“The white stork (gandras) is usually felt to be the national bird of Lithuania. Lithuanians believe that storks bring harmony to the families on whose property they nest; they have also kept up the tradition of telling their children that storks bring babies. Stork Day is celebrated on March 25 with various archaic rituals: gifts for children, attributed to the storks, such as fruits, chocolates, pencils, and dyed eggs, are hung on tree branches and fences; snakes are caught, killed and buried under the doorstep; straw fires are lit. Notably, Lithuania is a beneficial and important habitat for these birds: it has the highest known nesting density in the world.” And here is a nice blog post on Lithuania’s storks by Mark Hamblin. Over 20,000 white storks were recorded in Lithuania in 2009.
After yesterday’s post on returning storks in Lithuania, and my memories on the injured stork which we fed some bacon bits, my dearest sister dug up my childhood picture- the injured stork in my grandpa’s arms.
Pictured above: me, my grandpa, and my dad on our farm. Photo capture by my uncle Raimundas. Circa 1981-83? The wooden shed was later replaced with a gray brick summer kitchen, which I secretly painted and got in trouble. Grandpa is standing on the path that leads from the house to the well. Behind my dad is a sauna building. To the right of my dad, the field for rotating crops and the apple orchard. Straight ahead – the swampy area that we called “Puddle” where the storks would go frogging. Each little corner, each little bush, each tree, each grain of sand, each rock, engrained in my memory, so close, as if it all happened just yesterday.
Thank you, thank you, and happy birthday to my dearest friend of all, my sister!! You made my day.