Hanging out with a coypu family on a rainy afternoon.
One of the benefits of living in Central Europe is experiencing all four seasons of the year, which means plenty of variety and natural beauty. Although our winters are getting progressively warmer and less snowy, the spring still does not fully kick in until the end of March, beginning with a period of very moody April weather.
Just as soon as Ljubljana gets a little green, the month of April starts with its rains and mischief. The air grows heavy with moisture and the only thing you can count on is, that the weather will be unpredictable and there will be plenty of rain. During the whole month the temperatures are erratic and your morning jacket may be completely redundant in the sunny afternoon or less than adequate for the chilly evening. Then there is the rain: short showers can start at any time and finish just as quickly, or the water may pour or drizzle out of the sky for the entire day.
Although some people are severely annoyed by the rain and it tends to slow the traffic down to a crawl, I’ve always loved the smell of it. It washes the land clean and bathes it in a soft, grey sleepy light. Taking a walk in spring Ljubljana right after it rained, or even during the rainfall if it is warm enough, is one of the most peaceful experiences you can have here, as most of the people are still indoors and the city is usually quite deserted.
And that is exactly what me and my boyfriend did on an April afternoon in 2019, when we also took some photos of our chosen destination park Špica (the Pointy tip), on the river bank of Ljubljanica. Park Špica had been renovated a few years ago and the area looks quite nice now, specially when it’s all green in the spring, with the weeping willows reaching their heavy tresses down towards the river.
The park has become home to a large colony of coypus or nutrias, Ljubljana’s unofficial city animals. The cute beaver cousins moved into the city a few years ago and have been thriving ever since. At this point they are so used to humans, that you can come very close to them and they will be quite curious, as some people even feed them. They seem to love carrots, but I would urge you not to feed them, as their numbers can grow quite fast when well-fed, causing a damaging giant rodent invasion, which several European cities have already had to battle with. Despite that, they are very cute munching away at the greenery on the riverbanks and I can pretty much guarantee you will find some of them at Špica, particularly in the evenings.