LATE SUMMER POTPOURRI BY BEATRICE

Here are some of my favourite photos and/or places – just a very small selection for today’s pleasant viewing:

Flowers are a great passion in my own self-raised jungle.

Late afternoon on the outstanding clear Weissensee at Carinthia, Austria

Curious wildcat (felis silvestris) at animal park of Assling, Austria

Autumn is approaching steadily now each day.

Urban still life on our green balcony

Black swans (cygnus atratus) from Australia at animal park of Assling, Austria

Old El Puertito, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

View on the Atlantic Ocean near El Puertito, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

Hiking in the Valley of Montafon, Vorarlberg, Austria

View on Rhaetian Alps, Valley of Montafon, Vorarlberg, Austria

 

DAHLIAS – PLEASANT MESSENGERS OF AUTUMN

Cool winds by now signalize the approaching autumn, so bloom dahlias, night frosts will hence come round in a short while and chase away you again.


Like many other flowers dahlias originate in Meso-America. Martin Kral writes in his well-researched paper Of Dahlia Myths and Aztec Mythology: The Dahlia in History that Aimè Bonpland and Alexander von Humboldt saw dahlias growing all around them as they traveled through all Latin America. But the first recorded picture of dahlias was designed by the native Mixtecs in Mexico in the 14th century which shows a Mixtec woman using dahlias in the form of headbands as a part of matrimony (see graphic hereunder). Other daily or ritual uses  of dahlias by the Mixtec and/or Aztec culture are so far not known because only few documents survived the Spanish Conquista in the 16th century.

Mixtec woman with dahlias, Oaxaca, Mexico, 14th century

Mixtec Palace of the Columns, Oaxaca, Mexico

In 1529 Friar Bernardino de Sahagún arrived in Mexico and would later write the first Western account of the dahlias. But only in 1790 the first seeds were sent from Mexico to botanical specialists in Madrid who did successfully raise the first plants in Europe shortly thereafter in 1791. During that period the species’ name dahlias was subsequently created in order to honour the Swedish botanist Andre Dahl.

Humboldt and Bonpland at Chimborazo volcano /  Friedrich G. Weitsch, 1806

During their famous trip leading to South and Central America (1799 – 1804) Alexander von Humboldt and Aimé Bonpland did a vast research on plants and nature in general. When returning home to Europe in 1804  Alexander von Humboldt brought seeds of Dahlia coccinea to Berlin while it is assumed that Aimé Bonpland had presented Dahlia seeds to French Empress Josephine for her large collection of plants. In 1805 seeds are successfully germinated and also flowered in Germany and as well in England while in 1818 the first exhibiting of dahlias took place in Scotland.

Early botanical drawing, German newspaper, 1804

Claude Monet, The Garden at Argenteuil (The Dahlias), 1872

In the 19th century dahlias had spread over all Europe, there existed for example the Czech Dahlia Society, and besides it is also known that Johann Wolfgang von Goethe raised dahlias in his private garden, while in England the illustrious Lady Holland increased the popularity of these flowers. A real center of European dahlia culture became the small Thuringian town Bad Köstritz, where the commercial raise of dahlias was established by Christian Deegen in 1824 and with great success is existing till today.

Thousands of different dahlias are today to be found, but these hybrides are often much different compared to the wild plants still to be seen in Meso-America. The best overview on this subject offer dahlia gardens which may be visited in late summer at diverse locations in Europe like Milnthorpe in England, Gera in Germany or La Source in France and elsewhere of course.

All flower photos made at dahlia garden of Hamburg, Sept. 2018

Flower of the Day – September 19, 2018 – Delphinium

PRAVCICKA BRANA – GATE TO CZECH SWITZERLAND

Pravčická Brána is the largest natural stone bridge in Europe and a natural Czech monument, truly one of the most striking natural sites in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains and symbol of the whole region. It is located approximately 3 km North-West of Hrensko in the national park Czech Switzerland not far away from the border to Germany. Wandering paths are leading there both from Czech and German side where Saxonian Switzerland stretches.

Barberine Rock in Saxonian Switzerland, Germany
Postcard from 1906 showing the very first ascent

So this gate and bridge is connecting both countries in a beautiful and stunning landscape and may be visited during opening times for an entry fee. In 1826 an inn was constructed by the gate, and in 1881 Prince Edmund of Clary-Aldringen built there the romantical hotel Sokolí hnízdo (English: Falcon’s Nest) with 50 beds which you can see in the photo hereunder. 

Jo’s Monday walk : A tale of three castles- 2. Alnwick

 

SUMMERFRESHNESS IN AUSTRIA BY BEATRICE

“Getting to the top is optional.
Getting down is mandatory.” (Ed Viesturs)


How good to have been in the mountains of the Austrian Alps again for enjoying the fresh air, a tremendous nature and much cooler temperatures in the amazing and varied heights of Eastern-Tyrole. So here you will find some photographic impressions as a result of our excursions in order to escape the very pressing  summer’s heat of 2013.

linked to:   Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge – Time to relax

 

KUMMAKIVI BALANCING ROCK

The last ice-age holds responsibility for this wonder of nature in Finland’s region South-Karelia being situated in the Southeastern part of the country. Its name Kummakivi translates simply as strange rock, a suitable description for this balancing sculpture consisting of two boulders, one perched precariously on the top of the other. If a human were to apply heavy force to one of these really heavy stones, the balancing rock would not move even a little bit.

 

RAIN IN KRISTIANSTAD BY JOHN JONASSON

Lillö lika varmt med moln som när det är soligt!-Lillo as hot with clouds as when it’s sunny!

At last we have had rain in Kristianstad after several weeks of drying and temperatures of around 30°C. It already started at 5 o’clock in the morning and continued throughout the day, except for an hour’s halt. When the watch was four in the afternoon and I was cycling home from work, it was pouring with rain! I was obviously soaking wet, but what did it, the rain is really needed. Here is a picture of beautiful Lillo without rain, the camera does not like water.

 

You will find more information about this area in Southern-Sweden, its nature or diverse birds here:

https://www.fotobloggarna.se/natur/asums-angars-natur-asums-meadows-nature/

Bäcken som rinner från Hammarsjön-The creek that flows from Hammer lake.

 

DESERT-FEELINGS IN EUROPE

Sunshine all the time makes a desert. (Arabic proverb)

 

Since mid of April a real wave of heat has struck wide parts of Europe leading to a real drought. It is obvious that the climate change is something real happening just now and here, and landscapes may change then very quickly their general appearance without water and rain.

A meadow then turns out to be a steppe within some weeks, and the rapidness of such a development is quite astonishing.The legacies of the last Ice Age are still to be found everywhere in form of erratics, lakes or glacial valleys, but now other objects come into the common focus insistingly.

The photos here reflect some sandy descriptive impressions in this regard picked up during the last hot weeks revealing a dominant brown colour.

 

 

 

WILD FLOWERS TERMINAL

Nature is unsteady but also very flexible, so these plants here grow on industrial grounds where 100 years ago freight trains have been handled and dispatched day after day. Rusty bridges, rails and other legacies can still be seen around as part of a secondary jungle. This narualistic work in progress means a change every day while at night the interstellare light allows a silent rest and sleeping cycle of life.

With these pictures I am wishing everybody a nice and adventurous  summer!