Monday, October 27, 2008

November 2008 - William Stanley Braithwaite

"There is music in the meadows, in the air --
Autumn is here;
Skies are gray, but hearts are mellow,
Leaves are crimson, brown, and yellow;
Pines are soughing, birches stir,
And the Gipsy trail is fresh beneath the fir.
There is rhythm in the woods, and in the fields,
Nature yields:
And the harvest voices crying,
Blend with Autumn zephyrs sighing;
Tone and color, frost and fire,
Wings the nocturne Nature plays upon her lyre."
- William Stanley Braithwaite, Lyric of Autumn

photo October 2008: grethe bachmann, Moesgård Have, Moesgård Museum


Ready for Halloween at the market

The carved pumpkin lit by a candle is one of Halloween's most prominent symbols in America and they are now popular in Denmark and the other Scandinavian countries. In Europe these lanterns were first carved from a turnip or rutabaga. Generally the traditions around Halloween in Denmark can be compared to the celebrations of the Danish Fastelavn in February where the children dress in imaginative costumes and walk from door to door begging for candy or buns, singing a special Fastelavn's song.

A difference between Halloween in USA and Denmark is that the Danes have a liberal view on this date. Halloween celebrations are either before or after October 31. In USA Halloween on October 31. is a national holiday like Christmas Eve. For practical reasons Allehelgensdag in Denmark is moved to the first Sunday in November - and in the church the names of the dead in the parish in that year is read by the vicar.
Halloween was originally a heathen celebration for the God of Death, Samhain among the Celts in Ireland and Great Britain. According to tradition the boundary between the alive and the deceased dissolved, and the dead became dangerous. Some of the ancient traditions have survived in a modern way, usually the celebrations included decorations with sinister symbols, often referring to death, the living dead, black magic and mythical monsters. The most famous Halloween-creatures in the present pop-culture are ghosts, living skeletons, black cats, witches, zombies, demons and little red devils plus literary figures like Dracula and Frankensteins Monster. Of common use are symbols for harvest and growth , especially pumpkins with a carved face and scare crows which represent both farming and the living dead. Black and orange have become Halloween colours for the night and the dark powers and the pumpkin and the growth of the fields.
The strong death symbols in the American Halloween with skeletons, skulls, bats and blood are not taken from the British celebrations, but inspired by the Catholic All Saint's Day in Mexico, where it is celebrated as the Day of the Dead.
The Halloween traditions have gradually become popular in Denmark and the other Scandinavic countries, especially because of the American mass culture and commercial pressure. The pumpkin-lanterns lit up everywhere in the evening now - and the children are very busy finding out what costume to wear this week-end.

photo October: grethe bachmann, Marketplace, Århus

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Sunset - Gilleleje

rosy clouds and a lonely seagull

mild salty air from the sea

the anglers are still waiting for the sea trout

a sunset walk by the beach is balsam for the soul

in every human being is a basic ability to recognize beauty

photo september 2008: grethe bachmann, Gilleleje, North Zealand

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Peregrine Falcon/ Vandrefalk

Falco peregrinus

A peregrine falcon on top of a chimney by a harbour.

History in short:
The most highly evolved of the falcons is the peregrine. It is a large falcon, but unlike the gyrfalcon the peregrine takes almost all of its prey out of the sky. The peregrine was a favourite of falconers and the most frequently bird used for falconry. It was not only easily trained, but provided the most daring spectacle. It circles high overhead, waiting for the quarry to be flushed, then dive for it at high speeds. In locations where the main quarry was wild fowl, it was sometimes called "hawk of the river". The peregrine was found all over Europe.

The Peregrine falcon's maximum speed:

Speed is the falcon's forte. If birds of prey were airplanes, then the eagles, the buzzards, the kites would be the gliders, and the falcons would be the jets. Estimates of the maximum speed of a falcon dive are as fast as 273 miles an hour (440 km/h) based on analysis of motion-picture footage of a falcon in full vertical dive taken by the Naval Research Laboratory in England in WWII. Most biologists, however, estimate the falcon's maximum velocity at 150 to 200 miles an hour ( 240 to 320 km/h), which is still faster than any other animal on earth.

See my article about Falconry in the Middle Ages.

photo 101008: stig bachmann nielsen,
Naturplan Foto

Saturday, October 11, 2008

A Grey and Rainy Day in October

Although it is raining.......

the landscape is still beautiful.........

soft shades by the water stream ..........

mirror of autumn leaves in the water surface........

soft reds in greens.................

black cattle softer than in the sun .........

drizzle hanging like a painter's light brush.............

grass with coloured messy hair.....................

fungis is a little red lamp

a grey and rainy day in October is not so bad after all..........

photo 101008 grethe bachmann