Archive for the 'Europe' Category

25
Mar
12

21st of March: the start of the meteorological springtime

Meteorologists generally define four seasons in many climatic areas: spring, summer, autumn and winter. These are demarcated by the values of their average temperatures on a monthly basis, with each season lasting three months. The three warmest months are by definition summer, the three coldest months are winter, and the intervening gaps are spring and autumn. Spring, when defined in this manner, can start on different dates in different regions. In terms of complete months, in most North Temperate Zone locations, spring months are March, April and May, although differences exist from country to country.

“The flowering of love is meditation.”

 

Jiddu Krishnamurti

 

The phenological definition of spring relates to indicators, the blossoming of a range of plant species, and the activities of animals, or the special smell of soil that has reached the temperature for micro flora to flourish. It therefore varies according to the climate and according to the specific weather of a particular year.

“Let a hundred flowers bloom.”

 

Ramakrishna

 
Extreme weather conditions characterize the spring season. This is due to the fact that during this season the warm winds coming from the lower regions are accompanied by the cold air which originates from the Polar Regions. During the spring season the weather can be severe. The seas and rivers are full because the snow begins to melt. Rainfall is also heavy often leading to serious flood situations. Floods are most common in the hilly areas. In addition to all this, tornado, hailstorms and heavy downpour are also common features during the spring season.

 

“A flower falls, even though we love it; and a weed grows, even though we do not love it.”

 

 

Dogen

Next time when you notice a newly budding leaf, be sure that spring has arrived.

 

 

“Earth laughs in flowers.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson 
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29
Mar
11

Red Deer, king of the Austrian alps

October in Austria sees the start of the rutting season for red deer.  The rut is a period when the biggest and strongest male (stag) rounds up a group of females (hinds) for mating. 

Of course every other male deer wants to do the same, but there’s only so many females to go around. In order to maintain control over a group of females the stag must constantly drive away rivals.  The stag announces his superiority over other males by constantly bellowing out an echoing roar, which sounds something like a cross between a chainsaw and a burp.

Sometimes shouting is not enough, and when contenders approach the females they need to be chased off.  Occasionally fights between males can break out, and this can lead to some serious clashing of those magnificent antlers. Red deer are the largest native land mammals in Austria.  They can weigh up to 190kg. 

If you go to watch the rutting deer make sure you keep at a safe distance.  You definitely don’t want to get between the stag and his females.  Getting charged by an angry stag can be bad for your health.  Those antlers are sharp!

21
Mar
11

21st of March: the beginning of the spring season – the bluebell carpet in the Hallerbos.

Spring is one of the four temperate seasons, the transition period between winter and summer. Spring and “springtime” refer to the season, and broadly to ideas of rebirth, renewal and regrowth. The specific definition of the exact timing of “spring” varies according to local climate, cultures and customs. At the spring equinox, days are close to 12 hours long with day length increasing as the season progresses. Spring, when defined in this manner, can start on different dates in different regions.

In terms of complete months, in most North Temperate Zone locations, spring months are March, April and May (Summer is June, July, August; autumn is September, October, November; winter is December, January, February). The vast majority of South Temperate Zone locations will have opposing seasons with spring in September, October and November. Some cultures, such as those that devised the Celtic and East Asian calendars, call the spring equinox “mid-spring”, but others regard it as the “first day of spring”. For most temperate regions, signs of spring appear long before the middle of March, but the folklore of 21 March being the “first day of spring” persists, and 21 June as the “first day of summer” is common in the USA and in Europe.

Not so far from the location where I’m living, spring brings every year from the middle of April till the beginning of May a bluebell carpet in a forest named ‘Hallerbos’. The ‘Hallerbos’ has a surface of 552 ha, of which 511 ha are lain on the territory of Halle. It is of the most important bunches in Flemish-Brabant and is a remainder of the giant coal forest.

In spring a walk in the Hallerbos is an unique experience. During that period, many photographers come to Halle to shoot this amazing blue landscape.

The Common Bluebell is a spring-flowering bulbous perennial plant. The Common Bluebell flowers in April and May. The stems are 10-30 cm long and bend over at the top. The lavender-blue flowers are pendulous, bell-shaped and slightly fragrant. The anthers are yellowish-white. In spring, many European woods are covered by dense carpets of this flower, these are commonly referred to as bluebell woods.