Thursday, November 30, 2006


These Winter nights against my window-pane
Nature with busy pencil draws designs
Of ferns and blossoms and fine spray of pines,
Oak-leaf and acorn and fantastic vines,
Which she will make when summer comes again-

Quaint arabesques in argent, flat and cold,
Like curious Chinese etchings.

Thomas Bailey Aldrich

photo 271106: grethe bachmann

Monday, November 27, 2006

3rd Millenium BC - Enkeltgravskulturen
(Single graves)

The third millenium was a period where old life styles were dissolving and new were being formed. It wasn't only in the materialistic culture pattern , but also in religion, i.e. in the death cult. The deads were buried in single graves ; hills were built above the coffin, which was mostly of wood. A farmer society was developing in Denmark in the period after 2800 BC.

Upon low banks, foremost in the North Jutland hills an down the peninsula, a broad border of thousands of small grave hills are seen today, which were established in the period after ab. 2800 BC. They are unimpressive, but their placement in the terrain and the burials they are covering have attracted much attention. They are called 'enkeltmandsgrave' and have caused some theories about 'enkeltgravsfolkets' ( 'the 'single grave people's) immigration to Denmark.

The grave itself contains seldom big stones. The coffin was of wood (planks), supported by stones. There are three burial forms: 1) undergrav ( grave below the surface), 2) bundgrav ( grave upon the surface , 3) overgrav ( grave above the other two) . This is roughly telling the classification of the graves in the mentioned 400 years.

The grave gifts in a man's grave were a battle axe and a flint axe, or a flint axe only - and often a clay-vessel, probably with food or maybe some drink . The dead was fully dressed and in his belt were amber and eventually a flint knife.

Also a woman was fully dressed, wearing her jewels, often amberpearls, either around her loin or by the head. These dead people are the only traces we have from the farmer people in the period between 2800-2400 BC. Only a couple of settlements have been found yet.

The earliest graves' coffins are facing east-west. There are traces after fire, indicating that bonfires were lit before the burial in order to mark the departure of the dead. In double graves were two bonfires. Above the grave was built a small hill no more than one meter high.
The next graves were placed in level with the earlier surface, often with coffins of flat stone tiles, especially in North Jutland. In the end of the period of enkeltgravene it was common to establish graves in the existing grave hills. The new graves were placed somewhat higher than the earlier, therefore the name: overgrav.

During the first period of the 'enkeltgravsperiod' the dead was placed with raised legs, like in sleeping position , but in the last period the dead was placed outstretched upon the back. For every new burial new earth and grass was added. A whole family could have their last rest in the same grave hill.

These hills on the photos are from a group of 30 hills by Bruunshåb in Mid Jutland near Viborg.
Maybe the archaeologists will discover more about those thousand of small hills and this people we know so little about yet.

photo: grethe bachmann

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Marselisborg Skovridergård, Århus

Marselisborg Skovridergård, (The old Forester House), Århus,
built in 1840, situated beside Forstbothanical Gardens and
Marselisborg Castle.

photo: gb

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

A Little Walk This Morning - November is Beautiful Too

photo: grethe bachmann
Same Place - a Half Year Later



photo: gb

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


November comes
And November goes,
With the last red berries
And the first white snows.

With night coming early,
And dawn coming late,
And ice in the bucket
And frost by the gate.

The fires burn
And the kettles sing,
And earth sinks to rest
Until next spring.

- Clyde Watson

November is the 11th month of the year, but it was the 9th month in the old Roman calendar. It was named Novemb which means 9. In old Danish it was called Slagtemåned (Slaughter Month), because the animals were being slaughtered before winter.

Mortensaften on the 10th of November is connected to bishop Martin of Tours. He had to be elected bishop in the year 371, but he didn't want to and was hiding among a flock of geese. They revealed him by their cackling, and according to Danish tradition we slaughter and eat the geese on Mortensaften, because they betrayed Morten .

Morten (= St. Martin) is the protector of all domestic animals and the guardian angel of all boozers. Mortens dag is on the 11th November, but the Danish celebration is the evening before, on the 10th. But not only geese are popular on the dinner table that night. Duck, turkey, venison, the tradition has changed like so many other traditions.

A weather omen says that a mild Mortensaften on the 10th of November promises a white Christmas.

A few things happening out in the Danish nature now:
There is only one little bird singing in November , and it sings through the whole winter; it's the wren, the smallest but one bird in Denmark.
The last hedgehogs are hiding for their winter sleep.
The ermine is changing its brown summer fur to winter white.
Some years invasions of crossbills arrive from the north.
Tufted ducks arrive to the country by the thousand.

photo: gb

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

What a Surprise on the First November Morning!

A view out of my window this morning. A winter attack. A few days ago it was summer!

A weather omen says that coldness and snow on the 1st of November gives a long and cold winter!

photo: gb

Monday, October 30, 2006

Summertime has ended - soon it's November

The mild rain softens the colours - and the forest is still holding on to the green dress -

- but the oak is following the golden autumn fashion like always

The Fisherman's Cottage by Moesgård

A leftover from the Viking festival?

Moesgård Beach in a gentle October rain.

Don't we all love to look at the sea - even the dog.

The young family father from the beach was very kind. He made his Staffordshire Bull Terrier pose for a photo. It looks like a prize winner.

A Red Admiral has found some fermented apples under the leaves

The sea is there behind the trees, but not in its blue mood.

Dødehuset, a replica of a 'Death House' from Iron Age.

Giberåen, the water stream through 'Moesgård Skov'

The little dachshund had been carrying a wooden stick in his mouth for miles and was extremely proud about this, but when he came to the bridge he got too curious and lost the stick into the water. Mom is catching it with her umbrella. Will she get it for him?

Ready for a ride in the wood

One of the lovely horses

Skovmøllen, the old restaurant

well, autumn colours in the rain through the car window !

photo: grethe bachmann

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

A Market Day in October, Ingerslev Boulevard, Århus

It's soon Halloween

Enough cheese! Where's the dealer hiding?

Flowers and fruit

Sydesalt (Sea Salt) is produced on an old medieval tradition.
Here they are selling Læsø-Salt.
And then there's coffee in the little coffee-bar.

Lovely cabbage for a good winter's soup.

Playing accordion and selling homemade nesting boxes.

Wonderful autumn colours

Cyclamen, a popular flower at home - especially at
Christmas time.

The apple harvest is rich this year.

Special plants, like rose geranium

One of the best fruit and vegetable dealers

Busy from the first part of the morning.

A marketplace is a happy space, where people arrive in a good mood for a nice shopping tour, buying fruit, vegetables, flowers, cheese, fish, bread, and for meeting and talking. There's a joyful atmosphere like in McCartney's song about Desmond with his barrow in the market place: 'Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, Life goes on bra, La la how the life goes on......'
This marketplace on Ingerslev Boulevard has been there for many years every Wednesday and Saturday, and it's a very popular market. I lived my childhood and youth in the neighbourhood, and it was a must and a joy to go there at least Saturday morning.
The pictures are from early Wednesday morning 25. October around 10.30, before the big crowd arrives. Every Sunday in September- October is a special market, where people can rent a place to sell things, they want to get rid of! But it is possible to do a good bargain - like in all other flea markets - if you're lucky!

photo: grethe bachmann