photo-of-the-day, photography

Monochrome Monday 9-06

What do you think, about how big that glider is?

Its body is only about 1 meter long. It’s a “toy”. OK, not really, it’s a radio-controlled glider. No one is in the glider and the pilot is standing on the ground with the remote control. Nevertheless, it’s amazing to see how well and fast it could move carried only by the winds.

I took this image also from the top of the dead rock heap, I introduced you to four weeks ago while standing on the edge of the heap. Radio-controlled vehicles (ships, planes, and especially cars) were quite popular when I was at school. One of my classmates was active in a model car club and another one in a ship model club. I’ve even seen radio-controlled airplanes, helicopters, and submarines. But, up to now, I’ve never seen a radio-controlled glider.

Take care!

animals, bird, flowers, landscape, leisure, nature, people, photography, review, seasons, sport, summer, travel, wildlife, world

Throwback Thursday: I’m back …

… from Usedom at the Baltic Sea. OK, I came already back on Saturday from my 2-weeks family vacation. Although it wasn’t a typical family vacation because I was on Usedom with my wife, daughter, and grant-son. That little guy is 5. So this was his first vacation where he was able to notice everything and he liked it a lot. One of his statements was “I like our new home more than our old home”. He didn’t realize, that the vacation home was our home only for our vacation.

Back in 2019, when we were in the Netherlands with him, he was too young to notice such a change. Back in 2018, I was already in Ahlbeck with my wife and we decided to come back with our grant son for his first beach vacation. Unfortunately, this come-back lasted longer than expected because of the SARS2-CoV / Covid19 pandemic.

This time we rented a vacation home near the middle of the town. Ahlbeck is quite small, with only about 3,400 regular citizens but with more than four times the number of guest beds. The apartment, we rented in 2018, was also very lovely, but reaching the beach from there was quite complicated because a huge rehab clinic building barriers the direct way and we had to make a long way around. Reaching the pier also lasted about 20 minutes by foot. You can see the pier in the image above from 2018. We love to walk along the surf in the evening, so we had to pull out the rental bikes first to reach the beach. Very inconvenient. That’s why we decided to get this time an apartment closer to the town and with easier access to the beach. It’s only about 200 meters as the bird flies and about 300 meters walk to reach the waterfront.

Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t perfect beach weather this time. Some drizzling nearly every day for at least some time distributed over the whole day. But, I won’t complain. We had some beach weather, we had cycling weather, we watched the neighboring towns as well as the next town in Poland, which is only about 4 km away. We also rented bikes for our stay and surprisingly the little guy was able to cope with the (quite small) distances on his bike. The longest distance we cycled in one day was 12 km with a couple of pauses. We cycled mostly along the sea on the promenade connecting the 3 neighboring towns grouped under the name Kaiserbäder. They have a lot of bicycle tracks here.

I love the area at the baltic sea for the small villages, the avenues with their chestnut or oak trees, and the forests reaching up to the coast. The sea does not have a noticeable tide (only about 10 cm), the huge beaches with very fine sand, and the flat-bottomed sea which is quite warm and less salty than the other oceans. So, these beaches are very entitled to kids, especially smaller ones.

The term Kaiserbäder (Kaiser = Emporer; bäder = baths) was chosen because these towns were visited by the Emporer of the German Empire back in the 19th century a couple of times. The word Bad (= bath) in a town’s name refers to the idea of being a place for curing and rehab. In the late 19th century, people had already come here to the coast for spending some leisure time, cure, and recuperate. Especially the rich ones and the noble men and women. Even the Emporers were here a couple of times and that’s the reason, why the towns have chosen the name Kaiserbäder to operate under that name. Nowadays, everyone can benefit from the beauty of the coast and retreat from the burdens of daily chores.

For one day (without having a certain date in my mind) it was planned to visit a nature protection area nearby (ok, 1 1/4 hours drive by car) to see White-tailed eagles (very good chance), osprey (maybe – a hope), grey cranes (quite good chance because they are quite common here but very shy), and red kites.

In the end, I saw 2 white-tailed eagles sitting in the trees far-far away and one flying from one side to the other (👍), one osprey (sitting very far away, then flying even further away, but also flying a bit closer to capture him), 5 cranes flying by, 1 stork, 1 crane with a chick in the woods (no photo possible), many grey herons and 3 great white egrets, common terns, lots of different ducks and geese, many swallows, black-headed gulls, cormorants. I’m stopping here to not bore you.

In the meantime, the others were visiting an adventure park in a town nearby very suitable for kids under 12.

For 4 days starting with Ascension Day, the German Masters in Kite-Surfing took place here right next to the pier. I watched the sportswomen and sportsmen for a few hours distributed over several days with my camera. You know, I like to see them “flying” over the water. This was an unexpected event and therefore not planned. But, very welcomed. Even the wind was unexpected those days: some competitions had to be canceled because of too heavy winds.

In the end, this was a family vacation and not a photo trip. Nevertheless, I’m quite happy about the images I was able to capture. The nature protection area has to stay on my list. I have to come again with more time and arrive earlier. Without the overcast sky, I’d have come back with less usable images because the light conditions would have resulted in either overexposed skies or in hopeless underexposed subjects.

As usual, click on an image to enlarge it!

Take care!

photo-of-the-day, photography

Monochrome Monday 9-04 and LAPC 202 “minimalism”

LAPC is hosted this week by Sofia Alves. She introduces us to the concepts of minimalistic and maximalist photography. I’ve picked another image from the sun observatory, I introduced you to, last week. I often use minimalism in my photography because there are no distracting elements. Especially in monochrome, the leading lines are important to preserve harmony.

In this image, you can get an idea of the dimension the sun observatory has. The van is standing right in front of the observatory. A visitors group was brought up here with that van. Here, you can read more about the location.

Take care!

photo-of-the-day, photography

Monochrome Monday 9-02


Three weeks ago, while scouting a location, I saw these kite flyers paragliders. It was amazing to see them bringing their kites up in the air. Although there was not much wind the man in the middle didn’t have any problems bringing his kite up. The lady to the left, instead, struggled a lot. I don’t know anything about kiting, but I like watching them. So, I can’t tell, if it was a lack of physical power, less experienced, or simply bad luck. Apparently, the guy in the middle was waiting for her and while waiting he had to fight hard with his kite and the wind to avoid being lifted up.

The guy to the right came later. He was still preparing everything. Although his kite is already in the air, the kite wasn’t connected to his body. So, he was unable to start. He even didn’t have his security backpack pulled on.

Unfortunately. I wasn’t alone. So, I couldn’t wait long enough to see them in the air.

This plateau is about 100 meters above the ground. It’s a heap built from the dead rock remaining from digging for stone coal in the underground mines for centuries. As the mine is closed since 2001, the area is converted into a park. There’s a path around the heap. This path is about 6.4 kilometers long. The whole park is around 7.5 square kilometers in size and offers a lot to the people.

Although the park was opened to the public in 2011 and has a very interesting sun observatory to visit, I wasn’t there up to now. The main reason was, that the sun observatory was closed again only shortly after the opening because of construction problems. In a documentary I watched the week before the visit, I noticed a demonstration of a part of that observatory: the point for observing the solstice. Apparently, the film team got access to the closed area for that sequence or it was taken from their archive. What a pity. Next week, I showing you the observatory.

Take care!

animals, bird, photography, seasons, summer, wildlife, world

Throwback Thursday: remembering last summer

European bee-eater (Merops apiaster) / Bienenfresser

 

These beautiful birds are coming quite late to middle Europe for growing their offspring. Early June is still mating time and by the end of August, they are already away to the south. They depend completely on the availability of big flying insects like bees, bumblebees, wasps, hornets, or dragonflies. Although they are native to Europe, they are quite new in more northern parts of i.e. Germany. They benefit from the warmer summers. Following the river the Danube in western direction from Romania to the Kaiserstuhl area in the south-western state of Baden-Würtemberg and then along the river Rhine to the north. For a couple of years, a tiny population is known west of Düsseldorf and another one near Porta-Westfalica next to the river Weser. A third well-known bigger population resides in the middle German state of Saxony-Anhalt.

Besides big flying insects, they need open steep slopes consisting of clay to dig their brood cavity. Such a brood cavity is usually 1-1,50 meters long and can be up to 2 meters long with a diameter of 5-7 cm. Suitable slopes can be found in some parts of some rivers or in man-made gravel pits. Surprisingly, the machines seem not to disturb the birds as long as no human shows up and enough insects are around. In addition, the slope must be big enough to offer space for more than one couple, because they live in (huge) colonies.

In Germany, bee-eaters are a protected species as it is red-listed as an endangered species.

Take care

 

 

photo-of-the-day, photography, travel, world

Monochrome Monday 8-37

Lovelocks. Lots of lovelocks. Literally tons of lovelocks. This bridge crossing river Rhine in Cologne is famous for carrying thousands of these locks. A couple of years ago, structural engineers came over to re-do the structural calculations because of the enormous extra weight the bridge has to carry. Although each lock weighs only a couple of grams, it sums up to tons because of the huge amount of locks mounted on the fences on both sides of the bridge over the whole span. Afterward, many, many locks were removed to secure the bridge. But, lovers filled up the cleared spaces quite fast.

The bridge is more than 400m long and nearly 30m broad. The longest span is nearly 170m to give room for the transport ships to pass below. Besides pedestrians, the bridge is used by more than 1200 trains per day. It’s one of the most important railway junctions here in Germany. You can find more details on Wikipedia, if interested.

I’m putting this topic up quite early. It’s about three weeks ’til Valentine’s day. So, take this as a reminder to prepare something for your darling. 😊

Take care!

nature, photo-of-the-day, photography

Wordless Wednesday: parenthood

 

 

A childrens song for fall:

Ein Männlein steht im Walde ganz still und stumm,
Es hat von lauter Purpur ein Mäntlein um.
Sagt, wer mag das Männlein sein,
Das da steht im Wald allein
Mit dem purpurroten Mäntelein?
Das Männlein steht im Walde auf einem Bein
Und hat auf seinem Haupte schwarz Käpplein klein.
Sagt, wer mag das Männlein sein,
Das da steht im Wald allein
Mit dem kleinen schwarzen Käppelein?
Das Männlein dort auf einem Bein
Mit seinem roten Mäntelein
Und seinem schwarzen Käppelein
Kann nur die Hagebutte sein!
August Heinrich Hoffmann Von Fallersleben
A little man stands quite still and mute in the forest,
It has a little purple coat on.
Says who can the little man be
That stands alone in the forest
With the purple cloak?
The little man stands on one leg in the forest
And has a small black cap on his head.
Says who can the little man be
That stands alone in the forest
With the little black Käppelein?
The little man there on one leg
With his red coat
And his black head
Can only be the rose hip!

 

Take care!

 

autumn, fall, photography, travel

Throwback Thursday: Elbe

The river Elbe near Rathen in Saxony in October 2015.

There is a childrens story by Josef Guggenmos (1922-2003) around.

The trees in the forest asked the fall upon arrival, what he has brought along, as each season brought them something. As he didn’t have anything, he stated they should be satisfied by their green clothes. But, they were not satisfied. Instead, they asked him to at least color their leaves. They want to be colorful at least for a certain time of the year. They would throw away their leaves once the winter would come to avoid making him angry. Therefore the fall sent the wind to ask the winter for permission. Finally, winter gave the permission but with a side condition: Fichten, Tannen, Kiefern, Lärchen (Spruce, fir, pine, larch – all plural) have to stay green. Unfortunately, the wind was sooo exited, that he mixed it up a bit and told the trees: Fichten, Tannen, Kiefern, and Föhren (Spruce, fir, pine, pine) would have stay green. That’s the reason, why you can’t have a Christmas Larch.

Ok, now the explanation. In German, the pine has 2 names depending on the region. While it is called Kiefer (singular) in most of the regions, it’s called Föhre (singular) in the Alpes region: Bavaria, Austria, Switzerland, and probably in South-Tirol (northern Italy). According to Wikipedia, Föhre is the older word, while Kiefer appeared first in the 16th century.

In case, anyone wants the read the full fairy tale, you can find it here. But, you have to either read it in German or ask a translator app for help. I’d recommend giving it a try. It’s a very nice story and not too long!

Take care!