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Sunday, March 16, 2008


Happy Festival of Ostara Everyone!

Image source here
Ostara is the festival of the Vernal Equinox, in the Northern Hemisphere (corresponding to the Autumnal equivalent of Lughnasdh in the South). It is a time for planting and celebrating the first signs of fertility and rebirth.

On this day, wherever you are and whoever you are, we are all united by this celestial phenomenon: we all have equal day and night. During Ostara a prince can command no more sunshine than a pauper; a bishop no more than a heathen; a master no more than a servant.

At this time I shall reflect on what other factors unite, rather than divide, humanity.

Oh, there is also a matter of the flagon of real ale, a turkey, a rice pudding and some chocolate eggs as well...

May you all enjoy a happy and peaceful Equinox, and may the strengthening sun bring fertility to your gardens (and your loins too, if you wish).

Ostara - the Season of Regeneration

Frog's spawn - look, you can see the fertilised ova are already starting to elongate into tadpoles!

Mr Toad has his beady eye set on Mrs Toad...

A newt emerges from hibernation and heads off for a pool to commence his own regeneration

(All amphibian pictures taken at my research site at Roudsea Woods and Mosses National Nature Reserve)


Blogger TCA said...

BRILLIANT newt photo! Happy Equinox... but I shall decline the offer of increased fertility, thanks.


8:43 am  
Blogger TCA said...

...perhaps I should have said BRILLIANT amphibious photos..

8:44 am  
Anonymous Pam said...

Happy Ostara, Jim and all Maalie Blog Readers!

8:45 am  
Blogger Ellee Seymour said...

Truly fabulous, there is never a dull moment with you, is there Maalie, always something to celebrate. Happy Ostar Maalie.

8:47 am  
Blogger Shrinky said...

Ostara? Oh, how wonderful. A promise of the longer, warmer days to come!

Seasons greetings to you too, my friend.

10:01 am  
Blogger simon said...


I shall be in the desert in 2 days mate- hunting desert scorpions with david!!!

10:16 am  
Blogger Vienna for Beginners said...

Oh goodie,
now I get to celebrate both Ostara and Easter! :-)

11:26 am  
Blogger TCA said...

Dessert scorpions - they sound tasty!


2:41 pm  
Blogger Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

A joy filled visit with your family Maalie!

I especially love the "pre-tadpole" photo as it reminds me of what my boys would be doing about this time of year when they were little - bringing those little tadpoles home to watch them turn into frogs!

(The girls always favored the newts and salamanders)

2:42 pm  
Blogger Kiwi Nomad 2008 said...

I still can't get my head around the fact you have spring over there, (and that I will soon be in it.) We are still having some very warm days for March here. though I guess that might suddenly change anytime soon, and autumn will announce its arrival.

6:00 pm  
Blogger Dana said...

a happy Ostara to you maalie:) enjoy the ale and chocolate and time with your son. not so much the turkey or rice pudding (i have no taste for either i'm afraid)

7:02 pm  
Blogger lorenzothellama said...

Happy Ostara Maalie and all Maalie fans!
Love your photos too.

7:21 pm  
Blogger Magdalene said...

Great post Maalie and most apt because I had a vivid dream about toads last night.

Also, re bird ID Q earlier this week. I'm 99.9% certain I've identified the call of a Northern Bobwhite. Please tell me I'm not nuts. I wil be out at the crack of dawn at the weekend to see if I can catch a sighting. It must be an escapee surely?

10:13 pm  
Blogger Rob Hopcott said...

'At this time I shall reflect on what other factors unite, rather than divide, humanity.'

Well said. If we all did more of that, perhaps the world would be a better place.

Like tca, I shall decline the offer of fertility and rebirth.

I've only just got rid of my three and, annoyingly, they do keep coming back.

If they hear I've got real ale and chocolate, there will be no keeping them away!

Brilliant photos :-)

Happy Ostara to you Maalie and all your visitors.

10:18 am  
Blogger Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

we are safely here and the weather is incredible, especially since there are several inches of wet snow in Chicago!! Today it will be 67F and it is brightly sunny! I think my daughter and her boyfriend are headed to the marsh to kayak and enjoy the sun as tomorrow will be much colder (still about 20F warmer than Chicago though!)

Hope you are having a lovely visit with baby Jimmy and his parents!

4:34 pm  
Blogger Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

oops - just saw your comment - you must have been posting it when I posted the previous one here!

snow - well, I did pray..... for exactly that - but please do not tell all of England!

Now - if you have time for blogging, you have time for email as well!

4:37 pm  
Blogger lorenzothellama said...

Happy Easter Maalie.

6:47 pm  
Blogger Ellee Seymour said...

Happy Easter Maalie. I imagine you are snowed in, hope you have lots of food and drink.

9:14 am  
Blogger Ted M. Gossard said...

I love the pics and your thoughts here, Maalie. Yes, what a wonder, all around us.

Have a blessed day!

11:40 am  
Blogger Viking Warrior said...

Ostara is for yon nancy-boys. True Vikings sacrifice maidens to bring in equinox of Spring.

4:51 pm  
Blogger Ellee Seymour said...

Viking Warrior, are young virgin men sacrificed as well as women?

8:55 am  
Blogger simon said...

g'day mate!

I am back from Kinchega, the Darling river and all of that!!!

FLOODS!!! lots of water! its incredible!

5:41 am  
Blogger simon said...

TCA - decline the offer of increased fertility?? silly boy!!

have 6 kids like me ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah!!!!!!

5:42 am  
Blogger Thesaurus Rex said...

Seasons Greetings. Now thewind has dropped, 'The Bird' has been formerly idntified as a northern bobwhite. Photos are appalling, hence no posting, but since it seems to 'live' nextdoor to Mags, there may be one sometime soon.
Hope you're enjoying whatever you're up to this week.

9:17 am  
Blogger lorenzothellama said...

When are we going to get some more pictures of Jimmy?

1:50 pm  
Blogger Viking Warrior said...

Yon Elle Seymour lassie, Vikings verily sacrificeth virgin laddies as well as virgin lassies.
Unfortunately few are to be foundeth during these days of permissive behaviour.

today's word is : tweezers

1:57 pm  
Blogger Maalie said...

Thanks for lovely comments everyone! I enjoyed a smashing Ostara festival with my family and I ritually planted a packet of radish seeds in a window box.

8:31 am  
Blogger lorenzothellama said...

You mentioned the other day about having a mustard and cress farm. Do you grow them on bits of old flannel?

2:45 pm  
Blogger Martin Stickland said...

Rice pudding! Yummy, with jam I hope, hang on! wait a cotton picken minute!

Frog spawn?Rice pudding? Not the same ingredient's I hope?

7:26 pm  

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