1. quotetheunquote says

    Light, dark, dramatic; kind of reminds me (thematically, not literally) of my favourite Rene Magritte painting, The Empire of Light.

    Here, we have blooming crocuses (croci?) in people’s gardens as well -- and my Significant Other saw the first Tree Swallow* of the year Tuesday.

    We are also expecting 2-5 cm of snow tomorrow. Ah, April in southern Canada!

    *Note to non-NA readers; probably about equivalent to your House Martins (Europe/Asia) or Fairy Martins (Antipodes).

  2. says

    It’s glaucous and snowing outside. I think all my Spring enjoyment is going to have to come from other people, there isn’t the slightest hint of it here.

  3. Ice Swimmer says

    You have the latitude to be ahead, or at least you should have. There’s still more snow here than there was on Saturday, even though a lot has melted in the rain.

    I heard the song Happy Hour by Housemartins (a 1980s British Marxist/Religious pop band from Hull) long before I learned what a house martin means (they do live here and I knew about the birds, in Finnish räystäspääsky, räystäs = eaves, pääsky = martin/swallow). The popular Finnish saying states there are no days until summer (the summer is there) when the swallows/martins are seen.

  4. says

    The popular Finnish saying states there are no days until summer (the summer is there) when the swallows/martins are seen.

    Interestingly, in German it’s almost the opposite: A swallow doesn’t make it summer, probably due to them coming here much earlier.

  5. Ice Swimmer says

    Giliell @ 6

    Funnily enough we also have the same saying, with the emphasis on *one* swallow not making it summer. German culture has had a noticeable influence here.

  6. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Someplace has flowers, which is good. The tulip leaves out front are about 2″ (5 cm) tall. But the weather is bouncing around the freezing point of water.

  7. Ice Swimmer says

    Giliell @ 8

    In Finnish, there are no articles, sometimes in a (possibly bad) translation, the numeral yksi (one) is used in the place of a singular indefinite article in the original language. The numeral shifts the emphasis towards the number. So in this case it seems to be correct to do so.

    The saying goes in Finnish: “Ei yksi pääskynen kesää tee.” (“Doesn’t one swallow summer make.” It isn’t a question, the negative auxiliary verb goes first because it’s heavily emphasized and then the numeral because that’s also emphasized) If it went “Ei pääskynen kesää tee.” (“Doesn’t swallow summer make.”) that would be a categorical statement that just because there are swallows, it doesn’t have to be summer.

  8. quotetheunquote says

    it’s interesting to me to read about other languages having aphorisms relating swallows and summer. I know the saying well from English, where it has a meaning that is more of what I think Gilliel is saying is the German sense than the Finnish one. In Canada, it is not something you’d often hear, but it usually has the sense of “in spite of the appearance of a bird, we’re not really safe, winter can return at any time.”

    But in Canada, I believe it is mostly considered an “old world” (British) expression. A more useful (although not widespread) saying here concerning the arrival of spring is: “it’s not the bird, it”s the worm.”

    This refers to the American Robin, which is often considered by people to be a harbinger of spring -- mistakenly, because many of them are resident in Southern Canada, spending the winters in large roving flocks in the forests. However, in spring, when the ground is thawed enough for earthworms to become active again, individual robins start foraging in suburban gardens; if you actually see one pulling up a worm, you know it’s spring.

    P.S. No, no earthworms in my neighbourhood yet.

  9. Nightjar says

    Beautiful photo, Giliell!

    Here the first house martins arrive in February and usually they only really leave in November (at least recently, I think they used to leave earlier), so we don’t really associate them with the arrival of summer. The only Portuguese saying I know about swallows is something along the lines of “the death of one swallow doesn’t mean the end of spring”, but that has a whole different meaning.

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