tirsdag den 30. april 2019

A - Å - 30. april - Å - Åkander

Å er for Åkander,
     Uglemor har meget længe ønsket sig åkander i haven. Da frøsøen var ny og klar, plantede hun en enkelt gul åkande, der blomstrede smukt den sommer, men aldrig kom igen. Åkander kræver nemlig sol og varme, og frøsøen ligger i skyggen. Så lavede Uglemor da bare selv sine egne åkandeblade.
     Det var desværre en fiasko. Olien blev til det rene klister, åkanderne sank og insekterne fortsatte med at drukne.

Oliegennemtrængt åkandeblad
Oil saturated lilypad.

   Naturligvis har Uglemor flere nye ideer til den kommende sommer, så lad os se, hvad der sker.

- Å -

Å is for  Åkande = waterlily
For a long time MotherOwl wanted a waterlily in the garden. When the Frogpond was new and the waters clear, she bougth and planted a pretty yellow waterlily. It flowered nicely that summer, never to return. Waterlilies want sunshine and warm water, and the Frogpond is placed in the shadow.
Then MotherOwl made her own, wooden lilypads.  The experiment was a failure. The oil got sticky and the lilypads got waterlogged and sunk.

Åkandeblad af træ i et lille bassin - medens det stadig så ud til at lykkes.
Wooden lilypad in a small pond -- While everything looked good.
This summer MotherOwl has more ideas for waterlilies for the Frogpond and other water filled containers placed in the Owlery.
Selvom åkandebladene var smukke, var det en dårlig idé.
Even if the lilypads turned out beautiful, it did not work out as intended.
Og det var så slut på A-Z-udfordringen, der endte med a blive en A-Å-udfordring

- Å -

And this was the end of the A-Z Challenge, that for MotherOwl's part ended up as an A-Å Challenge.

mandag den 29. april 2019

A-Å - 29. april - Ø - Økologi

Ø er for Økologi.
     Økologi har Uglemor praktiseret i mange år. Faktisk endda før hun fik sin egen have at praktisere i.At holde sin have giftfri (og uden kunstgødning) kræver mere håndarbejde.
       Da jeg skrev om V for Vejr bemærkede Jenny-O hvor grøn min have var. Det er den også, men meget af det grønne er nu ukrudt. Lad os gå tættere på.
Det danske øko-kontrol-mærke
Danish certification of organic origin
Ø is for Økologi = Organic
     Organic gardening has been MotherOwl's choice for many years. Even before she had a garden actually. Organic gardening is demanding and rewarding. The demands is mostly on hands and knees.
Jenny-O remarked how nice and green my garden is. Well it is and it sure looks nice and lustre after winter's grey and brown tones and barren earth, but much of it are unwanted greens. Let's have a closer look.
 Inde mellem bærbuskene gror der græs, skvalderkål og mælkebøtter.
- Ø -
In between the berry bushes: Grass, ground elder and dandelions.

 I græsplænen er der mange mælkebøtter. Der er også en hel del skvalderkål, nogle bellis og andre smukke blomster.
- Ø -
In the lawn: More dandelions. We also have ground elder, lawn daisies, scilla and other pretty flowers.

    Vores smukke gårdsplads kræver round up - men af den menneskelige slags. Uglemor har ligget på knæ og luget mange spandfulde grønt væk.
- Ø -
Our yard. All the small stones hides lots of green. It needs round up to keep it down. Human round up, that is. MotherOwl has been on all four all over, removing bucket after bucket of greenery.

 Problemet er bare at det kommer igen.
- Ø -
The only problem is the weeds' tendency to be back.

     På den anden side har jeg disse herlige hjælpere, der altid kan spise en mælkebøtte mere.
     De belønner os med æg med solgule blommer. Og jeg kan spise dem uden at frygte nogen form for pesticider.
    For det er jo netop en af de helt store fordele ved økologi; at jeg, børn, gæster og alle andre frit kan gnaske løs af alle havens afgrøder lige fra planterne og i alle andre former uden at være bange for andet end en enkelt orm i ny og næ.
Det europæiske øko-kontrol-mærke
European certification of organic origin
MotherOwl has these wonderful helpers. They always volunteer to eat yet another bucket full of greens.
They give us the most wonderful eggs with deep yellow yolks. And I can eat those eggs without fear of pesticides or other
That is one of the really big pros of ecological gardening; that I, children, visitors, and  generally everybody can eat freely of all the fruits and veggies from the garden, raw from the plant, cooked, baged, preserved or any other way we like without fear of anything but the occasional worm.

Øko-kontrol-mærker fra andre lande i EU. -- Certification of organic origin from other countries in EU.

Poetry Monday :: Robin Redbreast

Delores of Mumblings and Jenny of Procrastinating Donkey are taking turns hosting Poetry Monday.
Today's theme is Robin Redbreast. (courtesy of Delores).

All the lore concerning Robin Redbreast is new to me. And I think al the A-Z or rather A-Å Challenge post writing has addled my brain. In the end an alliterative verse in the old Nordic style was all my poor brain could pull forth. 

Robin Redbreast
raises its beak
Pecking at pollinators
near the pond

Robin Redbreast
Resting in the willow
Twittering in the twilight
Flighty as time.

søndag den 28. april 2019

Ⓐ-Ⓩ - 28. april - Snyd -- Cheating

Ⓐ-Ⓩ-udfordringen hedder det, men nu er vi nået til den umulige ende af alfabetet nemlig W, X, Y og Z.
     Der er hverken wigwammer, xylofoner, yakokser eller zebraer i Uglemors have. Og selv om jeg måske kunne skrive et vittigt indlæg eller to om alt det vi ikke har, er det altså morsommere at fortælle om noget, der findes. Det er også meget nemmere at vise et par smukke billeder fra haven.
     Men  så er det jo så heldigt, at vi på dansk er begavet med et par ekstra bogstaver, nemlig: Æ. Ø og Å
     Dem napper jeg. Æ er for æbler. Og der findes vel næppe et skønnere syn end frugttræer i blomst mod en blå forsommerhimmel.

A - Å

It is called the Ⓐ-Ⓩ-Challenge. But now we've reached the impossible end of the alphabet. W, X, Y and Z. In the Owlery we have neither Wigwams, nor xylophones, yaks or zebras. Of course I could write a witty blog post or two about what we do not have or do in the Owlery's garden. But it is much more satisfying to write about things we do or have. And much easier to show a photo or two.
In Danish we have some extra letters following Z, namely: Æ. Ø and Å. I am going to use those for the last 3 days instead of fighting my way through letters almost never used in Danish.

Æ is for æbler (Apples). Apple blossoms against a clear, blue spring sky is a gorgeous sight.
Æbletræets knopper som de ser ud i dag. 
- Æ -
The buds of our apple tree as the looked today

A - Å

Der er ikke længe til dette syn. 
- Æ -
It won't be long before they look like this.
A - Å

Og så til efteråret kan vi nyde dem her. Det er en helt vidunderlig ting at have er æbletræ eller tre i sin have.
- Æ -
And in Autumn we're going to enjoy these. It is a wonderful thing to have an apple tree or three in the garden.

lørdag den 27. april 2019

Ⓐ-Ⓩ - 27. april - Ⓥ

Ⓥ  er for vejr.
    Lige siden vi fik påskeferie, har solen skinnet og det har været lunt og rart, når det ikke lige har været blæsevejr.
     I går indkaldte Uglemor Ugleungerne til at hjælpe sig med at så masser af frø i haven. Efter at Uglemor havde fjernet ukrudt, gamle planter og diverse rødder fra bedene, medens Ugleungerne var i skole.

Ⓥ  is for vejr = weather.
 Ever since Easter holiday began, and even before, the Sun has been shining. It has been nice and warm, even if somewhat windy.
Yesterday MotherOwl made the Owlets help her sow a lot of seeds after having weeded and dug 3 beds in the time the Owlets were at school.
 Der er sået Susanne-med-det-sorte-øje, bladbeder, kvan og solhat. Halmen beskytter vores eneste overlevende artiskok. I enden af bedet gror de sidste bladbeder fra sidste år, som hønsene har spist af i vinterens løb.
Black eyed Susans,  Swizz chard, Angelica and Echinacea (Coneflower). The straw is protecting our sole surviving artichoke. In the end, the small rest of last year's chards can be seen. The chicken have been eating them all winter.

- Ⓐ-Ⓩ -

     Og her er så et billede fra i morges. Nu kan man se, hvorfor Uglemor havde så travlt med at få alle frøene i jorden. Det regner!
     Jeg er ked af at jeg ikke kan bringe billeder med lyd. Så I må forestille jer en stille, stadig sommerregn, fugle der kvidrer, og af og til kører en bil forbi , nu dæmpet af regnen.
And a photo from this morning. Now you see why MotherOwl was in such a hurry to get all the seeds sown. It is raining, for the first time in 3 weeks.
I'm sorry you can not have the sound side of this photo. Imagine summer rain, gently, but persistently falling, birds chirping and an occasional car passing by, its sound hushed by the falling rain and wet roads.
      Ugleboets have set fra Uglemors soveværelse - en herlig ting at vågne op til hver morgen.
 The garden in the Owlery, seen from MotherOwl's bedroom window. What a wonderful view in the morning.

fredag den 26. april 2019

Ⓐ-Ⓩ - 26. april - Ⓤ - Ugle

Ⓤ kan ikke være andet end UGLE!

 Ⓤ can only mean UGLE = OWL!

 - Ⓐ-Ⓩ -

     Den kendteste ugle i Uglebo er nok Haveuglen. Han står i sin rede og holder øje med Uglemors gøren og laden i haven, og kommer ofte med  brok og mere eller mindre gode råd
- Ⓤ-
The best known owl in the garden is surely GardenOwl. He stands in his nest and looks with big, critical eyes on what MotherOwl is doing or not in the garden. He's know for his advise and sharp beak.

- Ⓐ-Ⓩ -

     Men der er flere ugler i Ugleboets have. Dog færre end der har været, for vind og vejr og frost er hårdt for ugler, som man kan se på de kommende billeder.
      Dette her er den yngste, en blå pynteugle. Den er forholdsvis ny, knap et år gammel, og derfor stadig hel. Uglemor elsker blåt, derfor er den naturligvis blå.
- Ⓤ-
Many more owls live in the Owlery's garden. Not as many as in earlier years Sun, wind and frost are hard on owls in the garden.
This one is the newest addition, not yet a year old, and still shiny. Of course it's blue, that's MotherOwl's favourite colour. 

- Ⓐ-Ⓩ -

     Kugle-uglen her har en del år på bagen. Den var ny, da den vidunderlige trappe blev bygget, og det er vist efterhånden 8 år siden. Måske er det dens sidste sommer i haven.
This round owl is rather old. It was new when the wonderful stairs were built back in 2010. Maybe it is having its last summer in the garden. 

- Ⓐ-Ⓩ -

    Lilleuglen her er faldet som offer for vinterens frost. Den plejede at vogte over vores løvstikker. Et meget vigtigt job, men den må vist have en afløser.
This little owl used to guard the lovage. This is an important job in the Owlery, but I guess  we need a new guardian. 

- Ⓐ-Ⓩ -
     Hængeuglen her vogter vore skatte, og det har den gjort i mange år. Den hænger i Uglemors æbletræ. Den kan som man ser, holde til sol og frost, og den bliver bare kønnere med årene.
This hanging owl is the keeper of treasures. It has been hanging around for many years in MotherOwl's own apple tree. Sun and frost do not really bother the treasurer, who only gets more beautiful with each passing year. 


Og så følger Uglemor naturligvis med i hvad der sker på UgleTV. Billedet her er fra sidste år, for årets æg er kun lige klækket.
And of course MotherOwl is following the continuing story of Owl TV. Livestream from an owl's nest. This screenie is from last year, as this year's owlets only hatched this week. 
 Uglemor og to charmerende ugleunger.
MotherOwl and two charming Owlets.

torsdag den 25. april 2019

Ⓐ - Ⓩ - 25. april - Ⓣ - Taknemmelighed

Ⓣ er for taknemmelighed.
     Uglemor har meget at være taknemmelig for. I ikke-prioriteret rækkefølge kommer nogle billeder fra i dag (og fra Ⓐ - Ⓩ udfordringen) med forklarende tekster. 
 - Ⓣ -
Ⓣ is for Thankful.
MotherOwl has so many things to be thankful for. Photos with explanatory texts from today (and from some other Ⓐ - Ⓩ -Challenge days) not in order of importance.

- Ⓐ - Ⓩ - 

Uglemor er taknemmelig for de første gaver fra haven.
 - Ⓣ -
MotherOwl is thankful for the first gifts from the garden.
    I dag kunne vi høste en del af ingredienserne til aftensmaden i vores egen have: Salatblade, asparges, rabarber og dild.
     Der var også to radiser, men billedet blev dårligt, og nu er de spist.
     Baggrunden er blomstrende slåen fra i morges på vej hjem fra bussen.
- Ⓣ -
Today we harvested some of the ingredients for dinner in our own garden: Lettuce leaves, asparaguses, Rhubarbs and dill.
We had 2 radishes as well. The photo was out of focus, and now they're eaten.
In the background flowering sloe from this morning on my way home.

- Ⓐ - Ⓩ -

Næste omgang. Uglemor er taknemmelig for skønhed og variation i hverdagen. 
- Ⓣ -
Next up, MotherOwl is thankful for beauty and variation in her everyday life.
     Mariarelieffet i morgensol. - Alle 7 høns har lagt et æg i dag.
     Naboens plankeværk med smukke blomster.  - En anden smuk blomst undervejs. Den dufter af honning.
     Baggrunden er en enkelt kvædeblomst.
 - Ⓣ -
The relief of Virgin Mary in the early morning sun - All our 7 hens laid an egg today.
A neighbour's fence with a pretty flower. - Another pretty flwore on my way home. It smells like honey.
The background is one quince blossom. 

- Ⓐ - Ⓩ -

Og sidst, men ikke mindst er Uglemor meget takenmmelig for sin familie og faunaen omkring os. 
- Ⓣ -
Last, but not least on MotherOwl's list of what makes her thankful: Fauna and Family. 
     Piraten studerer hvidtjørneblomsterne - Skribenten har bagt en Santiagokage.
     Nye skud på et asketræ - Naboens birketræ, ja selv det, selv om pollen får Uglemor til at nyse og tude. Men birketræer er gode på så mange andre måder.
     Baggrundsbilledet forestiller jordbær, som Ugleungerne har luget.
- Ⓣ -
The Pirate studying the flowering haws - The Writer has made a Santiago cake.
Ash on the verge of flowering - Birch catkins, yes even those although they make MotherOwl sneeze and itch. Bit birch is such a good tree in many other ways.
Background flowering strawberries, weeded by the Owlets.

- Ⓐ - Ⓩ -

Uglemor er også taknemmelig over sine trofaste bloglæsere og deres altid positive og opmuntrende kommentarer.  Verden er lidt lysere på grund af jer. Mange tak.
- Ⓣ -
 MotherOwl also is very thankful for you, my dear readers. For your always positive, encouraging and even humbling comments. The world is a better place because of you.
Thank you.

onsdag den 24. april 2019

Words for Wednesday - The Beginnings 4

In April Messymimi is supplying us with prompts at her Meanderings.
This week's prompts are:



ad hoc

I only used half  the prompts today. Maybe the other half of them will follow later. 
I continue the story about Susan's first visit to Unicorn Farm. 
And yes, there's a bit missing.
It is now later, very late in the afternoon the same day.
I don't know how to write out the missing scenes yet. I remember it, I see it clearly in my mind's eye, but the words turn out wrong or not at all every time I try.

The young witch who had distributed the cards, rose and introduced herself as Martine from Norway: "Everyone with blue charts come with me and Torben. You can't overlook him," she added and smiled at the tall man, who bowed politely and joined her. Meanwhile, the yellow team had disappeared from the hall following Tahti and Taavi, and Susan had not noticed where they went. She decided to keep a better eye on Torben and the blue ones, but then Gilvi got up. His weathered face lit up, and he reached out to Thora: "We two," he said slowly, "are Gilvi and Thora from Iceland, and we will ask everyone with a green schedule to follow us. And also you, Knud, you are so far the only one with a black chart." They went to the front of the wardrobe, where six piles of T-shirts lay in neat plies,  red, green, blue, yellow, black and purple. Thora jogged her hand into the stack of green T-shirts, they hovered over the heads around them, and everyone caught a T-shirt in mid-air. Gilvi got the top black T-shirt up and flying with a single finger, and it hovered neatly over Knud.
"Gee," Gilvi said and wiped his forehead. "I have exercised more magic today than the last ten years put together."
Thora looked at him with an outgoing smile and told him it was good for him. Then the two magicians went through a small door in the side of the building, and all the green children followed them into the sunshine, Susan was amazed to see how low in the sky the sun was already. They went all the way to the fence that separated the Unicorn farm from the rest of the island. There Gilvi and Thora sat on two big tree stumps, the children settled on the fallen trees and Thora said: "Before you go home today, you must have found the material for your magic wand. Now go to the fence and find a tree or a bush that appeals to you. When you are sure it is right, put your hand on the tree and call Gilvi or me. Give yourself some time and stay on this side of the trees."
Susan and the other wizards apprentices went to the trees. "It's funny," said a short-haired boy, "it's as if all the trees are different."
"Yes," said Knud, "there are no two of the same. Imagine that there are so many different trees." They went up and down the row of trees. Susan became conscious of the fact that as she moved round the tree; only on the Farm side of course, the tree changed in appearance from a wintry look tree with bare branches to one with buds leaping out. When you were closest to the farm, the tree was in its summer suit, and further on, fruits grew on the tree, the leaves turned yellow or brown and fell off, and finally it was wintery again. Very reasonable, she thought. There were trees that were beautiful with flowers, some had wonderful fruits, and some were definitely at their best in the autumn. Other children also discovered the magic of the season, and soon they all shared the secret.
Susan took her time. She saw the other children one by one putting a hand on the trunk and calling for Gilvi or Thora. She saw Thora questioning the girl with the pigtails, shaking her head and sending her off again. Suddenly a tree caught her eyes. Here from the spring side it was like a sumptuous delicate cloud. She leaned her head a little further to the left and the flowers turned into pink buds on the bare branches. If she walked a little to the right, the petals fell into close drives around her and beautiful green leaves unfolded. She continued to the right, anxious to see which fruits the tree might have, but the leaves just turned shining yellow  and fell off without Susan noticing a single fruit. It overwhelmed Susan. All that beauty just to be beautiful. She went closer to the tree and saw the bark. Everywhere the dark brown bark was full of reddish scales that looked like little smiles. Susan smiled herself and laid her hand against the bark. Then she stood still. She could feel the song of the tree - that was the word that came into her mind. She could sense how it was to bloom so overwhelmingly. There was also a tone of sadness in the song, a longing to bear fruit. Susan wanted to give the tree a hug and tell it that it brought as much joy with its beauty as other trees with their fruit. She saw Thora passing by and gave her a sign.
"Did you hear the tree's song?" Thora asked gently. Susan just nodded, she didn't want to say anything at all and let go of the quiet music from the tree.
"Japanese cherry," Thora stated. "Pretty, but hard to make fruitful. Lovely and pliable. It's a good choice, my girl. ... Let me see ... are your parents tall?"
Susan nodded, but Thora's questioning eyes forced her to reply with words: "My father is probably as tall as Torben, almost two meters, and my mother is also tall, taller than most ladies. None of them are fat" she added hesitantly.
"Good!" Thora swung her magic wand, and a branch high up in the tree detached itself and fell straight into Susan's outstretched hand. "Bring it with you everywhere until we meet again tomorrow," Thora admonished. "And by everywhere, I mean everywhere! Even to the toilet, and into bed, and while eating. Will this be hard for you?"
Susan shook her head: "I often have sticks or stones or small animals in my pockets. The only problem is my little sister, she always wants to have what I have."
"Ahh, a completely normal little sister," Thora said smiling, "she will probably not be a problem today. She has experienced a lot."

* * *

Inside the barn they pulled their own clothes from the pegs and hung the wizard's clothes. The other three groups had also come back and it was crowded. But soon everyone was dressed. Gilvi smiled, and a clear sound like a bell made everyone silent. Then he said: "We'll meet again tomorrow. Blue and green teams meet at the straw bales out front. Yellow team in the barn. Purple team and the three red apprentices meet in the kitchen. It's down behind the little door there," he said, pointing to the right under the hayloft, from whence Tahti and Taavi had come returned with the chairs. Then he swung his magic wand over the apprentices and said: "Skiljast maul" He added some words that Susan didn't understand "Það er okkur fyrst!" But the Icelandic children understood and went with him and Thora. They walked together into the sunshine in the courtyard and disappeared.
Taavi gently called: "Ja sitten meitä!" and a few children went with him and Taahti out of the barn and disappeared between two golden straw bales.
The witch from the Carl Larsson painting said, "Vår tur." Most of the boys Susan had been together with, Helge and the smiling girls ran after her out through the small door Helge had come in through the same morning.
"Oss fra nord!" shouted the pirate clad black man and ran in front of his little flock out in the courtyard. Here they took each other's hands and disappeared into thin air.
"Og oss fra sør!" said Martine, shaking her golden hair so that the sun flashed from it. She and her little flock disappeared between the trees.
"Then we're the only ones left," Torben said. You just have to return the same way you came this morning. Do you remember? The two flower power girls nodded and went for the trees. The girl with the pig tails and her two siblings looked doubtful at each other.
"Hey," Susan said to her own surprise.  "Don't you live along the paved road, in the small yellow house? Then we can go home together." She was completely stunned at her own courage, but Torben smiled at her. "Well, you just get off, we'll meet tomorrow. It's best we don't all leave together. I'll wait here with Knud, David and Sara until you're gone."
Susan resolutely took the small girl with pigtails by the hand, she smiled up at her, and together they went to the entrance formed by a large, old willow-tree bending over a hazel bush. As they walked through the fence, Susan again felt the same buzzing feeling, she had felt as she slipped through the hole that morning.
"My name is Susan."
"Heidi," said the girl with the pig tails,
"Lis ... Tage ..." said the two big ones simultaneously. and began laughing. Susan had not been able to understand what any of them had said.
"These two ...," Heidi moaned, "they are twins, they always do everything at the same time. They are Tage and Lis."
Smiling and trampling on each other's long shadows they ran home through the green fields.

tirsdag den 23. april 2019

Ⓐ - Ⓩ -23. april - Ⓢ - Sol, Sommer og Solstik

Ⓢer for Sol, sommer og solstik.
     Sol har vi allerede haft en hel del af, hele påskeferien faktisk, og det var herligt. Uglemor, Skribenten og Ugleungerne kan godt lide varme dage i haven.
Ⓢ er jo det bogstav der er flest danske ord der starter med, så der kommer nok flere undervejs.

-- Ⓢ --

 Ⓢ is for Sunshine, summer og solstik (Jostaberry).
We've had Sunshine all through the Easter holidays. MotherOwl, the Writer and the Owlets have enjoyed the sun.
In Danish Ⓢ is the most frequent letter with which to begin a word. Maybe some more will pop up.

Vajd med store knopper op mod domen. Det er næsten sommer
-- Ⓢ --
Voad with big buds outside the dome. It is almost summer.

Ⓢer også for spirer, her spirer de lystigt i domen beskyttet mod vind og vejr.
-- Ⓢ --
Ⓢ is for sprouts as well.Here pots with seeds are sprouting in the protection of the dome.

     Birkesaften er blevet til sæber. I hvert fald noget af den. De er alle sammen blevet stemplet med B for birkesaft-sæbe.
-- Ⓢ --

The sap from the birch trees has been turned into soap, some of it at least. The B on the soap tells me it is birch sap soap. 

     Og så er der solstik. Den blev plantet i sommeren 2019. Det var herligt varmt og meget tørt. Uglemor troede ikke at den ville overleve, men det gjorde den, og den er endda groet. Måske får vi bær om et par år.
-- Ⓢ --
And Jostaberries. They were planted in the dry, hot summer of 2019, and MotherOwl did not think that they survived, but they did and they have even grown. Maybe in a year or two we will have some berries.

     På japansk hedder kirsebærblomster Sakura. Dette er ikke helt den ægte vare, de er jo ikke pink, men de er da flotte. 
-- Ⓢ --
Sakura is the Japanese name for cherry flowers. This is not quite the stuff, as they're not pink. But they are pretty.

    Og som Shu-bi-dua synger: "Vi har også brug for svanerne. for de får hinanden til sidst." Her er svanerne i hvert fald. ("Greven ud af luften" 78'eren).
-- Ⓢ --
A Danish band from the 70ties and 80ties called Shu-bi-dua played funny, lively songs, with crazy rhymes and odd texts. One line goes: "We also need the swans, because they're married in the end!"  Well at least we got the swans.

mandag den 22. april 2019

Poetry Monday :: Spring Cleaning

Delores of Mumblings and Jenny of Procrastinating Donkey are taking turns hosting Poetry Monday.
Today's theme is Spring Cleaning. (courtesy of Jenny).

The Easter holidays have been exceptionally warm, sunny and nice. In spite of poorly Owlets and many hours spent in trains and buses on our way to or from all the Easter masses, MotherOwl has been in the garden a good deal more than normal  this spring. This is reflected in this hastily written poem on Spring cleaning.

-- -- --

Spring cleaning,
Has its meaning
To get rid of Winter's dust.
But I'm dreaming
While I'm gleaning
Seeds in my garden's crust.

 The Sun is beaming
 I am scheming
With every grain of soil.
All is greening.
It has meaning
With growing things to toil.

I will not clean my house for Spring,
But capture all the joys it brings
To spring clean in my garden.
Soon the rain will come and wash
My garden paths with splish and splosh
But 'til then, I beg you pardon.

søndag den 21. april 2019

Ⓐ - Ⓩ - 21 april - Ⓡ - Roser

Glædelig påske  -- Kristus er opstanden
     Uglemor holder påske. Derfor opdateres bloggen kun sporadisk, og kommentarer på andre blogge forekommer i lige så spredt fægtning.
     Her kommer lige en enkelt Ⓐ-Ⓩ-blogpost.

-- 🎶🎵🎶🎵 --

 Blessed Easter  --  Christ has risen
MotherOwl is celebrating the Easter triduum and more. Blogging is sporadic, and comments on all your lovely blogs will only be written when time allows. 
Here's the next Ⓐ-Ⓩblog post.

- Ⓐ - Ⓩ -

Ⓡ - er for roser.
     Da vi flyttede ind i Uglebo, var her adskillige rosenbuske. En af dem var ondsindet, den stod nærmest på lur og rev os gang på gang med sine lange grene der havde mange spidse, røde torne. Den blev klippet i småstykker og brændt.
   Der var også to andre roser, men Uglemor har aldrig været god til det, der ikke kunne spises, så de fik færre og færre blomster, og til sidst forsvandt de helt. Flere gange har vi fået eller købt små rosenbuske, men de er allesammen forsvundet efter kort tid.
     For nogle år siden fik Ugleboet en hybenrose - en fredelig én, der ikke breder sig. Den går kun i højden. Den har smukke, velduftende blomster, og så står den et sted hvor den ikke sender fangarme ud efter os.
     Forleden fandt Uglemor nogle meget medtagne, men gule roser i et supermarked. Mange af havens planter er sådan nogle trætte tilbudsplanter, der er kommet på genoplivningskur i domen inden de kom ud i haven. De to af roserne overlevede vist. Nu står de i en krukke, og Uglemor håber på gule rosenblomster senere på året.

- Ⓐ - Ⓩ -

 Ⓡ - is for roses.
When we moved in, the garden had three rose bushes. Two nondescript red ones in the row of bushes near the road. The third one was an evil one. It was beautiful, it stood on a corner, we passed several times a day, and we were sure it was laying in ambush, waiting for us to get near so that it could get at us with its many, sharp and reddish thorns.  We called it the evil rose, and it ended its life being cut to pieces and burned after attacking us one time too many.
MotherOwl is not good at keeping ornamental plants alive, and the two red roses became uglier and uglier, the roses fewer and smaller, and after some years they failed to show up. We have bought or been given small roses, but they never lived for long.
Some years ago we were given a beach rose of the non-invasive variety. It thrives, smells good and grows in a place where its many, many thorns cannot get at us.
But now a week or so ago MotherOwl found some yellow roses on sale. Lots of our garden plants are brought home as "tired plants", half (or more) wilted plants marked down or given away for free.
The yellow roses had a revivification trip into the dome. Two of them survived it seems, and now they are planted out in a pot to die or hopefully live and bloom.

Gule, trætte roser. Bemærk de nye fine skud i ringene. 
- - - 
Tired yellow roses. Notice the promising buds in the yellow circles.

torsdag den 18. april 2019

Ⓐ - Ⓩ - 18. april - Ⓠ - Quince and Queens

Ⓠ ... som der står skrevet: Q er et bogstav i alfabetet, man bruger det sjældent, men her kan du se det. (Halfdans ABC - efter hukommelsen) Og så en tegning af folk, der leger med en masse Q'er.
     De eneste der giver bare nogenlunde mening er Quiche, det hedder vist også tærte, og dette mundrette ord bliver brugt i Uglebo, så er der Quilt, men Uglemor har ikke den slags tålmodighed. Og så en Quiz, men de foregår altså ikke i haven. Så Q på dansk er ikke så godt. Det var en af grundene til at jeg truede med at måtte prøve på engelsk. Lad os se: Quaff, Quagmire, Quandary, Quarrel, Quarry, Quest, Queue, Quiet, Quiver, Quilt, Quince, Queen ... det bliver straks bedre.

     Quince betyder Kvæder:  Vi har vores smukke, men forvirrede kvæde. Fra nu af og til den første frost bærer den blomster, små frugter og modne frugter mellem hinanden. Uglemor laver kvædegelé, der spises med fornøjelse af de andre indbyggere i Uglebo.

 - Ⓐ - Ⓩ -

 Ⓠ ... My house poet, Halfdan Rasmussen, once wrote a rhymed ABC for children - and their parents. Under Q you saw a lot of people having fun throwing, climbing, going through, and in general fooling around with the letter Q. The verse said something like: Q is a letter in the alphabet. It's used very seldom, but here you see't.
And that is the trouble with Q. Apart from strange, chemical compounds and queer names, Q is used for Quiz, Quiche and Quilt.  We have no quizzes in the garden, MotherOwl's patience is not of the quilting sort - Quilt in Danish being only big blankets, smaller things are called patch work. Quiche, yes we eat that now and again, but they're always pies or tarts, never quiches.
Let's see. Q is much more used in English, that was why I threatened to use English for those obscure letters. Let's take a look: Quaff, Quagmire, Quandary, Quarrel, Quarry, Quest, Queue, Quiet, Quiver, Quilt, Quince, Queen ... now this sounds more promising, at least Quince and Queen.

Quince, we have a small, very flowery quince bush in the garden. It is a bit ... erm ... confused I'd say, in so far as it carries flowers, small fruits, and big fruits all through Spring, Summer and Autumn.

Blomstrende kvæder i aftensol - - - Flowering quince in the evening sun.

     Queen er jo dronning, og sådan nogen har vi haft adskillige af i de forgangne år. Bidronninger forstås ;) Men der er ikke flere tilbage nu. Det er både et savn og en lettelse. Et savn fordi vi ikke får bestøvet så meget eller så godt, som vi plejede. Der er helt enkelt ikke vilde bier og humler nok i haven. En lettelse fordi Uglemor jo er allergiske overfor bistik, omend vaccineret med god virkning, men alligevel. Frygten sidder stadig lige under huden.
     Himlens Dronning, Polens, Dronning, Martyrernes Dronning, Fredens Dronning ...  er alt sammen tilnavne til Jomfru Maria. Så måske skulle jeg bare vise, at jeg nu har fået malet hylden og vasket relieffet ude i haven.

 - Ⓐ - Ⓩ -

Queen. Queens we've had a load, queen bees that is. But not any more. MotherOwl is in two minds about this. She misses the pollinating job done by the bees, the wax and the honey. She totally do not miss having to fight recalcitrant, let's just call them angry, bees when tending them, or the fear of being stung. Maybe in some years bees will make a comeback in the Owlery.
But Queen: Queen of Heaven, Queen of Martyrs, Queen of Peace, Queen of the Apostles. Yes it's the Virgin Mary. Maybe MotherOwl just has to show that the relief in the garden now has its shelf painted white, and a much needed washing.

 Se, det pyntede da!     Yes, much better now.

onsdag den 17. april 2019

Ⓐ - Ⓩ 17. april - Ⓟ - Projekter

Ⓟ er for projekter.
     Uglemor har som altid gang i mange projekter. Havelågerne er et af dem. I Ⓘ for ideer kan man se Uglemors idé. Her kommer første del af projektet plus et par stykker til.

- Ⓐ - Ⓩ -

Ⓟis for projects.
In Ⓘ for ideas we heard about some of MotherOwl's wild plans. Here's the first step plus some other projects being finished.

Lågen. Den er ikke blå, men ellers ser den rigtig ud.  
- - -
The gate. It is not blue. But it looks like the idea. 

- Ⓐ - Ⓩ -

Men en låge var ikke nok. Der mangler lige en mere.
- - - 
One gate was not enough. We were missing one more. 
Et hul der mangler en låge. -- En låge på vej
Den grønne låge på sin plads. -- En grøn stopklods

A missing gate.  --  A gate in the making
The green gate is in place. -- A green stopper. 

 Purløgene her blev trængt af både tulipaner og oregano. Nu har de fået egen krukke. 
- - -
The chives were crowded by tulips and marjoram. Now they have their own pot to grow in.

Løvstikken er blevet luget og har fået fjernet alle sidste års gamle, hule stængler. De små påskeliljer i midten er næsten afblomstret, men det passer fint. 
- - - 
The Lovage has been weeded and had all the old, hollow stems removed. It looks so nice now. The small daffodils in the middle have almost finished flowering. That is good timing.

Mariarelieffet er ikke blevet vasket endnu i år. Men blomstervasen har fået en holder, så den ikke hele tiden dratter ned. 
Næste projekt må være at vaske relieffet og male hele hylden!
- - -
This cast Iron Mary has not yet had its annual washing. But the vase has had a new holder, much appreciated, as the vase was always falling off the shelf. 
Next project: A washing, and white paint for all of the shelf!  

-- はいく --

I dag er det den internationale Haiku-dag. Det må fejres.
- - -
Today is the International Haiku Poetry Day. We have to celebrate.

-- はいく -- 

Så mange ideer,
så få timer med solskin.
Uglemor har travlt.


So many projects
For so few sunlit monments.
Busy MotherOwl.

-- oo 00 WfW 00 oo --

Og ja, Uglemor ved godt, at det er onsdag. Men onsdagsordene må vente et par dage denne gang.

- - -
MotherOwl do know that today is Wednesday. But the Words for Wednesday just have to wait.

Ikke busser, men tog!

Not Busses -- Trains!
More about the forced digitalisation and its impractical consequences for everybody. Danish only.

-- 🚆 --

     I lørdags, den 13. april, cyklede Piraten og Uglemor sammen til Græsted. Derfra går toget nemlig næsten direkte til Uglemormors hoveddør. Vi skulle lige i trælasten og købe hængsler, skruer og glipfald (lukketing) til Uglemors drømmelåger først.
     Det klarede vi i fin stil, og Piraten fik oven i købet en is.
     Vi var i god tid på stationen. Toget, der går en gang i timen hver vej om lørdagen, skulle afgå 11.48. Den digitale skærm talte ned: 5 minutter til afgang, 4, 3, 2, 1,  0, 59. Men der kom intet tog. Toget i den anden retning kom - og kørte til vores skræk videre - det er en jernbane med kun ét spor mellem stationerne. Uglemor ringede hjem. Nej, der var ingen nyheder på hverken rejseplanen eller togenes hjemmeside. Suk.
     Medens vi stadig diskuterede, hvad vi skulle gøre, gik tælleren fra 57 til 20. Nå, tænkte vi så, der kommer så nok et nyt tog.
     Fem minutter senere meddelte højttaleren på stationen endelig, at toget stadig holdt i Hllerød med startproblemer og havde holdt der siden 11.26. Tænk, hvis nu de havde meddelt det bare 11.30 eller 11.35. Så kunne vi være gået de knap 400 meter ud til hovedvejen, hvor der kører en bus. Også en gang i timen, bare to minutter tidligere end toget. Nå, vi besluttede at vente. Nedtællingen var let uregelmæssig, 20, 19, 18, 23, 22, 17. Så meldte højttaleren endelig: "Der kommer et nyt tog. Vi ved endnu ikke hvornår det kører fra Hillerød. Vi vender tilbage." Det gjorde de, med fin besked, der oven i købet passede med standeren! Og toget kom, da nedtællingen nåede 0.
     Men hvor havde det dog været skønt, hvis det opdaterede, elektroniske, smarte system havde virket!

-- 🚆 --

     Én ting undrer stadig Uglemor. Hun kører altså ikke rundt med busser tidligt og silde. Hun tager toget en, højst to dage på en normal uge, og efterhånden cykler hun hellere end at tage bussen på indkøb. Og så alligevel oplever hun den her slags problemer så tit. Hvordan ser verden mon ud for dem, der hver dag tager tog og busser for at pendle på arbejde?

tirsdag den 16. april 2019

Ⓐ - Ⓩ 16. april - Ⓞ - ???

Hvad Ⓞ er for, er et godt spørgsmål. Uglemor kan ikke finde nogen ting med O ude i haven. Jo orm, men hvem gider dog læse et blogindlæg om orm, selv om de er nyttige væsener?
     Der er selvfølgelig også oregano, men det er heller ikke særligt interessant. Det gror bare, smager meget godt, og det kan farve uld en ret kedelig gyldengul farve. Vi må lede videre.
     Vi har hverken obelisker eller oaser. Her lever hverken oddere eller okser. Uglemor dyrker hverken okra, oliven eller orkideer og slet ikke opium. Vi har hverken fundet olie eller oldsager, opaler eller onykser. Heldigvis har vi ikke haft nogen orkaner for nyligt.
     Godt nok drømmer Uglemor om et orangeri med eksotiske frugter og yuzuer, men hun må nok nøjes med sin dome ind til videre.
     Vi løber ikke orienteringsløb, eller spiller obo eller på orgel. Uglemor er ikke noget organisationstalent, og hun laver hverken ost eller synger opera.
     Kort sagt må vi vist konstatere, at bogstavet O er underrepræsenteret i Uglebo. 

- Ⓐ - Ⓩ -

Ⓞ is for ... yes for what. MotherOwl has been searching the garden and only found two thing with O: Orm (worm) and oregano (marjoram). She could not imagine anybody wanting to read a blogpost on worms, useful as they might be. And Marjoram is quite dull too, it just grows, is rather tasty, and dyes wool a lacklustre goldenish colour. Look again MotherOwl.
In the Owlery, there's just no room for oases or obelisks. No otters or oxen live here, MotherOwl do not grow orchids or okra, olives or opium. We've found neither oil, nor opals or onykses in the holes we've dug.  We've had no hurricanes (orkaner) recently. And even thought MoterOwl is dreaming of an orangerie for exotic plants yuzu oranges mostly, the good old dome will have to suffice for some time yet.
We do not do Orienteering, or play the oboe or the organ. MotherOwl is not a genius for organizing, she does not sing opera or make cheese (ost).
We have to conclude that the letter O is underrepresented in the Owlery.  (And no, Owl begins with U for Ugle in Danish, sorry)

Foto af oregano og garn farvet dermed maj 2012
- - - 
Popto of Marjoram (oregano) and wool dyed with the plant from May 2012

mandag den 15. april 2019

Poetry Monday :: Awakening

Delores of Mumblings and Jenny of Procrastinating Donkey are taking turns hosting Poetry Monday.
Today's theme is Awakening. (courtesy of Delores).

This time I wrote a really long poem. I composed it in my head during a 10 km long bike ride to physical therapy; I think I might have been a traffic hazard. But in my defence I rode mostly through the woods, on bike paths and along quiet roads. Luckily the therapist had a slight delay. I sat down in the sun and wrote out the poem in my notebook.

                        -- 🐙 --


The kraken stirs down in the deep
Stretches an arm, and then another.
Thinking by itself "Why bother!"
Its yellow eyes half close in sleep.
In early dawn the kraken wakes
Stretches a third arm, then a fourth.
"The time has come. I must go forth,
Allay all my pines and ache.
I must obey my stomach's need.
I must go sate my lust for meat."

Upon the shore, all white and clean,
A lady wakes from her dream.
"I'll start my journey with a swim!"
And then she spies the distant fin.
"Oh dolphins! It brings luck they say,
To swim with dolphins in the bay."
They swim and play, forget the time,
'till pains of hunger stabs her mind.
"Oh, I am much too far from land!"
The dolphins seem to understand
Her plight and gather close around.
Together they swim shoreward bound.

But where they fight the undertow,
Another fin lurks down below.
A dire fin, a streamlined keel,
A teethy maw in jaws of steel.
The water churns, the waves turn red
The lady cries out in her dread
A prayer to her gods she send
and then she faints, her powers spent.

The girl awakens on the shore
She looks down at her bloodied hands
And drops the fin down on the sand.
The dolphins she can see no more.
She raises her head, looks to the sea
The Kraken on the cliffs she sees
He's eating up the giant shark.
Its giant jaws from suckers marked.
He looks at her and turns around.
Slips to the deep from whence he came.
The lady thanks her goddess heathen.
As Darwin said. "Eat or be eaten."

søndag den 14. april 2019

Ⓐ - Ⓩ - 14. april - Ⓝ - Nælder

Ⓝ er for nælder.
     Uglemor bruger nælder til urtesalte, til at bage med, til mad til hønsene, til sæbe og  mange andre ting; men ikke til brændenældesuppe!
     Uglemor drømmer om at lave fibre af sine nælder. Det sker bare aldrig rigtig, men måske i år.
     Brændenældeboller bliver det til gengæld til hvert år. Vi har endnu årets første til gode. De bliver nok bagt i morgen eller på tirsdag.

- Ⓐ - Ⓩ -

Ⓝ er for nettles.
 MotherOwl uses nettles for herbal salts, baking, feed for the chicken, for soap, and for lots of other things, but not for nettle soup.
MotherOwl dreams of spinning nettle yarn. It never happened so far. Maybe this year is the year.
Nettle buns happens every year. We are still not that far, but tomorrow, or maybe Tuesday, we hope.

 En fin og lækker ung brændenælde. - - - A pretty and delicious young nettle. 

lørdag den 13. april 2019

Ⓐ - Ⓩ - 13. april - Ⓜ - Morgenfruer

Ⓜ er for morgenfruer.
     I mange år kunne Uglemor ikke få morgenfruer til at gro i haven. Hun købte frø, fik frø af genboen og sjal endog frø fra smukke morgenfruer i nærheden. Nogen gange spirede en enkelt blomst frem, men den døde i sommerens løb. Så for 5 år siden fik Uglemor den idé at fremstille morgenfruesæbe. Og pludselig ville morgenfruerne gro.
     Det falder fuldkommen i hak med at sommerblomster og andre prydplanter bare ikke vil gro. Uglemor skal have et formål med sine planter ud over bare at kigge på dem. Da storesøster var lille, delte vi af og til et brev blomsterfrø. Dem hun såede spirede, groede og blev flotte. Uglemors blev aldrig til noget. Og de var altså sået samme dag i den samme have ...
     Men nu har Uglemor masser af flotte og nyttige morgenfruer.

- Ⓐ - Ⓩ -

Ⓜ is for marigolds.
For years MotherOwl tried to make marigolds grow in the garden. She bought seeds, had some from a neighbour, even stole some seeds in a nearby garden. To no avail. Sometimes one or two measly marigolds began to grow only to wilt and never be seen again.
The 5 years ago MotherOwl wanted to make marigold soap. And suddenly the marigolds began to grow and be many.
It is always like this. Plants and flowers have to have a purpose other than being pretty.
When Big Sister was small, we sometimes shared a bag of mixed flower seeds. Hers grew and thrived. MotherOwl's never sprouted or died soon after. And they were planted on the same day in the same garden.
Now MotherOwl is making marigold soap and un-petroleum jellies, and her marigolds grow big and strong, and pretty!

En af de ekstraflotte morgenfruer. - - - One of the extra pretty marigolds.

fredag den 12. april 2019

Ⓐ - Ⓩ 12. april - Ⓛ - Lagener

Ⓛ er for lagener.
     Da Uglemor gik ud for at lukke hønsene for natten og tage et billede til dagens A-Z udfordring (Det skulle have været L for Leg), så hun spredte snefnug! Efter at have konsulteret Bedre vejr
hvor der blev lovet helt ned til tre graders nattefrost, fandt hun i hast en masse gamle lagener og håndklæder frem fra Uglehulen. Heldigvis ligger der stadig nogen og venter på at blive revet i strimler.
     Hjulpet af Piraten draperede hun lagenerne over Ugleboets bærbuske. Nu håber Uglemor at det forbliver vindstille og ikke for meget frost i nat. Vi vil gerne have ribs, solbær og stikkelsbær i Ugleboet til sommer.

- Ⓐ - Ⓩ -

Ⓛ er for lagener = sheets.
  This evening, when MotherOwl ventured out into the garden to close the chicken coop for the night and to snap a photo for today's A-Z Challenge (it should have been L for Leg = Play), she was hit by a snowflake. A closer look revealed more snowflakes silently drifting downwards. After consulting the meteorological service Bedre vejr (the name means Better Weather) that promised us frost tonight, she asked The Pirate for help. Together they found old sheets to be woven into rag rugs, but not yet torn into strips and a couple of old towels, and went into the twilight garden to drape the berry bushes. Now we hope for a night without wind and with not too much frost. We would like red and black currants and gooseberries in the Owlery this summer, please.

     Et noget sløret billede af frugtbuske draperet med gamle lagener. De ligner trætte spøgelser, der har lagt sig for natten.
     Tusmørket er allerede fremskredet, og min blizt er stået af for et stykke tid siden.
- - -
A somewhat blurred photo of the fruit bushes covered in sheets and looking a little like tired ghosts composing themselves for sleep.
It was already semi-dark, and the flash in my camera stopped functioning a while ago.

torsdag den 11. april 2019

Ⓐ - Ⓩ 11. april - Ⓚ

Ⓚ er for kejserkroner.
     Hvert år på denne tid fascineres jeg over kejserkronerne, og frastødes af deres underlige udseende. Og som hvert år tænker jeg, at jeg nu ved, hvorfra John Wyndham fik inspirationen til sine trifitter. (Fra bogen "Da trifitterne kom"). I hvert fald i vores have står de omme bag ved eller inde i andre blomster, og så pludselig, stikker deres orange hoveder op over naboerne eller kigger ind over hækken.

 - Ⓐ - Ⓩ -

Ⓚ is for kejserkroner = Crown imperial.
This time every year  I'm fascinated and abhorred by the Crown imperials. They are beautiful, yet somehow alien in their beauty. I always think they inspired John Wyndham when he wrote Day of the Triffids. At least in the Owlery these plants are hidden among or behind other plants, and then, all of a sudden, their orange heads are seen above the shrubbery or behind a hedge.

Uglemors kejserkroner
- - -
MotherOwl's crown imperials

John Wyndhams Trifitter
- - -
John Wyndham's Triffids

onsdag den 10. april 2019

Words for Wednesday - Unicorn Farm - The Beginning 3

In April Messymimi is supplying us with prompts at her Meanderings.
This week's prompts are:




I did not use all the prompts today. Maybe some of them will fit later. 
I continue the story about Susan's first visit to Unicorn Farm. To allay any confusion - I hope - the chapters will be captioned with the words: Unicorn Farm-The Beginning 1 - ..

Without thinking, she walked slowly past the lilac bush, beneath a huge, old weeping willow and on to the fields of the old farm. A low, buzzing sound, almost like a gnat, made Susan's ears itch, she shook her head to get rid of the sound, and it stopped. She looked up. The air had become clean and crisp and she noticed an old man sitting on a log.

Thoughts flew through Susan's head. It was probably the very kind of man her parents had always warned her against. He had long, grey hair gathered in a ponytail, his tanned, wrinkled face looked like it was carved in wood and his chin was covered with dense, white stubble. Susan looked a little closer. He was old, she could tell what with all the wrinkles and his grey-white hair. But he did not look old and tired. Susan wasn't quite sure she would be able to outrun him if he turned out to be dangerous, maybe even one of those bad men mom always warned her about. Susan was not certain she knew what a bad man looked like except for not being nice. But she always imagined someone a bit like her great uncle Tom; squarish and sweaty, who always wanted a kiss and gave her nasty sweets. The man on the log didn't look like Uncle Tom at all. Most of all he looked like a sheriff or cowboy hero from a movie. An old scar ran from his right temple down the neck and disappeared behind the collar of his blue and white striped shirt. He sat playing with a beautiful branch and hummed to himself. Susan was about to turn around and leave, when he looked up at her. His mouth and eyes smiled warmly as he got up from the tree trunk and said: "Welcome!"
The hand he extended toward Susan was great as a bear paw. It wasn't too clean, and the nails were frayed and worn, but Susan couldn't help smiling in return and extend her hand: "Good day, my name is Susan," she said, making a clumsy attempt at a curtsy. It was not really in to curtsey any more, but her grandmother had always wanted Susan to, when greeting older people.
The man smiled even broader, bowed formally and answered: "My name is Gilvi, and you'd better sit down." Gilvi pointed at the log, he had gotten up from, and they sat down. Gilvi and Susan sat for a while on the log. Gilvi was twiddling his stick between his fingers, making strange scribblings in the air.

"Who are you, Susan?" Gilvi finally asked and waited patiently for her answer.
Susan thought hard before answering: "I'm Susan. I'm 13 years old, not particularly brave or good at anything but reading. My mother says I'm a dreamer and my classmates mostly think I'm boring ..." Scared by her own honesty, she stopped.
"Do you think you are something special?" asked Gilvi.
"Something special ... No," Susan replied, shaking her head. "Different, maybe. I don't much care about new clothes, bands, make up or horses, and I like playing with boys better than giggling at them. Maybe I'm a little ... weird?"
"I have to tell you that you are more different than you think," Gilvi said meeting her enquiring gaze with a pair of steady blue eyes. "Do you remember what happened an afternoon just a few weeks before the summer holidays. Think. You were alone in an empty classroom; we don't have to talk about the reason why. And you found an old, green book on a shelf?"

"Yes," Susan whispered, "I remember. That book looked interesting, but also a little scary. It felt different ... strange when I picked it up. At first I didn't even think I could read it. It was written in Faroese or Icelandic, I think." Susan looked up at Gilvi, who nodded.
"Strange. I can't remember what it was all about. I just remember being very happy, almost overwhelmingly happy to be able to read it. I wanted to tell it to my teacher. Uh ... we had ... we were learning the other Nordic languages. First we had to read a Norwegian poem, then something in Swedish ... and one of the girls was a Swede. She teased our teacher by reading aloud better than her. Then there were some very short texts in Icelandic and Faroese. We were told we didn't have to read those. I tried anyway, but I couldn't. And now I was standing there in that classroom reading Icelandic ... But I completely forgot to tell her, I actually totally forgot all about it. Until right now. "
"Yes!" Gilvi replied in a decisive voice, "and if you had not met me or any of my friends, you might never have remembered it. It was a test. You're a witch, Susan! "
"I am a WHAT!" Susan spoke loud from sheer surprise. "I'm not an old crone with a warty nose, or something like that!"
"No, you are not," Gilvi said, almost smiling, "but do you think witches are born old, maybe?"
Susan was completely silent, Gilvi just stood waiting, watching the clouds and playing with his stick.
"And you. What are you?" Susan finally asked.
"I'm a wizard. Just look at this!" Gilvi said. He swung his stick, which Susan realized, had to be a magic wand, and then the grass around her was covered with flower buds. They grew and opened, grew, wilted, and became ripe strawberries before Susan's eyes. Gilvi bent down and picked some berries. He put some into Susan's open mouth, and she had to close it.
"Yes!" Susan said, when she had eaten the tasty berries. "You're a wizard."
"Indeed I am," replied Gilvi smiling, "and today I'm a happy one." With another twist of his wand, he made golden leaves fall around them. "But come on. The others are waiting for us. It will be a pleasant summer."