Kuu kiurusta kesään, puoli kuuta peipposesta, västäräkistä vähäsen,
pääskysestä ei päivääkään.
Traditional Finnish proverb
Ask a Finn for a traditional Finnish proverb and the above is
probably what you'll get, although odds are even they won't understand it,
much less know how to apply it.
Finnish has hundreds of similar nature-related
proverbs, nearly all of which have been obsoleted by
weather satellites and TV news, and consequently
Only this one remains firmly lodged in the
collective memory of every Finn.
So what does it mean then?
The answer is simple enough: the little alliterative ditty
counts the days to summer by following the migration of various
bird species. However, in these urban days, most city-dwellers
would be hard-pressed to tell the difference between a finch and
a wagtail, even if they did spot a creature with wings
perching on a mobile network repeater station or something...