Polish Countryside

My mother-in-law’s house sits at the top of a large plot of land in Southern Poland, majestically positioned to survey the vast garden and surrounding forest. She purchased the land 10 years ago despite the warnings from friends and family who all said she was mad but now they invariably comment on her perseverance and vision and how lucky she is to live in such a beautiful place. The house was built 6 years ago on one level to her own design. The outside painted stucco white with large windows all around to provide a feeling of space and light. The windows offer a wonderful view of greenery from the surrounding fields, garden and forest no matter which side of the house you are enabling you to watch the ever varying expressions on the trees as the sun shines across them.

The garden retains a few of the magnificent trees that once made up every square metre of the land. The grass is a luscious green and a small pond sits in one corner where goldfish and frogs swim freely from the threat of herons, the fish even allowing you to get so close to them that they tickle your finger tips. Her dogs Alpha and Beta, German Alsatians, on guard at all times to bark at any passing strangers but both of whom roll over and wag their tales as soon as you smile at them.

The terrace overlooking the garden and forest provides an extension to the house, with a small covered area so you can sit outside and enjoy the fresh air regardless of the season.

A 500 metre walk from the house through the forest brings you to a fresh water lake which is about 5 kilometres in circumference, lucidly clear and clean, the water temperature often rises above 20 degrees during the summer months when it is perfect for swimming.

The surrounding forest is made up of oak, yew, walnut and conifer trees. Foxes, boar, hares and deer roam wild. The birds a bright mixture of cuckoo, woodpecker, jays, and finches fill the air with their songs. In autumn bushes contain a plethora of wild berries, which we pick and make into fresh fruit cocktails, jams and cakes, ideal for lazy Sunday mornings.

Likewise mushrooms are in abundance which we gather for soups, omelettes and for drying and marinating to add to casseroles and other food dishes. So delicious and tasting just that much better when you have picked them yourself.

My wife and I often escape from our home in Warsaw to visit this beautiful area, we sit with a picnic, drying off from a swim in the lake, listening to the sounds of the water and songs of the birds. Late at night we sit on the terrace and look up at the stars, which here have a beauty that people living in cities can only dream of. Never before have I felt so at home except possibly in Sweden but my wife was not there and her presence adds to the beauty. This could be paradise, not at all the impression I had of Poland before coming here.

The only downsides the bugs the sizes of bats, bats the sizes of crows and in the summer mosquitoes that have no respect for human pain and then there is the occasional thunderstorm which during June seem to happen a bit more occasionally than occasional. In fact they seem to happen every second evening! As soon as one strike of lightening is seen anywhere within a 30 kilometre radius the generators are shut down in the village, rendering us with no electricity and bizarrely enough no water. That means no water for washing your hands, no hot tea and no water for flushing the loo. So if you happen to be on the loo doing an ‘ooh ooh’ as my wife calls it, when there is a power cut then you are really in the shit.


4 thoughts on “Polish Countryside

  1. Pawel says:

    Did you think about having solar panels installed? :))

  2. Datblog says:

    I would certainly prefer that…

  3. Jolanta says:

    It is probably far too late to add a comment but I cannot resist the temptation.

    Your mother-in-law’s place sounds like a city dweller’s paradise (lost). She definitely made the right choice ten years ago. I wish I had had the same idea at that time but I did not. Now I have the idea but the price of land has become exorbitant, at least in my area.
    Here, in Cracow, I would have to pay 30 000 zl per ar (100sq metres); the price is even higher if the buyer is a developer so, sadly, I will never be able to enlarge my hadkerchief garden.
    As you can guess, I am green with envy – I want it all, especially the frogs and the bats! The only thing I do not need is the fish in the pond (probably non-native) and the big windows; I have recently written an article on the growing problem of birds colliding with modern windows and I have seen too many casualties of this sort so far.

    On the other hand one should remember that that rural paradise of hers is a highly idealised version of the Polish countryside.
    What is missing:
    the excessive drainage of land
    the chemicals constantly pumped into the soil
    the cattle that never see the fields
    the maltreated pigs and horses
    the thirsty dogs chained to their prisons
    the illegal collection of peat
    the overspread setting of fire to the grassland and meadows
    the poaching


    Enjoy your heaven if you can, then


  4. island1 says:

    Jolanta: Ever on the lookout for comments from your wise self, I step in.

    Are you aware that we’ve recently opened a new initiative to allow guest posters? Write us a post about your concerns for Poland’s natural habitats. Do please.

    get in touch here: polandianguest@gmail.com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s