“Even stones have a love, a love that seeks the ground.”
“Even stones have a love, a love that seeks the ground.”
A common Russian joke told to guests from other countries is that they can meet in Russia bears as well in big towns but with a balalaika around the shoulder and a bottle of vodka in the paw.
All is just fine for my teddy deep in the forest
This human perspective of the bear and nature has in fact nothing to do with the real bear who likes for instance to snack honey or all kinds of berries. In any case the bear still acts all around us as a virulent archetype in our today’s life and language, so in Germany – when telling a complete false story – this is described by the idiomatic phrase “jemandem einen Bären aufbinden” meaning literally to fix a bear on somebody’s back.
‘Meister Petz und Reineke Fuchs’, 1752, by Allart van Everdingen
(Illustration in Johann Christoph Gottscheds’ animal epos ‘Reineke der Fuchs’)
During the Bronze Age people in Europe adored the bear for his power and strength, but besides believed in him also as a great healer because it was said that during the time of the annual winter dormancy the bears would simply disappear to the other unseen world of myths, spirits, gods and dreams. However, the common picture of the bear is a bit ambivalent because he was also regarded as a threat for farmed animals although being in reality a vegetarian most of the year. In the last 200 years the common view on the bear has changed a lot, because he hence became an important player in fables and epic works where he would represent either just a clumsy fellow or also quite often the real personalization of a friendly, good-natured, naive companion.
19th century illustration by Gustave Doré
In Northern America the tale of “The woman who married a bear” is widely well known and most probably existing in multiple versions with the diverse tribes and first nations. And in this context and culture bears are more treated like brothers and sisters shared in a common nature. In order to preserve this old but jeopardized relationship they have found GOAL, the tribal coalition to protect the grizzly and their ancestors’ legacy. GOAL is representing 39 tribal nations in total, and you will find more detailed information under the following link:
When I see the news in TV it embarasses me that the true effects of climate change in my country are only seldomky to be seen. Weather reports indicate again nice and dry weather although the lands would just require 2 or 3 weeks of continuous rain. This effectively means that the drought which commenced in April 2018 continues in large areas of Germany. The featured photo above of a lake looks seemingly nice, but something is wrong because the reeds are not standing in water anymore as usual, instead you see a new created sandy beach due to missing rain.
Desertificating bank of Bernsteinsee / Amberlake near Prenden, Brandenburg
Now also ecological borderland – view on German Frankfurt/Oder from Polish Slubice
On the last photo you should see normally the river Oder being the borderline of Germany and Poland here. But instead we just observe a predominant huge sandbank which made the river simply vanishing to nearly nothing optically on this not modified picture. Well, the river is still there behind the sandbank but with much less water than normally. Now, I can imagine why deserts are growing worldwide.
All photos here just actual messengers of the ongoing climate change shot in Eastern-Germany, August 2019.
Now this will be the last feature regarding our Summer holidays in Austria, and after Ulli (who operates this blog) already has shown for instance some tracks left by Ernest Hemingway here in Montafon as well, it is now really time for some flowers and animals to be found in the beautiful Austrian Alps, colourful impressions picked up by me.
Old world swallowtail (Papilio machaon)
Amazing temporary geometry
Ferns in a forest
Bleached sculpture on the trail to Falla
Swiss horses on vacation at Gargellenalpe
Explosion of colours in TschaggunsHill moor with cotton grass (Eriophorum angustifolium)
Fragrant orchid (Gymnadenia conopsea)
High plateau and trail leading from Wiegensee to Verbellaalpe
Fading floral aesthetics
Moss covering a tree and gravestones
Alpine rose (Rhododendron ferrugineum)
Turk’s cap lily (Lilium martagon)
Alpine gentian (Gentiana alpina)
A layer of old snow near Kreuzjoch
Thanks for joining this small excursion through mountains and flora!
By the smoke-ringed rains,
Where a time that never really was,
A tall bird stood
Who came from the forest
Of alder trees
From the winding wood,
Seeking a way of speaking,
Remembering the tales of an ancient day,
Forgetting the present,
Standing still in the wind,
Watching the fish for a moment,
In the sea, leaping
In the sunlit sea,
In the lights that danced,
Hearing the distant call
And the laughter of otters
Who lived in the bay,
In the haunted lagoon,
Among the phantom ships,
With opalescent sails.
But no one is there,
The seas on the shore so gently fall
Where the melodies of the moon
Encircle the stones that arise
Where the fairies
Sang and spun their magic spells
Still the tall bird dwells
By the shore, wading,
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Architect Richard Schultze and the English engineer Henry Gill built the Friedrichshagener waterworks in 1893. It is one of the largest of its kind in Europe and is an exciting testimony to Berlin’s industrial culture. Visitors to the museum will be amazed by its unusual buildings.
Six engine houses of red brick and their turrets are more reminiscent of a monastery than urban facilities. The museum itself is located in a disused part of the system, a former powerhouse amongst several sand filters, outbuildings and tenements.
Its centrepiece is the original machine shop with an accumulation of huge wheels, tubes, boilers and pressure gauges as to be seen on the above photos.
In the year 2019 the actual water supply situation is quite challenging after the heavy and extreme drought in Europe of 2018 which has continued over the winter till now. The ground water levels tend to be very low not only in Eastern-Germany but also in Western-Poland – the same applies for the usually big river Oder at the border of both countries The drought map of Germany hereunder with the many red and/or dark red areas shows very clearly the critical situation and dry path lying actually infront of us.
Drought monitor for Germany from end of June 2019 issued by Helmholtz Institute
Sunshine all the time makes a desert. (Arabic proverb)
Since mid of April 2018 a real wave of heat has struck wide parts of Europe leading to a real drought. It is obvious that the climate change is something real happening just now and here, and landscapes may change then very quickly their general appearance without water and rain.
A meadow then turns out to be a steppe within some weeks, and the rapidness of such a development is quite astonishing.The legacies of the last Ice Age are still to be found everywhere in form of erratics, lakes or glacial valleys, but now other objects come into the common focus insistingly.
P.S. Text and all photos are from July 2018, nearly the same procedure happening just now in 2019.