Thursday, August 20, 2009

Signs that tell the summer is over, Autumn is here....and....

1. The children are back at school and in my case, the lads are back at college and my youngest, Jake, is on his new course, of Forestry, having left school in May.

Sodankylä was the last of the local area councils to return to education... As you can imagine they were quite happy about that this year! So, they went back on Monday 17th August... a whole week later than others and half a week later than in Rovaniemi.

2. Rug and mat washing... the great Finnish tradition! Found in virtually every Finnish town, is the public mat washing amenity. Ours is by the side of the Kitinen river. It has long rinsing basins, drying racks and a big old fashioned mangle - yes they still exist!! Finns love to wash their mats you know! It is such an event that it even makes the front page of the Lapland region newspaper! I find that rather humorous actually!
Click here to read the online, albeit shortened version (Finnish) Everyone is at it!

These pictures, taken on Friday it was a glorious evening!

The mangle.....

Note how the rugs are all left to dry by their owners... safe in the knowledge that they will still be there, upon their return several hours later!

There is even somewhere to keep the kids happy whilst doing the task!

3. The trees are starting to change colour. Birches are turning yellow rapidly and Rowans are turning a gorgeous red. Autumn happens quickly here. As the temperatures drop overnight, the leaves change their bright green colours to their glorious traffic light cousin colours... This picture of a Birch only tells a small part of the was quite light when I took this picture, so it was hard to show up!

4. Darker and darker nights.... (and mornings!) The lights on for longer.... So, the midnight sun has certainly left us for another year... Here is an image taken outside of my home, at 11pm during the month of June... that I forgot to share online then. Apart from the long shadows, you would never know that it was taken so late would you? Ahh.... how nice and unusual those months of light are....

5. Orange sticks. (?) Yes, that's right, I said orange sticks....LOL. During the last week, the council workers have been out and about with armfuls of them. It is the annual stick month! (What on earth??? You may ask...) Ok, is a simple but clever system of road marking, done now, in readiness for the long winter dark months.

These plastic sticks are about 4-5ft high and pushed into the ground at the road side at regular intervals. To the top of the pole is a reflective strip. They are there to show winter drivers just where the edge of the road is! They have to be that long, or the snow would totally over take them! (It tries really hard to to the image below lent to me from my friend Amel shows! Can you see the stick in the heap of snow to the left of the road?) With many roads totally unlit, you certainly need them - to guide your way along the road, show turnings etc! Amels husband Arttu (R2), tells me they are called Aurausviitat in Finnish.

6. Berries....the blessings of Finlands forests... oooh yummy!

My son's girlfriend's grandmother, bless her.. gave us a whole load of berries last sunday. Jake was on his way home on the bus, after spending the weekend with his love, Minna, (who lives in Rovaniemi) when her grandmother stopped the bus at the bus-stop near her cabin, to offer them to him...(the bus driver didnt seem to mind....) and it was not 'just a few' either! It was a whole large carrier bag full of boxes of fresh blueberries that she had just picked! She is in her early 70's and very agile ... as the contents of the bag showed! She really does not look it either! (( Many thanks Annikki! It was really kind of you! ))

Being the avid cook that he is, Jake made a lovely blueberry cake for us.

The rest is in the freezer - for now... but I expect that I will have to get my mehumaija out and make some berry juice concentrate! When I use that clever tool.. I will have to blog about it... sooooo Finnish!

7. Hunting season... ((shudder)) I detest it. Right now it is bird hunting season... Moose hunting comes later on.... :(

8. Having to wear a cardigan occasionally..... and the radiator on at work once or twice :(

9. ICE on the windscreen first thing in the morning, on thursday this week.... yep... already!

10. Everyone at work discussing the fact that the change is upon us!

These are just some of the signs that tell the summer is over, Autumn is here....and....Talvi tuleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee..... (Winter comes.....)

(Please Mother Nature.. a few more warm days first; pretty please)

Copyright Information

All content, unless otherwise noted, is © ArcticRainbow and may not be reproduced in any form without express permission from the author, except for credited links directly to articles or to the main site. (I don't bite...just ask!) :D