Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Where do babies come from? The white storks the symbol of Alsace of course!

We grew up with stories of white storks delivering babies to our doorsteps. It may date me a bit, but I recall from my baby scrapbook my mother kept for me, drawings of the stork flying me to my parents! Pink blanket for me, and blue blanket for my brother.

Beautiful tall white birds, with very long orange legs, and a big long orange beak, and black tips on their wings abound in Alsace.


Legend has it if a stork is flying over your house the baby is on the way. When the baby is born it means the stork has flown down to the land of souls of the dead that are now reincarnated to a new baby. The stork takes the baby up in a blanket and flies the child from the land of souls to your doorstep. This is where babies come from everybody knows that!


If a stork chooses your house to make a nest, this is a symbol of very good luck. However it is said, a stork will never place his nest on a house where there has been a divorce! Today, it is estimated there are over 600 stork couples in Alsace, so very much good luck, love, and fertility here! Also we must assume not to many divorces.


The nests of these storks are permanent homes. We can think of them like a summer home, as they spend their winters as far away as South Africa to avoid the cold Alsatian winters. These nests are often supported by metal holders that Alsatians put on top of their homes to support their massive weight, as they can weight up to 500 kilograms, just over 1,000 pounds. It is a lot of fun to see these, and in the spring hearing the birds loudly clapping their beaks together in joy!

In the spring the male will arrive first to set up housekeeping in his forever nest, and soon after the female will arrive. These birds mate for life and somehow find each other again after flying as far as 15,000 kilometers back from Africa to their Alsatian home. Hard to imagine how they do it, but they do!

While touring with us in Alsace you will definitely see these majestic creatures in the the spring and summer, and we will most likely drive buy this location  "Parc des cigognes et des loutres" Stork park, where you can see hundreds nesting and flying about from the road, and if you like we can plan a visit for you inside the park as well.

Yes, beloved Alsace, home to some of the best stories ever, with evidence of their truth!
Cheers!


 
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