grass snake, natrix natrix, Finland

Springtime animal spotting

The spring seems to be at least one week early this year. Three weeks ago the temperature rose to10 degrees in Rovaniemi. All the snow is gone since three weeks in Southern Finland and I’ve been spotting animals that indicate the summer coming. I always have this old poem in my head when I spot certain animals for the first time after the winter. 🙂

Kuu kiurusta kesähän, (Eurasian skylark, 1 month until summer)
puoli kuuta peipposesta, (chaffinch, 2 weeks until summer)
viikk’kausi kivenviasta(rantasipi), (sandpiper, 1 week until summer)
yksi päivä pääskysestä, (swallow, 1 day until summer)
västäräkistä ei vähääkään. (wagtail, not a single day until summer)

I’ve been talking with my husband about starting to write down the animals that we’ve seen but somehow it has seemed like a difficult thing not to lose those little post-it notes! 😀 That’s why I decided to write the list here, I might update it as we encounter more species.The stupid thing is that I never seem to be carrying my proper camera with me and none of the pics on the phone depict the beautiful nature as I get to see it. 🙁

1.4. A bumble bee in our garden, checking out the blooming hepaticas.
Kaylee also had her first tick.
3.4. Two male chaffinches – this one I saw two weeks ago but seems like this poem isn’t highly accurate.. It’s cloudy ans 10 degrees outside. On the other hand, maybe that’s how the finnish weather often is as well.. 😀
8.4. Grass snakes sunbathing close to the shoreline and viviparous lizards in our garden. Unfortunately the lizard had an involuntary encounter with Kaylee and lost its tail.
11.4. One small tortoiseshell (nokkosperhonen)
16.4. Two swans flying over the lake Syväri – we were enjoying the quiet evening before going to the smoke sauna. These two clearly had a conversation going on. 🙂

22.5. UPDATE! 🙂 My friend Janne took some great pictures of Barn Swallows! The birds were busy with dipping straws in the mud to be able to build nest walls. Check out his new Instagram page here. I designed the Jay’s Wildlife logo for him. 🙂

Barn swallows by Jay's Wildlife. Wind from the North

2 comments on “Springtime animal spottingAdd yours →

  1. Such a delightful post for us Finns who find ourselves abroad in springtime. I’ve learned this version of the poem: “Kuu kiurusta kesään, puoli kuuta peipposesta, västäräkistä vähäsen, pääskysestä ei päivääkään!”

    1. Actually this version of the poem is a traditional Finnish song that I’ve learned in school. Maybe that’s why it’s a little different. I’m bad at remembering poems but when they’re combined with the melody the lyrics are clear in my head! 🙂

      I notice the same thing when visiting old people in the retirement house with Kaylee – they might not remember their own name but remember old songs exceptionally well! Like when they hear my name and start singing the old song “kaunis Veera”. 😀

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