Many years ago we went to the Loire Valley in France, to visit the chateaux there. After a few days, one marvellous builidng fused into the next and the day came when we saw a signpost to the next Castle we had planned on visiting and we found we simply had no energy or enthusiasm any more for yet another wonder.

That’s how it is. Remember how thrilled we were with Squirrel Winfried? Then Sybille came, and then Fabian and now we constantly have three squirrels sneaking around the Strandkorb and although we are glad to see them (and keep topping up their feeder) we are no longer madly excited by our garden wildlife.

I used to hate winter in Germany, it was, in the past at least, much longer and colder than anything in the south west of England. I wasn’t so keen on all this flatness here either. But spring, when it comes, is beautiful, and these flat meadows close to the river are the perfect place for storks to find food for their young.

Storks! The last storks in Great Britain nested on the roof of St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh in 1416. As a British child I knew storks from stories, and films, and nature programmes, but had never seen a real one.

Many years ago we visited Poland, the area where Horst’s dad came from (when it was Germany). The first day or so we counted the number of stork nests in every village…

…but after a few days the Chateaux experience kicked in. Once you’ve seen your millionth stork, the million and first is no longer soooo exciting.

Nevertheless, every day on our cycle-training-tour we usually see quite a few storks, and every time they still cheer my heart. Sometimes they are circling overhead, sometimes picking at the ground in a freshly-mown field.

Within 5 km of our house there are at least 6 stork nests, built high on poles, and right now we can see the young storks poking their heads out, waiting for their parents to bring the next snack.

We are even lucky enough to live not far from the Stork Station in Verden, where injured storks can be nursed back to health, and get ready to start their long journey back to warmer climes during our winter.

I heard last week that storks are back in the wild in Great Britain. The ‘White Stork Project’ released 250 storks in the south of England over the last years and wild storks at the Knepp project in West Sussex are just rearing their very own babies.

The Cabin Fever part:

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