photography

WPC: Vibrant

This week’s topic for the weekly photo challenge by “The Daily Post” is “Vibrant”

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(as usual, you can see the photo enlarged, when clicking in it)

Here we have a gray, wet and cold January. What a difference to this vibrant green emerald hummingbird.

Take care have a great weekend!

(as usual, you can see the photo enlarged, when clicking in it)

art, culture, history, landscape, nature, photography, travel, world

Visiting a wood workshop

 

610_7803_wIn many places you can see displays standing in the streets giving direction to the workshops of craftsmen and artisans working with olive wood.

They are producing a great variety of products from the olive wood: i.e. bowls, honey spoons, salat servers, barbecue tongs, plates and many more things for the kitchen. You can also buy some toys or a chess game. Or, even some thinks for decorating your house.

The final parts are polished and oiled with olive oil. You have to apply some oil every now and then, when the wood becomes gray and blunt.

Stay tuned!

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animals, bird, mammal, photography, seasons, travel, world

I’m back …

610_5995-e_w… from another re-visit: I was on Helgoland again.

I met with some friends on Helgoland and so I don’t edited many photos up to now. Nevertheless, I assembled a gallery of images for you. 🙂 It’s attached at the end of this post, as usual.

You know, during winter the gray seals get their babies – right in the winter here in the northern hemisphere. And we went, to see the babies 🙂

Unfortunately, the baby season was short this winter: nearly all of the seals gave birth during November and December 😦 Thus, they already left their babies alone, because they don’t need mother-milk anymore. So, we found several groups of adult seals and groups of growing children resting on the beaches. That’s not, what we expected to see, although they have had a very hight rate of new-born seals this winter: over 300 new-born gray seals in one season!

Luckily, we were able to watch two late nativities last week: #315 arrived on Wednesday and #316 on Thursday. A new record!

Here on Helgoland we have many free-living gray seals. They are the biggest free-living predator in Germany. An adult weights about 300 kg (> 660 pounds). They are here at home and allow us, to visit them. No fences between them and us and no fence to keep them from running away. They come and go following their own decision. As long as we behave properly, they will stay and don’t harm anyone.

But, there is much more to see. We were able to watch lots of guillemot in the cliffs of the main island (Helgoland has a small side-island called Düne, where you can find the seals) and even some northern gannets. Wow! They came very, very early to their breeding place this year. Helgoland is well-known for being an important breeding place of the guillemots.

Although, it’s winter now, we have had fantastic weather for taking photographs. Only one day with snow and hail storms, while the other days were sunny, but cold. Temperatures below 0°C, and a moisture of nearly 100%. Thus, it felt way colder, than it really was. Nevertheless, we were outside all day, despite the weather. But, we have had fantastic natural light – for the seals and much more for the birds. It will last a few weeks for choosing and editing these fantastic photographs.

Just in case, anyone of you is interested in attending a seal photographing workshop during next winter, drop me a line. I’m considering to offer a 2 or 3 day workshop for a max of 5 participants (minimum 3). You’ll be faced to a fantastic island with high cliffs and soft beaches, fresh air without traffic pollution (only electric cars are allowed on Helgoland), friendly people and the really amazing animals.

Helgoland and Düne are parted by water, crossed by a ferry several times a day. Once, both islands were Helgoland. The people from Hamburg used Helgoland as a stone pit to build their city from the red sand stone. A very heavy storm broke the small remain between the two parts of Helgoland and left two islands.

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culture, photography, travel, world

In the Oli Mill

610_8747_wAlthough, my plans were different for today’s post, I bring up the post on the oil mill as it completes my last posts regarding the olive trees.

A simple sign beside the road offered a sightseeing of an oil mill. We stopped our car and accepted. Outside the building in modern industry style, were old mills set up.

In the pre-industry times, the olives were grinded by big round millstones pulled by donkeys. Then the mash came in the next stage. Here it was pressed, to get the oil out of the mash. In the early 20th century a steam machine overtook the donkeys job as well as the mens job at the press.

Today, we have a washing machine first, were the farmers throw in their olives. Next, they are milled and centrifuged by different machines to be filtered before bottling the native oil. The machines are cooled to keep the oil from getting to warm. That’s because the oil looses quality when getting to warm during the production process.The remaining parts from the pit shells are pressed into pellets to be sold for pellet heatings.

At this point, we were shown a documentary to learn, how the olives are collected at harvest time and how the machines produce the oil. Harvest time is in winter, and during summer there is no work to be done in the mill. So, they produced a little documentary for the visitors showing all processes in action. What a great idea.

Before we left the building, we have had to pass a table with some oil cans and were allowed (had to) taste the oil: 2 different pure oils and an oil spiced up with garlic. The idea here: get the tourists to buy some cans 🙂 I expected this. The price was OK, so I bought a can. I like cooking with olive oil, so the can is already empty. What a pity. It tasted way better than the oil available in the grocery stores around.

Stay tuned!

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