the grain growing plains, the pine tree woods, the bricks built villages over the sand and by the lakes left after the wall of ice.
an overcast cold spring day is possibly the best time to visit the bogs. Nature still asleep, people still asleep, all is still in the bogs.
behind the fields and the forest, in the middle of the bogland, over the half-broken planks bridge stands the old forgotten mill east of Markt Schwaben.
fog envelops all around and even sounds and life are dimmed by the banks of the Oder in winter. Once capricious meanders reshaped the end section of the Oder between Schwedt and Szczecin after every flood. One day the ingenuity of mankind put an end to this seasonal work of nature. For short lived and hard to come by pastures.
when the wind blows over the plains of the Uckermark from the south in winter you feel the whole river Oder chilling you to the bone. Other than that, a beautiful isle of nature in the middle of the never ending fields.
the low lying sun and the humidity of the nearby Oder river create unusual light conditions at an around the winter equinox at Felchowsee, deep in the Uckermarkt north east of Berlin.
wagons once threaded this plain and filled the night with echos of metallic giggle, where now nature and new settlers walk around still puzzled how to classify what they see in their Saturday’s afternoon walk. Here and there, if you stop long enough to see through the signs, you can see the ghosts of those railroad tracks and ties under thickening vegetation. The sudden idle beds of track ballast stand questioning their purpose now like dry wounds in the meadows.
Hidden in the woods, old tracks, fallen lampposts, gates with nothing to gate, lost ponds. And an old adjoining settlement. Despite the looks, no vignetting is applied to the photographies.
The old bed wagons factory witness yet one other kind of resettlement: partly spooky, partly trashy, and certainly worth walking through.
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, microvinya.com
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?
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?
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