Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Spring in Paluküla

Paluküla is a small village where my mother was born and raised, and where I spent all my childhood summers. It's about 80 km from Tallinn, and it just happens to be adjacent to the village where K. spent all his childhood summers. Nope - we had never met until we bumped into each other at a reception in Edinburgh, which led to a cup (or two) of mulled wine in Tallinn during Christmas 2005, a date in Paris, and a reunion in our childhood villages last summer, picking honey-coloured cloudberries, sweeter-than-sweet wild strawberries, cranberries and a range of wild mushrooms that some of you would describe as 'exotic', and finally me taking the plunge and moving back home and in with K. after seven years in Edinburgh (where, incidentially, I'm off again next week, but this time as a tourist).

We went back in early May, to celebrate my uncle's 50th birthday, and while there, we decided to take a walk. The path alongside the small stream was so tranquil and beautiful, and the sides of the stream full of cowslips/marsh marigold/kingcups (Caltha palustris) which were so bright yellow in colour that it hurt!

There were two elegant white storks (Ciconia ciconia) slowly wandering just behind the house, in what used to be the sheep garden when my grandma still kept these furry animals:

Their nest is on top of the lamp post next to the main house, but the storks probably decided to take a walk, too, to avoid the thirty-odd persons who had suddenly decided to turn up in their courtyard. On the way back home in the afternoon, we also spotted a much rarer Common Crane (Grus grus) on a field, a protected species in Estonia.

A truly tranquil and captivating place... I just wanted to share the photos with you, especially as there are few other food-related posts related to this place coming up on my blog soon :)


K & S said...

very beautiful area! enjoy your trip!

valentina said...

How pretty is this area! And how interesting that the two of you have always been so close and never met before. Only met far, far away from your home land. ; o )

Ülle said...

Pille, kas sa mitte ei eksi kui nimetad ojas kasvavaid varsakapju "cowslips", mis on hoopis nurmenukud. Saagpakk annab varsakapjade ingl. keelseks vasteks "kingcup" ja "marsh marigold". Aga praegu õitsevad ju nurmenukud ka, ilmselt nägite mõlemaid. Ohh, Eestimaa on ilus!!!

Freya and Paul said...

Looks like a beautiful, tranquil place! And the wild mushrooms and strawberries sound heavenly!

sciencemel said...

What a wonderfully romantic story! I certainly didn't think that happened to real people but glad it has happened to someone as special as you and K. Great countryside pics too!

Mann said...

Ilus lugu!

katiez said...

What a lovely spot. The cowlsips are beautiful. It must have been a wonderful place to spend summers!

joey said...

You know how 'exotic' wild mushrooms sound to me so far away from them ;) I cannot imagine the wonderful-ness of being able to pick them fresh from the ground! I love these posts about Estonia and your growing up...and how romatic that K was growing up right in the next town!

Pille said...

K&S - it's beautiful indeed, in a very restrained way:)

Valentina - interesting for sure. A great story to tell to our grandchildren one day hopefully!

Ülle - vaatasin järele, selgus, et tegemist on amerikanismiga. Nimelt kutsuvad ameeriklased varsakapju 'cowslips', kuigi brittide jaoks on need kingcups. Tegin paranduse. Aitäh targemaks tegemise eest!

Freya&Paul - definitely tranquil, with plenty of wild strawberries and mushrooms. And don't forget cloudberries, cranberries and bog cranberries!!

Melinda - thanks! And it's definitely a real story, even if we find it amusing that we met in Edinburgh out of all places!

Mann - kas pole? Ma arvan ka, et on. Vanad eestlased olla öelnud, et 'naine võta naabertalust'. No meil peaaegu selline lugu:)

Katiez - it was! The house where I stayed burnt down unfortunately in 1993, and my grandmother moved to Tallinn. I was so upset to hear the news (I was living in Denmark at the time), and it took me a while to go back. Since then, my uncle has taken over the farm, rebuilt the house, and now it's great to be able to return. Even if I do sleep in the neighbouring village:)

Joey - wait until I'll tell you about those yellow morels we picked there last weekend! K & I both grew up in the capital Tallinn, but spent our summers in that area. As I had loads of cousins (11 in total), then I didn't need to look for playmates in neighbouring villages - that's why we never met, I guess:)