Some European countries have a historic love affair with the stork. This bird was the convenient explanation for little children in Germany, France and elsewhere, for how babies were delivered into the world.
While on the Northwest coast, it’s the kitschy toy whales or seals, in Germany and France, it’s the fuzzy stuffed stork, decoy stork or stork keychain for tourists.
But during our cycling trip from Strasbourg, France to Karlsruhe, Germany, we were startled by a pair
of real storks. It was during a rest stop in Bodersweier, one of several picturesque German towns, 19 kms. northeast of Strasbourg. I had stopped just a few metres away from the town’s rathaus or town hall while Jack consulted the bike map.
Suddenly there was a loud clicking above us. There were two storks watching us nervously from their large twiggy nest that overflowed the chimney on top of a church. Prolonged clicking ensued as we took a few photos of the jittery parent-birds.
Though Jack had seen storks on previous trips in Germany, I was mesmerized to see this fabled bird. To a neophyte stork-watcher, it was a
strangely perfect moment in a quiet, Black Forest village with half-timbered homes, flower box windows and manicured gardens. Similar to the magic of seeing a bald-head eagle for the first time, sweeping along a rocky coast over the ocean.
An informal encyclopedic summary about the stork, both scientific and mythological.