animals, bird, nature, photography, review, wildlife

Throwback Thursday: great spotted woodpecker

great spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopos major) / Buntspecht

An image taken last year in fall. Although this kind of woodpecker is searching for insects by pecking trees, he tried to find insects like i.e. the European green woodpecker (Picus viridis) by pecking the earth. The European green woodpecker is usually searching for ants. Therefore you can find them usually on the ground, where they are well camouflaged.

Take care!

 

history, landscape, nature, photo-of-the-day, review, seasons, travel, world

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 181: “Double Dipping”

This week Tina challenges us to show some work out of our own page. hmmm, I usually don’t participate in other challenges than LAPC. So, I don’t have something to say today and I was considering skipping this week. But, I have two other pages for you:

  1. Monochromia: when you’re a lover of monochrome images, this site is for you! You can find images published at least twice a day from many very talented photographers around the world working in different fields of photography. I’m a regular contributor over there. My slot is Friday 13:00h/1 p.m. New York time. But, I’m always reblogging it here, too.
    Here’s one of my last images, I published over there:
  2. The other one is my other, my personal, Blog. Currently, I’m running a poll to find the images for my next calendar. You’re invited to participate. Simply jump over and vote for your favorite images. The instructions are on top of the page in German first and in English below. It’s completely anonymous. I’d be very happy to get a lot of participants.

 

Take care!

 

animals, bird, nature, photography, review, wildlife

Throwback Thursday: orxy antelope

oryx antelope

Although they seem very intense colored with the strong and distinct bars on their face, body, and legs, when looking at them directly, they vanish easily in their surroundings in the Kalahari desert and where else you spot them in Namibia. Regardless if the landscape is gray or reddish, they merge with the background. It’s really fascinating.

The first image was taken at 8:45 a.m. The second at 6:30 a.m. and the third at 8:40 a.m.

The last one is taken at 11 a.m. Do you find the second oryx in the image?

As usual, click on an image to enlarge it.

Take care!

 

history, landscape, nature, photo-of-the-day, review, seasons, travel, world

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 180: “2021 – a review in images”

Today we have the first day of a new year. I often compare this day with a blank sheet of paper laying in front of me waiting to get written on. But, it’s also the perfect day to look back on the just past year and remember. So, this is kind of a follow-up to my yesterday’s post.

A week ago, I wrote about my yearbook. It’s also a book of memories (photographically). So, for today’s post, I’m just digging a bit more into the image folder to find the absolute essence of 2021.

Winter:

In early January we got a little snow for 3 days and in February ice rain and on top a quite solid layer of snow for about 2 weeks. A few crisp and clear nights gave me the opportunity to go out for photographing the night sky and some deep-sky objects.

 

Spring:

Spring started as usual, but too cold. The bluebells were not ready to get photographed, but the tulip fields were great again. Unfortunately, late snow destroyed many blossoms. So, fewer fruits grew on the trees.

Summer:

While June started great, by mid-June the weather turned. Gray skies and a lot of rain. The worst day was July 14th when huge amounts of rain fell over a very small band of land devasting the areas. Small creeks and rivers got soo much water, that they were overflooding the streets, railways, and towns besides them. Meters of water was standing in the streets. Up to now, the damages are not removed. Many people still have no heating in their houses in those areas. Many people lost everything except their lives while others were not so lucky because those also lost their lives.

Because of the bad weather, I didn’t go on excursions over the summer.

Fall:

Because of the weather, I didn’t go on any excursions during the fall, except using the first opportunity to see the cathedral in Cologne without any scaffold. The whole summer and most of the fall the weather was quite bad. Only a few hours of sunshine but even these days were cold. So, the Namibia trip from the second half of November dominates this section.

During December, I was busy developing my images from Namibia. So, there’s nothing to add.

You can find the corresponding posts published by our hosts here: Tina, Patti, Ann-Christine, and Amy

Take care!

culture, nature, photo-of-the-day, photography, review, seasons

Happy New Year

When standing on the beach and watching the waves rolling in you can every now and then find things. In the surf, you can find stones, shells, algae or other sea plants, and even human waste. At the same time, the surf washes away footprints or any other mark in the sand. Heavier waves are able to form the beach and even the coastline anew. This happens usually during the winter storms.

Tomorrow, a new year is starting. A new year comes to us just like the waves on the ocean. Some waves are small, others are bigger and some even might be shaking the foundations of life. You won’t know in advance what the year will bring to your life. You also won’t know in advance, what it will take from you. But, you have to take it and you have to cope with the changes.

The last year and the year before were such life-changing times. While 2020 had severe menaces for our health, we looked a bit more positive on 2021 by the end of last year, because several vaccinations were already available. Now, that another year passed by, we see more and more people getting tired of the restrictions we’re still faced with each day. Although vacations are the easiest and least intrusive treatments, too many people are still denying the existence of the virus, or the power of the impact of the infection (i.e. long-covid and post-covid-syndromes) besides the possible life-threatening outcome of an infection.

I got my vacation in summer and the booster two weeks ago. Up to now, I didn’t get infected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus and I’m willing to do anything to keep this status for the future.

But, in the meantime, it’s much more than not going to a theater, cinema, restaurant, or any other public event. It also changed the relationship and habits between humans. Distance (not only looking at the space between individual human beings), no hugging, no kissing, not meeting friends and family, wearing masks. All this helps cool down relationships. Our societies are changing. Our habits are changing. But, is suffering in an ER or laying in a cemetery a nice and desirable alternative? Centuries ago, people were suffering from pests, pox, and other diseases which are not relevant anymore because scientists were able to find vaccinations and treatments to extinct them. Now it’s our task to cope with Covid and defeat this virus and its mutations. We already reached a very good state. Let’s motivate the hesitating ones to help for the final victory so that we can start gaining our lives back completely. The longer it lasts, the harder it will be to come back to ‘normal’. But, going back to ‘normal’ too early is too dangerous for mankind. This virus has the potential to dramatically reduce the world population because it does not make any differences between people.

Nevertheless, I wish you a happy new year, and may a gentle warm wind strengthen your back and dry up the tears remaining from the past year.

 

Take care!

nature, photography, review

Throwback Thursday: 2021

Last week, I got my yearbook: 60 pages with the best images from 2021. Best means, most important, most touching, or simply special. The 4 images on the cover page are:

  1. Astro: Orion nebula in January representing winter
  2. Wildlife: a European bee-eater in flight in June representing spring
  3. Astro: a partial solar eclipse also in June representing summer
  4. Nature/Landscape: a sunset in Sossusvlei in Namibia in November representing fall

From a nature photographer’s perspective, this year wasn’t a good one, although we had about 2 weeks of real winter with a dense layer of snow covering the landscape. Most of the time, restrictions because of wave 3 were in place. So, I went out alone most of the time.

In April winter came back and brought us snow again. Many blossoms didn’t survive. As a result, in the fall we didn’t get the same amount of fruits as usual. In mid-July, a severe rain front devasted some regions. People lost railroads, streets, bridges, houses, and even lives because of enormous over flooding. There are still a lot of problems in the affected regions. Even all of the houses aren’t reconstructed up to now.

Since mid-June, the sky was gray and rainy. Overall, the weather was more fallish, than summerly. And having the ongoing pandemic in my mind, the situation wasn’t encouraging and motivation to go out with the camera.

Starting from September, the 4th wave of Covid began spreading out. The trip to Namibia, planned for November, became endangered again: would it be possible to travel? Will all the booked planes operate? Which regulations do we have to follow to enter Namibia (a negative PCR test max 7 days old was enough)? Which regulations in Namibia (everything fine)?

Unexpectedly (only one day in advance and we were aware of it only from the news on the internet, not by the airline), we had to do another PCR test on our last day in Namibia to get permission to fly back home (done – thanks to the help of the owner of our last stay in Windhoek). And in addition, 14 days of quarantine had to be followed with another PCR test on the last day of quarantine. So, nothing too complicated. But, it was frustrating and annoying.

Thanks, God, I’m still not infected and I’m set free from the quarantine. So, I’m looking forward to the upcoming holidays and I’m able to celebrate with all my family members. All of us are vaccinated twice and boostered. In addition, a self-test is a voluntary obligation.

 

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Take care!

 

landscape, nature, photo-of-the-day, photography, spring, travel, world

Travel Tuesday: Talisker Bay

 

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To find certain images in your archive more easily, I’m recommending Excire Foto, an AI-driven photo indexing and tagging software with an intuitive user interface for finding a certain image in your archive. You can download a test version (fully functional for 2 weeks) for free and test it with your own archive.

From Dec. 15th – Dec. 31st you can save 25% when using the code “CHRISTMAS-24” during check-out!

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Take care!

 

landscape, nature, photo-of-the-day, travel, world

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 179: “serene”

Thank you, Patti, for this week’s theme for The Lens-Artists Photo Challenge “serene” and call it the opposite of the busy time we usually have before Christmas. In my case, 13 birthdays during December are coming on top, not counting the Advent and Christmas festivities for groups like colleges, buddies, neighbors, and so on from kindergarten, school, work, church, … you name it. I just returned from my son’s birthday party.

Next, I had a lookup in the dictionary for meaning and synonyms.

Now, I’m ready for my tiny collection: take a cup of tea or coffee or a glass of water, lean back, close your eyes, and imaging the most beautiful place you have been in your life or the place of your dreams.

Seychelles – the place of my dreams. This dream came true in 2010

 

What a sunset! That night in June 2014, the sky was burning in Iceland!

 

This sunset was not that far away from home: Belgium in fall 2014

 

And I’m closing with these images from Namibia last month.

 

 

As usual, by clicking on the images you can increase them.

Take care!