Written by Lucy Brzoska
February 2012 will be remembered as one of the coldest on record in Catalunya. Waterfalls and rivers froze solid, and thin layers of ice even covered the ponds in Barcelona’s parks. The bitter Siberian air finally abated, and the sun felt warm again. One of the Montjuic castle sparrows was airing his feathers and singing non-stop in celebration.
A prize piece of territory on the Cami del Mar is the corner where people sit and look at the view, and quite often eat at the same time. The robin that rules there looks sleek and smooth, no longer a ball of fluffy insulation.
Across the road from the Funicular station, there’s a tall row of shrubs, with glossy, laurel-like leaves (Ligustrum lucidum). Rustling and squabbling sounds emanate, as blackcaps have taken up residence there. They are coming to the end of a copious supply of berries.
On the Cingles de Berti, small tokens of spring are visible: the first grape hyacinths and liverwort. A common toad surprised on the path tries to ward off attack by inflating itself and standing on tiptoe, before deciding to bury itself in the leaf mulch. Then, spotted in the distance, a long strand of birds crosses the sky, forming an immense curve: a hundred cranes powering their way north.