Sunday, 3 May 2009

To a delightful weekend in the country

Off to Podlasie for the long weekend - business and pleasure. The business - three days to get the translated proofs of The Silent Dark Ones ready for the typesetter. The pleasure - between the work, the chance to walk in the country and catch some sublime atmospheres (klimat).

My hosts, Ziggy and Zosia, have a beautiful country residence 25km north of Białystok in the village of Mamrotowo. The surrounding countryside is my idea of rural perfection. It's different here to Sweet Home Mazowsze - gentle undulations, silence, larger fields, winding byways, pine forests - real solitude; a sense of eternity untroubled by the goings-on of the outside world.

Here in Mamrotowo, bird life is abundant and interesting. Just down the road from the house is the biggest storks' nest I've seen, in effect, a two-storey construction. Zosia tells me that when the storks flew in, on 29 March (same day as our swans in Jeziorki), they set to adding an extra layer to the existing nest built on an telephone pole. This could be because the storks were worries of an extended winter, or that a different pair had settled in the nest and wanted to add their own personal touch to it. The nest is so big, the storks can hardly be seen over the top of it.

Above the fields, the storks will seek thermal currents that will enable them to soar to high altitudes. Storks can feel the thermals under their wings as humans can feel the slope of a hill under their feet.

This young stork circled ever higher until in the end he was out of sight.

Work meant that the walks were short; the best one was at sunset on Saturday. Below: I caught this wayside chapel (there's a cross or chapel every 50 metres or so around these parts) as the sun went down behind the trees.

This time last year:
Eurasian collared dove
Inside the Museum Museum
Cycles in the Las Kabacki forest
Farewell to the Rampa line
This time two years ago:
Into the mountains for May Day
Flags are out for Poland's national day
World's longest weekend (well, last year it was)


adthelad said...

Looks terrific - nice to get away isn't it?

Incidentally I notice searching the web that Cichociemni are listed on
wikepedia as the Silent dark ones, whilst on they're The
Unseen and
Silent (same as on ).

The Polish US embassy at call them Silent Warriors
or Silent Darkness whilst the NationMaster
Encyclopedia has them as Silentdark.

I have to say, given my polish-anglo background, I see where you're coming
from with your Dark and Silent Ones (although there is a slight connotation
with dark and handsome). I'm more inclined to The
Unseen and Silent although, chronologically, one would think The Silent
Unseen would be more appropriate. Tricky!

Michael Dembinski said...


adthelad said...

I have it from the horses mouth - although I sensed it myself - Cichociemni means they can't be heard and they can't be seen.

Marcin said...

Adtheland is right, as Cichociemni were the Special Troops (parachutists/intelligence agents) of the Polish Underground Army during ww2.

KG said...

By the way...Last Hero Member of Cichociemni, Elżbieta Zawacka died 10 January 2009. There are a great films about her life: "Kobiety i Wojna" and "Elżbieta Zawacka. Miałam Szczęśliwe Życie" directed by Marek Widarski.