Thursday, June 21, 2007

can you say humid?

The summer solstice is greeting Germany today with big wet kisses. It poured all morning up here on the hill while other parts of the country had it much worse - there's been talk of thunderstorms, mini tornados, torrential rainfall and flooding, especially down south. We seem to live in a good weather (well, good weather for Germany, anyway) pocket and don't get too much turbulence.

What we do get is some pretty massive humidity that has us all sweating away even if the temperatures aren't that high.

Here's a small language lesson - schwül is the adjective Germans use for a weather situation that is close, muggy, sticky or sultry. That means this word is used an awful lot this time of year. You have to watch this a bit, though, because schwul, a word that looks almost identical, is a colloquial term used to describe a gay man. What a difference an umlaut (= those two little dots above the u) makes, eh? And you thought you were safe talking about the weather! Watch that pronunciation and you'll be fine.

So yes, we find ourselves in mid summer and it's raining like crazy. While I don't mind at all, I must say the dry days we've been having have also been wonderful. Good thing I was quick on the draw with my camera yesterday while the sun was still shining.

You can tell it's summer when hot air balloons go sailing by right above your house.

There are all sorts of sun-loving flowers in the garden right now

and my succulents are busting out all over

This beautiful creature was patient enough to let me get a good look at him before he flew away. What can I say? Bugs love me, I guess.

Happy Summer!

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At June 21, 2007 7:11 p.m., Blogger CanadianSwiss said...

You have Star Gazers in your garden?? They're my absolute favorite flowers!!!

LOL. OX always forgets the umlaut and it makes me laugh every time.

At June 21, 2007 7:21 p.m., Blogger Alison said...

Your lilies look gorgeous! We've had thunder here too. It scares the crap out of the cats. (Not literally thank goodness...)

At June 21, 2007 10:40 p.m., Blogger EuroTrippen said...

It really HAS been humid. Although I'm trying not to complain much as it really lowered the temperature here.

Now if I could just stop sneezing...

At June 21, 2007 11:26 p.m., Blogger Dixie said...

Ugh. I hate the humidity too, but you already know that. Golly did it rain here today. And thunder at 9am. We so seldom get thundershowers at 9am.

Your flowers look terrific!

At June 22, 2007 1:42 a.m., Blogger Elemmaciltur said...

Lillies and gorgeous butterfly!

BTW, we had really nice weather in Munich...errr..*look at the time*...yesterday. :-p No rain whatsoever and it wasn't even schwül. ;-)

Better go to bed. :-p

At June 22, 2007 9:43 a.m., Blogger ColourMeCrazy said...

Those flowers look incredibly healthy! And schwül is probably 1 word that I shouldn't go near - I have problems with my u and my ü!

At June 22, 2007 10:56 a.m., Anonymous lillian said...

wow that butterfly is beautiful. Can't believe you got such a good shot!!!

At June 22, 2007 2:37 p.m., Blogger christina said...

CanSwiss - Are those pink ones Star Gazers? I never knew. Someone gave them to us in a pot and I just planted them in the garden and hoped for the best. They've come back three years in a row now so I'm happy.

Alison - I really should get more lilies since they seem to do well. We got the orange ones from our neighbours and they've spread like crazy. Poor kitties - we had a bit of thunder but nothing serious.

Eurotrippen - It is nice to have a bit of a breeze, I don't like the really hot weather, but I've been waking up every morning with my eyes glued shut by summer allergies too.

Dixie - I think I heard distant thunder at about that time as well but the rain wasn't too bad. Yesterday afternoon was SO humid though. Ugh.

Elemm - Es wird ein schwüler/schwuler Sommer! Take your pick. ;-)

colourmecrazy - Yes, those umlauts can really get you if you're not careful. Takes a while to learn how to pronounce them.

lilian - These butterflys seem to be very friendly and they'll stay still for quite a long time. I love the way you can see the detail. Who knew that butterflies are furry?

At June 22, 2007 5:36 p.m., Blogger womanwandering said...

Hey, these are truly superb photographs!!

At June 22, 2007 7:22 p.m., Anonymous Lisa said...

I'm enjoying this weather but I'm afraid to say so lest I jinx it and it change. Now you watch, it'll be 30 degrees Celsius, wet heat, next week.

Your flowers, by the way, are lovely. You've some hobbit blood in you, my dear.

At June 23, 2007 10:57 a.m., Blogger J said...

Happy Summer? Blah! It's been raining since the first day of summer.

At June 23, 2007 5:05 p.m., Anonymous ian said...

I used to get schwul and schwuel mixed up all the time! I was so afraid of saying the wrong thing I'd talk around it - describe the weather instead of labeling it. I devised a way to remember the difference: the muggy weather has given the U a sweaty forehead :-)

BTW Christine, when was the last time you were home? You would not believe the building going on right now - place is booming. The road to Squamish is one long construction site, though it's four lanes in places and you can really get cooking.

Parts of Stanley Park are a sorry sight - the blowdown they had late last year has cleared some sections flat.

off to have a Kokanee,

At June 24, 2007 4:54 a.m., Anonymous amy said...

excellent photos! I love how it looks like there are tiny lights on the ends of the butterfly antennae... maybe there are? happy summer to you!!

At June 24, 2007 5:38 a.m., Blogger srah said...

If you're interested, Language Week 2007 starts Monday, June 25!

At June 24, 2007 12:06 p.m., Blogger Jason said...

Hello fellow North American! I am here because of love too, but don't have the kids and the messy garden yet! That last picture of the butterfly reminds me of the small fashion show I am putting together in July here in Freiburg in the SW of Germany. Cool to see other expats in Germany. I love Canada, by the way, lived there for part of summer 2000, even wrote a couple travel articles for the Toronto Star back then. Gaspe Peninsula is my favorite part of North America. check out my blog too if you so desire. cheers!

At June 25, 2007 3:15 a.m., Blogger Ginnie said...

Those umlauts were the death of me, Christina, as you surely know. Maybe it's good we moved to Holland! :|

I must say I am NOT missing that hot, muggy weather up in that attic apartment. Instead, believe it or not, in A'dam were still wearing long-sleeved T-shirts and even jackets on many days. But that's my kind of weather. I love it.

We call those Tiger Lilies--the orange ones--and they grow wild along the sides of the road in Michigan. We'll see them everywhere when we drive up there next week! Thanks for the appetizer!

At June 28, 2007 9:46 a.m., Blogger Lynda said...

LOL - my first German teacher was retired and about 126 years old - very sweet, she came each afternoon to teach the kangaroo how to speak. One day I said to her "Bist du heiss?" (it was a very warm day) - she was a bit taken aback - my SIL later informed me of my mistake... oops how mortifying to ask an old lady "Are you horny?" heheheh


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