The fading smell of camel poo!

What a heatwave!

Those sneaky Saharians decided they’d had enough heat so they sent all the hot air north and it has been bothering us for a few days. On Thursday and Friday, the temperature gauge in the car was showing 32C at 08:15 on the way to work and 38C on the way home at around 18:00. I’ve not seen what the temperature was at midday but it must have been 40C+. It’s very hot and unusually sticky air for Warsaw, with a faint smell of camel poo and roast goat.

Today it only got up to around 32C midday and was 24C this morning so it’s much better weather for the planned “Come on England!!” BBQ festival I’m attending in Łomianki this afternoon.

I don’t know if it is because of the heat wave but we have some new wildlife to enjoy.


This guy has been living in our garden for a few days, a Common Pheasant or Bażant zwyczajny (Phasianus colchicus). I need to dig my shotgun out and go bag some dinner!

We’ve also enjoyed the owl “flight training” that has been going on every evening between 23:00 and 00:00. One adult owl and two babies. The adult sits on a branch or our fence and shouts at the babies who fly from tree to tree squeaking their disapproval at being worked so hard in such heat. As buying a decent torch in Poland is next to impossible I was not able to get a good look at the owl. It was obviously an owl and when the head swivelled I got the bright orange eyes. From the size and shape I’d say it was a Barn Owl but the noises being made were not the same as on that website, although there may well be a whole set of special noise for flight training babies. It could easily have been a Short Eared Owl as well, I suppose. When I find a good torch, I’ll be able to provide better information!

The toads have been lovin’ it! The racket they make at night is quite incredible. There’s quite a gang of them down in the mini-lake and when they all get going you can’t hear yourself think. I’m not sure what they are though. The noise is definitely more like a Natterjack than a common toad but there’s a tone in there that would suggest something else completely. I must try to get a photo and identify them.

You can hear the noise in the video included in this post from last year – The Great Frog Hunt.


14 thoughts on “The fading smell of camel poo!

  1. Whewwww !!! I was getting worried a bit when you said looking for a torch. Not use to English word for what we call a flashlight. :D (I guess I’ll be expecting some hot weather coming our wayt too soon) At least I’m right by a lake to run to.

  2. Are you sure they aren’t crickets? We’re going to have an infestation this year (yes! I was finally able to squeeze that tidbit into a conversation ;-)).

    It’s funny about the Natterjacks–they can neither swim nor jump much (what good are they, then?), but they can scare the bejeebers out of their prey by their excruciating croaks, which can be heard for kilometers! Never tell a Natterjack anything–you’ll never hear the end of it! And by the sounds of it, they don’t bath much, either (camel dung?).

    Really cute about the baby owls–lucky you for witnessing that!

  3. way to understand my version. The statue of liberty is holding a torch. Here it is slang when we use “torch” and usually means someone burned down something…like arson. (unless I’m Indiana Jones) Yes our languages are the same and yet we seem to speak a different language as we don’t understand each other…sometimes. ;D

    Your pheasants are too beautiful and colorful to shoot for dinner. (ours are very plain and grey looking)

  4. Aha, torch, that makes sense.

    Maybe you’re looking at the female Pheasant? They are decidedly less attractive than the males – naturally enough! ;)

  5. +40C? Impossible in Polish climate. I have an application which shows accurate data from weather station in W-wa Okęcie, just next to the airport, it was +32 from midday till 6 p.m. You were lucky anyway to commute to work by car. Even when it’s that hot you can turn your aircon on and sit comfortably, provided you keep it in underground car park. (BTW, what are the regulations concerning using the car park by office workers in Skylight?) In my case on Friday car’s thermometer shows no more than +33C and yesterday +31. And today weather is wonderful – sunshine accompanied by comfortable warmth ;)

  6. Of course 40 C is possible.

    The official temperature is measured in shadow. Sun + down town (lots of cars and people and kitchen ovens) is a different story and 40 degrees is not unusual.

  7. Yes, the air-con car looked a better alternative to the sardine-tin sweatbox of tram of metro.

    There’s a lot of parking under the development, most of it available for anyone who wants to pay to use it. Office workers don’t get free parking but as part of the lease they can get a certain number of dedicated parking spaces usually on -3 or -4 level.

    I have a space that’s available (no charge to me) non-stop from Monday morning until 19:00 on Friday. I think it costs the company about 90 EUR a month.

  8. The wife’s car registered 38.5 deg. on her journey home from the office in Wilanów (and that’s on the outskirts of Warsaw for those not in the know) – not nice!!

  9. That clip sounded like something out of a dinosaur movie–scary!

    Yes, torches are used to hold fire, like the Olympic torch. I guess Americans figured there should be a new word for the “thing that brings light” when said thing didn’t involve fire anymore :-).

    What did people do when they were still using fire torches/candles but had a newfangled flashlight available?
    “Please hand me the torch. No, not that one–the new one without the sooty handle. Thank you.”

  10. And now, have a look at the weather of today, Monday. Drizzle all day long, temperature way below 20° C.

  11. Today…drove to work in down pour, then sun comes out as soon as I get inside. Drove home in torential down pour …so stopped to shop. Exit store and the sun is shining again. Currently 25C (77F).

  12. Hey Scatts –

    Any idea what’s going on with the second metro line? I’ve googled for information in English, but haven’t found anything.


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