Mostly Water

The appearance of the bay waters from my window is changing constantly. It reflects the sky, the mountains, and the weather. Here are a few pictures from this week plus parts of some older pictures, showing mostly the water that I see from my house.

I also want to include this photo of one of the frozen creeks on the hill above my house, along the main road into town.

This coming Saturday night (the first weekend of April) will be the time change to daylight savings time in California. What I learned this past Sunday is that, in the Faroe Islands, the time change is the last weekend of March. I discovered this when I went to church on Sunday, and as I entered the church, the priest was just concluding his sermon and starting his prayer. I sang along with the last two hymns, and then left with everyone else. That was the shortest church service I have attended.

It snowed off and on all day today, but I pretended it was summer, and made pancakes (crepes) with fresh strawberries and whipped cream. Delicious! There are just a few left, so give me a call if you want to share them with me. Jonathan, I used your recipe for the crepes.

Spring versus Winter

Spring is here, according to the calendar. Did I mention that I really appreciate the longer days? This week we have had spring flowers and blowing snow storms. Today we have bright sun and blue skies, along with a few snow flurries. My observation is that you don’t get a rainbow when sun shines through the falling snow, but only from sun and rain.

Fuglafjørður means “bird fjord”, and I have enjoyed watching the birds returning in the spring. I know that the people who live here are rather blasé about the birds, but I decided to include a few pictures, anyway.

Melting Snow

This week I have been watching the snow melt. The hills that were green a few weeks ago have reappeared from under the snow, looking brown and dry. I know they aren’t actually dry, because there is always rain and fog, but the lush grass is gone. This is the time of year that the sheep on the mountainsides are eating the hay that was harvested last August.

A couple of weeks ago I took pictures of the spring flowers appearing in a few gardens. Then the poor flowers were covered with snow for a week, and I was sure they wouldn’t survive. As the snow was melting, I returned to the gardens, and found that the flowers are winning, and the purple and yellow crocus were thriving under the snow.

A Small World

I have been quite amazed at the number of different countries that produce food that somehow ends up on the shelves of the grocery store in Fuglafjørður, Faroe Islands.

During the winter, most of our fresh produce comes from countries around the Mediterranean, which isn’t surprising. However, the fresh mushrooms in my refrigerator came from Poland.

It looks like beef comes from South America, with steaks from Upper Uruguay, ground beef from Upper Argentina, and canned corned beef from Brazil. This time of year, we have lots of frozen lamb from Iceland, but sometimes we have lamb from New Zealand, which is as far from the Faroe Islands as you can get on this globe.

I have two different foods that came from California, raisins and almonds. It makes me feel a little closer to home.

You can’t actually buy wine or other alcoholic drinks in the grocery stores. I bought the wine at a liquor store in Runavik.

Most food items have labels in Danish and often other Scandinavian languages as well. Some foods have labels to cover most of Europe, but when a small package has every piece of information listed in eleven different languages, the print is too small to actually read.

The grocery stores actually order their stock from Denmark, and it arrives in Tórshavn every Monday morning on the ferry Norrona. By Monday afternoon food from around the world shows up on the shelves in the F.K. and Haraldsen stores in Fuglafjørður.

Fuglafjørður in Black & White

These pictures were all taken from my windows, except for the one that is actually a picture of the window. Sometimes I stand at the window and watch the scenery. Sometimes I just watch the weather, and this week there has been a lot of weather to watch. We have had snow all week, with the temperatures just below freezing most of the time.

I should correct something I said in my previous comments. The wind doesn’t blow all of the time, and then the snow does float down from the sky and piles up in the streets. The snow plow does come by and clear the street by my house.

Little by little, I’m learning the skills needed to live in the snow – things like shovelling snow from the steps and scraping snow and ice from the car windshield. Fortunately, I only have two steps, and I only shovelled half of each step. I am also becoming a bit more confident about driving in the snow.

Mostly Weather

This time winter has really arrived. It has been snowing since Sunday night, and it is supposed to keep snowing through the end of the week, at least. The snow doesn’t actually “fall” here, but it blows horizontally. I can’t always tell whether new snow is falling from the sky, or if it is recycled snow blowing from the nearby fields or my neighbors roofs.

Even in the middle of the storms, the weather is very changeable. Right now there is a large patch of blue sky to the north over the pass. Well, there was, but now it is gone. The temperature has been below freezing all week, so I must leave water running in my basement to keep the pipes from freezing.

I took some photos in February that didn’t make it onto my web site yet, so I have included a number of miscellaneous photos in this album. Enjoy.

Just a few minutes ago I saw a seal in the water just outside my window. Just as I got the window opened and the camera focused, he dove down under the water. Maybe he will be back later.


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