Juhannus (you-ha-noose) is the Finnish celebration of the summer solstice (June 21st), or Midsummer.  This is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, and anywhere above the Arctic Circle gets 24-hours of sunlight. [note: the definition of the ‘Arctic Circle’ is the latitude at which there is at least one 24-hour period of sunlight per year.]

Kevo bonfire Continue reading

Highs and Lows

The last few weeks have been both eventful and calm.  Highs: 1) Brandon arrived in Finland for a 2-month visit!  2) I got my laser!  3) The green-up has really taken hold, so the scenery and weather are fully ‘summer’ now, which you can see below by how thawed my wetland site is.  Low: 1) Carol, my PolarTREC teacher has left.

Slightly soggy field work Continue reading

Fjords v. Squirrels

Abigail (sister #4) has been visiting me here in Finland for the last three weeks, which has been fabulous.  Here follows a photographic journey of our post-Eurovision time together, including a trip around a Norwegian fjord, some field work, some row boats, and some seriously adorable Finnish squirrels.

Vardo barn wisdom Continue reading

Marry Me Finland!

This has been a big week here in Finland.  I went to Helsinki for a Fulbright event early last week, and picked up my little sister Abigail who’s here for a 3-week visit.  I took Abby on a crazy 1-day whirlwind tour of Helsinki before dragging her up into the ridiculously secluded far north of Lapland.  The cherry on top of this week has been Eurovision 2013, the European song contest.  But first things first: Abigail’s grand tour of Helsinki. Abby and K at Sibelius Monument Continue reading

Kevät on tullut!

Spring has officially arrived in Finland!  The melting snow is uncovering winter’s indiscretions, from plow-damaged benches and bicycles to an staggering amount of winter clothing and 6 months of until-now frozen dog waste.  Probably most surprising has been how green the ground plants are immediately upon freedom from the snow.

green undergrowth Continue reading