So where's the snow?

Muddling through in Austria, God and life, teaching and gardening plus the occasional cow


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Such a windy dry spring!

Spring here is always at a breakneck speed as the Lungau catches up with the rest of Austria! This year, before Easter we had strong winds laden with snow that didn’t lay, and it’s still windy now. We had the late snow which didn’t hang about, thank heavens and I think only the cherries might have got frosted. Certainly the apple blossom is stunning, today the petals were being blown about by the aforesaid wind.

The weather direction has been from the North and indeed, north of the Tauern mountains and Obertauern, there’s been plenty of rain, but like the snow its got stuck there and we’ve had token rain, but everything is so dry, I get shocks off everything! The grass is well behind what it should be, but nothing stops the Dandelions!

I’ve seen a few mutant dandelions again this year. Dave reckons its snow damage. This beauty will have four heads when it flowers!

Now its flowered!

And then,and I’m not sure what these trees are, lots of them are carrying normal leaves on one side and the others are laden with seeds like in this picture. I’ll find one if full leaf soon and know!

All signs of unusual weather, or a reaction to the cold, windy winter? What do you think?


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Spring Bounces On

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Apparently a lot of the bad weather earlier last week was due to Hurricane Niklaus, and we got off lightly due to the protection of the mountains at Obertauern.

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Early evening on Maunday Thursday, just as we thought the rain was easing off a sudden storm came hurtling up the valley and it snowed like it hasn’t done all winter. We woke up to about six inches, much to a certain puppy’s delight! The skies cleared and it began to thaw in the warmish sunshine, we even went for a walk along the river.

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Slightly wonky Easter fire at Tamsweg. I wonder if they will be able to light them?

Then blow me down, if it didn’t begin snowing again on Easter Saturday, but just rainy sleet  all day. Easter Sunday was cold with snow showers, and we walked in the woods in deep snow, of course for Swingle’s playtime. Monday it did the same, snowed over on to Tuesday BUT they say this is the last, it may get to +20 by the end of the week- I’m trying not to get too excited!


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Oh, at last!

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Spring’s arrived in Madling. I can only heave a deep sigh of relief. It’s been an odd, snow poor winter, with illnesses, depression and the only highlight has been Christmas in the UK….oh and you know who arriving!!!!

Life with puppy means that I get to hear the dawn chorus as I let her out. As I walk along the lane, I’m spotting all the new growth and life. The Lungwort, one of my favourite flowers is on its way.

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In the last week, I’ve heard the thrush beginning to sing- there was one singing all spring in our garden last year, I hope it’s back. The swallows have arrived  at the brick factory. The dippers are shouting along the river edge. Paggy’s Bullfinches are visiting the table. Chaffinches are singing continually and the Great tits following me as we walk along the lane. I even saw some fieldfares this morning- a group was here last winter feasting on the huge crop of mountain ash berries and stayed for this poorer winter.

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The first wild crocuses appeared overnight along the lane. Butterflies are feasting on the violets on the south side of the flat The cow parsley is green and vibrant and of course the nettles are coming through.

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The Pussy willows are opening their buds, ready to be cut for Easter. This Sunday is Palm Sunday where small bundles of them and colourful bits and pieces  are tied to sticks and blessed in Church, paraded around and then often planted in the garden.

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Oh, and soon the snow will be gone, the meadow outside our window will be heavenly scented.

At last.


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Hot spring!

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The weather here continues to be very warm, and of course it seems worse because Easter is so late and the ski resorts are trying to cling on for their bookings, but many lower ones are already closed and I’ve seen people trying to ski over the brown patches.

And so we’ve been doing a lot in the garden, much earlier than usual. I’ve had the Geraniums in the spare room for nearly a month with a little water bringing them on, and Dave is now making noises about putting them in the green house, but we are still having low nighttime temperatures with a little frost, me thinks he’s getting carried away this time, not me!

We’ve put the swing seat in its new place and have already wasted several hours just sitting, watching and listening to the waterfall. The other effect is that although we had a snowfall a couple of weeks ago, there has been no rain and already the farmers are wingeing about their grass growth, but farmers all over the world are never happy!  Nevertheless
after last year, we’re investing in another water barrel for the summer. We were in Salzburg this week and as usual its six weeks ahead of us, with the magnolias nearly over , forsythia in full gas and the trees covered in this strange green stuff. And I’m glad that I have all this to look forward to!  I wonder if a rich person could travel around the world and so live in permanent spring?


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Spring arrives – or does it????

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Like much of Europe, we in the Lungau have had an early beginning of spring with lovely warm temperatures and the snow going. I think I’ve resented it a lot this year as it came late, then was wet and heavy. If it had been a long cold winter I would have adapted but I was already thinking spring when it came at the end of January!!!!! Typical Brit.

Last week, I walked around the corner of the house in the sunshine and was hit by a blast of perfume from the violets and there was a butterfly feasting on them.  I’ve never had daffodils actually blooming here in March before, we usually get them in May!

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BUGGER!

 


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More bird watching mysteries

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I still think there’s something up with the birds in the Lungau.  Usually in April my table and the ground under it are cleared by Jays and a Lesser spotted woodpecker and I’ve yet to see them.  There’s a few more Green finches, occasional Chaffinches  and a beautiful Siskin who comes every evening.  There’s even more Marsh tits than usual, who sit in lilac bush while I’m pegging our washing and shout for food.  The usual Sparrows and Great tits and Blue tits are here though. The Blackbirds are singing like there’s no tomorrow in the evenings which is wonderful.

They are all going mad for the fat, I’ve never seen the Sparrows go for fat balls but they are permanently on them, likewise they are trying to get the peanuts out of the feeder, where I thought their beaks aren’t the right shape for such feeding.  Edith has also noticed less birds this year, and she’s on the other side of the Lungau.  Could it just be that they knew the bad winter was coming and all flew further afield?  I’ve a great respect for the instinct of any aninmal over humans!

I’ve also noticed one of the Great Tits has a white streak on the back of its head, like a coal tit, but its feathers are blue and yellow, most odd, I’m trying to get a picture of it!

The birds are also feeding far more in the evenings, where as usually its the mornings.  I suppose I’ll go on putting stuff out but tail it off towards the end of the month. Still, they’ll all soon be nesting if not already, and then they’ll disappear to the mountains in May – or maybe not!


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Snow more snow

View restored

The skiers still seem to be burning around the pistes,there have been fresh falls of snow but down here, spring is coming on.  The Wagtails and the Black redstarts have arrived. The redstart has this song like two stones being rubbed together in its throat, both irritating and such a part of spring for me. The Martins don’t seem to be moving here, such a shame, I saw them yesterday down at the Factory, burning around the tower.

Lissie and I went and cut back all the willows that have grown up by the edge of the Mur, restricting our view of the water, trouble is I now spend even more time gazing at it from the garden or the  kitchen window!

Dave and I walked along the Murweg to Doerfl in wonderful sunshine and for the first time in ages, I actually felt I had some power in my legs, whether its the Iron pills, thyroid medicine or spring, I don’t care, I actually wanted to go on walking and not stop.  Praise God!

The cleaning job is great but I never seem to make the 15 hours, so I really need a second job to keep my end up.I could just go on in this luxury as Dave is ging to be paid full-time the next couple of months so it ends up the same, but I feel so guilty, being at home, gardening and writing! I know, some people are never satisfied!  Edith and I must really crack on and have the workshop for the EAGALA therapy and find some customers!

Life is good, thanks you Lord!!!!!!!