Looduskalender in Vikerraadio: Dawn and Dusk

Submitted by Looduskalender on Mon, 06.08.2018 - 21:51

The author, Kristel Vilbaste, presents texts also in Vikerraadio

Translation into English by Maret

Photo Arne Ader

Estonian text posted 17.07.2018


Wild Rose (or Dog Rose)


Our loudest song birds have lost their power. The cuckoo has “caught a barley awn in its throat” (an old Estonian saying - M.)  -  flying over a field it’s no longer chased by an angry flock of birds. Even the nightingale has gone quiet, only the oriole is still whistling.

Right now the bird population presents a totally different sound to the world. The ones singing are mainly hedge sparrows and warblers. In addition, we can often hear some young birds’ cries for help: herons at the lake, owlets in the night or the young ones among a huge flock of starlings. But the oriole keeps whistling away and quite often its shrill sounds predict rain  -  and now the rain showers do keep coming very frequently.

St. Margaret’s Day, July 13th, ended the lighter and drier half of the summer..

With St. Margaret’s Day starts the time, when everything we have started, sown or planted is growing and developing, but it’s too late in the year to start or sow anything new  -  that word of wisdom about the times of the year comes from Mikk Sarv. From now on the nights are so wet of dew, that hay cut during the day can no longer dry. And it’s said, that on St. Margaret’s Day the ghosts will inhabit the bushes  - in the dark the bushes look spooky again, just as they did before the big, bright summertime. Even if the days are still long enough and the nights are not yet so pitch-black, the shadowy night world is already a bit frightening.

There is an old Estonian folk tale about Dawn and Dusk looking for each other in this half-darkness, in the beautiful valley where they were allowed to meet .

But there had been such a growth of wild roses during the spring, that the seekers were not able to find each other. Longing for each other, they each had wandered around in the bushes until Dusk had found some fresh droplet of blood in the grass beside a rose bush. She quickly followed the path of droplets and finally found her friend Dawn at a spring, where he was washing his rose-thorn wounds in the cool water.

According to these old tales, The Good God heard the prayers of Dawn and Dusk and created of the blood droplets the blooms on the wild rose. And the rose, that before that time had never bloomed, now got its name (in one of the Estonian dialects it is called “dawn bloom” - M.), and its blooms can be beautiful decorations for any bride and groom.

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