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