Friday, 22 March 2013

It Is Officially Spring In Bulgaria

Forsythia buds Spring in Bulgaria
Forsythia buds
On Wednesday the 20th March Spring officially arrived in Bulgaria. This was the date of the Vernal, or Spring Equinox. On this day the length of both day and night are approximately the same. Even the word Equinox, which is based in Latin, tells us this, Aequus means equal and Nox means night. It is on this day that the sun rises directly in the East and sets directly in the West. Which is worth bearing in mind if you wish to put up a weather vane and you don't have a compass. The sun has now passed back into the Northern hemisphere, and believe it or not the weather is due to start warming up. I only point this out as we are still in March, and as previously pointed out Baba Marta can be a crotchety old lady.

March snow flurries in Bulgaria
March snow flurries
Even as this is being written we are looking out at flurries of snow.Luckily the ground is wet from last night's rain and the snow is not pitching on the ground at the moment. Maybe the Storks are starting to regret returning quite so early. Since they have come back, they have had to suffer torrential downpours, they have been battered by gale force winds and now they are being subjected to snow. Probably round about now their wintering grounds in Africa are looking so much more inviting. It is not only the Storks that we have to feel sorry for at the moment, if you listen closely in the evening you can hear the frogs and their chorus. Admitedly it isn't up to full volume yet, and the nighttime temperatures are still a wee bit on the chilly side, but it will not be long before each evening will be accompanied that background buzz.

Fruit tree blossom in Bulgaria
Fruit tree blossom
Everywhere that you look in the garden there are signs of new life and growth. The snowdrops and crocuses have finished flowering, and the daffodils and tulips will soon be replacing them. There are leaf buds now showing on the trees, and on some of the fruit trees in the garden we have blossom. We are just hoping that this cold spell will not have an adverse effect on the blossom. I did notice that there were plenty of Bees round them yesterday, so if we are lucky they will already have done some of the pollination. At the moment we only have the one fruit tree in blossom, the only downside is that this is the first time it has blossomed since we planted it. As a consequence we are not really sure what sort of fruit tree it is, but it is reassuring to know that it is strong and healthy and has survived the winter. If I am lucky it will be a peach tree, it has always been a wish of mine to step outside  and pluck a fresh juicy peach from one of our own trees. That is not to say that I don't enjoy walking round the fruit and vegetable market in Gorna, with peach juice running down my arm and dripping from my elbow.

Fruit tree blossom, Bulgaria
Maybe I should take this opportunity to remind you all that in just over a week the clocks will be changing. On Sunday the 31st March at 3 o'clock the clocks will go forward one hour, so everyone will end up with an hour less in bed. Just in case people are like me and have trouble remembering which direction the clocks change, a useful aide memoire is "Spring forward, Fall back". It has saved me some confusion over the years, even if fall ought to be autumn, but that doesn't make  as much sense.

Some of the more observant ones amongst you will have noticed that the layout of this blog has slightly changed, with some badges on the left hand side. These are links to various ExPat blog sites, so if you write your own blog you can get them promoted there. They do work as I have had readers from Mauritius and Vietnam reading these ones. Readers can also vote on your blogs as well, but I don't know how that works, so to our fellow bloggers it is another way that you can reach a wider audience.

The last snows of 2012/13 Bulgaria
The final flurries?

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