After a very snowy and cold December, this weekend it felt like spring had come early.  I know it's too early for it to be truly spring weather but the sun peeked through the clouds and there was definitely a spring feel to the place.  Yesterday we decided to visit Teirpark, the Zoo in the east of the city.  One of the strange things about Berlin is that post-reunification there are still two of  many public institutions - two concert halls, two opera companies, two theatres and... two zoos.  I planned to take lots of photographs, but the place was actually quite depressing,. Most of the cages looked like they hadn't been renovated since the 1960s and harked back to a time when there was little recognition that animals need enclosures that closely resemble their natural habitats in order to feel safe and secure.  Lots of tiny cages with nowhere to hide away from staring eyes and flashing cameras.  In contrast to the animal enclosures, there were many forested walkways and more formal gardens for us humans to enjoy and I think we ended up spending more time walking around them than actually seeing the animals.

Back home, my hyacinth's have decided to flower for a second time which has made me incredibly happy as the first flower heads only lasted a few days.  They are filling the kitchen with the softest scent of "fresh flower" which I love coming home to in the evening.  This is really the first year that I've had bulbs in my house and I've decided that this year I'm going to buy all sorts of different bulbs as they come into season.  It's so nice to have a bit of colour and life in the house when everything outside is still hibernating until spring.


Tiffany @ No Ordinary Homestead said...

Isn't it just the most bizarre weather? We have been loving the spring feeling as well but I just never know what to expect the next day.

We've been to a few zoos in the last year or so with our daughter and they are somehow just the most depressing places now. I don't know if it's because we've gotten older (although we were in our mid-20's the last time we went) or if they are all in desperate need of funding, but the animals just didn't seem happy there at all.

Found your blog via Resident on Earth and hoping to join the Sunday Scavenger Hunt from time to time. You take some amazing shots!

Clare B said...

@Tiffany - glad you found me. I visited the Melbourne Zoo (Australia) a few years ago and although not all of their enclosures are "animal friendly" they are slowly renovating them and their two new enclosures, the elephants and the gorillas are really very well done. My partner's sister was here for the weekend and said similar things about the zoo in Vienna. I fear it is just a cost thing and like most things in Berlin they are desperate for funds.

Ashley's Scavenger Hunt Sunday is great fun - I don't always get organised to do it (often not) but I really enjoy taking part when I have the chance.

HRANDICA said...

I've been to your Tierpark in Berlin last spring and I felt the same way.I felt bad for wilde animals.Guardians should really do something about the space in this ZOO.
I love your last frosty shot. It's excelant.
Hugs from Unten Franken.:))

Brandi said...

That's really sad to hear that about the zoo. Is there anything being done to improve the living conditions for these animals? I feel like that's vitally important.
The pictures you did take are lovely. They capture that sleepy, slow, and cold winter morning feeling so well.

Silver Strands said...

All beautiful pictures. Sad about the zoo. That picture of the window with the little flower is so full of hope!

lisa said...

My bulbs are blooming indoors now also, and it is so nice to have them when it is so cold and snowy outside! These are wonderful photographs. That last one is just gorgeous!

justine said...

absolutely love your shots and very sad about the zoo. Glad your hyacinths are blooming again!

Jamie said...

Isn't it lovely to have even a day of almost spring in the middle of January? After over 2 weeks of below freezing temperatures, we finally had a warm day - it was so warm we woke up thinking it was raining, but it was just the snow melting and dripping off the house.

SJ said...

love your photos as always.

i've been to a few zoos that have just been incredibly depressing and i usually leave quickly.
i like to imagine that the giraffes with their long necks, enjoy their view of the harbour at Taronga :)

urban muser said...

I am jealous of your indoor splash of color and your outdoor taste of spring.