Tuesday, March 19, 2019
For years now I've noticed bits of white and red twine tied to blooming trees in springtime. I never quite knew where this tradition came from or what it meant. I think I remember seeing it in New York, too.
The bits of "spring string" in these two photos are fastened to a magnolia on my walk to work. Here's another on a different tree from 2014.
Apparently it's a tradition from the southern Balkans. In Bulgaria, the ornaments are called "martenitsi" and according to the ever-dependable Wikipedia, they often take the form of two dolls. Simpler woven bracelets and ornaments are common too. Sometimes they come with beads, as you can see above.
I learned about them after I posted the photo above, taken on my walk near Canary Wharf several weeks ago, to Flickr. Someone immediately identified it as a martenitsa. Apparently they are worn until the wearer sees a first sign of spring -- like a blooming tree -- at which point they're taken off and tied to the tree as a sign of good fortune.
I am not an expert in any of this, mind you, having just learned about them myself. This is just what I could glean from the Interwebs. Pretty interesting, huh?
In what may be another sign of spring, I found a ripped-open fast-food bag at the back of our garden this morning, with bits of bread, lettuce and tomato spread out around it. Apparently a fox scored a snack from a local trash can and chose to enjoy it on our lawn! (Or was it Mrs. Kravitz, hurling her dinner leftovers over our fence in a purple rage?)
Yesterday I spent the day immersed in database usage statistics at work. Doesn't that sound exciting?! I'm supposed to compile annual reports showing how much our databases have been used during the previous school year, but I confess I'd slacked off -- I knew I'd skipped at least one year, but it turns out I skipped two. (Perhaps it should give me pause that no one noticed!) So I got caught up on all that, which is a relief.