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2017-06-04 04:45 pm

Odonata. Libellen.

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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2017-06-02 04:29 pm

Picture dump: Flowers and butterflies in May.

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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2017-05-17 11:32 am

Yellow iris at the pond.

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 )
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2017-04-23 09:45 pm

Laach Lake

In German Laacher See - or Lake Lake, as Laach is from Old High German lacha - which is related to English lake of course.



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2017-04-21 07:46 pm
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Maar III.

I am starting this with a map of the three maars in Daun:



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2017-04-19 01:30 pm

Maar II.

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:

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2017-04-18 11:47 am

Maar.

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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2017-04-01 05:12 pm

Saturday a week ago.

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 )
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2016-10-09 07:31 pm

Autumn picture dump.

Autumn at the playground.

Took the bikes out yesterday and had a look at a playground that we hadn't been to. The kid got a handy little map at school showing all the best spots in town, so there was a new place to discover.

Kid liked it - I didn't think it was that spectacular but one of the better-maintained ones around.

While the kid played, I took my first real autumn pictures of the season.

Autumn at the playground )
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2016-09-04 06:22 pm
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Late summer.

We've had a couple of sunny days, some of them even rather hot, but today there has been quite a bit of rain, too. Yesterday the sun was out, but there was already this late summer feeling in the park - lots of spiderwebs, fading flowers and the first yellow leaves.

Here are some of the pictures I took:

Plants )
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2016-08-27 05:57 pm
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St. Ives.

St. Ives is a very pretty place and of course everyone else thinks so, too, so it's teeming with tourists, but not horribly so. It's just very full. Parking is only possible outside the town which I think is absolutely fine, but it's a bit on the expensive side. They could probably pedestrianize more of the area around the harbour - at least during the summer months when they already restrict parking in several streets.

But yes, very very pretty, especially in the evening light:

Pictures )
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2016-08-18 04:43 pm

Seagulls.

Going on a seaside holiday of course you encounter gulls.

Pictures related to gulls )
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2016-07-20 04:28 pm
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Common butterflies.

Instead of playing Pokémon Go which is hugely popular here (and played by children and adults) I decided to catch some living creatures with my camera.

They might not be imaginary, but I think they are still fantastical - at least when you look closely at them.

Butterflies )
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2016-07-18 09:00 pm
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Sunday evening stroll.

The kid being at the grandparents' and this being the summer holidays I indulged in a little picture-taking in the parkland close to our house.

I did not spot the cormorant again (yes, really) who somehow has been hanging out on the local river, but there were lots of butterflies, dragon-/damselflies, several species of waterfowl and all sorts of creepy-crawlies.

I'm doing this photo project on twitter called MissionFoto and the theme this month is Gegenlicht, i.e. Contre-jour or backlighting. I've been playing around with that a bit but there are also some more straightforward pictures.

Under here )
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2016-07-04 08:04 pm
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Nostalgia.

Yesterday we added to our carbon footprint by driving in the car to a village in the middle of nowhere where we boarded a narrow-gauge steam train to travel to another tiny village where we walked around 15 minutes and then we went back by train again.

The grandparents were happy. The kid enjoyed it. My brother loved it.

Here are some pictures )

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2016-05-18 09:18 pm
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Weilburg.

Weilburg, the city of my father's childhood, is a place we visit about once a year, usually in spring.

This year we made it up to the town centre with a famous castle/palace ensemble which does not have an English wikipedia article - I am genuinely shocked at this oversight.

Here are some pictures )
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2016-05-05 08:57 pm
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Zons.

Last Sunday the weather was stunning - blue skies, sunshine - a much needed improvement after lots of proverbial April weather with rain and even hail.

Ignoring the desk and the clutter we decided to do some local sight-seeing, visiting a place that the kid had not seen yet. Zons is an old fortified town by the Rhine.

Last weekend they had a medieval market and fair which also included the re-enactment of a famous battle.
We did not witness the battle, but still had a very good time in the sun.

Picspam )