animals, bird, landscape, nature, photography, seasons, travel, wildlife, world

Travel Tuesday: ruddy turnstone

 

ruddy turnstone (Arenaria interpres) / Steinwälzer

The ruddy turnstone is a small wading bird. Here we have one in its winter habit or non-breeding plumage. They are running restless along the shore during the surf to find some food.

Take care!

 

art, landscape, nature, photography, travel, world

Monochrome Madness 4-48

This is my contribution to Monochrome Madness organized by Leanne Cole. Look at here site on Thursday (Australian time), to see many more monochrome images created by many other talented photographers from all over the world.

I’d also encourage you to participate. The conditions are  published in each of her Monochrome Madness posts.

Take care!

culture, people

Earth Hour 2018

Switch off unnecessary power consumption. It saves you money, but more important, that amount of power you don’t use, does not have to be produced!

Also, look up the power consumption of your big devices, like fridge, freezer or oven. Often, it’s a good decision, to buy a new device that can do the same as the old one but, with the consumption of less electrical power. Sometimes, the amount of money comes back to you in only a few years of usage because of the saved amount of electrical power. Keep in mind, the price of electrical power increases every year. So, the amount of money also increases every year.

Less consumption of electrical leads to a lower number of needed power plants. Coal plants have an environmental impact by polluting the air. Nuclear power plants are an enormous high risk for the environment and the people. Just in case, an accident takes place, the environment is polluted for decades, if not centuries. I’d like to remind you to the accidents in Fukushima, Japan in 2011 (March, 11th) and Chernobyl, Russia in 1986 (April, 26th).

Take care!

art, culture, landscape, nature, photography, review, seasons, travel, world

Throwback Thursday: Carnival Season

Here in my area we have two of the German carnival capitols: Cologne and Duesseldorf. Carnival festivities take place in the public as well as in many indoor locations. Carnival season starts on November 11th and lasts until Ash Wednesday (the exact date differs each year, because carnival depends on Easter. On that day the Lenten season starts for 40 days ’til Easter)

How are these festivities related? The bible tells us the background.

Easter = resurrection = Jesus Christ rose from his grave
Good Friday = Jesus was nailed on the cross, died and was buried

This festivity is the most important celebration in Christian believes.

Because of Jesus himself lentened for 40 days to strengthen his own belief, there is a 40 day Lenten period.

The word ‘carnival’ has it’s origin in Latin: carne = meat + val = without. It marks the beginning of the 40 day Lenten period.

In medieval times, people started to celebrate before the Lenten period started and to use up nearly all of the food remaining from last year. So, these supplies were used for big festivities (also celebrating the end of the winter). During these days, the established hirachy were turned upside down: the fool became mayor and everyone masqueraded. For one of the days, the Thursday I mentioned in the first paragraph, even became power: they were allowed to reign for 1 day (Altweiber / Weiberfastnacht). All of these isn’t meant serious, but foolish, because everything is turned upside down.

The magic number of carnival is the 11, because you can turn it upside down and it’s still the same.

Over the centuries, carnival starts now on November 11th at 11:11. On that date, the indoor festivities start. These are meetings with a president, a meeting committee and lots of speeches (all funny but usually political). This type of carnival was a foolish reaction to the strict government by the Pruss and Napoleons France. The participants wear costumes inspired by official uniforms of that times soldiers, but with a funny skirt or flouncy sleeves. They also play special music. Often played by marching bands looking like they were kidnapped from the 17th century. Simple melodies and very foolish lyrics (easy to remember, even when drunk).

Starting from Altweiber, the carnival festivities encroach to the streets. Carnival music floods the streets and the radio stations. Carnival meetings are broadcasted by some TV stations. While you won’t remark all of this during winter, is nearly impossible to ignore it during the last week before Rosenmontag (Carnival Monday).

Not everyone likes this!
One of my friends works in the middle of Cologne. Even during the days marking the summit of the carnival festivities (Thursday to Tuesday), when the silly music with their haunting melodies creating earworms to eat up the remains of your mind. Most of the businesses in areas with such a long tradition of celebrating carnival that intense, are closed for these days, because no customer would come, the employees won’t be usable (too tired and drunk) and drunk people probably would trash the unsecured rooms.

His company does not close, because they have also to support customers in areas, where carnival isn’t a topic at all. So, he goes on vacation. Some other friends of us, also working in similar areas, where they don’t have to work. My company office at that time was located in Duesseldorf, but a bit out of the center. So, I left the office always early to avoid encountering with drunk people.

Because all of this, he got the idea, to use these days for a short trip and our annual carnival escape was born.

Over the years we usually visited a famous city in the south, but also Berlin and London. Not everyone was able to take part in every trip. So you won’t find all of them here.

This time was different. Despite we were traveling south, we didn’t the reach the warmer mediterranean countries. Instead, we stopped in the Bavarian Alps for a hot-air balloon flight.

Take care!

animals, landscape, mammal, nature, photography, seasons, travel, wildlife, world

Travel Tuesday: common seal

 

In the past, I’ve shown you some images of grey seals. Today, I have a common seal for you.

Common seals are smaller than grey seals. Males are approximately 170 cm, females 140 cm and weight 150 respectively 100 kg).

While grey seals are curious and sociably, common seal are shy and solitary. Grey seals are laying in groups together, while common seals keep a distance of 2 or 3 meters to each other, whenever possible. They are stressed when a sand bench is too full.

Gray seals get their babies during winter and they don’t cry when left alone by their mother for hunting. Common seals instead, get their babies in summer and these are the ones, called howler (abandoned seal pup).

While grey seals choose beaches for resting, common seals prefer sand benches for resting. But, sand benches are usually only usable during low tide. At high tide, the sand benches are usually under water. Other then grey seals, common seal babies are born with the ability to swim. Birth size and weight are 85 cm and 10 kg. So, that’s not a problem to react to high tide. They are fed by their mother for about 5 weeks and than left alone.

Take care!

 

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

Monochrome Madness 4-47

Here we are in Bavaria. Mid February I was in Allgäu with a few friends for our annual carnival escape. This time, we didn’t choose a warm region. Instead, our destination was the Allgäu, a region in the Bavarian Alps. I don’t want to tell much about that trip now. But, here I have one of the images taken there.

We’ve had surprisingly little snow. But, most of the time there were low standing, thick clouds.

This is my contribution to Monochrome Madness organized by Leanne Cole. Look at here site on Thursday (Australian time), to see many more monochrome images created by many other talented photographers from all over the world.

I’d also encourage you to participate. The conditions are  published in each of her Monochrome Madness posts.

Take care!

landscape, long exposure, nature, photography, travel, world

Throwback Thursday: World of Wonders

 

Two years ago at this time, I was in northern Norway hunting the Aurora Borealis.

Standing at night outside in the cold looking in the starry sky. Admiring the countless bright spots on the dark surface. Than, slowly but sometimes all of a sudden, like someone has switched it on, it appears: the Aurora.

Bright, mostly green, light dances in front of the stars. It turns the scene in a mysterious ambience. Even the white snow turns greenish. What an experience. Sometimes it lasts only for a couple of quarters of an hour, sometimes it lasts nearly the whole night.

Sometimes it feels, like a painter has painted an abstract piece of art on the dark surface, while sometimes the changing rate of the light structures is enormously hight and builds new structures every few seconds. Sometimes it looks like the painting of light stands still in one place, and sometimes it moves rashly over the sky. Sometimes it looks like curtains and the next time you can see columns. Amazing!

Take care!

animals, nature, photography, seasons, travel, wildlife, world

Travel Tuesday: adolescent seal

This young grey seal isn’t a baby anymore. Compare the image with the one I posted last week. Although, it still has its baby fat, it already has changed fur and is ready to start to live alone. Since the mother left the baby at an age of 3 or 4 weeks, it is alone. Someday, when hunger comes, it is ready to go in the sea and start to learn hunting fish. Pay attention to the teeth: it’s a predator!

Take care!