Spring: from darkness to light

Maybe I’ve never noticed it before but this spring we have birds tapping on our windows. I’ve been to answer the front door but there is no one there. They’re blue tits – perhaps always the same one – they all look alike! Various sources on the Web say they do this because they see their own reflection in the glass and mistake it for an intruder. It’s spring, the mating season, and they’re very territorial.

Although I enjoy our long summer days, spring is my favourite season. Come February, I’m fed up with winter, and spring offers hope – from the dreary darkness of winter to the light of summer.

But if we find winter depressing here, spare a thought for those living in the Arctic. Recently I went on what was possibly my ‘trip of a lifetime’. My wife and I, together with muchmissed Australian friends, went to Norway to see the Northern Lights. Although many do this expedition by boat starting in Bergen, exploring the fjords along the way, we started in Oslo and took the train, heading north, eventually arriving at Kiruna, a remote mining town in Swedish Lapland.

We noticed that, in Arctic towns, residents leave their curtains open in the evenings and often hang lights in the windows. We figured they don’t want to be cooped up and prefer to share as much light as possible.

For reasons of pure vanity, I offer this glimpse of the train against the northern sky at dusk. Shivering and with no time to fiddle with settings, I just set it on ‘auto’ and hoped for the best.

Spring is here – YIPPEE!

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