It's May, almost halfway through the year and it's freezing cold, raining heavily and just generally miserable. Normally by now it's getting warm and I can wear shorts all the time, but not this year for some reason.
In Poland we have two public holidays at the start of May, on 1st & 3rd, which is normally Monday & Wednesday. So for the first time, I took advantage and booked my holiday around this so I could have a week off, for only 3 days of vacation. It was warm on 1 day, and I spent that servicing the lawnmower and using it to cut the grass. But we didn't let the weather stop us completely, and we took our dog over to Szarow, to visit "The Great Muds".
Doesn't look too muddy, but I promise if you step into it, you'll notice. There is a lot of peaty ground here and it's extremely fertile. It's also full of wildlife, including what seems to be a very healthy population of beavers!
These stumps used to be huge lime trees which are planted all along the sides of the track. Despite seeing plenty of signs that beavers are in the area, I didn't see any, but that's probably due to having my dog with me and not being very quiet or patient. Maybe next time I'll go alone and see if waiting pays off.
The area is also home to pine martens, deer, wild boar, raccoons, foxes, badgers, and a ton of types of birds, including storks in the summer. Unfortunately, being a marsh/swamp type area, it's also home to millions of mosquitoes in the summer.
To reach the area, you can easily drive from Krakow within about 20-25 minutes, or take the train from Krakow Glowny to Szarow and it drops you right in the forest.
Even with the gloomy weather, it was a nice week off. I managed to finally do some work on restoring an old art-deco wardrobe that we found in our attic when we bought the house, and some other bits of DIY around the house. I'll leave you with some more pictures of "The Great Muds".