I’ve spotted several locations in our neighbourhood where wild hops grow. This one is along the cycling path where Y and I cycle to school. In the mornings last week when the sun was out, it shone directly on a hops plant around the time we pass it. I still need to stop on the way back and smell them. Never have seen them here in the north before, I have encountered them in the hills of Limburg in the south though.

When Peter posted how snow fell on PEI well after he brought out his bicycle for the spring, I mentioned the Dutch proverb ‘March wags its tail’ meaning that the end of March can bring much colder days again after higher temperatures. ‘April does what it wants’ is another one.

When earlier this week warnings appeared that there might be snow by Thursday or Friday I did not heed my words to Peter, and shoved it aside as an April fools joke.

Then yesterday and this morning: The first snow this winter.

The past week this family of swans with five young pays us a daily visit at our water side terrace. The parent swans aren’t entirely comfortable with me sitting right at the water’s edge (behind a fence), and hiss some warnings at me. The water plants are however too enticing to ignore.

(photos by Ton Zijlstra, license CC BY-NC-SA)

Having coffee by the water side this morning basically for the first time this year, this amfibian friend came to check us out.

meanwhile in the garden

Since the thawing of the ice two swans frequent the watercourse at the bottom of our garden to feed. When I went down there to enjoy a few rays of sun, these two tried to chase me away hissing at me. It’s my garden There’s a sturdy fence, so I bravely stood my ground knowing full well they couldn’t get to me. Quite unlike when one went after E when the fence wasn’t there yet. They withdrew when I hissed back at them and threw some water from my glass in their general direction. The Swan gang isn’t going to take over my turf! 😉

Such magnificent birds.