Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Stork Farm

2 July 2011

There’s a little place outside Kandern Germany in the Southern Black Forest region called “Holzen.”  It’s about a 5 minute drive from where I’m taking classes at BFA, and is a sleepy, beautiful little town with flowers galore, trails leading to everywhere… and storks.  Lots of storks.  Yes, I actually mean those big black-and-white birds that you always think of in fairy tales or stories but never really consider real… until you look out your apartment window and see a massive nest where a pair of them raise their young.  Wow.
Evidently, Holzen is known for its storks, or “storchen” as they are called here.  They are everywhere, and there is even a stork refuge of some sort where they can go if they get sick.  I went out exploring last week to see if I could find the place… and came back with some fun pictures.
The stork refuge.  If you look at the bell/clock tower in the background, you'll see nests there too.  They're everywhere!
The nests are HUGE!!!
For my German-speaking friends... um, I think that now totals two.  Maybe you can let me know what this says?
I really should put money in this to see if it sings.  Or moos.  Or something.
Actually, it reminds me of when Shrek and Donkey go into Duloc and get their picture taken.  Maybe this tells me the rules for the Stork Refuge?
I’ve been seeing signs all week for the Storchen Fest, 2-3 Juli… and was getting excited.  I would be here for it!  I thought maybe there would be a carnival or something.  Live music.  Or at least, stork meat grilled on a stick on the side of the road.  (Just kidding!)  But so far, it’s 1pm and all I see is the slow sign of ONE tent going up in the middle of the town’s playground.  No cars.  No crafts.  No food.  And no extra storks.  (Maybe they forgot to send out the invites to storks in the surrounding areas?)
Since I was here, I thought I should do a little research to find out about these fascinating creatures that evidently do NOT deliver babies to people.  (At least, I haven’t gotten one on my doorstep yet…)  One of the things that got me curious was a strange clacking sound that I hear from quite a distance, and finally figured out was coming from the storks.  My friend and I tried to capture the sound on video this morning, but the storks remained oddly silent… in preparation, I’m sure, for the Storchen Parade coming up later today.  Instead, I found that someone else had already accomplished the goal and uploaded a video to YouTube for my convenience.  

And... because you wanted to know... I'm bringing a random thought to you to add to your "nature facts" file in your brain:
Evidently, the reason storks were picked as the delivery mode of choice for babies is because these amazing birds are such naturally good parents.  They take good care of their young, and both mom and dad work together to raise them.  Yes, they still teach their babies to fly by pushing them out of the nest, just like all good bird parents do.  But as they keep the same nest (and mate) for a long period of time, I’m sure they might let their young come back for the occasional weekend visit, a home-cooked meal, and a load of laundry.  (Or, I could be wrong on that last part.)
Happy Storchen Fest Day, maybe!

No comments:

Post a Comment