Friday, April 30, 2010

Today it´s Walpurgis and that is a big day over here (It is especially celebrated here in Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Lithuania, the Czech republic and Germany) . It´s not a national holiday but most people doesn´t work more than half day at the most. This is the day we welcome spring (and it is our kings birthday too). We have hughe bonfires all over the country and they are lit on Walpurgis night. When doing so choirs starts to sing old songs welcomming spring. But there won´t be any bonfire here in Falköping since someone lit it last night. Half of it burned down and whats left is so wet that they don´t think it´s possible to start a fire in it for many weeks. The fire departement didn´t save water when putting it out :-) :-)

Three different species of spring flowers beside my favourite road in the forest.

Lesser celandine, Ranunculus ficaria. It is said to be a terrible weed if taking it in to gardens. But not in my garden though. But it doesn´t suffocate any other flowers and after flowering it slowly dissaperes again.

Yellow Star Of Bethlehem, Gagea lutea.

Wood anemone, Anemone nemorosa. This can vary quite a lot in color. It isn´t unusual to find blue or pink ones. They can also be red or totally green but that is not so common.

Usually those holidays nowdays has a christian meaning, but I´ve been looking around after more to why we celebrate this holiday. It seemes we used to celebrate on this day on the Vernal Equinox andd it was to honor the dead. They belived that the border between life and death to be as thin as it could be on that day. But the Christians came and changed it to something that fitted the church better (a bit of a shame really, we could have had our own “los dias de muertos” over here :-) :-) ). This day we celebrate (most people doesn´t know it though :-) ) the holy Valborg (Walpurgis night is called Valborgsmässoafton in swedish).

They are a bit behind in my garden and the yeloow wood anemone has only small flower buds yet.
This is how it looks in my neighbours hedge. This is the reason some thinks Scilla sibirica is a weed :-) I love it and it´s allowed to spread like crazy in my garden :-)

Red trillium, Trillium erectum. This started out as one lonly flower, this year I´ll get seven :-) It´s the only species of trillium I have the others are hybrides.

According to legend She was an abbes and an english princess. She was called to germany to bring christianity to the pagans. I can´t find anything that tells why she afterwards is celebrated and used against wichcraft and evil spirits though.
It will be a rainy Walpurgis night and that is a good thing. Rainy holidays usually keeps the violence down and especially that violence towards women and children.

The Himalayan primula, Primula denticulata.

Wild primerose, Primula vulgaris.

Some liverworts just have a much deeper color than others.

Well now it´s time for a cup of tea, the weather doesn´t invite to outdoor activities even if the rain hasn´t started yet. Perhaps I´ll join my dogs and take a small nap to :-)

Have a great day now!



Anonymous said...

Your neighbors weed has a pretty color to it. Great images today Christer. The last image is a keeper for sure. I read a book a few years ago that detailed the Pagan influence on religion. Christianity wiped out the Pagan culture but kept all their holidays. Crazy. I think the Pagans had a lot going for them. Have a great weekend. You get to go back to work Monday!!!

The cottage by the Cranelake said...

Hi Z&M!
I do like those funguses that grows on trees. If I understand things right they are not especially common outside Sweden, becasue lots of tourista break them of from the trees and takes them home as souvenires, wich by the way can be illegal :-) :-)

Yes the early christians were smart that way, they knew that the pagans wanted their big holy dyas and so they used them in a christian way. It seemes we sweeds still uses the old traditions when we celebrate them. We were a bit difficult to converte it seemes :-) :-)
Yes on monday my freedome is over :-) :-)
Have a great day now!

Caryn said...

Hi, Christer.

You sent me off on a Google quest to find out more about Walpurgis. Most sites said that May 1 was an official holiday because everyone celebrated so much on April 30 they needed the day to recover. :-)
Anyway, fie on whoever jump started the bonfire and spoiled your Walpurgis festivities.

Lovely spring flowers showing up on your walk this morning. I saw some cinquefoil blooming yesterday which seems a little early. Once spring gets started it seems to rush along so fast.

Enjoy your tea.

The cottage by the Cranelake said...

Hi Caryn!
:-) :-) :-) It´s not that wrong to be honest :-)

I can´t understand why they started the bonfire one day early? Probably to get some attention, but most people are angry and that kind of attention one can be without :-)

It´s way to early for cinquefoils over here yet, but I guess that they´ll start within two weeks or so.
That is the boring part of spring, it´s just starting when summer takes over.
Have a great day now!

jaz@octoberfarm said...

hi christer....walpurgis is the exact opposite of halloween. now we are 6 months away from my favorite day! we call that fungus 'shelf mushrooms' and we have lots of them around here. i just received shipment of a bunch of barerrot roses that i now need to plant. they have "wave" thorns on them. we are having late summer weather here. it is far too hot for this time of year!

The cottage by the Cranelake said...

Hi Joyce!
Yes that´s right! Never thought of that to be honest. That was a good name on those funguses, the name explains directly how they look. Over here we call them Tickor.

Yes bare rooted has to be dealt with directly, I´ll look forward to see them in the blog later this year!

Strange that You still have it so warm! I do hope that when the colder anr hopefully ranier weather comes that it doesn´t become hugh storms!
Have a great day now!

Chris in the Emerald City said...

Really nice, colorful photos today! Around here (South Central U.S.) we call those fungus shelves "Dryad Saddles" in reference to the tree nymphs from Greek mythology. It looks like it will be a rainy Beltane here, so maybe no bonfire for us either. Have a groovy weekend!

The cottage by the Cranelake said...

Hi Chris!
That was a very poetic name on those funguses!

Well, we can´t do much about the weather, it´s just to wait and hope for better :-)
Have a great day now!

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

The only flower I recognized was the Primrose. I love that little flower and have some in red. Those mushrooms that grow out of the trees are like something from another planet...or in this case another country! They really are strange looking!
I see Bertil up on top of the stump!
You gotta love that cat!!

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

As far as the bondfire goes, my husband would call it "deviltry" that someone lit the fire a day early!! Plain old fashioned deviltry! :)

Kat said...

Happy spring, Christer
I figure, though, it is still more of a state of mine for you, still a bit chilly yet I suspect. Flowers are always hopeful signs for me.

The cottage by the Cranelake said...

Hi Mona!
So You´ve never seen a Trillium. It is a north American and east Asian flower family. What I know they growmore north than You live though. They are also becomming rare nowdays I´ve read.

That was a good name for doing things like that, that Your husband call it:-)I must remember that for future use!
Have a great day now!

The cottage by the Cranelake said...

Hi Kat!
This is my favourite part of the year, it passes to quickley though.

Yes the wind is quite strong now in the morning and the rain is hanging in the air just waiting to fall. But I can always stay indoors drinking tea and start a fire in the stove today :-)
Have a great day now!

Sharlene T. said...

Thanks for the lesson. Christianity seems to have incorporated many earlier holidays into their own celebrations, mostly to keep followers from heading back to their roots. Love your flowers and certainly enjoyed the walk.