In limbo, longing for Spring

We’re not there yet… March is a limbo month: the winter snows have gone but the new grass and the colours of Spring are still waiting below ground, waiting waiting for the sun to warm the earth and give the signal to begin the growing season. But soon, soon!

New book about Magura

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My new book, Fericita in Transilvania: drumul din Liverpool in Carpati, will be published by Editura All in mid-November. All about my life in Magura – how and why I came here, and why I’ve stayed – the book tells the story of why an English woman left a world-famous city for a remote mountain village in Romania.

Follow the book blog to find out about the book launch, events, signings, talks, offers, competitions and more.

If you’re searching for the right Christmas present, this might be the solution…

 

 

 

Photography course – capture Magura through the lens

In March, we have the chance to learn from a master in photographic technique and artistry, with the Magura landscapes to inspire us. The  workshop with Mihai Moiceanu will not only give us beautiful days of exploring the wild spaces and places around Magura, but to learn how to capture and exploit the limitless potential of imagery through the lens and then on the computer. Don’t miss it – only a small group – not many places available. I hope to be part of the group… so see you there?

Find out more here.

Dog-faced moth has been identified

Agapeta zoegana, European moths, Romanian moths, Carpathian moths, Piatra Craiului, Sulphur Knapweed Moth,

Agapeta zoegana, or the sulphur knapweed moth, aka (in my house) the Dog-Faced Moth

My adorable little moth with his perky panting dog face, has been identified.

Professor Jim Hardie, Director of Science at the Royal Entomological Society in Britain, found him after much scratching of entomological heads, for which I am deeply grateful.

Little dog-face is Agapeta zoegana, or the sulphur knapweed moth. The larvae eat through the roots of knapweed, so it is a boon to farmers with invasive varieties of knapweed (particularly in the USA where Dog-Face isn’t a natural resident). Moths are collected in early August and put to work on sites where knapweed is a positive pest.

Here in Transylvania, where we have knapweed in healthy concentrations among the diverse wildflower meadows, Dog-Face can chomp through roots at leisure, stopping now and then for a photo opportunity in my kitchen.

Dog-faced moth

This little darling appeared on my kitchen window in Magura, and I need someone to tell me what it is. A moth, by the look of him, with his panting-dog mask. He’s about 1 cm long, and his small brown head looks like the dog’s tongue. Anyone know his name?

Moth, Transylvania, dog's face,

Panting-dog mask on moth’s wings

Snowcats plugged into solar energy

Four cats took a big dose of power straight from the sun today (after three days of low cloud and freezing fog) and let rip in the snow of Magura. George, Hobbes, Buster and Mouse showed off their athletic skills and comic talent to an audience of one… before lunch and a snooze in front of the fire.

Spring is (almost) here

The cockerels are announcing the coming of Spring, and with new lambs heralding the beginning of life in the fields and woods around us, we can be sure that Mother Nature is busy.

Even though it doesn’t feel like it… Like Britain, Romania is still in the grip of a winter that doesn’t want to let go. It keeps snowing and melting, snowing and melting, and the winds blow, and the clouds lower. Work must begin on the vegetable gardens and the pastures, but it’s hard in the zero degree temperatures.

But this is what is around the corner – blue skies, wild flowers, life green, fresh and colourful. We can’t wait!

What’s the weather like where you are?