Cherry Blossoms in the Morning Sun (and other photos of spring)

Cherry Blossoms in Morning Sun in Slovakia - Almost Bananas

Spring is my favourite season in western Slovakia. The sun starts showing itself again, new signs of plant life begin to appear. Bear garlic, the European version of ramps, carpets the forest. And the trees burst into bloom.

March was a month of chicken pox here, and we limped into Easter. On Palm Sunday, instead of palms we use branches of pussy willows at the church.

Pussy Willows - Almost Bananas

Easter Sunday lunch is, of course, rezne (schnitzel) – deep fried breaded cutlets. My oldest daughter loves to cook, here she helps her dad. Hammered pork (sometimes chicken) is dipped first in finely ground flour, then beaten eggs, and then breadcrumbs before being deep fried.

Making schnitzel - Almost Bananas

A small sample of the many many sweets for one extended family Easter celebration.

Slovak sweets - Almost Bananas

My in-laws have a number of apricot trees in their backyard, and they were in full bloom.

Apricot Blossoms - Almost Bananas

Apricot Blossoms - Almost Bananas

Apricot Blossoms - Almost Bananas

Wild Mirabella plum bushes grow all over western Slovakia, in the spring they line fields and country roads in full bloom.

Ringloty in bloom - Almost Bananas

I think at one time someone threw a bunch of grape hyacinth bulbs in a compost heap, as a whole swath of these beautiful spring flowers were growing in the ditch behind a fence .

Grape hyacinth - Almost Bananas

I love that bright spring green of new leaves that stands out against the still dark trunks.

Spring green in the Small Carpathians, Slovakia - Almost Bananas

Fresh spring green in the Male Karpaty - Almost Bananas

On the hillside behind our village, on a hill with an Iron Age settlement called Molpir, are a number of cherry trees. Last year a large amount of the hill was cleared out, making the trees much more orchard like. They are breathtaking when in bloom, especially with a carpet of wild flowers.

Cherry trees in blossom - Almost Bananas

Cherry blossoms, Slovakia - Almost Bananas

Cherry blossoms, Slovakia - Almost Bananas

Smolenice, Slovakia - Almost Bananas

Cherry Blossoms, Slovakia - Almost Bananas

Cherry Blossoms, Slovakia - Almost Bananas

Wild flowers - Almost Bananas

I normally think of dead nettle (the purple flower) as a fairly ugly flower, if flowers can be ugly, but it is quite pretty in large amounts.

Dead Nettle - Almost Bananas

Wild flowers - Almost Bananas

Wild orchard - Almost Bananas

There was also a zabíjačka, a Slovak pig butchering (read more here). Here is rendering lard, making black pudding, learning the ropes, and after it’s all done.

Zabiacka (Slovak pig butchering) rendering lard - Almost Bananas

Making black pudding - Almost Bananas

Learning how to do a pig butchering - Almost Bananas

After zabijacka - Almost Bananas

That was March and April 2016 here. What photos were your favourite?