Welcome to Villa Emilia (My Woodland Garden), a photography blog with a slant towards gardening and nature. An amateur gardener and photographer, I hope to share beautiful moments with you through pictures. Let me know if you like them!

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Thank you for your visit.


Pete and co.

This is Pete, a dear friend of ours. If he spent his summers and raised the family in an English-speaking country, his name could be for example Phil, Phil the Finch, or perhaps Charlie the Chaffinch. I will tell you more about him in another post.

A Finnish proverb counts "the days to summer" by following the migration of some familiar small bird species: "A month from a skylark, a half from a finch, a little from a wagtail and not a day from a swallow."  Well, the finches have arrived and are singing their hearts out, but the weather is still cold.

In these days I have managed to take some animal photos and can participate in

Eileen's lovely link party Saturday's Critters!

Almost everybody loves blackbirds (ours is Turdus merula), especially because of their lovely, fluted, melodious song. They have become more common where we live, which doesn't make me completely happy, since they eat (a lot of) our friends earthworms.

I have already posted several photos of squirrels. (Sorry!) I like the tender light and colours of these pictures. Click to enlarge!

Most of the photos of this post have been taken through a window.  The timid whooper swans move quickly away if I go out and try to get closer.

This is how a Finnish spring morning looks like. :)

One of our squirrels looks slightly wet too.

Some brave flowers can already be kept outdoors...

... and inside the home a pink pelargonium is blooming.

Participating in 


as well as

♥ Have a beautiful new week! ♥


  1. Huikeita kuvia!
    Meidänkin pihalla vieraili mustarastas aamulla.
    Oravat ovat todella veikeitä ja notkeita eläimiä.
    Orvokkeja voisi ehkä laittaa jo amppeliin kuistille.
    Oikein ihanaa viikonloppua :)

  2. It is lovely to see your critters!! xx

  3. I like how you time the days to spring weather by which birds have returned. The photo of the wet squirrel is so funny and the one of the swans is beautiful. I managed to clean out one flower bed this afternoon as we've had a week of sunny warm days which is melting the snow very fast. I hope your spring weather arrives there soon. Pam

  4. Pete is a handsome fellow! Isn't it great to welcome the birds back? They are slowly returning here, so nice to hear them chirping through the day. The wet squirrel looks like he's been shocked by something! Too funny!

  5. Your photos of the birds and other critters are great. Enjoyed this post. Have a blessed day. Madeline

  6. I love your beautiful finch and how you can tell how soon spring will arrive by the birds! Those squirrels are so cute and nice to see the Whooper Swans, pretty pansies and those lovely birch trees. Have a beautiful weekend! xo Karen

  7. Beautiful captures all around. I thought the squirrel with the "bad hair day" was especially cute. Happy Spring.

  8. Hello Sara, I love all your birds, especially the Chaffinch.. And the squirrel is adorable.. I love the wet squirrel shot. The Whooper Swans are awesome, so pretty. Lovely flowers and mosaic.. Wonderful photos! Thank you for linking up, have a happy weekend!

  9. Love the wet squirrel.
    Our Lucy would have a hey day but I have to admit I'm always glad when the squirrel outsmarts her.

  10. A beautiful collection of pics. Particularly like the wet squirrel, well captured.

  11. Beautiful pics, I especially love the wet squirrel.

  12. That squirrel is super cute.

  13. Lovely photos. That squirrel is really cute!

  14. Great photos! The one of the wet squirrel was funny. But snow? Ugh... (Where I live, we had an especially cold and snowy Winter, and Spring started very cold, but this week it's finally warming up.)

  15. Hi, Sara!
    Nice photos, I liked the most of geese marching along river. Spring!
    I will follow you in Mosaic on Monday on my new post.

  16. Ihanat kuvat! Oravat ovat niin suloisia. Meilläpäin on vain kyhmyjoutsenia. Olisi ihanaa päästä kuvaamaan näitä kansallislintujamme.

  17. Love the squirrel! and Pete is sweet. Blackbirds have a beautiful song. Interesting post and lovely photos

  18. Hi there Pete and little squirrels as well. ( I feed some of your cousins over here in the USA! :)

  19. Hmm, your ideal spring morning still looks cold and when the snow has melted I would love to see the view again through the stand of birch trees.
    Your Finnish proverb sounds much like Indian folklore here Sara. ;-)
    Thanks for linking to Mosaic Monday.

  20. That wet squirrel is sooo funny!

  21. I am sorry to hear you are still dealing with cold weather...ours has been in the 50s and 60s but we are going back to the 40s soon for a few days. I love your brave pansies and those squirrels are priceless...the colors are so soft and say early spring.

  22. Stunning images of Spring in Finland Sara!
    I treasure the earthworms working in my garden too - for several years we had a tame(ish) blackbird who was beside me when I was in the garden. She waited for me to turn the soil and then she hopped in dragging the poor worms into her mouth. It stopped me from weeding when she was around - all part of nature I know.
    However she must be in birdie heaven as she wasn't about this summer.
    The sight of the wet squirrel is hilarious!!!
    Swans can be vicious when protecting their environment so it's probably a good thing you didn't get too close.
    When we visited Fontainebleau Palace in France, their was a pair of swans and their 5 babies on the lawn. The parents made sure we kept our distance - I tried to take photos but the grass was quite long and protected them from view - I imagine the gardeners must have got the message to stay clear!!
    Enjoy your Spring!
    Shane x

  23. The swans are beautiful...what great photos! And we have the cousins of your squirrels trying to eat in our feeders! lol They can be cute though. Enjoy your week! Hugs, Diane

  24. Thanks for sharing Spring in your part of the world. Swans are so pretty and you did a great job photographing them even thru a window. Lots of your squirrels' relatives are in my area. LOL Would like to see them pack up and move as they do so much damage.
    Thanks for stopping by.

  25. Oh those trees are so beautiful at mornings light and the little wet squirrel, too, too adorable along with all of the other beauty shared~

  26. The wet squirrel is hilarious! Love the way you Finns count birds to spring/summer. Slowly, slowly it's coming in your area.

  27. Wonderful shot - especially that squirrel!

  28. Sara, Great shot of the squirrel. He does look a bit damp around the edges. Sylvia D.

  29. Finland looks lovely in Spring. Your photos are wonderful, especially the squirrel, sometimes very hard to get good shots of, but I think my favorite photo is of the swans, my favorite goose-duck type bird. Would that be water fowl. Favorite wate fowl. Have a grand week.

  30. Great series of shots. I love the one of the squirrel - he looks like he has a punk hairstyle!
    Please come share at http://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2015/04/at-keyboard.html

  31. Oh so fantastic captures... I'm happy to Founds your blogsite.
    Cheers, Heidrun

  32. Love the face of the squirrel with the wet tail. We get swans wintering near Bellingham in Washington State. - Margy

  33. Thank you all for your lovely comments!


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