So where's the snow?

Muddling through life from Austria to Wales; God, life and a small black dog


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Odd autumn

October 14th

Like last year, we’re having a wonderful October with high pressure giving us foggy mornings, blue skies when it clears and cold nights. The larches are going golden on the hills, colours are spectacular and my camera figure is twitching to get up there.  We have had some great walks, but there are odd things all around us.

I was looking for an acorn – there are a few oak trees here, but found none, so went for hazelnuts, and found none, but the catkins ready on the branches -I thought these were produced in late spring. It probably just a result of the badly timed frosts here. What will this mean for all the squirrels and birds?

Then the siren went off the other day, and I didn’t think anything till I read the report in the paper.  One pine tree all on its own on Platchenalm had caught light.  The firemen had to fell it and cut out the root to put it out.  Makes you wonder about these forest fires.Just follow the link the pictures are amazing!

http://www.meinbezirk.at/ramingstein/magazin/brandeinsatz-auf-der-platschenalm-m3144180,371301.html

The longtailed tits have been through earlier than ever, but the Sparrow population is completely down, there’s only three here, even when it snowed the other day. There’s a huge group of the bickering families.

I’ve also never seen Rosebaywillowherb go quite this red, but it was at the end of the slag heap of the old silver mine.

Maybe I’m reading too much into all this………..

Of course, since I wrote this, we’ve had nearly a foot of snow in three goes, the Sparrows are all here, stuffing their faces, and one mouse is still visiting the bird table, I think we can live with that!  But then so much so so early?

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A walk around Tamsweg

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A  whole new walk around Tamsweg that takes a whole day, I was sceptical! It uses older footpaths and joins them up.  However, Dave and I walked a stretch and it’s actually very interesting, as it takes you on foot to places you wouldn’t usually visit.  Part of the Witch trail covers it and the kids part has  pigs and sheep and horses and a Lungau Farm playhouse.  We saw loads of mushrooms, it being July but the Eier Schwammerl ahd been picked by the local mafia!  I got some lovely shots of farms too – working life goes on.  Do enjoy the slide show!


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Stripey paint

What a job, going around Austria with a tin of stripey paint!

This was originally written abotu a year after we moved here, but I think it still applies, with more I’m thinking of!

Things I love about Austria and the Lungau

*Walking in the mountains following footways marked in red and white stripey paint

* Driving into Tamsweg in the early morning in winter and seeing the moutains literally pink in the sunrise

*Eating Kasierschmarrn in mountain huts

*The fields full of dandelions in May, covering the whole valley in shades of yellow

*Burg Fintsergruen, although working there was a little stessfull at times last year, the old place has got a bit of my heart – maybe because I see it out of the kitchen window everyday.

*Seeing farmers going to do their shopping on their tractors with a crate of beer in the lifter behind

* Spring flowers in the mountains and the smell of the meadow flowers below our flat

*Cows going to the Alms in spring

What I don’t like

*Smoky restaurants and Pubs

*Ice


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Troadkasten

Yes, you’ve guessed it, a Troadkasten!

My apologies if this is misspelt!  They’re also know as Getriedkasten, maybe Troad  is Lungauerish! A poor region, with many house fires in history.  Lessach was burnt down and bits of Tamsweg  too – open fires I suppose!  The poverty meant that all food was needed.  So a remedy was sought.  They built a small house near the main building to keep food safe.  At first built from wood, people would drill into them and nick the grain inside.  So late ones were built of  stone.  They’re still here and I think are particular to this region.  Some are beautifully decorated, some falling down.  often with the local motif called the running dog – which I think is Roman, they brighten up the area.  There is a tale that the decoration came from a group of artists travelling from Rome to Salzburg who painted their wy there.  I don’t know for sure! Another bit of unique Lungau.


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Cold Photo Blog!

Light catching the larches


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Der Lungau, Four Years along -Winter

Schneeeeeeeee!

I wrote this last year, so may be a bit repetitive, we’ve more snow now too!

Four years, my the time goes by.  Life seems to be settling into a new, seasonal routine which makes all seem familiar and like home. It seems to be that the months after Christmas are the most boring, almost a time of hibernation.  I’d rather have the summer off like when I as at the Fortune Centre.  New Year begins with loads of fireworks like in England, but sometimes, they are just chucked about in the big parties in the square.  They’re never sold from a locked cabinet, although teenagers are banned from buying them. If you want you can buy Children’s fireworks – smaller versions of the adults ones -ahhh! If there’s enough snow, Dave and I can go Langlaufing or even falling over in the snow. 

This is because he works so many extra hours in the summer, he gets almost all of January and February off.  Even when I was with Lois it was quieter with him too.  Yet it’s so easy to get bored and into lassitude. Cabin fever even.  We did a lot of DIY last year, having tiled the kitchen, so much better than laminate, they actually seem to catch the heat of the wood stove – luvly.  We can’t garden until maybe the end of March as the ground is frozen! 

The year roles out thus. We have the Star singers – the three Kings come in January  (and always one blacked up!).  They raise money for charity, and get a cut, carefully negotiated with the Priest.  All the events I am talking about can be no doubt more accurately read about on the links I’ve put on the Blog.

The Stern singers

 Then it’s party time as there is a season of masked balls and then it’s Faschings or Shrove Tuesday, when there’s lots of parades in fancy dress – not quite like Rio de Janiro, ready for fasting time. We had a real laugh at the Mayor dressed as a Smurf.  These parades go back into folk history and have had people dressed as dancing bears and strange masked costumes.

Fasching parade

There’s Icestockshiessen parties- skittles on ice which we must learn how to do. Where England descends into debt and gloom after Christmas, Austria parties!  The farmers cut loads of timber before the sap rises, mainly by continually thinning, a far prettier way of clearing, but its amazing how they slide the trees down the hills for collection.