Spring made a brief appearance here back in early February, decided it didn't really like being out so early and went back in to hibernation for a while. This Saturday, March 21st, the date when it's actually supposed to show up in the temperate northern hemisphere it decided once again to poke its nose outside and have a look-see. It did so in a very flamboyant way, unusual for this normally reticent season, which prefers to dip its toe into the year bit by bit*. Last week there was more snow and some fairly cold nights (and by fairly cold here I mean sub -10). On Saturday, though, we headed up to spend the weekend in Vármező (Campul Cetatii), a small village in the middle of nowhere, of which a little more later.
There is still a lot of snow on the mountains on the way, and even as late as Friday night it had been snowing in Sovata/Szovata, the nearest place of any size to our destination. But on Saturday morning it was sunny and crisp and beautiful. We chanced upon a meadow full of snowdrops, and by a stream there were as-yet-unblooming crocuses (or is the plural croci?). The next day (yesterday) they had all burst into purple and orange life. Then on our way home we saw a stork. There is no clearer sign of spring in Transylvania than seeing a stork. So all is good. Spring has sprung, and I imagine fauna all over the region are frantically trying to get off with each other (I'm imagining that this is what is happening, not actually conjuring up scenarios in my own fevered perverted imagination, just in case you wondered)
In other nature news, there seems to be a glut of eagles this year. Driving along, you see loads of them, sitting in the still bare trees by the roadside, floating lazily over the fields, swooping menacingly. When I say eagles, I mean birds of prey really, since most of them are not, I think, actually eagles, but some kind of hawks, or buzzards, or what have you. I think the technical ornithological way of distinguishing them is that eagles are "really fucking massive" whereas other birds of prey are just "very very big". I presume this means that there are also loads of mice and voles and shrews and that, but I haven't actually seen any of them. Or it could just be that the smorgasbord of small rodents was laid on last year, causing all these young raptors to make it through their first year, but now having feasted heartily last year, this year will see slimmer pickings and they'll all start buggering off to somewhere with more food in it (or die).
*I understand that winter hates mixed metaphors, so I'm attempting to force it to stay away with all that. It's not that I'm a bad writer, at all , no sirree.
[A few short hours later after posting this... It's only frigging snowing now.] Bloody weather.