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On 4. veebruar, also known as hundi/kuu, wolf month, (Estonia's rahvus/loom, national animal), the Estonian Weather Service's lume/kaart (snow map) showed Tallinn as having 30 cm on the ground. This never happens in one huge (s)torm à la nor'easters on the Eastern seaboard, but has accumulated steadfastly as mere/efekti (sea effect) snow over the course of many weeks of sub-zero weather, set to continue. It's nature's gift to kids and winter sports lovers of all ages in an otherwise compromised time.   Foto: Ülle Mesikäpp

 

"Laud on kaetud!" writes jewelry artist Ülle Mesikäpp from her home in the Tallinn suburb of Nõmme. Katma lauda = to set the table in preparation for a meal and when the laud is kaetud, you're welcome to take a seat (asuma lauda, võtma istet). Katma is also simply to cover. This table is covered. With snow. And set. (Ready, set, go! = Tähelepanu, valmis olla, läks!)


The artist continues: "Kui puudu jääb, saab puu/otsast lisa!" If it's not enough, you can get more off the tree!

 

"Eelmise talve sadamata jäänud lumi tuli ka maha!" Last year's "unfallen" snow has also now fallen.

 

Eesti has not seen a lot of snow in recent winters, but last talv (winter) was exceptionally, excruciatingly lume/vaene ("snow poor"), literally flakeless.

 

This year, ALL of Eesti is snow-covered and is being blessed with the extended cold temperature to enjoy it.


So, mida pakutakse (what's being offered), if the table is set?

 

A laste/aia/laps (kindergarden kid) might offer a heavily garnished lume/tort or jää/tort (ice torte) frozen in a bucket and full of suspended beauty, while someone with a little more expertise in the köök (kitchen) might find lume/palli/supp ("snowball soup") especially fitting.

 

What has been made from milk and eggs in these parts, and is very widely known and enjoyed throughout Europe, is the classic French dessert they call oeufs à la neige (snow eggs), pillowy, airy poached meringues (pošeeritud beseed) in a custard.

 

Prantslased (the French) also call it île flottante (floating island), while Estonians plural it up as ujuvad saared. A true bath of crème anglaise (English custard) includes double cream, which down-to-earth eestlased tend to skip, but vanilli/suhkur, if not ekstrakt, adds a lot.


A bird feeder is a linnu/söögi/maja (bird feeding house) or linnu/söögi/LAUD (table).

 

Linnud would really appreciate if it were kaetud right now as well.

 

Watch Estonian birds enjoying lunch otse (live) via the bird camera at: www.looduskalender.ee > tali/linnu/kaamera.

 

Be sure to also see what's happening on the hülge (seal) beach on Saaremaa island's western coast via the hall/hüljeste seire/kaamera (gray seal monitoring camera) on the very same page!


People often wish each other kuhjaga õnne – heaps of luck. Kuhjaga õnne = kuhjaga lund. The bigger the mounds of snow, the more, the merrier.

 

Riina Kindlam,
Tallinn

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