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German calls them Libellen.

English has two words for them - dragonflies for the suborder Anisoptera and damselflies for the suborder Zygoptera.

Pictures )
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The river and adjacent pond with parkland are within comfortable walking distance, so whenever there was an hour to spare I walked over (or I stopped on the way home from work in the last couple of days) to take some pictures.

I've been posting them over on twitter @sista_ray but I also want to dump them here in one place. I've started experimenting with twitter moments - which is a handy way to group tweets. Still, I can't quite let go of dreamdwidth and even livejournal (grudgingly accepted the TOS to keep up with what's left of my friendslist).

Pictures )
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Have some pictures from last week when the th flowers were still very new - now there is much more but I'm at home nursing a cold.

In German Iris pseudacorus is called Sumpf-Schwertlilie or Gelbe Schwertlilie or Wasser-Schwertlilie (swamp, yellow or water sword lily). For some reason even though they are not closely related to lilies, the whole genus of Iris (a word which is in use in German, too) = Schwertlilie. I can see where the sword comes from - the leaves.

Well, the yellow iris or yellow flag is quite common around here - and it is an invasive species in other parts of the world.

Pictures )

Maar II.

Apr. 19th, 2017 01:30 pm
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After walking half-way around Schalkenmehrener Maar, it was time to tackle the next maar which is called Weinfelder Maar after a small chapel plus cemetery left over from a village abandoned in the 16th century because of the plague. Alternatively, it is also known as Totenmaar or Maar of the Dead.

And right away, the atmosphere is different - it also didn't help that the blue skies had given way to grey clouds:

Read more... )

Maar.

Apr. 18th, 2017 11:47 am
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You may know the common German word for lake, which is der See. Yes, it looks a lot like sea, but that's more commonly known as das Meer unless you're being poetic and then you can call it die See. German is NOT straightforward - a claim I've heard recently and which I find a little naive.

To make it all the more complicated there is also das Maar, which is a special kind of lake (and even that is not always true).

The word derives from the dialect of the Eifel region for the lakes of the region and in its most scientific definition it pertains to a broad, low-relief volcanic crater caused by a phreatomagmatic eruption (an explosion which occurs when groundwater comes into contact with hot lava or magma). Thanks, wikipedia! Often, these craters fill with water and then you get a Maar lake, but they also dry out (on their own or through human intervention) and then they become known as dry maars or Trockenmaare.

Among the most famous Maare are three lakes situated in close proximity in the Eifel near Daun. Here is one of them, the Schalkenmehrener Maar named for the village of Schalkenmehren which you can see in the background.



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A week ago on Saturday we took out the bikes for the first excursion of the year.

The weather was so beautiful and we didn't want to go on Sunday when everyone else was going to be outside.
We headed off in a different direction this time, because we were hoping the kid would be able to handle a longer trip. (He was great.)

Pictures )

Seagulls.

Aug. 18th, 2016 04:43 pm
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Going on a seaside holiday of course you encounter gulls.

Pictures related to gulls )
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The television news programmes are too depressing.

Here are some flowers:

Spring )
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Bringing this over here from my twitter feed and expanding it a little.

It all started when I realized that British English pronounces forsythia /fɔːˈsaɪθiə/ - like scythe in the middle. My own pronunciation was a mix of the British and the American version: /fərˈsɪθiə/ - the Star Wars Sith pronunciation I'd like to call it. What's your pronunciation like? I don't know whether I came up with my version of my own or whether I heard it in NZ or GB?

The German pronunciation of Forsythie - nearly the same word except for the last letter - is very different though: Phonetically we would spell it Forsützie, the more or less IPA version, taken from a German online dictionary is this: [fɔrˈzy:tsi̯ə] - a world away from the British version!


But then I thought of Fuchsie and fuchsia - same last letter difference again, also a very different pronunciation: German call it [ˈfʊksi̯ə], English-speaking folks say /ˈfjuːʃə/ - and as to spelling it, there is the tendency to turn it into fuschia.

So, we have a Scottish botanist William Forsyth and a flower named after him and a German botanist Leonhart Fuchs and a flower named after him. Naturally, we ignore the native pronunciation of the name and come up with our own. Which I am totally fine with, but it is a little confusing.

With Dahlie and dahlia, named after a Swedish botanist Anders Dahl, the German and American pronunciation are fairly close on the sound of the a (let's ignore the l and the fact that the IPA letters are the same, but the pronunciation isn't):
Dahlie = [ˈda:li̯ə]
dahlia = BrE /ˈdeɪliə/ AmE /ˈdɑːliə/
The Swedish pronunciation of the a is probably different again!

As to other flowers named after people, there is Poinsettia - which was the trigger for all this because of this language log post about its pronunciation and Bougainvillea.

Poinsettias are Weihnachtssterne in English, literally Christmas stars, which is the easy way out as far as mangling the name goes. Bougainvillea are named after a French general and explorer and here the German [buɡɛ̃ˈvilea]  is a little closer to the French version than the English /ˌbuːɡənˈvɪliə/ - which is lovely in its own way, I think.

Any other flowers named after people that come to mind?

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