Thursday, December 27, 2007

A December Afternoon - Emily Dickinson

There’s a certain slant of light,
On winter afternoons,
That oppresses, like the weight
Of cathedral tunes.

Heavenly hurt it gives us;
We can find no scar,
But internal difference
Where the meanings are.

None may teach it anything,
’T is the seal, despair,
—An imperial affliction
Sent us of the air.

When it comes, the landscape listens,
Shadows hold their breath;
When it goes, ’t is like the distance
On the look of death.

Emily Dickinson

photo: grethe bachmann

Mindeparken/ Memorial Park in Århus in December 2007

Still with Autumn Colours

Mindeparken, still green and with rests of autumn shades.

Marselisborg Slot, queen Margrethe and her family's holiday and Christmas residence.

Beech hedges by the entrance to the big circular memorial monument for Danish soldiers killed in World War I.

A view to Århus Bay.

Fine red hip berries for the birds.
A birch tree's black pieces of lace upon a blue sky.

The 'Water Carrier' is in summer almost covered in vigorous long branches from the big willow tree. Maybe she longs for summer right now.
photo decbr: grethe bachmann, Mindeparken, Århus

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Mars and Moon in December 2007

Mars now appears brightest in our sky until 2016. Mars will be closest to Earth on December 18, but you can see the red planet at its brightest throughout December. Look for the full moon near Mars on December 23.
photo 2007: gb

Thursday, December 06, 2007

December 2007 - Robert Fuller Murray

That's no December sky
Surely 'tis June
Holds now her state on high
Queen of the noon.
Only the tree-tops bare
Crowning the hill
Clear-cut in perfect air,
Warn us that still
Winter, the aged chief,
Mighty in power,
Exiles the tender leaf,
Exiles the flower.

Robert Fuller Murray (1864-1894) A December Day

photo December: grethe bachmann

Poskær Stenhus, Mols, East Jutland

Stone Age

Poskær Stenhus
In the hilly landscape at Mols in East Jutland lies the dolmen 'Poskær Stenhus', one of the prettiest and most wellknown dolmens in Denmark. It was built in Stone Age about 3.300 years ago and was probably a common burial and cult place for the settlements of the area.
'Poskær Stenhus' is Denmark's largest circular dolmen. The hexagon burial chamber consists of five big supporting stones. The entrance points to the East and the burial chamber is surrounded by 23 (once 24) big granite boulders in a circle.
Investigations showed that the cover stone is a socalled 'twin stone', the half part of a huge enormous granite boulder, brought to Denmark by the ice during the last Ice Age about 15.000 years ago. The other half is placed in the dolmen 'Grovlegaardsdyssen' about 2 km north east of Poskær Stenhus.
A legend says that once a troll family lived in the dolmen. The troll's wife offered for free to spin yarn for the wife in the nearby farm if she could guess her name. One evening the farmer's wife heard the troll's wife sing to her child, using the name 'Hottetejlil', but when she the next day called the troll's wife by her name the co work stopped.
A typical reflection on such big stone plans is that they were established in poportion to the stars and their movements. In similar plans in England , Scotland and Ireland the sun shines by winter solstice directly into the burial chamber by sunrise.
Winter SolsticeWinter Solstice has been celebrated in cultures the world over for thousands of years. This start of the solar year is a celebration of Light and the rebirth of the Sun. In old Europe, it was known as Yule, from the Norse, Jul, meaning wheel.Today, many people in Western-based cultures refer to this holiday as "Christmas." Yet a look into its origins of Christmas reveals its Pagan roots.
Emperor Aurelian established December 25 as the birthday of the "Invincible Sun" in the third century as part of the Roman Winter Solstice celebrations. Shortly thereafter, in 273, the Christian church selected this day to represent the birthday of Jesus, and by 336, this Roman solar feast day was Christianized. January 6, celebrated as Epiphany in Christendom and linked with the visit of the Magi, was originally an Egyptian date for the Winter Solstice.
Most of the customs, lore, symbols, and rituals associated with "Christmas" actually are linked to Winter Solstice celebrations of ancient Pagan cultures. While Christian mythology is interwoven with contemporary observances of this holiday time, its Pagan nature is still strong and apparent. Pagans today can readily re-Paganize Christmastime and the secular New Year by giving a Pagan spiritual focus to existing holiday customs and by creating new traditions that draw on ancient ways.

Poskær Stenhus
photo december 2007: grethe bachmann

Sunday, November 04, 2007

November 2007 - Henry David Thoreau

November 2007

The thinnest yellow light of November is more warming and
exhilarating than any wine they tell of.
The mite which November contributes becomes equal in value
to the bounty of July.

Henry David Thoreau
photo 3 nov. 2007: grethe bachmann, Simested ådal

Monday, October 22, 2007

Bække Church/ Bække Kirke and Klebæk Høje, Hærvejen

South West Jutland in Ribe District

In 1807 a runestone was found in the dike by Bække Church. It dates from 925 and is placed upon a small hill in front of the church. The inscription says that "Tue Ravnsunge and Funden and Gnyble , they made Thyres Hill ". (Thyras Høj).

Klebæk Høje at Hærvejen

The runestone from the 900s is placed in the stem of the stone ship. The text says that 'Revne and Tobbe made these 'kumler' after their mother Vibrog'.

Klebæk Høje are also named "The Bække Monument". They consist of two grave hills from Bronze Age (ab. 3000 years ag9) and a 45 m long stone ship from Viking Age with a rune stone in the stem of the ship. From the beginning were about 60 big stones, but they were removed during the centuries for building purposes. Some small stones have been placed in order to mark the ship .Across a part of the area some wheel tracks from Hærvejen are visible. Hærvejen/The Ochsenroad was established later than the stone ship.

photo 20 october 2007: grethe bachmann

Friday, October 05, 2007

Queen Wasp

A queen wasp to the left.
photo september 2007: grethe bachmann

Greater Water-parsnip/Bredbladet Mærke

Sium Latifolium

Greater Water parsnip is widespread in Europe. One of the alternative English names for this plant is water hemlock as it bears a close resemblance to hemlock Conium maculatum, often found growing on wet meadows and banksides.

photo september 2007: grethe bachmann, Høstemark Skov Lille Vildmose North Jutland

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


The morns are meeker than they were,
The nuts are getting brown;
The berry's cheek is plumper,
The rose is out of town.

The maple wears a gayer scarf,
The field a scarlet gown.
Lest I should be old-fashioned,
I'll put a trinket on.

- Emily Dickinson, Nature 27 - Autumn

photo october 2007: gb

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Large Blue /Sortplettet Blåfugl (Maculinea arion)

Large Blue/ Sortplettet Blåfugl (Maculinea arion)

Wing span 33-41 mm. Is known for its size, shining blue colour, the spots and the strong markings on the underside. The spots on the upperside can varie and sometimes lack completely.

It was almost extinct in Denmark after 1950. Since 1990 Large Blue is only seen in one place at the island Møn and in a couple of places in North Jutland. It's protected. Any intervention in order to protect the species demands the assistance of specialists.

photo 30. June 2007 Høvblege, Møn: stig bachmann nielsen, Naturplan Foto

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Butterflies and August Flowers

An amazing collection of Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell on a Stonecrop (Kinesisk Sankt Hansurt) photo 23. august 2007 the island Mors, Limfjorden, North Jutland: grethe bachmann
(click to enlarge)

Cynthia cardui/Painted Lady/Tidselsommerfugl

Aglais urticae/Small Tortoiseshell/Nældens takvinge

Inachis io/Peacock/Dagpåfugleøje
Painted Lady, Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock love the Cone flowers.
photo 24.august 2007. Gammel Rye, Mid Jutland: grethe bachmann

Gonepteryx rhamni/Common Brimstone/Citronsommerfugl loves the Sage flowers.
photo 24. august 2007 , Gammel Rye, Mid Jutland: grethe bachmann

A very yellow Pieris rapae/Lille kaalsommerfugl
photo 23. august the island Mors, Limfjorden, North Jutland: grethe bachmann

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Fine Signs and Other Neat Details in the Frisian Town Husum.

Here lives the dolls' physician

A museum for childrens' play things

Antique Book Store

A fine old sign is still kept on the wall for the first antique
book dealer

Easy to see that this is the bookshop for children.

This must be a blacksmith ?

A very pretty door with a handle for magazine and paper.

And here lives the family Fuchs. What a fine sign with the sketch
of a fox.

photo May 2007: grethe bachmann

Article and pictures from Husum in my blog: A Taste of Denmark

Sunday, August 05, 2007

A Young Sailor

'It wasn't my idea to go sailing today!'

photo august 2007: gb

Friday, August 03, 2007

Medusa in Gravlev

From ancient times the Medusa was immortalized in numerous works af art, but this new woodcut Medusa on a peaceful village road in Gravlev in Himmerland, staring up to Gravlev Church upon the hill - this was a rather surprising sight. She is monstrous big - and she must be frightening in the dark of the night for people who don't know she's there. I hope they are not being turned into stone!

In Greek mythology Medusa was a monstrous female character, who could turn onlookers to stone. Secondarily she was tripled into three sisters - the Gorgons. '.............sisters three, the Gorgons, winged with snakes for hair - hated of mortal man.'
In the fifth century artists began to envisage Medusa as being beautiful as well as terrifying. In a late version related to the Roman poet Ovid, Medusa was originally a beautiful nymph, but when she was raped by Poseidon in Athena's temple, the goddess transformed her beautiful hair to serpents and made her face so terrible to behold that the mere sight would turn a man into stone.

While Medusa was pregnant by Poseidon, she was beheaded in her sleep by the hero Perseus. With help from Athena and Hermes who supplied him with winged sandals, Hades' cap of invisibility, a sword and a mirrored shield he accomplished his quest. The hero slew Medusa by looking at her reflection in the mirror. When he severed Medusa's head from her neck, two offspring sprang forth: the winged horse Pegasus and the giant Chrysaor.

The corals of the Red Sea were said to have been formed of Medusa's blood spilled onto seaweed, when Perseus laid down the petrifying head beside the shore, and the poisonous vipers of Sahara were said to have grown from spilt drops of her blood.

Perseus then flew to his mother's island where she was about to be forced into marriage with the king. He cried out: 'Mother, shield your eyes!' - and everyone but his mother was turned into stone by the gaze of Medusa's head. Then he gave the Gorgon's head to Athena, who placed it on her shield, the Aegis. Some say the goddess gave Medusa's magical blood to the physician Asclepius, some of which was a deadly poison and the other had the power to raise the dead.

Greek drama when it's best!

The Staff of Aesculapius with the 'Aesculap snake ' is the wellknown symbol for physicians.

There were findings and observations of the Aesculap snake/Æskulapsnog in Jutland, Zealand and Falster in the 1800s. It was latest seen in Denmark in 1910. And supposedly it has disappeared. But it would be a sensation if someone discovered it somewhere.................

photo of 'Medusa in Gravlev' July 2007: grethe bachmann

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Southern Hawker / Blå Mosaikguldsmed

Aeshna cyanea

Aeshna means 'ugly' or 'misshapen', and cyanea means 'dark blue. There are many similar species of the Genus Aeshna.

The Southern Hawker is one of the largest dragonflies in Denmark. Body-length 71-74 mm. The abdomen of the male is dark with yellow, green and blue drawings, the female's abdomen is dark with green drawings. It looks like other Southern Hawkers (Blå Mosaikguldsmede),  but it is recognized by that the upperside of the two back parts of the abdomen are coherent and one colour blue by the male and green by the female - not divided in spots. The blue or green colour on these abomen parts light up and are so distinct that it is often possible to determine the species even at a long distance.

On rare occasions the back-spots upon the adults' two back parts can be more or less divided  - a little like other spotted hawkers. In a few males the back spots, which else are typically light green, are light blue instead. 

The Southern Hawker flies with great agility and a speed of 25-30 km an hour, while it is catching insects in mid air a catch basket, which it forms with its strong legs. The prey is often eaten on the wing- saying crush, crush.

The development progress takes 2-3 years, the egg-development almost 1 year.The eggs overwinter and are hatched the following spring, and the development of the larvae lasts usually 1 - 2 years.

Habitat: The Southern Hawker breeds in still water-  many habitats are quite small and it often breeds in small, warm garden ponds. It often flies far from the water, hunting along hedgerows and in forest glades.

The Southern Hawker( Blå Mosaikguldsmed) lives in all districts of Denmark, it is very common on the Isles and in East Jutland, but more scattered in Mid- and West jutland

photo July 2007 Vokslev Kalkgrube, Himmerland, Jutland: grethe bachmann

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Rebild National Park, Jutland

Lincoln Log Cabin

The Rebild Festival on July 4th has been a tradition for almost 100 years. Since 1912 it has been a meeting place for Danish-Americans. A Danish-American, Max Henius, got the idea in 1911 and was sure that the celebration had to be on Independence Day, the 4th of July.

The money for buying the big heath area was donated from Danish-Americans all over the USA - and the intention was to give it to the Danish State. The conditions were that it should always be open to the public, the Danish-Americans were allowed to have celebrations in the park on July 4th and other American Memorial days - and last but not least the park had to stay in a natural state.

Rebild Bakker (Rebild Hills) are visited each year by more than 400.000 people and is one of Denmark's biggest tourist attractions.

Every year on July 4th are delivered addresses by selected people to the big gathering of Danish-Americans. There are entertainment and other arrangements. 'The Lincoln Log Cabin', (Bjælkehuset) is a museum, telling the story about the Danish emigrants. In the last part of the 1900s and the first of the 2000s more than 300.000 Danes left their homeland to seek their fortune in America. In the museum are also effects from various Native American cultures.

More info in English:

photo July 2007: grethe bachmann

Borreby Castle , Zealand - A Portcullis

Borreby is a fortificated castle from the 1500s, built upon a double moat. The portcullis was originally placed in the main building's entrance tower. Borreby represents the transitional period from the medieval knight's castle till the Renaissance castle of the squire.
Borrebys' portcullis was originally placed in the main building's entrance tower. This iron gate with spikes at the bottom fortified the entrance by many medieval castles, acting as a last line of defence during time of attack or siege. It could be raised or lowered quickly by means of chains or ropes. When the iron gate was down it was almost impossible for the enemy to get inside.
There would often be two portcullis to the main entrance. The one closest to the inside would be closed first, and then the one further away. This was used to trap the enemy - and often burning wood or hot oil would be poured onto them from the roof. Archers could shoot arrows at the trapped enemies.

But there were many death traps. There were often arrow slits in the sides of the walls for archers and crossbowmen to eliminate the besieging army. The outer walls had machicolation (scalding holes) and plenty of embrasures, and the enemy's flank could be shot at from the towers.
Further information about Borreby see my blog 'Church and Manor in Denmark'

photo july 2007: grethe bachmann