Rauma’s Church of the Holy Cross (interior photos)

This gallery contains 9 photos.

Well, the title pretty much says it all. A year ago, my Finnish language course took us on a field trip to the local medieval church. A bit of cultural edification for the foreigners, I suppose. It was actually a nice little tour, though keeping up the with guide’s spoken Finnish was still a bit difficult for me at the time. I might just go visit with the little guy and do it again now that my ear has developed some. The fun thing about this tour was that they also took us upstairs to visit the big pipe organ, …

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Frank, my deer.

We seem to be on a roll with all things wild and Finnish, so here’s a little video of something else that I found in our garden in early September last year. It was very early in the morning and I had been forced out of bed to make a bottle for a fussy toddler, so I was a bit surprised to look out the window and see a large animal strolling through the berry bushes. Pleasantly surprised, though. This young male European red deer, who I promptly named Frank in my head, just seemed so mellow as he poked around amongst the ripe fruit that I had to stop and watch him for a bit. This is the only time that I’ve seen him, though I have noticed deer marks through the snow in the winter, so I suspect this wasn’t the first time he and his presumed relatives have been around. None of them have ever harmed my vegetables and trees, so they remain welcome visitors to clean up any fruit that I can’t get around to harvesting in time.

Hunting the Wild Finnish Mushroom

Now we come to the adventuring part of this year’s mushroom hunting posts. As mentioned in my previous post, I’m getting pretty good at locating and picking the “beginner mushrooms” local to our area. This means that I’ve been turning my eye to other prospects, wanting to identify different species around us and learn what other culinary options we have. Having a wider identification database is also good for keeping curious toddler hands away from toxic species, of course. The best way to learn these things is from actual experience, so I badgered a good friend of mine until she finally …

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Dry Sautéed Chanterelles for Freezing and Why I Have Time To Post Now.

These two topics, you see, are totally related. Around the end of summer and early fall, I’m usually scouring the surrounding woods for any signs of frilly golden yellow goodness — especially now that I get to bring them home for my voracious little fungivore. If the haul is not so bountiful, I also start buying up any good deals at the local produce market stalls. A good portion of this goes straight into whatever dishes I’m making for the week (remind me to post that chanterelle and balsamic beef fettucine recipe one day soon) but the rest gets preserved for use throughout …

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The One Where I Gloss Over Not Posting for Almost a Year. Also, Mushrooms!

Because c’mon, the only people who are really reading this already know that juggling toddlers and various other aspects of adult life are not entirely compatible with keeping a regular writing schedule. But you know what was actually on schedule this year? Mushroom season! Yeah, great segue, I know. I try, I try. Really, though — I’m rather proud because this was the first year I went out to forage mushrooms and actually came back with a basket full of really good-looking ones! These were picked at the beginning of September, so I’m not even too late in posting about them at all 😉 I’m …

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7 Days of Blue/Purple Flowers

I just finished up a 7 day photography challenge over on Facebook — the husband tagged me to do 7 nature pictures and I ended up narrowing it down further for myself by deciding to do only flowers in the blue-purple spectrum that arrived on our property without my aid. I had so much fun finding and identifying them all that I might just extend this indefinitely! It gives me the kick in the butt I need to get outside and get to know all those forgotten corners as well, while the weather is nice. #1 – Spreading Bellflower (Campanula …

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Midsummer Garden Tour

Even though this year’s midsummer was mostly spent inside due to it raining all day, I had a chance to nip out in the morning and snap some pictures for my mid-season garden tour. This was the year that I was FINALLY able to get some major work done in my vegetable garden. Some design ideas are also starting to take shape for the various flower beds around the property, which I spent a few years observing before deciding what was going to stay and go. This was also the year that I started harvesting cut flowers for bouquets, such as …

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Garden Bouquets!

The best part of having a large garden is planting lots of flowers for cutting. Thanks to the mild winter and prolonged spring conditions, the garden has put out more flowers this year than I’ve ever seen. In fact, there are a few that we’ve never seen bloom before — or at least never noticed due to their low performance — the maple tree has tons of little helicopter seed clusters and the honeysuckle is covered in buds that I can’t wait to use for a desktop bouquet. I tend to mark cutting garden season as starting with lilies of …

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On being “American” in Finland

Oh dear. I hate to sound like an unique American snowflake in the great socialist North, but here goes. I have been sent links to Tim Walker’s “Bad American Habits” listicle by a couple of people now. The first time, I just laughed at it and explained to the forwarder (non-American, non-Finnish, thought quite rightly that any writings by any Americans might amuse me) that while it was representative of some Americans living in this country, we came from countless different backgrounds and I happened to be from one that did not readily relate to all his points. Then I …

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