Looduskalender Vikerraadios

Lilac luck

Submitted by Looduskalender EN on Mon, 20.05.2019 - 08:48

Written and presented in Vikerradio by Kristel Vilbaste
Photo Arne Ader
English translation LiisSirel

Lilac ( www.loodusemees.ee )

 

 

In South Estonia the lilac time has  already begun and I  cannot pass out through my garden gate without looking for a long time  for some lilac luck.

The lilac is a late arrival in Estonia and this custom is borrowed from the westerly folks, and even to them  this oriental shrub actually arrived only  in the middle of the 16th century.

Looduskalender in Vikerraadio: A bur war

Submitted by Looduskalender on Thu, 13.09.2018 - 10:10

The author, Kristel Vilbaste, also posts texts in Vikerraadio

Photo: Arne Ader

Translation into English by Maret

Estonian text posted 23.08.2018

Villtakjas

Woolly burdock

The stalks of burdocks have grown chest-high and the plants themselves are full on burs, some of them still carrying a ring of purple bloom.

But most of them are totally ready to catch onto a passerby’s sleeve or hair. And to travel away.

Despite being such a catching nuisance, the burs are still liked by everyone. In the middle ages it was customary to present burdocks to your beloved, when you wanted to let her/him know, that you were ready to get fully attached to your sweetheart.

Looduskalender in Vikerraadio: Raccoon dogs on the road

Submitted by Looduskalender on Thu, 13.09.2018 - 08:08

The author, Kristel Vilbaste, also posts texts in Vikerraadio

Photos: Arne Ader

Translation into English by Maret

Estonian text posted 22.08.2018

Kährik

Raccoon dog

Driving around these days you will notice lots of raccoon dog corpses on the roads. Most likely even you yourself have had to do some zig-zag driving in order to save the life of a little animal.

The mention of raccoon dogs usually does not raise any positive emotions in us, probably because of the song, where they as a foreign species crowded out the badgers. Still, they were brought in decades ago for reasons of vanity, as a hat made of raccoon dog skins was a sign of prosperity. Many people were dreaming of such a nice hat or a fur collar, although once that skin got wet, it smelled something awful.

Just because of that smell, the animals killed on the roads are left there  -  the other predators will not touch them.

Looduskalender in Vikerraadio: Hop shoots

Submitted by Looduskalender on Tue, 11.09.2018 - 21:11

The author, Kristel Vilbaste, also posts texts in Vikerraadio

Photo: Arne Ader

Translation into English by Maret

Estonian text posted 15.08.2018

Humal. Emastaim käbidega

Female plant with cones

This year, the climbing plants have a hard time in Estonia  -  both the hedge bindweed and the field bindweed try to twist and wiggle as close to the ground as possible. The only ones to hang themselves up in the hot air are the hops.

The hops twisting in my alder jumble have already developed lovely green cones.

Naturally we know hops predominantly for producing the bitter taste in beers, but they are also valuable medicinal herbs and it would be worth picking them in the alder groves by the river right now.

It is interesting that the hop stems wind themselves around any handy prop and that they usually grow clockwise. In order to observe this for yourself, you just have to create a hop garden by your home.

Looduskalender in Vikerraadio: Arrowhead

Submitted by Looduskalender on Mon, 10.09.2018 - 21:11

The author, Kristel Vilbaste, also posts texts in Vikerraadio

Photos: Arne Ader

Translation into English by Maret

Estonian text posted 16.08.2018

Jõgi-kõõlusleht

British Native Arrowhead

I see in my child’s biology textbook a peculiar plant that I don’t remember from my childhood. British Native Arrowhead is a plant, that is used to teach heterophylly. That means that the plant has different-shaped leaves under the water than above the water.

On British Native Arrowhead, the above-water leaves do look like arrowheads, but arrowheads as big as the palm of a hand. The leaves above the water are oval and the ones under the water are long, ribbon-like. The plant grows in knee-deep water and pushes up a bit above the surface.

Jõgi-kõõlusleht

Looduskalender in Vikerraadio: Eurasian jay with an acorn

Submitted by Looduskalender on Mon, 10.09.2018 - 21:11

The author, Kristel Vilbaste, also posts texts in Vikerraadio

Photo: Arne Ader

Translation into English by Maret

Estonian text posted 15.08.2018

Pasknäär

Eurasian jay

Have you noticed, how many acorns we have this year? A good year for acorns was supposed to mean a winter with lots of snow.

Because of the dry weather the acorns started falling down as early as at the end of July. But you cannot carry such an acorn around in your pocket for long, as its shell has not yet hardened and will turn black very quickly, and the acorn itself will wither. It’s still too early to collect them; the same goes for hazelnuts  —  they still taste like hay right now.

Nevertheless, we have many searchers for acorns. First of all the Eurasian jays, who carry them off shouting with joy. And although the Estonian name for those jays (pasknäär) does not have a nice sound, the bird itself is very pretty.

Looduskalender in Vikerraadio: Common cranes are gathering

Submitted by Looduskalender on Sat, 08.09.2018 - 21:09

The author, Kristel Vilbaste, also posts texts in Vikerraadio

Photo: Arne Ader

Translation into English by Maret

Estonian text posted 14.08.2018

Sookurekogum

A flock of common cranes

August the 10th is St. Lawrence’s Day and August 15th is the Day of the Assumption of Mary, and for the farmers they mean that the fall labours should have started.

In the old days, that was the time for sowing rye and looking up to see, if the cranes, the “sowing cranes”, were flying high or low. If they flew high up, it meant that the rye would grow tall, if they flew low, the rye would remain low as well. Apples would acquire their proper taste and forests would be full of berries.

There is another reason as well to look up to the skies right now.

Looduskalender in Vikerraadio: Chicory is blooming

Submitted by Looduskalender on Tue, 04.09.2018 - 01:40

The author, Kristel Vilbaste, also posts texts in Vikerraadio

Photo: Arne Ader

Translation into English by Maret

Estonian text posted 09.08.2018

Sigur

Chicory

Old people used to say, that if the first week of August is hot, we will have a long and cold winter and the snow will stay long in the spring.

Today’s weather people have so far been a bit shocked by their own summer forecasts and don’t even dare to predict so far ahead.

It feels, as if the whole nature is padding itself with cotton wool. The woolly tips of the thistles are big and soft and the seed pods of the willow herb look like downy mountains. The ground looks like it was covered in fog, it is so dry. There has been no rain for three months is some parts of Estonia and digging down as deep as you manage, it is still as dry as ashes.

But in the nature’s enchanted garden we can still find flowering beauty.

Looduskalender in Vikerraadio: Common buzzard

Submitted by Looduskalender on Mon, 03.09.2018 - 22:30

The author, Kristel Vilbaste, also posts texts on Vikerraadio.

Photos: Arne Ader

Translation into English by Maret

Estonian text posted 08.08.2018

Hiireviu

Common buzzard

Sitting on the balcony at my cottage, I get confused by the sounds of a bird. It whistles. And it is confusing, because there are two birds who whistle rather similar tunes.

When there is a bigger, whistling bird whose flight resembles jumping, coming from the direction of Tammesõõru, it is a Eurasian jay. But the other one, whose whistle, almost a scream, is heard from high up between the treetops and sometimes over the meadow beyond the creek, is the common buzzard.

Looduskalender in Vikerraadio: Admiral

Submitted by Looduskalender on Wed, 15.08.2018 - 23:11

The author, Kristel Vilbaste, also posts texts in Vikerraadio

Photos: Arne Ader and Aare Lindt

Translation into English by Maret

Estonian text posted 07.08.2018

Admiral

Admiral

Last week I talked about my butterfly garden, so I thought that this summer I won’t mention butterflies any more. There are so many creatures out there just calling to me: Talk about me! Talk about me!

Chicory and buzzards, young common swifts ready for their first flight, and woolly burdocks, whose flower tufts are just so suitable for a “burdock war”.

But at Võtikvere book market I was approached by several people talking eagerly about admirals. I must confess, that I don’t know that much about them, only that they are migratory butterflies and that they look a little like an admiral’s three-corner hat. Dark brown, beautiful wings with proud orange stripes. and white spots on their wing tips.

We use cookies on our website to support technical features that enhance your user experience.

We also use analytics & advertising services. To opt-out click for more information.