Fire and ice decorate the village

Autumn foliage, Bucegi Mountains, Magura Transylvania, Romania

Blue, gold and bronze… autumn colours of Bucegi Mountains, seen from Magura

This week has been glorious in Magura. Perfect autumn days, with the fire of turning leaves, diamond dust sparkling on the grass for brief moments in the morning sun before the frost melts in unusual warmth, animals enjoying the late sunny heat before the snow arrives…

I was back in summer clothes as long as I was in the sun. My volunteer Jesse was working in T-shirt and shorts, Not-my-dog Papi was to be found sunbathing and snoring, until the warmth got too much and he retired to the shade

The cats have been flying about, ambushing each other, leaping like hares in the sunshine. George was up to his armpit in a mole hole, reaching with one clawed paw for a sensibly retiring resident; the cat had to make do with late insects instead, although his twitching tail could be seen in the zarzin tree as he plotted the capture of a black redstart (failed).

Carina’s new foal is exactly the right colour for the time of her birth, and has had a deceptively beautiful start to life in these weeks of perfect autumn weather – but she’s a very late foal, and will have a trying winter if temperatures plummet to -20C or worse, and snow drifts to head height, as it can.

Humans wait for the start of winter, tidying gardens for the long wait till next spring, moving hanging baskets and potted plants back inside, cleaning and putting away spades and hoes, digging out the snow shovels and ice scrapers to be ready for Mr. Bruma’s icy patina on windows and car windscreens.

Bonfire Night in Britain – 5th November – is just another chilly evening in Romania, except in Brasov, where the Vel Pitar bread factory suffered a huge explosion and fireball – we wait for further news. Two fires in a week, the first finally causing the end of Victor Ponta’s disgraced time as Prime Minister, the second adding fuel to the angry political unrest on the streets of Romania.

Up in Magura, it feels a long way from explosive cities. Here, the fire is only in the last scarlet and gold leaves, and the smoke from bonfires of leaf litter and summer’s end.

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About Arabella McIntyre-Brown

I'm a writer from West Sussex is southern England, but after 30 years of urban life in London and Liverpool, I now live in a remote village 1,000 metres up in the Carpathian Mountains of Transylvania. My first book in Romania was published in November 2016: "Din Liverpool in Carpati: cum mi-am gasit fericirea în inima Transilvaniei". The English version, 'A stake in Transylvania' is out soon. I've also written (so far) four bilingual (En/Ro) children's books.

2 thoughts on “Fire and ice decorate the village

  1. Thank you Arabella for your beautiful images and comments. All your posts and pictures are a pure joy for me. You really are very talented not only in writing but also with the pictures.


  2. The smoke from the bonfires of leaf litter are still going strong here down south. It dries out our eyes and saturates our clean laundry hanging on the line. The soil has all been turned and Mr. Bruma, as you call him, made his first hesitant visit this week. But the weather looks to be even more warm and gorgeous next week, so fall is still going strong with some leaves yet to turn. I love your dispatches from Magura!


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