Can you find the Sleeping Witch?

Tell me if you ever find the Sleeping Witch, German : Schlafende Hexe

German word of the day :Frühlingsfreude

The first signal of Spring –Crocuses

Here´s another interesting German word : Frühlingsfreude (n) which means Spring Joy.

Frühlingsfreude is actually a combined words of Frühling ( Spring) and Freude( Joy) . Anything that brings gladness in hearts during Spring .As always, nature comes first but it can also means a simple act of kindness, hearing all day long the chirping of birds, or even running on an early morning with fog.

Over the past few days these are what gives me Frühlingsfreude;

I smiled when I finally saw these tiny yellow buds, and purple Crocuses! They definitely brings me a feeling of new beginnings.It´s still so cold outside and mostly minus temps, good thing the sun shines graciously.

The amazing smell all over the house filled with the scent of freshly home baked Èmpanadas` and Frühlingsrolle or Lumpia for a light Dinner.

Frühlingrollen or Lumpia tastes better when shared with friends.

Taking long walks while soaking up under the sun.

I don´t know why but there are plenty of swans and ducks over here.Everypond, lake and river it is impossible not to notice a duck.So yes, seeing them at this time is always refreshing.The other day, we sat by the river and ducks came to us immediately, waiting for some bread pieces…!

I had also few trips to Garden shops ( since they finally reopened!!!) to get some soil , pebbles , fertilizers and seeds.This Spring I wanted to start a new Hochbeet ( or elevated garden) to plant some veggies and herbs).Its still minus temps at night so I am waiting until the last frost then I could proceed with garden work.

What had made you smile lately?

Until then, Tschüss!

Suspended Flower Garden in the Netherlands

Those days where we are free to mingle with plants and people..

This is a late post from our last visit in the Netherlands late last year.I am so looking forward already to Spring that I began searching my photos for our last Spring vacation and beautiful fragrant spring bulbs.I´ve bought some bulbs of Hyacinth, Daffodils and Amaryllis and they were all blooming now, their smell inside the house is so fragrant.Few more weeks and I know, Spring is here.

Anyway, yes, back to positive vibes and more Flower love! Last Spring I was really in the mood and wanted to visit a Botanical garden and at the same time to find a place where my daughter can play and not bored ogling plants! Orchideeen Hoeve in Luttelgeest is a perfect place that we´ve found!

When it comesto gardens, botanical ones or not, nothings comes close to the Netherlands .Plants and flowers here are totally of different level. I don´t know but plants grew there on a different level.The species are also so varied.

Beautiful flowers I spotted inside the Orchideen Hoeveee

There are many fascinating things inside the Orchidarium including these sculptured faces and animals out of tree branches and stems.

These crazy Orange Pink Flamingoes are carefree inside the Orchideen Hoeveee

It was freezing cold outside, barren, grey, ugly and most trees are still bare with its leaves long gone withered.But indoor gardens are a different thing. There is a place in the Dutch Lowlands , in Luttelgeest, that can transport you to a plant -paradise destination during winter season! In Orchideeen Hoeve, we had this amazing family experience that really worth the travel and money.

Have you heard about their Suspended Flower Garden?

It´s not yet Spring but I guess just like their Tulips charm, Holland always comes number one for me.I’ve written it many times, and will write once again– their Tulips and Keukenhof Gardens is the most beautiful Spring Garden in the World . It really is, but you need to see it for yourself to judge it. The Suspended Flower Garden in the Netherlands and its Orchid Farm is just extraordinary beautiful.The lay out of the whole farm is great, with lots of things to offer for all ages. No wonder it was really full of visitors during our time of visit.Here you can enjoy a day pass and enjoy all the Amenities.

All blooming plants suspended in the ceiling creates a magical plant paradise

Once we entered the garden, we were all open-mouthed, and drooling at all the hanging beautiful summer blooms. It is huge, vast and overflowing with different kinds of flowers you can imagine! I am sure my German neighbors will be drooling at all the beautiful cascading Geraniums, Fuchsias,Begonias, and Lizzies above our heads!It’s a different world inside in Orchideeen Hoeve.

A great family destination

Inspired by “ Hanami Matsuri” or the Japanese Cherry Blossoms Festival in Japan, the Suspended Flora Garden and it’s greenhouse is as huge as two thousand square meters and seven meters in height. A magical place that creates coziness surrounded with natural living beauties in all colors, flowing oases of fountains, ponds and Gazebos. It looks so summery, and have a mediterranean feel all over the place.Every nook is so picturesque so I can´t really resists to take lots of photos!

There are plenty of areas to sit to enjoy and admire the garden. Whether you come as a couple, family or elderly, the place is huge enough! In case you got hungry, there is the “ Sakura Bistro” that serves snacks and drinks as well.The bathrooms are clean and plenty and there are lots of benches and nooks to rest and wait for your child while they play in the Play areas.Talking about playtime, the Mangrove Forest Play paradise one of the most comprehensive Nature play areas for children that I´ve ever seen.There´s also a Lorraine Garden, Jungle Theater and a Caterpillar Farm.Here I saw their very impressive Citrus Farm as well.

Take a seat and breathe in Nature

I decided to write about this because I really love the concept behind this garden. It is not just a place to admire and relax, but then it’s a place as well to appreciate nature. During Winter, we have limited places to go, especially something fresh as this. I am so glad that I had this experience before the Corona Outbreak happens! We would definitely check out this place once again in our next visit to Holland.

At further end of the Greenhouses, these is a wide place with parrots, birds and animals.Some cute animals that will surely attract your little ones are Meerkats, Ring tailed Lemurs, Ducks, Iguanas, Alpacas, jungle animals, some big fishes and Loris! It´s even like a petting zoo since you are allowed to touch them! I love the Flamingoes and colorful parrots .We enjoyed the butterfly garden and the turtles stretching their legs that looks like they are sunbathing on the banks of the river.In here I have seen as well thousands of swimming colorful Koi Carps in the grand river and waterfalls.

I bought a nice from here as a souvenir and until now, it still thrives!

Thinking of exploring the Dutch Lowlands? these Unique family destinations will surely not hurt your budget but will leave you exhausted, but happy. Have a great week everyone.Tschüss!

The Bicycle capital of the World

Exploring Utrecht with a Toddler

Out and about in the land of Windmills

The Cube Yellow Houses in Rotterdam

Auf Wiedersehen October, An hour of melancholy

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An hour of Melancholy : Spider webs like labyrinth of jewels

Hello November, but first, let me say my final Adieu to October.

I took a walk yesterday, the last day of October, and it was a fine, cold, grey day.Nothing special about it,  except that we have a long weekend here in Bavaria, so overall, we are just chilling out. All of us in the family are feeling sick, but still, we are fine. It’s Halloween time in almost half of the world, but I noticed that Germans are not so fond of this. Kinder Halloween parties are held in a music club bar where children clad in their costumes danced in the funky lights, grooving to the disco lights, and loud music. I must admit, a threat for eager parents like me as well. My Little one, dressed as a funky skeleton, with a complete face painting done by yours truly was cheerfully emancipated as she partied with other kids. Trick or treating is another melancholic dream, well at least here in Bavaria, it’s a ghost, not as fancy as I have seen in Philippines. I was surprised that although they love pumpkins,  it is best with pumpkin soup ( which I actually made for dinner last night !) and pies , the groovy jack-o-lanterns cheers up the lonely balconies outside , which is a picture of  deafening silence.

I think its detrimental to even ring the bell of a house where all the roller shutters ( or Rolladen in Deutsch) are  firmly shut!

Snapping some photos from my camera, and briskly walking on the carpet of fallen leaves,  here’s what I’ve written to my thought journal ;

October, the only time where I see spider webs as something fascinating. Probably the best time to see spiders webs looking great, beaded with the moisture of the morning dew or mist. Take note, no two spiders webs look exactly the same. I didn’t know about this before, but then, it’s good to know, right?

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My own Autumn melancholy

Walking into the woods surrounded with  colorful palette of autumn leaves may look dreamy and looks magical to others, it really looks beautiful , I cannot deny it. But after a while, this postcard of natural beauty becomes a fleeting moment. At the back of your mind, you know that the dreary cold winter still need to surpass, and I need to endure the cold. I am not so fond of winter that is why I’m saying this. After the ravaging winds we have from three days ago, which ripped off all the surviving leaves from its branches, now everything else is bare and grey. At least for enthusiastic Germans who runs everyday, the colorful foliage provides a great scenery, sort of.

But then, every leaf fallen to the ground and muddled up in the wet puddle only knows its own misery——-and melancholy.

The truth is , I could expect no more from this sight. It is enough. For me, everyday it gets even more ordinary. Maybe only by a pure accident of organic chemistry, leaves are reborn, as they start to die, in an astonishing range of colours that puts their spring birth to shame. We all know the look of  decay. This is the winding-down of everything, slowly towards death. Yet , for those who took time to have deeper insights about autumn, you know that the beginning of the end doesn’t feel like decay, at least on the surface, it doesn’t feel like a crumbling and a decomposing and a collapse from within; it feels like the arrival of a world of new feelings. At first, the sound of dried fallen leaves against a kick, that crisp sound it makes that creates a jolt of excitement is almost the same melancholic exercise from my muscles as I rake down the dried , stubborn , fallen leaves in the lawn  for hours.

That’s the other side of melancholy. How do you appreciate the beauty of a mess?

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Slowly drifting …

If we look closely, in the autumn foliage we can see our own mortality: a beauty with a sadness never far away. It’s the time where sadness creeps slowly, camouflaged in quiet, calmed emotions, basked in agony of anticipating the end of the cold months. Soon, the season to rest and reflect will pass. Like a long passage to cross. But there’s nothing beat the picturesque beauty of blooming colors of spring whilst in Autumn, the beauty comes from an inner understanding of the cycle of life.

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Wildlife watching in Autumn

Where everything looks hazy, the mystery beyond the mist is yet to be uncovered.

And then again, there is the mist, arriving uninviting. To me, autumn mist is something you smell before you see it; it’s the initial hint of the blow of the air as I leave the house in the morning, the first gush of wind which kissed my cheeks as I hop on my bike, slowly  creeping into my nostrils, and the realization from my inner  tissues tells me  that summer is  finally over and the world is turning.

Every morning, I notice that the sunshine is hazy.  I’ve moved all my plants to the biggest window in the house where they can received as much sun that they need to thrive on the coming winter months. It’s a joy to see them gathered together, as if they need each other to survive the gloom. I’ve picked my last  stem of roses from this year, pruning of stems will follow later. I’ve sensed it as early as the last week of August, the end of BBQ season and lounging in Biergartens has come to an end,  the gloomy sight of empty playgrounds, and steaming rivers becomes a panoramic dream right now.

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Auf Wiedersehen October !

This is my thoughts from my One hour of melancholyAuf Wiedersehen October! 

Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to read , my friends. If you enjoy this post, please feel free to leave your thoughts, I would love to read them as well.

So tell me, are your moods also affected by the weather?

Do you also experience this so-called “melancholic” thoughts when winter is coming?

 

Cheers to November and wishing you all a lovely week ahead!

Tschüss!

Related readings :

The Beauty of Autumn in Germany

 

 

The mood of a Landscape painting

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My “tools” 

Looking back from the time I started with my journey with Painting last year, I have received numerous requests of doing more Landscape artwork. People always have a thing for replicating nature—like flower fields, mountains, seascapes, mountain views, and yes, even the skies. I have received many compliments when I am doing the Galaxy-effect sky painting, from which I viewed only as an intermediate attention. I won’t lie, but I created that piece accidentally when I only wanted to use up my leftover paints.

I have the impression that choosing a particular piece and subject of artwork is definitely a personal thing. Like for example, some of my friends cannot appreciate any Abstract piece, while here in Germany, most of the people I knew value my Abstract pieces. But I have learned that as a self-taught artist, you created what you love. You paint what your emotions and mood dictates, from your brushes to your pinsel. the medium that you used is totally depending on where you feel most comfortable with delivering your thoughts on your work. Doing artwork for the sake of making money out of it and pleasing your audience is something offensive to an artist’s creed. It forsakes your own talent, your own mantra of creating something that personify yourself. Not unless you decide to become a full-time Artist and you rely solely on painting to pay your bills. That would be a different story.

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Messy pallete –Out from this mess, I create something good.

I have collected some pieces of my moody landscapes paintings and would like to share it with you here. To give you an idea, I personally loved landscapes, but I am definitely need a lot of learning more to do to make the best of this, especially when I am working with watercolors. These paintings are inspired by the beauty of landscapes that surrounds me. I tried my best to use my watercolor pallete to bring out the hues and texture to give an attitude to these paintings.Notice that they are moody, almost surreal and I used varying shades to re-create a view from my mind.

Here are some paintings I did for Moody Landscapes paintings in Aquarelle.

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Autumn Reflections 

Autumn Reflections — 40 x 50.8 cm ( 16″x 20″) Aquarelle painting in 300G/M2 (140lb) Cold-press artist grade paper.

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Waves in Turmoil – 36 x 48 cm (14.2″x 18.9″) Aquarelle Landscape painting in Artist Grade paper.

 

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Prelude to Dusk – 36 X 48cm ( 14.2″ x 18.9 “) Original Watercolor/Aquarelle painting

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Magical Spring Garden – 36 x 48cm ( 14.2″ x 18.9″) Original Watercolor/Aquarelle Landscape Painting

 

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Let’s Go to the Tropics – 36 x 48cm ( 14.2 “X 18.9”) Original artwork in Watercolor/Aquarelle .

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The “Autumn Reflections“is displayed in one corner in our living room before shipping to its new owner.

Some pieces were already commisioned for purchase and I am excited that my artwork will find new home.There’s a feeling of happiness whenever I create something and people would actually wanna buy it! I, myself haven’t purchase any original artwork in my life, so I truly respect the people who wanted to invest in my talent. It is a great encouragement and tool for motivation to continue mastering your craft. I guess that the best job in the world would be  the kind that you really love doing, like a combination of your hobby or passion, and you got actually being paid to do it.

I don’t even have my own studio. I used our kitchen counter when I do some messy work and oftentimes, I am in our dining table to do what I love. Sometimes I do things simultaneously while waiting for other paintings to dry. I visited Art shops looking for art supplies and using the translator app in my phone (since almost all labels are in German), I make both ends meet. Many times, when I am painting, I am also doing some house work, looking after my child, and taking care of other tasks. If I give in to complacency, then I wouldn’t be able to do what I want to do. 

There is really no excuse if you want something to be done.

I write this because for me——every piece of artwork is personal. Painting is something that I wanted to do until I grow old and that my hands can still grip on a brush. 

What is your opinion of these landscape artwork? Do you like landscapes?

Feel free to share your comments, I would appreciate it!

Thank you once again for reading my friends!Until next time!

 

Tschüss!

 

 

Germany’s Flower of the Year 2017 [Poppy]

 

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New painting inspiration : Germany’s Flower of the Year 2017 : Papaver rhoeas or Poppy

Summer is doing its sluggish exit by now. The sight of this beautiful, fragile flower is nowhere to be found in the wild fields here in Bavaria. Once full of wild flowers and Poppy, the fields of Golden yellow Rapeseeds , the Ooh Shiny and glorious Sunflowers  and Gladiolas are slowly fading. As I relive the memory of Summer this year, I discovered by chance that 2017 Germany’s Flower of the Year is none other than the Poppy or commonly known as Papaver rhoeas . It’s no surprise that due to its delicate and vulnerability features, this flower is the symbol of remembrance for dead soldiers from World War I.

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Scharmel Iris – “The poppy opes her scarlet purse of dreams

Poppy seeds are rich in oil, carbohydrates, calcium and protein. Poppy oil is often used as cooking oil, salad dressing oil, or in products such as margarine. Poppy oil can also be added to spices for cakes, or breads. Poppy products are also used in different paints, varnishes, and some cosmetics.Poppies have been used as a symbol of sleep, peace, and death. Sleep because the opium extracted from them is a sedative, and death because of the common blood-red color of the red poppy in particular. In Greek and Roman myths, poppies were used as offerings to the dead.Fascinating facts about this flower, right?

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Germany’s Flower of the Year 2017 : Poppy

Since 1980,  Loki Schimdt of “Blumes des Jahres “(or Flower of the Year) initiated the campaign for Stiftung zum Schutze gefährdeter Pflanzen (“Foundation for the protection of endangered plants”) which became the Stiftung Naturschutz Hamburg und Stiftung zum Schutze gefährdeter Pflanzen (“Foundation Nature Conservancy Hamburg and for the protection of endangered plants”) in 1985. One of the main purposes of this organisation is a public awareness campaign about the ecological value of wildflowers. Every autumn, the Loki Schmidt foundation announces their chosen flower of the year.

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Poppy flowers I spotted while cycling!

I find the sight of wild red poppy flowers in many fields here in Bavaria so beautiful. I felt like I am transported into another world just by gazing to a wild field full of these blooming Poppy. It grows abundantly here in the Bavarian region and when its sunny, we have a very nice scenery . It was actually the first signs that the heat is on and its summer officially here.

Do you love Kenzo Flower inspiration perfumes?

Then you might love that this flower is an iconic symbol of their perfume line. As Kenzo quoted What if the poppy previously planted in the city, could now rise into the air? It would blossom the sky… 

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Wild flowers and Poppy, summer 2017 in Bavaria

The idea of this Flower of the Year campaign, called ‘Blume des Jahres’ in German, is to draw attention to the plight of certain flowers which are slowly becoming endangered in our countryside. I hope it helps with awareness, as it would be tragic to lose more of our beautiful wild flowers.If you’d like to know more of this campaign and want to know the other endangered wild flowers, you can see it Here.

 

What are your favorite summer flowers?

Do you know any flowers that are also endangered ?

 

 

My Island-hopping with a Banca

Adventure is worthwhile.” ―  Aesop

 

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“Every man should pull a boat over a mountain once in his life..”.{ Werner Herzog}

I grew up in the second largest archipelago in the world, and with 7,107 islands with 36,289 kilometers of coastline,the sight of Banca ( Banka in Tagalog , pumpboat or  canoe ) is as common as hundreds of  typhoon-visits I’ve seen in my whole life! Although, we didn’t live near the sea, my childhood is filled with family swimming trips and beach getaways with friends. A country with tropical climate and abundance of water sports, it is very easy to indulge in the beach and explore nature through a tiny fishermen’s boat. The banca, also known as ‘pumpboat‘, which has 2 large outriggers which are usually made of ‘Bamboo‘to give the necessary stability.

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Accidentally we found another beautiful island…

Just like any firsts,  my first Island hopping experience was unforgettable, at the same time, liberating.  I said this because when you ride a banca, you will lost all your inhibitions, your sea & motion sickness , tensions, and fear of the waters will be gone. ( At least it works for me! )  Thoughts like ; ‘Is it strong enough? Will I reach alive in my destination?  or what if it suddenly sinks? ‘. Totally morbid thoughts!

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Sitting at the dock of the Bay { Soundtrack of my Life}

When you go on an adventure boat ride, it seems that the boat absorbs all your worries and transport you into another world, literally. Every move, the roaring motor sound it makes, the way that the boatman pull and start the engine, every push of the paddle and waves creates a magical nostalgia. This is how every island trip becomes special to me.Imagine owning an island for a day? Or sleeping under the stars, endless bonfires and the beach as your backdrop!

As each banca has its own personality, so as the journey. There is something so raw, exciting, and at the same time exhilarating about sitting in a wooden rugged ,slim boat where you can see the  fishes swimming, your face get wet from the splashes of the tides, and the open view of the sea that makes your horizon like  blue infinity.

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Our rental Banca during  Island hopping 

The banca is as typical as the colorful Jeepney, but  only 20 % of about a million bancas are registered. Uniquely, all of them have a name. Yes,you can recognize them in their flamboyant writing such as ‘Princess of Coron‘, Poseidon, Madonna or Seahawk. Most bancas are normally named after their owners, like the name of the hotel and resort, their son, or daughter. Isn’t nice to have a boat named after you?

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Waiting for the next destination…

I have boarded the largest sailing ‘Dhow’, the Al-Hashemi in Kuwait and explored nearby islands through a modern Catamaran, but my excitement can never surpass  the time when the wind blew over my face when I am on board in the little,skimpy, noisy, and colorful Banca. Have you ever wondered how a banca is made? If you watch the Secret Life of a Banca then you will realize how special it is.

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Unique cone-shaped bancas we used to explore the craters of a volcano

After the devastating  typhoon Haiyan, around 30, 000 bancas were destroyed, debilitating  the poor fisherman’s source of income in the Philippines. The old Banca  is being honed and re-engineered from the old model with the new through the use of fiberglass boat technology.Aside from its touristic usage, the Philippine bancas are now being built better, to empower the local livelihood and to weather the storms of the future. They are not just for photo shoots and having some fun in the islands, for the locals in the coastal areas, the banca  is the way of life and a way to live.

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Our rental banca in the midst of limestone rock mountains

If you’ve never ridden a boat, maybe the sight of a banca might intimidate you. But trust me, they are the  most reliable mode of transport to cross the sea, river, and lakes and wander through the mountains into the best-kept hidden paradise. Bancas are relatively robust if they run to ground since they have no deep-set keel or a centre board (sailing boat). But their maneuverability is relatively limited due to the flow resistance of the outriggers and the small oar blade. They are only partially ocean-going. Bancas can differ in degree of motorization, forms, sizes and colors.

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Bancas in front of the houses in the local neighborhood in Negros Oriental

I have seen smaller paddle-bancas. Children who lives along the coast  uses these boats as their playground. At an early age, they are taught to swim and  join their parents to go fishing.Poorer fishermen have only a paddle-banca but at night, they join the bigger motorized boats to catch more fish. The sailing-banca are seldom used but can only be seen in the southern regions of Sulu, especially used by Badjeros. They are famous for their colorful sails. In Boracay island, I saw bancas with blue sails docked on a bay during sunset. They look spectacular in summer!

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A beautiful day to sail

During island-hopping, the banca is usually provided and arranged by the hotel we are staying. They have their own boatman, with a guide and they are all experienced in sailing. They provide life jackets and are very flexible to our needs.While exploring the island, snorkeling, and swimming, our rented banca is just there, waiting  patiently . Everytime we hop on back to the banca, I know that the next adventure awaits.

“The sea is the same as it has been,since before men ever went on it in boats”

{ Ernest Hemingway}

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Until then…we shall sail together again.

 

Have you ever ride a small boat like the banca?

How was your experience?

If you love reading this post, share it with your friends and leave your comments. Thank you once again for stopping by and see you in my next island hopping adventure!

 

 

Wetland wildlife watching

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Ever tried Duck-face?

Well Hello March!

Couldn’t believe we’re already on the final stretch of  winter. German winter is surely  long, freezing cold and grey, but it’s definitely a beautiful season, especially here in Bavaria. I love snow, not the cold, but there’s so much more to the whiteness all around. I saw some spring buds sprouting already in our garden and looking closely at the trees, I know that Spring is just around the corner. One of the things that I am enjoying nowadays are the wild sounds of the birds and wild life animals. Who needs music while running? It’s amazing! Walking in the woods, the silence is golden, with only the twigs crackling beneath my steps  and the crazy hooting, chirping, and orchestra of wild birds enough to make me hum.

One of the things I’ve enjoyed this winter was wetland wildlife watching. If you live near a wetland natural areas, such as lakes, rivers, wildparks and reservoir dam, these are really great for spotting ducks, geese and swans in winter. I remember on  sunny days in January and February many wildfowl are displaying with drakes flashing their bright colours, bobbing their heads and calling noisily. A great winter wildlife spectacle.

Our favorite is when we bring a pack of stale breads and just tossed on them and it’s a crazy frenzy party there in the water.

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White swan

I am so grateful that I live in a place where nature is close by. A 25- minute walk, then I am into a different world where I have close encounter with wetlands, forest, wood park, lakes, river and wild life animals. I love this since walking outdoors with my toddler on weekends are more enjoyable especially during Sundays where most shops are all closed. What a great way to show to her in real life the animations she love to look  millions times already  in her favorite book “Alle Meine Lieblingstiere ” ( All my favorite animals) and Gonnie gaat varen.

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Survival of the fittest

I have learned that most of the wildlife cannot deal with the harshness of high-altitude winter conditions. The snow also makes it easy to spot animal tracks as well as the animals themselves. In summer, these creatures spread out to graze grassy mountainsides, munch leaves in the woods, or hunt for prey in the hills. But in winter the animals mass in the lower elevations.

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Walking in grace

Winter is tough for wildlife – food is in short supply and the days are short. But as leaves fall from hedges and trees, birds suddenly become much easier to spot and winter can be a good time to look for tracks and signs left by animals. One of my favorite sight was watching how the ducks waddle and float while the swans are  fierce, proud and flipping its wings. When it flies to catch something, it’s a time I normally just watched in silence.

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Wild ducks and birds

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Birds of the same feather…

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Flirting in the frozen waters

You see, the best things in life are free, and on the sidenote, have you ever wondered why bird’s feet and those of the ducks don’t freeze?

 

Any thoughts? Have you ever tried bird-watching in winter?