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Annual Spring Report 2017

It is interesting to look back on my previous spring reports to see how they vary from year to year. This year seems fairly normal.

Even though the crocuses were record early due to a mild winter, both March and April have been quite cold, so the pictures taken on May 1st is almost exactly like last year.

The woods have just the smallest hint of green to them, and this is mostly due to the last couple of days when the sun came out, and it is warming up. There is still snow in the mountains from the latest snowfall not many days ago.

The winter tyres have just been removed from the car, washed and are drying in the sun, and the summer tyres are on, – more than a week later than the general rules allow. However, they were needed just a few days ago.

The cherry tree has large buds, but no blooms yet. Just as well since there are few insects around.

The bulk of our daffodils are not out yet. The exception besides the early ones is the ones in sheltered spots and next to the south wall. The tulips by the south wall are also budding.

The flowering currant has been in bloom for some time, but the spiraea bush has just a hint of green around it, but no blooms yet. However, with the nice weather we are having now, it will not be long, I expect.

The sheep are enjoying the good weather too, although the lot in this photo were a bit worried. Someone with a dog, – on a leash, mind, as it should be this time of year, – was crossing the field below, so they ran for higher grounds. Lambs were separated from their mothers, so there was a lot of bleating and running around before the little ones got back to their respective guardians for a comforting suckle. Then all was well, and they could settle down and enjoy the glorious day.


And so do we. The weather forecast for the next week is glorious.




Spring, or Winter, or Both

Or maybe we should call it “sprinter”?

Anyway, most of the winter has been quite mild, with a few cold spells in between. Lately we have had some nice weather with clear skies, frost, and some gorgeous evening skies.


Last week I took a look in our garden, and was very surprised when I saw these popping up everywhere:

crocus      I cannot remember the crocuses being so early before, – the sun had not even returned to our house and garden after the winter months when this photo was taken.

When driving to visit family this week, we also came across lots of these beside the road:

tussilagoColtsfoot (Tussilago) is a sure sign of spring.

On returning home in late afternoon, we had time to stop and take some photos as the sun was setting.



boatsThere were thin crusts of ice floating about on the surface of this fjord.

A bit later we came across this frozen lake:


I went out of the car for a better view. It was our last evening of this spell of cold, nice weather. No wind, and all was quiet….

skating… except for a faint sound of a single pair of steel blades on ice, the occasional booming sound of the ice settling into the colder evening temperatures, and also peals of laughter ringing across the lake from the far shore where a group of people had fun on the ice.

skating2I was just able to glimpse some figures moving over there, – one is sitting on a kicksled, and the others skating along.

Now it is raining again, and the ice is probably gone.






Annual Spring Report

It is interesting to look back on my previous spring reports and compare between the different years.

This year beats all the previous ones in terms of early blooming.


We have had a very mild winter with next to no snow, and then the last part of April was exceptionally warm, …..


…….so the woods turned green record early, and everything was suddenly in bloom.


On May 1st. when these photos were taken, a little bit of winter had returned. Showers of snow are coming down from the north.

In between the showers, the sun comes out, and everything looks like summer again, ……


…. but it is quite cold when venturing outside.  I love the colour of new leaves when the sun filters through.


The white wagtail  (motacilla alba)  has returned from Africa, and is busy patrolling our veranda bannister, hopping and flying up and down outside the windows to catch insects hiding between the wall boards.

In between he rests on the telephone line.


The cherries and plums are in bloom record early. During the warmer days earlier, a few bumble bees were busy visiting the flowers, but there are not a lot of other insects around yet.


All the narcissuses have been out for at least a week, and hopefully they will last a bit longer now the weather has turned cold again.


Hopefully that will also be the case with the rhododendrons and tulips as well, – some of the latter being nearly finished already.

The strawberry bench is in good shape already, and the blueberries have been blooming for two weeks. I cannot remember seeing blueberries in bloom in April before.


It is even earlier than the spring of 2011, which was the best one before now, since I started taking photos in 2009.

Spring has been really good this far, so I will not complain about a little cold and snow, even if it is May.

(As long as there is no real frost, that is.)



Hexagon Season Again

In spite of having had very nice weather for a long time, – and nice means sunshine on this usually very wet coast, – spring is still some way off, it seems. As soon as the sun dips below the horizon, temperatures drop and the frost bites again.

sewing hexagons outside

But there are moments, – like this afternoon, – when it is possible, even enjoyable, to sit outdoors and sew.

I am working on my “let’s-find-out-if-it-is-possible-to-join-hexagon-flowers-without-folding-the-paper-templates” project. I have cracked the code on how to, but have not written up the instructions yet.

Since this is my out-of-doors project, it is slow going.


If the nice weather continues for some days, I should be able to get some more sewing done, as it is too early to do any gardening.


A bunch of snowdrops are blooming, plus three crocuses, – the rest is still under the snow at the moment.

The sunshine is nice, though, and if it could just stop snowing and freezing in between, we could have real spring in quite a short time.



Power to the Sun

Today the sun is back at our house after the winter, – or rather: it should have been.

At the time it was due to peek out from behind the mountain ridge, it was quite overcast, – so I am celebrating with the photo at the top instead, even though it was taken last year.

Now we just have to wait for the clouds to lift, then we can have sunshine on any day after this one. Feels good!



.. when the sun is due back at our house, was not quite successful this year. The sky was almost clear, just until half an hour before the sun was about to show its face above the mountain edge. Then the clouds gathered in that very spot. The photo below was the best I got.

But we’ll get over it. It would have been only a few minutes anyway.  From now on it is fast forward for a couple of months, – if we are lucky (no clouds) we will have 45 minutes tomorrow, and more than an hour on Monday. The sun will probably also make it very clear that the windows need cleaning.

Springtime, – here we come!!!



Today was the very last sunset before winter, – seen from our house that is.


Because of the mountain to the south, the sun will not shine here till the 13th of February next year.

I am already looking forward to the spring.


Trees gone

Many years ago Asbjørn, my husband, planted three small trees in a corner of what was then his parents’ garden.  Later we built our house nearby.

The trees grew year by year, – at one time they were just the right size to be decorated with Christmas lights, but that soon stopped.  The branches were so wide, we had to cut some of them away to have access to what was now our garden on the other side of the  trees.  Trimming and trimming every year, we managed to keep this archway open.

At one time we were determined to cut the trees down, because they were now too tall and cast a lot of shadow in summer.  Our youngest daughter protested, – she had set up “house” with her friends among the branches at that time.  A compromise was reached, – we cut the tops off, and she kept the branches she needed.

The trees continued to grow, – never mind their tops missing.  The top branches just turned upward and each tree had now three or four tops.  Asbjørn risked his limbs once more and climbed up to cut the tops again, and also a third time.

With both our daughters now grown up, we once more were talking seriously about cutting everything down. 


The photo above was taken in May three years ago.  The shadows are long and deep onto the front patio where we can sit sheltered from the west wind.  There were always two or three swarms of mosquitoes underneath the branches, and at this time a couple of magpies were also nesting in one of the trees, so they could not be cut down till the nest was empty.


Finally it happened.  The other day our kind neighbour, Asbjørn’s cousin, came by, bringing his chain saw, and together they brought the trees down, without any damage to the lilac bushes or plum trees that we very much would like to keep intact.  Well done.


They had quite a job cutting and carrying away all the branches.  The front patio is much lighter already.


Here everything is cleared away, and the trunks cut up and placed to one side to be cut into firewood later, – all in good time.

I am looking forward to a lot more sunshine here, and a lot less mosquitoes, and I hope to be able to sit outside and sew even if the west wind is blowing.  Having more than our share of rain and cold weather, we take care to enjoy all the sunshine we can get.


Sun Day on a Friday

One of my favourite days of the year: the day the sun will shine into our living room again after a long and dark winter.

Yesterday the sun was shining on the tree tops close to our house:


Photo taken out the window.

Today I was looking forward to having the sun shining in through that very window.  But some clouds came in the way and almost prevented any sun at all.  Finally, at almost the last minute, the cloudes cracked a bit:


At 16.20 the first and last rays of the day shone on our wall:



Definitely sunshine and shadows on the wall.

Later the clouds disappeared and we had a beautiful sunset. 


If the weather permits, we will have at least 20 minutes of sunshine tomorrow. 

My husband’s grandmother, who lived here all her life,  used to smear some butter on the outside wall of the house on the day the sun returned. I have not got an explanation as to why she did this, other than she said it was to keep the sun happy. 

Maybe some of you would know more about this kind of tradition?