Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Back on the spring track

Decoration on top of the facade of the Basilica di Santa Croce, Florence.
We had a very peaceful Easter at home. My daughter came over with one of her two cats and stayed for a couple of nights. My husband’s son also stayed for one night before leaving for a short break in London. Other than that it was very quiet. The only events we knew about were the natural ones taking place out-of-doors.

The nights are still several degrees below freezing point but the warming effect of the sun is winning and spring seems to be back on the track where it was a week ago. The swans and other water birds staying by the flooding fields of the neighbouring village have survived and more species are arriving. I spotted some Canada geese (Branta canadensis) and Northern lapwings (Vanellus vanellus) (töyhtöhyyppä). There were many more having a rest on the same spot but they were too far to be identified.

Canada geese.

I don’t know why – maybe it’s age – but in recent years I’ve turned my eyes to the sky much more often than earlier. I don’t recall ever having considered the clouds part of it when admiring a landscape when I was young or perhaps I just don’t remember how it was in those days. Nevertheless, now I’m constantly paying attention to the skies.

The resting place of the migrating water birds can be seen in the middle.
An approaching cloud front caught my eye on Easter Monday when I was driving towards home. The weather was just beautiful and I loved the landscape of the fields with patches of snow and the masses of clouds in the distance. A few minutes after I reached home the weather changed completely. The sun disappeared and we had heavy snowfall for a while. Luckily the fresh snow melted right away and we are back on track even though for us it still means quite a thick layer of snow anywhere else but on the roads, under the trees and by the buildings.

A common wood pigeon (Columba palumbus) (sepelkyyhky) overtaken by snowfall.

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