#UrbanNature Observations In Spring
. The days until Ostara are swathed in Sahara dust, which covers the sky and bathes everything in a diffuse, golden light. It is chilly, but more blossoms are now opening every day on the plum-tree in front of the balcony. Sounds are softened now and the mood is peaceful. Occasionally the afternoon sun manages to make its way and set a golden scene for the white clover on the balcony. .
One evening I hear an exotic bird concert high up in the aspen-tree. When I look up, there is a single bird sitting there - I can only make out its silhouette and yet I know it is a starling. From a distance I hear also a magpie. A short time later, three of them come flying and settle loudly chattering in the aspen-tree as well. They try to chase each other from the tree. At some point it becomes too much for the starling and it flies away. Then the magpies move on too. Left behind is the budding tree against a golden cloudy sky. From the dense cloud cover behind the aspen-tree, cirrus clouds spread out in the windless sky above the roofs of the block of houses, like angel wings. As I am about to go inside, I hear again a many-voiced concert from the aspen-tree. When I turn around, I see the starling sitting high up in the branches again. A second one joins in and the concert becomes even more polyphonic. Eventually two of the magpies return and chatter, trying to chase away the two-bird choir. One of the starlings answers them in their own language. The latter learn quickly. So, it goes back and forth for a while, while the other starling takes on the many-voiced chorus alone. Then even the magpies lose their speech for a moment. When they find it again, the chattering starts, anew. For a blink of an eye, I wonder whether the magpies might be singing along. But then I see that they are trying to force the starlings out of the aspen-tree, the latter remain unimpressed, while one of them continues to chatter boldly back. Finally, the magpies have had enough and fly away. What remains are the most exotic sounds, which then pierce the block from high up in the aspen-tree thanks to two starling vocalists.
On St. Patrick's Day it is cloudy and rainy. The light is very special, because even now the Sahara dust bathes everything in golden light. The sounds continue to be softened and everything seems quite peaceful. The plum-tree still has more buds than open flowers. In the afternoon, the sun comes through briefly and once again casts a spotlight on the white clover standing on the balcony table. To mark the occasion, it is decorated today with small, shimmering silver rain jewels. The next day the sun shines again. When I am in the bathroom, I hear cranes flying over the block for a long time. There seem to be more than last year and apparently, they are bringing back Spring. When the sun comes around at noon and shines on the plum-tree, it changes abruptly. Suddenly there are more blossoms than buds on its branches. But it is still not in full bloom. It is taking its time this year and enjoying the moment. In the afternoon sun, I see the first queen bumblebees flying around in the Sahara golden light. Soon the plum-tree will be teeming with their colonies, feasting on pollen and nectar. In the evening, the Sahara-dusted clouds glow orange-red as the sun sinks fierily behind the house.
. Days of blue, cloudless skies and sunshine follow. The sun already has power, but it is still cool and the plum-tree continues to keep some of its buds closed. In the evening, the sun bathes the horizon in shades of red, pink and orange. In between, five new plants move onto our balcony: three horned violets and two forget-me-nots. The latter have classic small blue flowers. The horned violets come in violet and orange, violet and white and violet and lilac. They keep the hollyhocks company, which are still waiting for warmer days . .
Wind comes up at Ostara. From the north it shakes the plum-tree so vigorously that a few petals dance through the inner courtyard. Between them a dried leaf from last Autumn. The aspen- and birch-tree also get a good blow. A magpie works hard against the wind and comes so close to our balcony that I wonder for a moment whether it will have to make an emergency landing here. But then it gets its act together. From a distance I hear seagulls ... however, at first, I wonder if it might not be the starlings after all. But then I see one of them sailing in the wind high above the houses. Unlike the magpie, the gull has no problems at all with the strong gusts, which even give it lift into the light-blue. Then the afternoon sun bathes balcony and courtyard in golden light. Starting tomorrow, the days are longer than the nights again. A great tit comes shooting out of the plum-tree and flies right past the balcony. Shortly afterwards, the evening song of a chaffinch resounds from the sea of blossoms, its voice amplified by the acoustics in the courtyard. Then church bells begin to ring before it gets dark soon after.
Two days later, church bells ring out at noon. Their sound seems to inspire chaffinch and other Spring birds. A short time later I discover three scilla in the flower pot, in different stages. One of them is already opening. On the plum-tree, small, light green leaves are now already unfolding next to the blossoms. It is getting warm, almost like early Summer. One evening it smells beguiling when I open the balcony door as the blossoms give off their scent. I think this is also when the first ladybird flies by, but I cannot say for sure. The next day the soft petal rain begins, but there are also still enough flowers on the tree so that the bumblebees, which should certainly appear soon in these temperatures, can find some food. However, first thing in the morning, a wren visits me on the balcony. We have not had any visit from songbirds for ages and certainly not from a wren. He thoroughly inspects all the flower pots, then sits on the balcony trellis and starts singing his song while bobbing up and down. Then he inspects the balcony again and sings his song on the balcony trellis once more before flying away.
In the meantime, the first scilla has fully unfolded in the sunshine and you can hear that the birds are now singing different songs and also that the choir has become more polyphonic. In between, I also hear seagulls again and again. It is unusual that so many of them stay so far away from the river for so long, but I like the sound. In the afternoon I see the wren again briefly in the flower pots on the balcony. This time it bids farewell without singing. Shortly after it, the first bumblebee actually drops by. Below on the lawn, the white blossoms of the daisies shine in the sun.
. Then, one evening just before nightfall, the sky is violet. .
A few days later, the wren is back on the balcony. It sits on the banister and sings loudly into the backyard while presenting us with its pretty tail. The plum-tree is now almost completely green with small, young leaves. The last white petals are carried away by the breeze, which brings in cool air again. Unimpressed by this, the scillas produce new blossoms.
One morning the plum-tree is white again – albeit this time it is not plum blossoms, but snowflakes. About six and a half centimetres of them, which must have fallen in the last two hours, cover the landscape and also the flower pots on the balcony. And it is still snowing. Another two hours later it is about 12 centimetres. All the flowers on the balcony are warm and safe under the white blanket. Only one snow-hatted scilla blossom peeks out cheekily.
Then it thaws. It sounds like rain as the melt water drips from the buildings. Two days later it has all melted away and the sun shines again on the green-leaved plum-tree, the forget-me-nots, the horned violets, the still-green white clover and the scillas…. Only it has remained cool.
. Then the wind comes and with it the rain. The sky is grey and although the days are already longer than the nights, it is gloomy. A grey-grim cosiness sets in as long as one looks from inside at the silver rain jewels now adorning white clover leaves and forget-me-not blossoms, while little mirrored worlds hang upside down from the rose branches, nestled in raindrops swaying in the wind. .
The following days are gloomy and wet. It is windy and stormy.
Along the road, the buds of the Japanese cherry trees are secretly thickening and taking on a light pink hue.
The last white blossoms in the plum-tree have now completely given way to young leaves that sway light-green in the wind.
All at once the aspen is greening too … all the aspens on the back access road. I am not sure if they are blossoms or young leaves. Possibly both.
The next few days are changeable. On one day there is even hail in between. Otherwise, there are clouds, rain and sunshine, which alternate throughout the day. Only the wind is consistently in motion and the birds are singing their spring songs. I keep hearing the wren and think I hear a blackbird in the distance from time to time.
April is showing itself from its best side.
By now I am pretty sure that the aspen-trees are in bloom, because I notice the typical allergic reactions.
. Finally, the sun comes back. Although it is still cool, it is slowly getting warmer. The aspen-trees are now in full bloom and the birds are singing their spring songs. The concert is also now in full voice. .
In between we even have early summer temperatures, then it gets a bit cooler again. At night there is still frost.
For a while, the Sahara dust comes by once more and gives everything a golden glow. Then it clears up again completely and at Easter we have beautiful Spring weather. On Easter Monday, even a little wasp comes by to wish us well. She does a lap around the living room and then flies out again through the open window slit.
The Japanese cherries also decorate themselves in pink for Easter. The buds are not quite open yet, but they are already shining brightly in the morning sun.
In the mornings and evenings, I now hear a blackbird in the courtyard again. Since a virus became rampant among them a few years ago, this sound had become rare and I am particularly pleased that it is now part of the daily bird concert again.
The wren also comes by more and more often now, rummages through the balcony and then sings its song on the banister.
. Spring is in full swing. .
Shortly after Easter, the blossoms of the Japanese cherry trees along the street finally open.
The plum-tree in the backyard is now completely green and wears a golden glow in the afternoon sun, while the Sakura, which are regularly illuminated by the morning sun along the street, form a pink contrast.
The birds are now busy. Many of them are presently caring for their offspring. I can hear their songs changing. Meanwhile, in the mornings and afternoons, I often hear a robin singing a duet with the wren for a short time.
The days are now mostly sunny and it is getting steadily warmer. Soon Walpurga will bring early Summer into the land.
With this in mind: A powerful Walpurgis Night and a beautiful Beltane Festival!
Are you ready to shine a bright light of awareness on the path of beingness, today?
Much Love, Steffi