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

Travel Tuesday: inside Fairy Glen



Fairy glen has more than one funny-shaped hill. The tradition says it’s built by the little folk also known as elves living in this glen (valley). On the other hand, geologists say, it’s created by glaciers. Decide your own, which explanation you take. Either way, enjoy the beauty of the valley and respect nature.

Leave nothing but footprints (without harming plants) and take nothing but photos and memories!

Take care!

 

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

Travel Tuesday: welcome to the Fairy Glen


This is Castle Ewen. Not a real castle or ruins of a former man-made building. Instead, it’s a rock. But, shaped like a tower of a castle.

The tradition says it’s built by the little folk also known as elves living in this glen (valley). On the other hand, geologists say, it’s created by glaciers. Decide your own, which explanation you take. Either way, enjoy the beauty of the valley and respect nature.

Leave nothing but footprints (without harming plants) and take nothing but photos and memories!

Take care!

 

culture, nature, review, travel, world

Throwback Thursday: The flooding in July 2021 in Western Germany

Currently, Europe is parted into two. A line is drawn from north to south from Finland to Italy. While the regions east of the line are ruled by heat, the western half is suffering from cold.

Hot air can carry more moisture than cold air. So, the moisture comes down as rain in the area where both air masses are meeting. In addition, the high-pressure area and the low-pressure area are very stable and don’t move. Instead, the rain comes down over and over again for days in nearly the same place: in western North-Rhine Westphalia and north-west Rhineland-Palatinate, two German states near the borders to Belgium and the southern Netherlands.

After a nice start into summer end of May, the weather changed by early June. It became colder and the rain began to fall. End of June, the first extreme rain appeared here in the region. A friend of mine reported an overflooded underground car park in his newly built apartment building. Fortunately, they were able to save all cars ahead of the flooding.

Because of the constant and sometimes havier rainfalls, the lakes, rivers, and creeks were already full and the ground was already saturated with water.

Tuesday last week, the weather forecast announced another heavy rain field. For about 120-150 km long and 30-50 km wide. You can see the size in the left map below. Btw. I’m located right in the middle of the pink area. Find Düsseldorf, our state capitol, and take the letter ‘o’. Now, move up and see the horseshoe-like bend of the river Ruhr. I’m near the right side inside the area. The color indicates the amount of rain in mm per 24 hours. Up to 200 liters of water were have been falling per square meter, but no-one said to the people move their valuable belongings to higher places or even leave the area completely. The situation was recognized early enough to warn. Warnings were even sent out, but the people didn’t understand the warnings.

You can find these maps, created by Deutscher Wetter Dienst (DWD), in their official Twitter account. DWD is the official German Meteorological Service.

The next images are not mine. I got them via Facebook. It’s a city quarter of a neighboring town. This place is only about 15 km east of us as the bird flies after only a few hours of rain. The stones are the result of a landslide. It looks bad, but other areas west of us were hit even harder. You can find an article on Wikipedia with a couple of images and containing also descriptions from other affected regions.

The area west of Bonn was hit the hardest. A few smaller towns and city quarters are literally wiped away. Either, because rivers re-conquered stolen land (people built houses in riparian areas or water meadows) or by landslides when the soaked soil slipped down the hillsides. In the town of Erftstadt, we had to watch another phenomenon: in the flat area, the river Erft left the bed and flooded the fields used by farmers to grow food. Unfortunately, the ground wasn’t stable. So, the soil was washed away and left a huge and rising crate, several meters deep. This crate swallowed even complete houses while widening. The only image I found online showing this, is the header photo in this article:

https://www.faz.net/aktuell/gesellschaft/ungluecke/hochwasser-in-erftstadt-dramatische-lage-und-tote-nach-hauseinstuerzen-17440280.html

Among very few hours, creeks with usually one 30cm of water were able to grow up to several meters of water. One river with usually 60cm was reported to grow up 8 meters!!!! Despite this vast amount of water, about 24 hours later nearly all of the water was gone. Only the devastation remained. Many, many people lost everything, including their houses. About 172 are reported up to now even lost their lives here in Germany and 31 in Belgium. While 155 people in Germany are still missed. Yesterday evening the last alarms were deactivated. All the danger points are secured. Fortunately, there was no additional rain. But, many parts in the affected area still don’t have electric power, telephone, water supply, and cellular mobile telephony. Reconstruction works will last months and I guess, some people, having lost everything, will move away.

The railway company announced 600km of railways were destroyed (7 tracks) and 80 stations. No-one knows up to now how many streets and motorways are damaged or completely destroys. Not counting the pipes for water and natural gas, the wires for telephony, internet, and electric power, or the animals (wild and farm animals).

The most affected area also includes an important wine-producing area and vacation spots.

The town, where I live, wasn’t affected. First, we don’t have a river or a lake (not in town nor uphill). Second, The hills are covered with houses. So, the soil couldn’t slip away. Third, some years ago, our city government enlarged the canalization system. Luckily, it was big enough to cope with all the additional water.

I didn’t write anything about Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxemburg, and France. I’m not ignoring them. The reason is, our news didn’t broadcast much about their suffering from the flooding. So, I simply don’t know enough to write about. I only know, the Belgium area bordering the hardest hit German area was also hit very hard. I suspect the people are facing the same problems as they do here.

This last weekend. Germany was hit again: in Bavaria and Saxonia further floodings happened with similar effects as I already described.

I’m so glad for not being affected and feel very sorry for all the affected people wherever they lived. Although this isn’t the first flooding in Germany, it’s IMHO the biggest and the first (?) one in our state. I assume it won’t be the last one.

I just got the forecast for the next thunderstorm to be arriving this weekend, which is expected to hit the already pained region again. 😭

Take care!

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

Travel Tuesday: even sheep build roads

You can see horizontal lines at the side of the central hill in the image. These are sheep roads. Sheep like it easy and they find the easiest way to climb a hill. Over time, these small roads appear, where sheep regularly roam.

When hiking in an area where sheep roam freely, like in Iceland or Scotland, and you want to go up- or downhill, look out for these sheep roads and follow them. Sheep have found the easiest way to walk uphill or downhill because they are kind of lazy. So, they try to avoid unnecessary efforts. In this image, all the roads are in horizontal directions, but you can also find them leading up and down.

Take care!

 

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

Travel Tuesday: even sheep build roads

You can see horizontal lines at the side of the central hill in the image. These are sheep roads. Sheep like it easy and they find the easiest way to climb a hill. Over time, these small roads appear, where sheep regularly roam.

When hiking in an area where sheep roam freely, like in Iceland or Scotland, and you want to go up- or downhill, look out for these sheep roads and follow them. Sheep have found the easiest way to walk uphill or downhill because they are kind of lazy. So, they try to avoid unnecessary efforts. In this image all the roads are in horizontal directions, but you can also find them leading up and down.

Take care!

 

landscape, nature, photography, travel, world

Who bit in the cookie or is it Pacman?

No, it’s Solar eclipse 2021 in the middle of Germany!

This time with good weather and perfect sight, compared to 2015 or 1999. Unfortunately, it’s only a partial eclipse like in 2015.

My first solar eclipse was in 1999 when the moon covered the whole sun and only left a small bright ring. It took place in August, but the weather conditions were not good. But, it was still impressive. It became noticeable colder and darker and birds stopped singing.

This time, we only had a small coverage as you can see in the image. It’s taken at the moment when the eclipse was at its maximum. Thus, the effects were not noticeable. Without a special solar filter, this eclipse was not noticeable at all.

Btw. I’m currently running a raffle. You can win a license of Excire Foto. Check it out!

Take care!