a photographer's view to the world – a traveler's blog
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!