A surprising few months in our little village of Kisszékely, Hungary.
Our winter seemed to be especially long this year and only provided two days of snow! I am English (a bit obsessed with the weather) and love the snow. I had been waiting patiently for the snowfalls we had had in previous years, very disappointed it was not forthcoming.
I longed for the spring to hurry up and arrive along with warm sunshine early mornings and light evenings. I was keen to get back to living mostly outside which I enjoy most. The link below will give you an idea of the snow that fell in January 2021.
Finally by the end of May all the tell-tale signs began to appear signifying the start of beautiful spring.
First Signs of Spring
The first signs of spring in Hungary are the returning storks from their far off migration in central Africa. Storks are a regular sight in most rural villages, making their homes on top of telegraph posts or chimney pots…apparently a sign of good luck. Storks usually return to their birthing place year after year to begin the circle of life all over again.
Our little village does not have resident storks, which is a shame as they are fascinating birds. Imagine my surprise and delight when I saw out of our bedroom window a stork perched delicately on the top of the telegraph pole opposite. I could not contain my excitement and rushed out onto the street to stand and stare at this enormous bird. I took dozens of photos as he seemed to be hanging around and did not object. Our dog was less impressed and patrolled the front fence, up and down constantly. She was obviously eager for some “chasing fun”!!
I asked on the village Facebook page how we could encourage the storks to stay in the village and nest here. Sadly, I was told the food supply is better met in other villages. Apparently they are partial to frogs.
Another sign spring is here are the bountiful fields full of colourful poppies and then the strong pungent smell of the rape seed fields covering the countryside with blankets of bright yellow flowers. Truly beautiful.
We seem to have had an unusually high amount of rain recently, which obviously the farmers are ecstatic about. We are too but to a lesser degree….rain means the weeds grow very energetically! Our garden has been covered in dandelions for most of the month of May. We left our grass uncut to give a little help to the bees. As the weather was a little warmer, I took a walk around the village and stumbled on what I can only call “Raining Dandelions” the seeds were flying everywhere, it was quite surreal.
I love the spring blossom adorning the trees in the little villages, I constantly say “look, look how lovely the blossom!”. My patient husband regularly stops on roadsides for me to leap out of the car and take photos! This one is in the next village with a rather spectacular display of blossoms.
Once a week we do our supermarket shop and often pass through little villages with road side stalls selling various home-grown, home-preserved plants, fruits, vegetables and home smoked meats. With so much choice it was difficult to choose where to stop. We were very tempted by a colourful display of hanging baskets bursting with petunias. Last year my choice was Black Eyed Susan’s, this year it is Petunias. The stall holder spoke no English but suddenly said “Várjon” (Wait)…two minutes later a young girl rushed to greet us and spoke in perfect English…a total surprise in rural Hungary. We spent a good amount of time talking about England and subsequently bought two glorious hanging baskets. We also stocked our car with a sack of potatoes, a sack of onions and several tomato plants.
Local Churches of Photographic Interest
I tend to travel everywhere with my camera and usually take pictures everyday, even when we go supermarket shopping! This church is in Tamási with the deer outside depicting the presence of numerous deer in the surrounding area. The Catholic church in the town centre is built on the ruins of a Roman founded temple.
Iregszemcse village also has a visually interesting church. As you can see there are a multitude of electric cables obscuring the view…very normal in Hungary.
The last church photo in this set was taken in Sárbogárd. I was intrigued by the unusual shape. It helped the sky was such a vivid blue. You will notice there is slight dusting of snow on the ground, taken late February 2021.
Sometimes our travels take us to Lake Balaton, the largest lake in Central Europe, and one of the region’s foremost tourist destinations. During the Covid pandemic all the attractions and public beaches have been closed but I managed to access this one which had several beautiful swans gliding across the water.
One of my good friends, also an Ex-pat is an avid walker and wanted to take a walk around our little village. We decided to set off early 8.00 am as walking in the heat later is not too pleasant. Our village nestles between rolling hills with an abundance of forests surrounding us. The walls of the valley are steep and some effort was required to reach our target…the highest viewing point in Kisszékely. We passed bee hives on our way up and then were greeted with an abundance of Acacia trees, specially planted for the bees to make Hungary’s speciality honey. By the time we had reached the viewing point we were glad of the picnic tables for a seat and the sturdy viewing platform, to take photos, it was certainly worth the effort. We were lucky enough to watch a pair of storks coasting on the wind and thoroughly enjoying the early morning weather. Next time I shall have a zoom lens to capture these precious moments.
The beautiful Acacia tree.
https://hungarybees.com/ here you will find everything you need to know about the delicious Acacia Honey.
A pair of storks in the distance. Vineyards jammed full of growing vines below. What a tranquil sight.
After spending some time admiring the staggering views, we headed back down into the village through tightly forested areas stopping occasionally to cross little streams and observing animals tracks.
We are lucky that our village has so many walking trails all colour coded with regular information boards describing the wild life and flora to be found nearby. Extremely useful and interesting.
We are now enjoying much sunnier days and milder nights. Mother Nature never fails to surprise and impress me particularly in the beautiful countryside of Hungary. I shall be out with my camera again very soon.