us and nature

It is a sunny morning of January and birds roam the trees in “Serra de Mariola Natural Park”. The light is gorgeous and it is hard to put the camera down and follow Virgilio Beltrán who take us around to spots were we can watch the local species. I got so entangled portraying a walnut tree that I almost lost him. We also visit a ravine were vultures were successfully reintroduced a few years ago. Magnificent and ugly birds they are! I wonder why I perceive them ugly.

“If we want to keep nature the way it was, we have to work the land the way we used to”

Joan Cascant,

Virgilio has a special treat for us, and we end up at Joan’s “microvinya” as part of a combined program named birds and wines. Joan is directing a program to return to the former use of the land in order to preserve the nature we received from the past. He advocates specifically for the sustainable use of minifundios (small-holds). Incidentally, a few days before, in Tarragona, my old friend Saül also explained us of his project to revive the abandoned town of Solanell in the Pyrenees. Are they the fall of small stones that starts an avalanche?

awe between the Alps and the Dreisessel

if the weather plays nicely, the winter dry air and the low sun beams cast a dramatic view of the Alps seen from the Dreisessel in the Bayericher Wald. Almost at every second step one feels compelled to awe at the view. Having a camera on hands leads to a struggle to strip down and select what photographs best convei this feeling.

Isar banks, Munich

stone and water on the banks of the Isar

Argentorato stands on his basement atop an allegorical fountain of flowing rock among slabs of water and looks now south towards the sources of the Isar. Where were you looking towards before you came here?

Mont Sainte-Odile and the misty Vosges in autumn

Mont Sainte-Odile and the misty Vosges in autumn

Come the misty autumn, the fairy extends her long golden hair over the sandstone of the Mont Sainte-Odile at the Vosges. The footsteps of the joggers precede them in the foggy hour.

Chapels with rich mosaic decoration stand beside the graves of the last Merovingians in the grounds of the Abbey.

The return path follows the misterious Pagan Wall around the site of the Abbey

the Glindower Alpen in Potsdam soothes us with forests of autumnal dark and desaturated hues.

the Glindower Alpen in Potsdam

Not far from Berlin’s tumult of trafic, people, concrete and graffiti, the Glindower Alpen in Potsdam soothes us with forests of autumnal dark and desaturated hues.

The Glindower See on the north side of the forest reflects today the overcast dim grayish blue. The tiles Factory in Glindow. In its belly, the fire is unlit over the weekend.

Watzmann seen from the north east across Berchtesgaden

Berchtesgaden and the Watzmann

the Watzmann smiles to us with missing teeth from his high stand over Berchtesgaden like an unworried playful teenager. As we gain altitude on our way to the Kneifelspitze the day warms up and ever new hues of blue and mist from the Königsee tint his surroundings contrasting with the yellow and orange forests on the foreground.

Berchtesgaden once under protection of the Pope, later siding with Bavaria or Salzburg, whoever was less pressing, stands in this crossroads between the two later and gate of the Königsee to the south. The Roßfeld-Panoramastraße climbs 1000m above the valley and brings us to a close vantage point to the near peak of the Großer Archenkopf.

The heath blossoms in Septmeber and it can offer unhindered views across kilometers of plains with clear skies.

the Lüneburger Heide and the purple heath

in the Lüneburger Heide, north Lower Saxony, a heath landscape took shape as a result of years of shepphership on region of thin soil, once shaved by glaciers of the ice age. Sheppherds still go about their business in the area, and attract the attention of wanderers and tourists.

The heath blossoms in Septmeber and it can offer unhindered views across kilometers of plains with clear skies. Here and there you can see bee hives that with some luck may render the sought after heath honey. Even some basket hives are still in use (Lüneburger Korbimkerei).

The late afternoon of September offers brilliant hues of blue, yellow and purple, oftentimes traced by grassy or sandy paths. As the sun hides behind the west, the heath starts filling of shadows and a mantle of silence envelopes you.

close up of a sapling growing atop a mosy boulder

yew woods and Paterzell

Walking under the canopy of yew branches in the woods of the Paterzell one can learn many aspects of the Yew. Several stations set along the path guide the eye of the wandered to the particulars of this tree.

Yew wood has an old recorded history of use. From bowmaking to lutes, chemothreapy in the modern times, and for more or less earthy purposes very often found near graveyards and churches.

a walk round the lake and the pyrenees

The lowest lake in the Park Nacional d’Aigues Tortes i Estany de Sant Maurici bathed under the sun of the last days of Spring gives a view to the passes under the receding snow.