teacher in me came out and I worked with Natalie on making this fun for her. We got daddy to bring home some lanyards from work to borrow for the day. We took some pictures of the grandparents and Natalie and placed them in the lanyards to be her special necklace.
The bell rang and Natalie gave me her usual hug and kiss and then in the classroom she went with her necklaces. The children were immediately curious and came over to check out Natalie’s unusual necklaces. They were a hit! She had a huge smile and I think she felt very much apart of the event. She was telling the children in Finnish about the pictures. Her teacher walked over just a curious and turned and gave me a thumbs up and said, “Excellent idea!”
Mommy job done and I am satisfied she will be happy when I return!