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!

Kommentit suomen kielellä ovat erityisen tervetulleita! - Puoi commentare anche in italiano!

Thank you for your visit.


Welcome, July!

Tervetuloa, ihana heinäkuu!

In Finland, July seems to be the summer holiday month for most people. The weather has been a little bit rainy and cool in many parts of the country, but warmer weather is expected soon. To all readers, wherever you are, here's to a beautiful and sunny July!

The "national bird" of our country, the whooper swan had become rare in Finland, but recently the population has rebounded. They are magnificent birds.

Concerning the English language, I have now learned that a male swan is called 'cob' and a female one 'pen'. The Oxford English Dictionary tells these names were already known in the 16th century: "c1550 Order for Swannes §27, The cignettes shalbe seazed to the King, till due proof be had whos they are, and whos was the swan that is away, be it cobb, or penne..."

I have a charming little book, a recent print of Robert Cawdrey's A Table Alphabetical (1604) titled The First English Dictionary 1604 (Bodleian Library, 2007). You can't find 'swan', 'cob' nor 'pen' in it, perhaps because everyone knew these words and Cawdrey wanted to draw up a table of "hard" words (i.e. adopted from other languages, such as Greek and Latin) “for the benefit & helpe of Ladies, Gentlewomen, or any other vnskilled persons”. :)

These are my only photos of baby swans. Three years ago, a couple with five cygnets was often seen near our home. When they noticed me, calmly and in good order, they started to move further... :)

Laulujoutsenen äänet ovat kiehtovia. Sen Pohjois-Amerikassa elävän lähisukulaisen nimi onkin trumpettijoutsen.

Rentouttavia kesäpäiviä niin lomalaisille kuin muillekin!

Wishing you relaxing and "soul-nurturing" summer days!



  1. Hello Sara,

    Beautiful photos! The baby swans is so cute. Yesterday I tasted wild strawberries, and they are so tasty.

    Happy weekend, and happy July!


  2. Ihanat kuvat! Jo kypsä ahomansikka! Vai on joutsenilla sukupuolen mukaan omat nimet enkussa. Enpä tiennyt.

    1. Kiitos, Satu!
      Nyt täytyy sanoa, että paitsi joutsenkuvat myös ahomansikkakuva on kesältä 2014. "Normaalina" kesänä niitä kyllä jo olisi aurinkoisilla paikoilla. Puutarhamansikat sen sijaan on kerätty muutama päivä sitten. :)

  3. Upeat, super kesäiset kuvat!

  4. Odottelen vieraita ja katan pöytään koivunlehtiserviettejä... Hups mikä hauska yllätys nähdä täällä ekana kuvana koivunlehtiä! 😀Mansikat ja joutsenet - mitä ihanaa heinäkuista tunnelmaa kautta linjan 🍓🍓🍓Meilläkin mansikkaa jo pari kertaa syöty omasta maasta. Muutamia luonnonmansikoitakin kypsymässä syreenien katveessa ❤️Kivaa viikonloppua!

  5. Kauniita kesähetkiä :) Toivottavasti sää pysyy lämpimän kesäisenä!

  6. Your knowledge of English was already very impressive, Sara, and you always write with clarity, style and grammatical correctness. It will be expanded by learning new words, but it will be hard to improve on your command of the language and its nuances.

    1. Thank you, David! :) Oh, I'm too old to learn anything new, but dictionaries are one of my passions. I have perhaps a hundred of them, of different kinds and of different languages.

  7. Hej Sara!

    Vackra och känslomässiga bilder - som alltid. Gott att sommaren även kommit till mitt fosterland.

    Jag önskar dig en varm och solig sommar efter den långa vintern.


  8. All your photos are lovely... Especially the swans.

    Wishing you a lovely, warm, sunny July!!!!!!!! You in your country really appreciate such a month, I know.

    Gentle hugs, Luna Crone

  9. Ciao Sara le tue foto sono tutte bellissime.. mi piace molto la foto di quel fiore rosso :)
    buon fine settimana

  10. I'm all for sun in July, goodness it's been hiding most of June. Interesting that the swans are the bird for Finland and I love the photo with the babies.
    I didn't know you collect dictionaries - what an amazing revelation - and in different languages. I'm impressed my friend.
    July is still a day away for us and putting myself aside, I'm praying for less rain for the farmers - so many fields are flooded and crops never having grown.

  11. Welcome to July! Your photos are beautiful. On our trip through the mountains recently, we saw lupines covering the roadsides with their tall flowers in purple, pink and pale yellow. I wish we could have stopped for photos, but we were in a bit of a rush. The swans are beautiful and I'm glad they are increasing in number in Finland.

  12. Wild strawberries!!!

    The Whooper swans with cyngets - don't see that in the UK, they only visit here for the winters.

  13. Beautiful photos. Thanks for sharing this post with us. Have a blessed day and a wonderful weekend and month of July.. Madeline

  14. Gorgeous photos, Sara! And the strawberries look delicious!

  15. The abundance and beauty of July and the summer you have waited so long for. Enjoy and recharge!

  16. Heinäkuu on aina ollut ehdoton lempikuukauteni ja uskon sen myös pysyvän sinä aina.
    Ihanaa heinäkuuta Sara.

  17. Beautiful photos. I don't know about "Welcome July". I could skip July and August and move onto September and autumn! :-)

    Greetings from London.

  18. Heinäkuu on kesän huippuhetki, vaikka joka kuukausi tarjoaa omat superihanuutensa. Ovat nuo lupiinikuvasi mahtavia - ovatko ne "jalolupiineja" vai kasvatetaan aurinkoisessa paikassa? Aurinkoista heinäkuuta!

    1. Kiitos, Pirkko!
      Kuvissa on kirjolupiini, joka tosiaan viihtyy aurinkoisella paikalla. Postaan niistä pian lisää.
      Ihanaa heinäkuuta!

  19. Hello, Sara!
    Finally warm days have come, the summer is here too. I love your pictures, the swans are always pretty, bright blue water and red lupines.
    Have a nice Sunday!

  20. Dear Sara,
    your photos are sooo beautiful and so poetically. I love them all.
    Have a lovely time ... many greetings and big hugs ... Dorothea :-)

  21. Wishing you a wonderful summer, Sara!

  22. Have a wonderful July Sara.
    Reading your beautiful post was an education. I didn't know a female swan was called a pen, thank you for that information.
    Your lupins and strawberries are looking gorgeous.
    Enjoy your Summer with warm wishes from us xx

  23. Magnífico post para recibir a julio. Llegó el verano Sara!!

  24. Dear Sara, I love your photos of the lake... I almost feel the scent of the water... :-) And how lovely the swan family is! The baby swans are so cute! Your summer is wonderfully fresh and green... Here the grass is mostly yellow everywhere... Now, we are getting some rain... but it wasn't raining for a month at least...
    I hope you enjoy your beautiful summer. Big hugs!
    Oh, and the first photo… you caught the face of the tree... :-)

    1. You are right, Edit! I think she's happily having a nap on a sunny summer afternoon. :)
      Big hugs!


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