Witte wieven

Nature is bursting at the seams. Buds from trees and shrubs are sprouting delicately, slowly pushing or vigorously bursting open in a few hours.

In the autumn, many plants disappear beneath the soil. Now, they are not able to wait and emerge out of the soil like an unfurling hand, a hollow spear, the tail of a chameleon and like an array of drum sticks. Many leaves of trees and shrubs sprout in a shade of brown or red, only to turn green later.

Coots, ducks, swans and geese have found their spot by or on the water, and blackbirds, starlings, sparrows, tits and finches fly their nest material to spots higher up in order to guarantee a safe haven for their young in the coming weeks.

While rummaging around in my open shed, the swallows swoop past.  Frogs come out of their hibernation and already do some vocal exercises for larger-scale performances, which will soon take place on warmer evenings in a few weeks’ time. Honeybees and bumblebees are tremendously busy gathering pollen and honey, and building their permanent residence where thousands of larvae emerge in each nest.

My senses do not have to be heightened, because it’s impossible to miss. Snatches of fragrances drift by, white, pink and lilac flowers appear on bare branches, the ground ivy and dandelion can be seen everywhere, bulbs planted in the autumn emerge fresh and fit above the soil in spite of all kinds of weather, the squawking of many, chattering of swallows, roaring laughter of ducks and singing of even more winged animals is a hive of activity time after time. The grass slowly turns dark green once again, reed pierce the surface of the water perfectly vertical and the light-green sprouting leaves of the birch let the filtered light of the sun through so that you can see through them.

During my first morning rituals, the day awakens. It seems to go slowly, but after an initial glow above the horizon, the sun breaks loose once again.  Now in the rising mist, wisps of fog, the so-called Witte Wieven (‘White Women’ or ‘Wise Women’) of Dutch mythology.

Witte Wieven are often linked with witches and/or ghosts. The Witte Wieven have much in common with the Irish sídhe and  banshee and links are made to marsh womenfairies or elves.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Witte_Wieven

Each spring is like a rebirth of nature; I’ve written enough about it now, below you will find some pictures and films. Enjoy!

luc engelhard