Signs of Spring: Black snow

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Huge black snow mountains.
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Spring is not always beautiful.
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Better to stay by the fire.

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The spring doesn´t find her way to Finland, so better to stay inside by the fire. We have still snow everywhere, nights are colder, over -10°C/ 14°F than normally in March.

The Mystery Continues. Who is Baba Yaga? Кто Бáба-Ягá?

We had yesterday a photo with a strange “thing on that wall” and we got great answers and ideas.

 

Maybe it is a bottle opener thought Amy, Xena´s mom. Could be, could be, at that time there were not many shops selling those openers.

Katty and Da Phenny  had the most interesting idea, maybe it is a house of Baba Yaga.

I never had heard of Baba Yaga, so I had to find out who s/he is. She is the most interesting person. This is worth reading!

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Baba Yaga: The Wise Witch of Slavic Folklore

Baba Yaga, also known as Baba Iaga, is one of the most famous witches in Slavic folklore. She is a popular figure in children’s fairy tales, and was one of the common stories of the Russian oral tradition. Her origin is part of her mystery. The first written reference to her was in 1755 in Mikhail W. Lomonosov’s Russian Grammar, where she is listed amongst ancient figures from Slavic tradition. The indication is that the legend began in pre-Christian, pagan times where people were very superstitious and believed that their fates were not of their own making but at the mercy of other-worldly deities.

The Russian witch is described as a deformed, scraggly old woman with bony legs, a very long crooked nose, piercing cold eyes, and iron teeth. Her demeanor is powerful and unpredictable. Her intention is to instill fear and guarded respect in anyone who encounters her. Every body part of the Baba witch is grotesque.

Most tales say that she rides around the forest in a giant mortar. She also uses her mortar and pestle to grind up the bones of the people she eats. When flying, she uses the huge pestle like a rudder. She holds it in her right hand while she holds a broom in her left hand to wipe away her trail. A few tales have her using the traditional witches’ broom for transportation. The baba witch can remove her hands from her body so she can have them do her bidding.

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The Russian Baba witch riding on her mortar, carrying her broom in one hand and a child in the other. Victor Vasentsov

The Russian Baba witch lives deep in the forest in a hut that rests on giant chicken legs that can move around the forest to make it harder for anyone to find her. The windows serve as eyes to watch over her domain and the fence post around the hut is built out of human bones and is topped with human skulls. When her house moves it spins while emitting a screeching noise, until it comes to settle down with groans and creaks. And it prefers to turn its back toward all visitors.

Baba Yaga hut
Baba Yaga’s hut standing on its chicken legs, 1900. Ivan Bilibin.

So, have you ever seen her?