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SPRING WHEN THE WORLD IS MUD
The moon a dusty thumbprint in the sky, we follow the blue around the village. Snow is melting all around, but hanging on, hugging the ground. The edges are sun-eaten, lacey, dripping. There are ravens and rooks everywhere, as if this were a battlefield or an old Norse myth. Hugin and Munin, thought and memory. I look sideways at their sharp stabbity beaks and surprisingly small heads for such large birds. They perch atop trees, fenceposts, power lines. Another bird, silent and white, rises above a house as we walk. At first I think it is a seagull because of the color, then a hawk because of the size. It glides without flapping, sweeps in a circle and suddenly we realize it's an owl. I have never seen an owl on the wing, and am flabbergasted to find one here in the late afternoon, over our neighborhood.

These are the wild animals I can sight on any given day in Flyinge: magpies, crows, jackdaws, ravens, rooks and pheasants. A pair of swans, a wedge of geese, a muster of storks stalking spindle-legged behind a tractor. Hedgehogs, often flattened. Once in a while, a hare. Once in a while, a rabbit. Far off in the fields bounds the occasional roe deer. The rest of the small creatures are so infrequent as to be invisible, the large ones the stuff of myth and encyclopedias.

I don't know if it's because I am so acutely aware of the lack of furry creatures in my home that the absence of them seems so glaring everywhere. I miss chipmunks and squirrels, that ubiquitious chattering company. I want to pet something and my children won't hold still.

All around us, the sunshine steams off the snowmelt. The background chorus of songbirds swells into a crescendo: spring is on the way, they sing. I stop and inspect branches, admiring the new jewelry each hedge and tree and bush is sporting: tiny green gems, pearly buds. Martin laments the end of winter; no more snowballs, no more sleds. "Spring springity spring," I warble, and we harmonize on endings and beginnings.
 optimistic
mood: optimistic
music: Simple—End of a String


Comments

I am so acutely aware of the lack of furry creatures in my home that the absence of them seems so glaring everywhere. I miss chipmunks and squirrels, that ubiquitious chattering company. I want to pet something

little baby guinea pigs - little baby guinea pigs - little baby guinea pigs... *chants* :-)

*hands over ears, lalala i can't hear you!!*

"hedgehogs, often flattened"... aw... is it wrong that I giggled when I read this? I'd never seen a hedgehog until I lived in Germany--they're such silly creatures. You have so many birds there--are you near water? I want a little geography lesson.

Also, you should get Karin and Martin a rabbit. I had an absolutely wonderful rabbit when I turned ten. A dwarf lop & angora mix. He was house trained, came when he was called and ate bananas. I loved him dearly--and being a rodent, rabbits are ever so much easier to attend to than a dog or cat!

*puts hands over ears, sings lalalalalal i can't hear you!*

I've had rabbits, too. My sister had them when we were growing up and then I had one as an adult, and they are just shit machines. :P I can't even get my kids to pick up their rooms or help remember to feed the fish, there is no way I'm getting any other pet at the moment that requires cage-changing :) Maybe when they turn 10 :P

Hedgehogs are so dear and silly (and flea-carrying)...but they are stupid and slow and easy targets.

We are not personally near water (except the river), but all of southern Sweden is a peninsula, we are surrounded on 3 sides by water and it's only about an hour to the coast on either side.

"...a muster of storks..."?!? You slay me. :) I'm so inept at describing the natural kingdom that I'd probably sum up my neighborhood critters as "birds and squirrels."

I LOVE collective nouns :)

The American squirrels are certainly sooo much more forward and visible than their shy Scandinavian cousins. I'm able to have a pleasant field day of rodent fancying any time I want over here...

On the other hand, there is no way of listening to storks clapping their mighty beaks. (Not that you can see that anywhere else in Sweden except in the southern parts)

Kids not sitting still?

Two words... Duct tape.
(although it might be hard to get Karin to sit still long enough to tape her to the stool, the little monkey.) :)

As far as the snow goes here, it just keep coming not going....another 30cm yesterday. the winter will never end.

ok, back to lurking.

Are there moose in Sweden?

Yes! They are a national symbol, in fact :) But it's pretty rare to see them this far south, it's too heavily populated.

(Anonymous)
oooh owl sighting

I am fascinated by owls--- love them. Have not seen one enough.

~bluepoppy

(Anonymous)

Oh....an owl sighting, how I miss the Great Owl that used to live near here- I haven't seen it since it's baby fell out of the nest several years ago. But what a wonderful sight to see it flying above the trees- or through them.
Your brother has said that Colorado had what is called "mud season" - sounds like a similiar time at your place.
Love, Lizardmom

(Anonymous)

"New jewelry" on the hedges and trees and bushes. That's a nice image.

~Lynn

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