The Coyotes Are Celebrating Walpurgis Night

We live over a canyon and on warm nights like tonight, we can hear the coyotes sing. It was so loud, it actually woke me up. These “barking dogs” as they are also called seem to be celebrating Walpurgis Night. It sounded a lot like a high pitched greeting which included low-frequency whines, ‘wow-oo-wows’, and group yip howls. It was a party all right, the night to say “good bye” to Winter and celebrate the arrival of Spring.

When I grew up in the 60’s in Northern Germany near the North Sea, my parents and all of us 6 children would gather around the “Osterfeuer” on Walpurgis Night in our little village, and every local would be there and watch this huge pile of wood being burned. The local music band was there to  play, people would drink and dance and it was always a big spectacle for the village folks.

In German folklore, the night of 30 April (the day before May Day) is  also known as “Witches night”.
The story goes that the witches would meet at the Brocken Mountain (near Hannover) and
hold revels with the Devil… The Brocken Spectre is a magnified shadow of an observer, typically
surrounded by rainbow-like bands, thrown onto a bank of cloud in high mountain areas when the sun is low. The phenomenon was first reported on this Brocken Mountain. As a child, I always imagined it to be a lightning show in the skies, just as I saw it many years decades later in Alaska, which is of course known as  the Northern Lights.

Everyone who has been to Sweden knows about the importance of Walpurgis Night there. It seem that the whole country is up all night, partying, dancing, singing, drinking and celebrating. These celebrations are not so much a family occasion but rather a public event, and local groups often take responsibility for organizing them to encourage community spirit in the village or neighborhood. It normally includes the lighting of a bonfire, choral singing and a speech to honor the arrival of the spring, normally held by the mayor or a local celebrity.

 

 

 

As I listened to the coyotes sing down below us in the canyon, I could not help but think about those childhood years, when the Walpurgis Night was part of my little life in this tiny village I lived in, another tradition of getting together with the neighbors and the farmers who lived all around us, a big party, a reason to laugh, relax, dance and sing.

Yes, its a Pagan Ritual, but a tradition that lives on until today. And by the way. Don’t you think we should celebrate ALL holidays (Pagan or not) that we possibly can, so why shouldn’t the coyotes celebrate Walpurgis Night too?

Time to go back to sleep….

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9 Flower Varieties Illustrated For Beginners

An illustrated guide just in time for Valentine’s Day.

1. As a flower novice, I wanted to gain some confidence when buying flowers. So after a bit of research, I drew these nine awesome flowers along with a visually similar item that helps me remember each.

2. Dahlias

Nathan W. Pyle / Via buzzfeed.com

If you want a flower that vaguely resembles Epcot Center, go with dahlias. The spherical, symmetrical pattern of petals will thrill the recipient, much like a ride on Spaceship Earth.

3. Magnolias

Nathan W. Pyle / Via buzzfeed.com

Magnolias are a gorgeous variety that most closely resemble a beautiful plate of nachos with some cheese and guac in the middle. The magnolia petals beautifully and asymmetrically curl up on the edges much like the chips do.

4. Peonies

Nathan W. Pyle / Via buzzfeed.com

Peonies are large and have many layers that are beautifully fanned out, much like Outback Steakhouse’s Bloomin’ Onion. Imagine someone right now handed you a hot Bloomin’ Onion. That feeling you’d have is the exact feeling your valentine would get if handed a bunch of peonies. That’s pretty good.

5. Chrysanthemums

Nathan W. Pyle / Via buzzfeed.com

The flower that looks most like Hostess’s Snoball has to be the chrysanthemum. Much like the Snoballs, it comes in a variety of colors and is a tightly packed ball of fun. If there’s one flower variety I could throw the farthest, I think it’s this one.

6. Ranunculus

Nathan W. Pyle / Via buzzfeed.com

Ranunculus look like a tightly wound extension cord to me. It’s amazing how much flower they pack into this flower – this seems like a good deal.

It is very beautiful and it looks like a drawing of a rose that a jr. high art student kept adding more and more layers to.

7. Hydrangeas

Nathan W. Pyle / Via buzzfeed.com

Hydrangeas are easy to remember because of the mythical hydra beast. It’s really amazing when you buy a bouquet of hydrangeas because you’ll think there are going to be dozens of stems when you take the paper off, but it turns out to be only 2 or 3. These crazy flowers really fool you!

8. Orchids

Nathan W. Pyle / Via buzzfeed.com

Orchids are perhaps the coolest flower to me because of how unique and elegant they are. They remind me of Darth Vader’s Meditation Chamber in The Empire Strikes Back.

Also like the chamber, these things are pretty cumbersome and you can’t carry them around (they’re sold in pots generally.)

9. Sunflowers

Nathan W. Pyle / Via buzzfeed.com

Sunflowers, it turns out, actually can be bought and given to someone. It’s easy to remember sunflowers because they look like the sun and look at the sun.

Consider pairing the bouquet with a bag of sunflower seeds, like a theme gift.

10. Tulips

Nathan W. Pyle / Via buzzfeed.com

Tulips are sleek, spaceship like things that come in amazing electric colors. In this way they resemble Nerf Footballs to me. I love the idea of giving tulips because it really looks like you a cartoon character when you hold a bunch of these.

11. Lilacs

Nathan W. Pyle / Via buzzfeed.com

If your valentine just likes purple flowers, you’ll have lots of options – but if your valentine likes a purple flower shaped like Grimace, then lilacs are definitely what you want.

Read more: http://www.buzzfeed.com/nathanwpyle/9-flower-varieties-you-should-learn-for-valentines-day

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