I intended to write about commonplace books on my next post – as discussed on Quinn’s blog – but ach, well. I guess I’ll do it on the next one because spring arrived last Tuesday while I was out of town. Really. I kid you not. This is what the landscape looked like on the previous Sunday:


The photo is a bit too dark as I took on my mobile phone which doesn’t have the best of cameras, but is was a dull day: clouds hanging low and it was raining for the first time this year. There was snow all around which is a bit unusual for this time of the year. The thermal spring – you can see the definition for Finland here in English – was late this year as the temperatures during the night stayed wall below freezing until last weekend. That’s why the snow lasted for so long and why the migratory birds where nowhere to be seen.

Last Tuesday I drove the 250 km to Jyväskylä for the day. I left in the morning and returned to home around 10 pm. It was a warm and sunny day in Jyväskylä but I didn’t think much of it as the town lies in the Central Finland where the seasons follow a slightly different rhythm than here closer to the coast. And it was dark as I arrived back home so I didn’t pay much attention to the snow situation though, as an afterthought, that it was dark should have meant something.

It hit me the next morning when I went out to get the morning paper: where the heck has all the snow gone? It was practically all gone over night. Tuesday morning – late winter, Wednesday morning – spring. The same scene from our daily walk with the dog now looked like this:


(It’s composite panorama. That’s why the perspective is a bit wonky.)

The only snow left are the wet patches left in the shaded ditches and by woods and buildings; The ditch on the right, eastern side of the road gets much more direct sun than the left, western side one. Everywhere else, gone.

And the wind is warm, even the gale that has been blowing since last night. And the birds are here: the swans, cranes, skylarks and the Northern Lapwings. It’s officially spring now.