One of the things I love about being here is the clouds. Are you a cloud-watcher too? The sort of person who looks for shapes in the clouds, luxuriates in the colours and textures, is happy leaning on a fence and watching for ages? What do you see in tonight’s offering?
I’ve now loaded up a few links to videos about Magura and the surrounding area. Some of them are images of the village with no voiceover, some are mini-documentaries in Romanian, and there are a couple of American-voiced Dracula-based vids. If you make or find any good vids, do please let me know and I’ll be happy to post them here.
One of my favourites is the real-time drive from the edge of Zarnesti up to Magura – the road I take every time I need any shopping, or have to head off to Brasov, Bucharest or further afield. I love this road, but it can be a challenge if you’re not concentrating. If you’re thinking of hiring a car for your Magura visit, I’d get a high-wheel based 4×4…
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?
22nd April. Should be green and balmy, blossom bursting, bees a-buzz, lambs leaping, ad inf. Is it?
Is it diddley.
Here was the weather on my birthday, two days ago. The morning’s offering of snow having melted, this was the next white dump on its way.
And here we are this morning, back to winter clothes. Bees and birds are back by their firesides, blossom is struggling to get back into its shell, lambs are shuddering with cold and the cats are snoring by the blazing fire in my study.
Hobbs the mountain cat takes a nano-second’s rest in her Spring leaping among the blossom. The mirabel (corcodus) trees in the garden are in full flower, with bees and other insects going mad with spring fever. It’s infectious: the cats spend a lot of time in the air at the moment, feet touching ground (or branch) only rarely as they fly about in the April sunshine.
We’ve just had Easter here, and this week the usual greetings of ‘hello’, good morning’ etc have given way to the exchange “Cristos a înviat” (Christ has risen) to which the response is ‘Adeverat a înviat” (truly he is risen).
The cherry blossom is over, and the apple blossom is fully out; dandelions carpet the new spring grass meadows, and violets hide under new yarrow leaves.
A Magura lamb in clover
Some of the lambs have disappeared, becoming Paschal feasts on Sunday morning after the long Lent fast. The village flock of sheep has gone up to the high pastures for the summer, and the cows will go this week, leaving the village meadows uneaten to become sweet nutrient-rich hay for the long winter.
Thunderstorms threaten after warm mornings – Magura temperatures reached an unusual 30°C on 1st May, normally what you’d expect in July and August. But the air is so fresh that the heat doesn’t sap your energy, and it’s easy to sleep through the cool nights.
Don’t wait for summer – now is my favourite time of year in Magura, and perfect for walking in the brilliant green beech forests.
This time next week I’ll be back in Magura, after six weeks in the California winter – warm sun, blue skies, the Pacific Ocean warm enough to paddle in, breakfast out in the garden…
Now it’s back to Transylvania and the freezing, clear air of the Carpathian Mountains, the silence and the space. After urban American busy-ness it will be a blessed delight to return to the simple life.
My housesitters tell me it’s been pretty warm in Magura – for January – with snow coming and going, and the mercury as high as 16C last week. But now I gather there is knee-deep snow again, so I’ll have quite a shock coming back with my SoCal thin blood and thin clothes.
If I don’t go into hibernation immediately, I’ll look forward to catching up with my neighbours about events and news and plans for 2013.