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