Views from our bedroom  by Stan Sykora

Alps from Castano Primo

In Winter, when the brughiera shrubs and trees don't have leaves and the weather is relatively dry, we can enjoy the vista of the Alps, distant about 40 km. This early morning shot was taken from our north-looking bedroom window in a house located on the northern edge of Castano Primo. I had to zoom quite a bit and use a keen eye in order to exclude nearby buildings and to convey the glory of the crown of Alps around the Milano area when basked in a morning sunrise. With the encroaching metropolis, I wonder how long will such feets remain possible.

Magpie nests

Waiting a couple of hours for the Sun to get up and looking in a slightly different direction, this is another view I like. The two untidy nests in the tops of thorny robiniae trees were built by magpies (italian name gazza, latin Pica pica), quite large and very decorative birds. A pair of magpies build one of the nests about ten years ago and, a couple of years after that, another pair (offsprings?) built the second one. They use it year after year, sometimes both nests, sometimes just one. I doubt they are the same individuals (though they might be) but, in any case, at least one of the nests is reused every Spring. A regular maintenance starts in mid-February and the brooding gets underway in March when the trees regain their foliage. I sure hope they will come back again. Note added on 10 February 2011: they did!

Castano Primo, Lombardia (North Italy), December 12, 2010

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