Welcoming the storks back from winter.
In the last few years, I’ve really looked forward to the arrival of the storks. Somehow they know the weather better than us, and they bring with them fresh green leaves on the trees, tulips and daffodils, and other spring colors.
When we were traveling in Israel, we were able to witness them migrating. One day there was a sand and wind storm coming in from northern Africa, and although it made for a pretty miserable day for humans, the tired birds were elated.
We looked into the sky to see a chimney or tornado formation of white and black riding the wind currents high into the sky. They ride these currents up from sub-saharan Africa, through Turkey, and onto Europe. White storks are not flappers, so the wind currents are important for their migration.
The storks like to be around humans, and tend to build their nests on top of roofs, electric poles, anything high. Humans love them in turn, and some have fashioned iron baskets to hold the nests for the birds. Most come back to the same nest year after year.
I was under the impression that many storks only lay one or two eggs, but the reality is they oftimes lay up to five or six. Because their nests are so high, many of the young fall out and perish. We met a man in Selcuk, Turkey who was raising one of the fallen chicks. It was three feet tall, so I guess it was going to survive.
Like me, people have welcomed the birds each spring. Spring brings with it a renewal of life, and the stork does as well. Our image of this awkward bird bringing babies symbolizes the continuity of life.
Everyone loves the storks, and in some places, like the Alsace region of France, they are one of their representative symbols, and souvenirs galore boast their pictures.
When do you feel spring has finally arrived?