architecture, art, cityscape, culture, landscape, leisure, night, people, photo-of-the-day, star, street, urbex, work, world

Throwback Thursday: Rear Window

Today’s subject is inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s famous movie as I kind of felt like the main actor of the story (played by James Stewart) might have felt. No, I’m not sitting in a wheel-chair, nor I’m handicapped otherwise. But, the remaining parts have some similarities.

Last Sunday morning I was attending a personal video conference from our living room. I was sitting on the couch with my notebook standing on the coffee table in front of me. So, I was able to easily watch out of the big window when I suddenly recognized a movement in the garden. That day was already winterly: cold (around 3-4¬įC), a gray covered sky and it was drizzling. Very uncomfortable being outside. Fortunately, I was sitting inside.

I tried to discover, what kind of movement I recognized from the corner of my eye. It was different from the regular bird’s movements. About 20 meters away from me I saw a gray subject laying on the lawn. But, I was still unable to determine what it was. After staring a couple of seconds on the subject, I got the idea, it could be a bird of prey with its prey after a successful hunt which it now covers with its wings to hide it from greedy competitors. Hurring upstairs for getting my camera, but I was too slow. The gray patch was already gone when I returned.

But, after a couple of minutes, it flew into our apple tree for a short rest. This time my camera was ready.

sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus) / Sperber

Here he sits, still having the prey in the left claw. I’m not perfectly sure, what it is (was). I guess it could be an Eurasian blackbird.

Btw. the German name “Sperber” is derived from the Old High German words Sparo (sparrow) and Aar (eagle). So, we have a sparrow-eagle ūüėä

Btw2. The German title of the movie is “Das Fenster zum Hof” and translates to “The window to the courtyard”, which is in my opinion a better description for the movie. But, as it is Alfred’s creation he has the right to name it whatever he thinks is right.

Take care!

animals, culture, landscape, meeting, nature, photo-of-the-day, photography, travel, work, world

Travel Tuesday: strange encounter

After a short time, we were used to seeing sheep often on the streets in rural Scotland or laying beside the street. But, this encounter was really strange: a few cows were walking slowly along the street without any human being.

Take care!

 

abstract, culture, leisure, photography, work, world

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #76 ‚Äď on display

It’s time for Lens-Artists photo challenge. This week’s challenge is “on display” by Amy.

During the pre-Christmas time, all shop-owners want to sell as much as possible to make some profit. Thus, they decorate their goods in the windows of their shops as well as in the inside. Additionally, they try to attract possible customers with special (so-called rebates) discounts. But, they simply try to sell as much as possible.

When looking in my archive for a good image, I first scanned the folders containing images taken on different markets in France and Barcelona. But, I ended with this image taken in the Galeries LaFayette in Paris a few years ago. It’s taken in the basement in the perfumery department for ladies. These flacons contain a kind of fragrance. I liked the kind they were decorated.

Take care!

culture, landscape, work, world

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #69: Seeing double

This week it’s Tina‘s turn and she asked for doubles.

Here I have 2 common cranes about to land. I took this image 3 weeks ago.

It’s fall and the cranes are coming together after the first part of their trip south. Thousands of them meet in this region near the baltic sea to feed themselves and prepare for the second part of the fall migration to the south of France and southern Spain where they stay during winter.

This is probably a couple. Cranes live in a lifelong partnership. Despite this fact, they have specific courtship behavior: a courtship dance. While there is no specific difference in the appearance, you can’t decide well between males and females. You can only distinguish between males and females when they stand near each other: the female is slightly smaller.

Take care!

culture, landscape, work, world

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #68: Layers

Long-time followers know, I used to big a big fan of the weekly photo challenges run by the WordPress team each Friday. Unfortunately, the series stopped some time ago. Now, I stumbled upon a post telling me, 4 ladies also missed the challenges and created a follow-up. Round robin, they challenge their followers with a topic. This week Amy, one of the 4 ladies, demands us to show “layers”.

As a first time contributor to this challenge, I’m not perfectly sure, how it works. But, I try to find out.

My image is taken a few years ago at a huge environmental sin here in Germany: open brown coal mining pits.

You can see one kind of the huge machines used at an open brown coal mining pit for digging for brown coal. The machines in the image are so-called stacker. They are at the end of the digging process. The huge diggers standing on a layer and shave the soil with their rotating shovels from the side. The brown coal isn’t that deep in the ground. So, it’s possible to dig for the coal in an open pit instead of digging tunnels deep in the ground. But, it spreads to the sides and the hole in the ground becomes wider and wider. The brown coal isn’t as solid as the stone coal. It’s not pressed that much and contains more moisture. So, it’s much heavier. That’s the reason for not to transport it to the power plants. Instead, the power plants are right beside the pit. Flat conveyors bring the brown coal to the power plants and the useless soil to the stackers.

In the image, you can see 2 stackers in the foreground on 2 different layers and 2 more in the background.

Here you can see an overview image taken with a fisheye lens and some more background information. In this post, you can see some more images taken at daytime. It also contains some of the diggers.

Thanks to the many environmentalists, this will finally come to an end. Unfortunately, the damage will last a few additional years until these mines finally are closed and the renaturation process can be started.

Take care!

culture, landscape, nature, photography, seasons, wildlife, work, world

Throwback Thursday: the vanishing of animals

Earlier this week, I noticed a report created by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) stating the massive decrease of vertebrates on earth. Rhinos, tigers, elephants, leopards and many species more: all of them are in danger of getting extinct. The number of all living vertebrates is reduced during the last decades. Between 1970  and 2014 the number of wild living vertebrates shrunk by 60% caused by human activities. The reasons are primarily agriculture, mining and city enlargement.

To make the situation even worse, China allowed more trading with i.e. rhino-horns and tiger bones.

In the past, I also wrote about the vanishing of insects and birds.

There’s a statement assumed to be said by a North American Indian once to the President of the United States of America: ‚ÄúIt is only when the white man has destroyed the whole forest, when it has killed all fish and all animals and that all rivers have dried up that he will realize that nobody can eat money. ”

In my opinion, we’re right on the highway to destroy ultimately our own basis of living and nutrition. Despite, many people are warning with loud voices for decades, those in leading positions, in politics as well as in production industries, are increasing the speed of destruction.

See, what’s left

This image is taken back in 2010 here in Germany, not far away from my home. It’s a coal mine. The image is taken by using a fish-eye lens to show the enormous hole in the surface of our planet. It’s nearly 31¬†km¬≤ and up to 250m deep. Huge machines are inside the hole and digging for coal. Therefore, ground-water must be pumped away in huge parts of Western Germany, Belgium and The Netherlands. Water, coming in contact with the coal, is¬†polluted and contaminated. The water-pumping for lowering the ground-water level is a so-called “Ewigkeits-Aufgabe” (= eternal obligation).¬†A few more images you can find here.

We’re acting like having a second planet to live on and to feed us in the luggage trunk. And, we’re trying to find intelligent life outside of our planet in space, although we didn’t have searched for intelligent life among the humans here on earth. The leaders of the world acting like being insane. Everyone is seeing the results of climatic changes, global warming and they do nothing against it. Researchers even found, big carnivores like wolves have an impact on landscape development and thus indirectly on climatic changes. But instead, the carnivores are hunted and killed wherever they are. The whole planet is balanced. Everything is dependent from many other things. No animal or plant is useless. Everything has a reason and is a necessity in the complex web of living. Up to now, there are still a huge number of white pages in the book of life.

Don’t get me wrong. I like technical research and I like space-flights very much. But, I want every single human to keep the nature in perfect shape and fully equipped with all natural beings (i.e. plants and animals) and live side-by-side without harming or bothering each other. Support those, who are working hard to reconstruct and repair the demolitions caused by humans (us, our parents or our ancestors).

Or, think of the plastic problem in the nature. Especially the oceans are plastic collecting areas. Many kinds pf plastic need more than 100 years to decay. In the meantime, the parts become smaller and smaller. While bigger parts of plastic can kill animals, the smaller parts are eaten. So, their stomach is full, but the die of starvation, because there is no nutritive substance in the plastic. Because of, these plastics remain in them, some substances can be absorbed and come back to our tables as a part of our food. Even fruits and vegetables can bring micro-plastic on our plates. That’s how we’re poisoning ourselves.

Take care!