Spring is well sprung. Compared to last year, when the end of April saw me wading through knee-deep snow in late April, wrapped in thermal layers against the -8C freeze, this year it was sun, and no rain all month so we were beginning to face the horrible prospect of drought.
But early May has seen lots of gentle rain and the very occasional thunderstorm, which is perfect for the earth and growing things. ‘Nori si soare’ says the weather forecast. Occasional ‘furtuna’ warnings with lightning symbols lancing through the cloud, and so it’s proving. Perfect mixed weather for the cycle of wildflower meadows and sweet hay, and happy herbivores munching through lush spring grass. Glorious.
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…
June’s wildflowers, blooming before the solstice, are pictured here in a new photo gallery to capture your heart and bring you to see the botanical treasures of Transylvania. Here are some of my favourites…
After a week of solid rain and several weeks of wet, cold weather that has kept the peonies (bujor) in their buds and kept the daffodils out in bloom, we had a glorious weekend of warm, sunny, balmy late Spring gloriousness.
Perfect for a picnic on Sunday…
But this morning, after a beautiful start, the storm has closed in. Thunder is circling the house, the cats are hiding under the sofa, sheep are huddled by the barn door, and chickens have retreated to their shed. But it’s still warm, so the growing seedlings in my veg patch and the newly planted trees around the garden are lapping it all up and putting on new growth like it was going out of fashion.
Mother Nature gets her colour palette out… After the warmest February on record, winter came back for another go in April, and again at the start of May, just to tease us. But the cats and I are relishing the splashes of colour amongst the lush green everywhere, even topped by a sprinkling of snow. My favourite time of year.
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…
Amazing what 24 hours can deliver… First thing this morning, this was the sight from my window. Note the snow all over the main ridge, dusting the trees. But also note the sunshine, blue sky and green grass.
Three hours later, the snow on the trees had melted, leaving only the rock abve 2,000 metres covered in snow. Spring is here – official. There will be plenty of rain ahead, but maybe, just maybe, we’ve finally seen the last of the white stuff.
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.