WELCOME TO MY URBAN JUNGLE

Every big city offers diverse hidden corners quite often disregarded and ignored. So here are some pictures from my home-town Berlin showing the steadiness and flexibility of nature in a great municipal area full of people, technology and traffic. This is even surprising me regularly and unexpectedly.

Though, wildness must be nothing strange in a metropole.

Still life with an occupied old wheelbarrow.

Plants as a very welcomed neighbourhood.

A weird view on the huge waste-power-plant Ruhleben

The stony ruins of the past provide a solid foundation of tomorrow’s jungle.

 

THE DESERT IS ALIVE

cropped-placeofhope_sahara_south-tunisia20021.jpgI made this photograph long time ago with analog technique in the Sahara of Southern-Tunisia during an oasis trip from Tozeur to Tamerza – still one of my favourite travel remembrances showing a single bush in an area of burst soil most likely due to more heavy rainfalls some time ago. When ever I watch this photograph again, the quite bizarre scenery reminds me of the power and resilience in life and nature against all the odds.

THE VALLEY OF IGNORANCE (*)

And thus it happened in the land of the Saxonians in the big glacial valley long time ago that the native dinosaurs (dinosaurus saxonis) marched to the old city of Dresden in order to meet their unnoble companions. They fiercely trampled through the city and aggressively shouted “We are very hungry” although there was enough to eat for everybody. Those dinosaurs telling them that there was enough to eat were blamed as liars and traitors. And their well known slogan “Stop the migration of orientalist dinos for our homeland’s sake” was carved all over the country in trees and rocks although there lived only very few foreign dinosaurs (dinosaurus orientalis) all around Saxonia. So which disease had broken out in this naive valley? Was is just blindness or simply stupidity?

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‘Dinosaurus saxonis’ watching the skyline of Dresden at 70 million B.C.

Wise dinosaurs examined this situation in all details and found out that the virus of xenophobia had affected a lot of the local dinosaurs. This diabolic virus induces to believe that all one’s unjustified prejudices are the only valid reality. The clueless being struck by the disease are then no longer capable to show any kind of hospitality or friendly and polite behaviour. With the inflationary spread of the virus these dinosaurs got more and more aggressive leading finally to the critical stage where acts of ruthless terror against foreign dinosaurs (dinosaurus orientalis) took place everywhere. The flames of this vicious fire jeopardized the well-being of all creatures, however all plants were resistent against it fortunately.

So the intelligent plants finally decided to produce their already existing anti-viral substance in high doses in their leaves. And because all local dinosaurs were eating them, the further outbreak of this diabolic suffering could finally be stopped with great plant-based efforts successfully after a couple of time. And in the legendary realm of the plants till today everybody knows this famous story from prehistoric eons. But beware, the virus has survived in diverse mutations till our postmodern digital times. So take care when you visit Dresden at a Monday evening near the Semper opera when the Pegida-Movement is distributing once again its mischievous populist poison.

(*)  During the time of the German Democratic Republic (1945-1990) the area around the city of Dresden was as well entitled satirically “Tal der Ahnungslosen”, because radio and television programs from the Western part of Germany were not available there.

© transmutation.me (2016)

TRANSMUTATION IN THE VALLEY OF DEATH

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Again we have to observe that megalomaniac leaders bustle about at the horizon and assure the amorphous serpents creeping over the streets that it would still be a grand creation to survive on these rails of civilization. A blotted vision attacks the alien visitor in a fever of amok: a false expectation and endless questions. So why should one still continue the decoding of the round-about in the interspace of opulent stoppers while copulating with the mimicry in legendary madness effects and all this just in order to get a further permission here in the globalized desert?

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Stupid collapsing quant, because you only smell excitement behind the balloon where the mutants dehumanize riotings, but the silo remains stable in the molecular wind where the weird insight’s silver awaits the later coming invader. Dilettantes, your stirring must be louder than such a smelly metadiscourse. Filth must vanish under the slogan: One blight on the nation for everybody! Because now, it really becomes embarassing in Europe.

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No illusion is capable to fake this universe – neither a symbolical reversal of a digital graphic nor an allegorical exaggeration at the banks of the revolt. The eternal shadow of ourselves sticks to us like death and reminds us to accept intensely the temptations of this myth because the realm of shadow can not be organized. In no hiding place this treasury can be revealed after the magic language of left places signified to give up the cool silence and to trust the spectacular wild paths leading finally through the foggy gorge and osseous labyrinth of urbanized and postmodern misunderstandings.

© transmutation.me (2016)

LOST CITIES IN THE JUNGLE

Chichen_Itza_Castillo_Frederick Catherwood_1843_drawingThe Castle of Chichen-Itza, 1843, drawing by Frederick Catherwood

“In 1519 Hernan Cortez, the great Spanish conquistator stormed and took the city of Mexico-Tenochtitlan. He did not then, and he never knew, that it was built upon the ruins of the Mayan civilization. Five years later he travelled across what is now the little republic of Honduras, hacking his way foot by foot through an almost impene-trable forest given over to reptiles and insects and the odours of putrefaction. Had he turned aside from the path he was cutting, by only a fraction, he would have come to a little stream where he would have found in the midst of all this luxuriant foliage the ruins of what had once been a great city. It was the city of Copan, the chief light amongst others such as Tikal or Palenque of the Mayan civilization which existed between A.D. 176 and A.D. 620. They are still, far from all other human habitations, lost in the powerful tropical forest which like some sylvan boa-constrictor, has literally swallowed them up and is now devouring them at its leisure, prising the finehewn, close-laid stones apart with its writhing roots and tendrils.”

John Stewart Collis in “The Vision of Glory, The extraordinary Nature of the Ordinary”

Façade_principale_du_palais_des_Nonnes_Désiré Charnay_1859AMain Front of the Palace of the Nuns, Chichen-Itza 1859, photography by Désiré Charnay

THE SKY IS THE LIMIT

Being in nature is sometimes a trip back to history, while in 1998 I used to climb on Mangart mountain in the Julian Alps of Slovenia together with my girl-friend. The trail at some parts is leading directly on the border between Italy and Slovenia (on the photo the white stone with numbers indicates the actual frontier).

TheSkyIsTheLimit_MangartMountain_Slovenia_1998      Trail to Mangart mountain (2,677 m) / Border between Italy and Slovenia

Today this means a place of peace and challenge for those climbing on the mountains, but only 100 years ago this was a location of battles and war because this area used to be the Isonzo frontline in World War I, and here the armies of Italy and the Austrian Empire were executing fierce, endless fighting in the mountains up to altitudes of more than 2,000 m.

Relicts of this war without real winner (old military paths, ruins, tunnels) can still be found at diverse scattered locations in both countries. Today only the sky is the limit here fortunately.

 

 

 

 

THE RED LINES OF BEING

 31-Otis-tarda-Jiri-BohdalCourtship dance of male great bustards in early spring   © Jiri Bohdal

Great bustards have been already mentioned long time ago in older writings of Pliny the Elder as avis tarda, and in 1758 they were classified with their scientific name Otis tarda by Carl Linnaeus while the description tarda is Latin for slow and deliberate which is apt to describe the typical walking style of these possibly heaviest flying birds in the world who breed in southern and central Europe and across temperate Asia. European population are mainly resident, but Asian birds move further south in winter. Portugal and Spain now contain about 60 % of the world’s population (approx. 50,000 birds in total). The birds are often described as magnificent, stately birds because of the males’ great size, cocked tails and large white whiskers.

This species has suffered rapid population reductions across most of its range owing to the loss, degradation and fragmentation of its habitat, as well as hunting leading to a complete extinction in Great-Britain already in the midst of the 19th century. In Germany around 200 birds are now living again at three different locations in the eastern part what means an increase of 400 % in relation to the bad situation in 1997. This is only possible by heavy intervention of ornithologists and nature conservationists who for example achieved that the new railway trail from Berlin to Hannover had to be redirected several years ago in order not to disturb the birds – meanwhile fenced areas have additionally been constructed at suitable locations as a protection for the birds because unfortunately, the great bustards are also a bit stubborn and conservative in their behavior what may be quite dangerous for a vulnerable species.

So the flexible and intelligent fox could normally always very easily steal their eggs while they simply do not take enough care of it. But these reserved islands here in Germany seem to be also a little bit like an outdoor-zoo hosting ornithological observation towers for bird watchers of all kind (one good observation point is situated for example near the city of Märkisch-Luch, urban district Garlitz, in the federal  state of Brandenburg) but observation is normally only possible in early spring during the courtship displays. However, you need always binoculars as the birds are always moving in a minium distance of 300 m.

Their distant relative – the crane – instead could be a good teacher in this regard who overflies each year the continents of this world in order to find the best places for survival. But when you do not cross the red lines of being, then you will never know what is lying there behind the horizon of singularity. Even if you subsequently discover only a half-filled glass of water this is definitely always much better than a dried-up big river in front of your door.

DSC_0350Old fountain in the countryside of La Palma / Canary Islands

linked to  Dutch goes the Photo / Tuesday Photo Challenge Bird