Friday, April 19, 2013

The season of the soggy socks comes to an end...

And soggy socks we had!
After the warm spell earlier we we treated to a period of weather with temperatures continuously above freezing, but with the addition of a lot of rain and high winds, even storms! Sometimes the weather more resembled late autumn than the beginning of spring!
These winds and rains have swept the land clean. Practically not a speck of snow to be found anymore, except for the very shaded and sheltered places. Problem was that the water could not go anywhere, but the last few days have seen less rain and much wind, so it did dry up a little. But if you stomp your feet in one place for a while, you'll sink in....
Apart from the weather the animal kingdom has come to life, especially the birds! There are new species to be seen almost everyday and the ones that allready were here have increased in numbers, sometimes quit dramatically so. The bofinkar in our garden number at least 2 dozen now, but are probably more. Noicy little charactres and not a bit scared!
Speaking of noicy and numerous; today we were visited by a flock of rödvingetrast. There were about 2 dozen of them at least, but I'm only guessing here, since counting was not really possible. Talking about being busy! they still are at it as I write this, making our cats very nervous!
While I was looking at them, I heard honking to my rear. Turning around I saw a group of 8 swans, lifting up from the lake, flying northward, beautifully contrasting their whites against a grey sky....
Earlier this week on the 16th, I spotted a large group of tofsvipa or northern lapwing (Vanellus vanellus) . Beautiful birds, feeding in, again, a large group in a field, next to the road.

Later that day, early in the evening, when my oldest daughter and I were at the lake, looking at the low sun casting its rays across the grey icesheet, we noticed some birds fluttering up and down, flashing their white bellies at each other and calling in a very distinct way. 
This youtubeclip is not mine, but shows pretty much what we saw.

With all these newcomers we also noticed some regulars had gone missing. "Our" bullfinches were gone! We did not see them for several days, but today they were back. At least 2 couples of them. Maybe they had sought shelter in the woods from the bad weather? This seems to be improving over the next couple of days....

In the meantime I have started being active in past hobbies and passions, one of which is another outdooractivity I did with great love; gardening. I loved doing that when we lived in Holland and now that we have a garden of our own again, I can and will spend many hours coming season working in the garden or just walk or sit in it, enjoying its gifts and daydream a little. But befor that can be done, there's a lot of work to be done. This patch of land has not seen any maintainance for more than 2 years, so there's a thick carpet of dead grass, branches and moss everywhere. Beneath a pile of branches I discovered a large anthill of forestants.... right in front of the house and in the place where the compostbins and henhouse are going to be. Someone had to move here.....
I collected a large pile of dead branches and brush and stacked that up. That will be our majbrasan or large bonfire in the evening of april 30th; Valborgsmässoafton. There isn't one in our village and this way the waste has a purpose. The thicker branches will be shredded and used as groundcover for the pathes. Many bushes have been or will be cut back. They have grown unchecked for many years and have started to overgrow pathes, the stairs and are blocking windows.... And I keep discovering small surprises all the time, like plants sticking their heads out of the ground and I can't wait what joy they will bring!
While I was working on the 17th, I discovered yet another returning visitor; a sädesärla(Motacilla alba) . It sat on the rooftop, singing and calling, flying into the trees and back.


  1. Nice to see spring is springing in Sweden. :) You really must be enjoying all the bird life around.

    Hope your garden grows well!

  2. So... you've doing some catching up reading, huh?
    I love that birdactivity around here! There are so many, both in quantity as in species....