Monday, February 20, 2012

Ice on the Water - Snow in the Sky.

A Taste of Denmark

Once again a visit to the small island Alrø in Horsens fjord, the latest couple of visits for the same reason, to see the white tailed eagle, who's always in another place anyway, when we're there - probably sitting on the island of Vorsø, which has got public access for birds only. But it's good to be out in the countryside to get some fresh air instead of the black city air, and the narrow country roads are not very traffic. Although it's a part of our neighbourhood close to Århus then there are still places, we haven't seen yet. In the winter season we take relative short trips. As you can see the day is dark, and the day is short too . The light is quickly disappearing in the afternoon, and it is cold to be out for long.

Two horses in a field often walk together. I think they like company. I feel pity with a horse who's quite alone. Maybe I'm wrong?  Well, two friends, those two horses. The landscape shows that the snow is still here. We've got rid of it in town, this happens quickly, already while it is snowing - and often in the middle of the night.  I can hear the snowmen driving through the streets and in front of our building to remove the snow. They really have to get up early. In the country the snow stays put except on the traffic roads. I wouldn't be able to live in a house in the country. Furthermore there are no shops.

But in this district there is one little village after another, and I took some photos along the way of farms and houses - it was funny, because there were so many halftimbered houses in black and white. Maybe they copy each other. The big halftimbered black and white house is a vicarage. Many priests live in a pretty vicarage, but it's not sunny days always to be a priest. They've got many obligations. A priest is dependent on the parish council and what they decide. If the council don't like their new vicar they can make life difficult for him. I can imagine it's not an easy job to be a priest, and his wife has to be an outgoing and social person. No, the pretty vicarage might be dearly bought!


what about some weight-control?
There were two fields next to each other, one with a lonely pony with a heavy forelock covering one eye and one with the nice friendly cattle with belts - the belted Galloway. They origin from Scotland, they are hornless and  the earliest British cattle, and the opinion is that they came from the hornless cattle of the Scythians from year 485-425 B.C. The fur is traditionally black-brown. The Galloway cattle has outer and inner fur with long cover-hair and a curly woolen under-fur, which isolates against both cold and heat. The cover-hair is water-repellent. The original Scottish Galloway is lesser than the Amercian. The Scottish bull weighs about 700-800 kilos. The Galloways are peaceful and easy to deal with, but if the flock is threatened,  they stick together and form a united front against the enemy.

listening with one ear...

Then we were passing a couple of white washed churches by the road, and opposite a church was a little village house with an outhouse with the same simple decoration of small red bricks. Three ponies stood in a thick layer of hay. It's important to have warm feet. Everyone knows that!  And not far from each other two buzzards in top of a tree. One was very "light-headed". They were waiting for a traffic victim! Well, yes they actually often are in the winter season. If an animal is run over by a car, it won't last long before it has disappeared, if there's a  predator in the neighbourhood. The birds of prey are among  Nature's garbage men. 

the black stripe is birds
looking for birds on the ice.
the first sight of the frozen sea ...

And now we came to the island Alrø which I have shown you a couple of times. I could see from the first sight when we reached the dam that the water in Horsens fjord was completely frozen. Everything was white, land joined water. I was a little surprised about the difference between this sea and the sea at Århus, where we came from. The sea at Århus was blue and shining like a mirror this morning. Some of the ice on the fjord had been pushed into frozen waves and looked like whipped cream. There was not a bird to see anywhere, not even geese and swans on the fields. There was nothing to eat. The grass was frozen too. Only one car when we came out to the only parking place in the southern end of the island. A young couple tried to take a little walk.  The wind made it colder and they gave up after five minutes. I gave up after almost the same and sat in the car drinking thermo-coffee and eating the traditional Wiener-Pecan-cake. Many birds gathered along an opening in the ice far out. The white-tailed eagle was probably on the next island,  also too far away.

two men with telescope
then outermost farm
the village street
Two men were walking along the coast with a telescope, when we drove back to the main land. They were probably on their way to a place, from which they can watch across and over to some small islands, called the Alrø Poller. The island Alrø is an eldorado for birds of all kinds. The low water and the protected area give optimal conditions for the bird life. Alrø is EF-habitat area, EF-bird protection area and Ramsar area. This means that plants, animals and nature types are largely protected. Hunting is forbidden in a section of the sea, and walking about on the small islands Alrø Poller is forbidden most of the year.

As you can see from today's photos the day was dark and with snow in the sky. The colours had a dark blue, which grew darker and darker with the vanishing light, the darkest of ultramarine.

No matter if it was cold and I was freezing my feet, I enjoyed being out to see how nature was now on this day in February. But I'm looking forward anyway to some sunny day in March and April, where the first signs of spring are coming. March is not far away.

going home now...

photo February 2012: grethe bachmann

two landscapes just before the town Odder. 


Kittie Howard said...

I like how 'the vicarage might be dearly bought.' We have the same here, where the pastor has to please the congregation or be sent off. I can understand if there's a personality clash or if the setting doesn't suit and so on, but what if the congregation doesn't like the message? I've given some thought to the whys of this, actually.

Lovely photo, Grethe. Always love how snow adds a swirl of magic in winter.

Gitti said...

Hej Grethe, a wonderful report about a cold winter day with ice on the water. It looks like the plane landscape here three weeks ago. Lately we visited the border river between Poland and Germany named "Oder". The water didn't flow, there was a very thick layer of anchor-ice.

Michael and Hanne said...

I love your blogs, so full of interest and beauty!
I beg to quarrel however with your less trafficked roads! This means they have less drug trafficking or gangster dealings? I think you mean they have less traffic. Weird language English. Danish is much more lucid! Cheers from Canada!

Thyra said...

Hej Kittie! yes, I have often thought it must be so cosy to be a vicar and live in such a pretty house in a lovely parish, but then there have been some cases in the newspaper that showed how difficult it is for a priest to actually be that cosy vicar in a cosy vicarage because ot the parish council. Isn't it a shame that our illusions often disappear out of the window? Thank you so much for your comment. I like the magic of the snow too.

See you
Grethe ´)

Thyra said...

Thank you Gitti, yes you've also got some winter where you live. I think you have seen that the latest churches in Church and Manor are from the district on that day. We'll soon have spring now, don't you think?
Grethe ´)

Thyra said...

Hej Michael and Hanne! I'm very glad that you like my blogs it means a lot to me.
I have changed the word to traffic. Thank you for telling me. I looked in my dictionary and thought I had found it! English is a lovely language, I have always loved it, but I'll never, never learn. I wish the English suddenly - all of them - had to learn Danish then I could feel safe!!

Grethe ´)

Carolyn said...

Beautiful, informative and interesting as always, Grethe ´

wow... third attempt at this new word verification Blogger has decided to initiate!

I finally took mine off... so far no robots... haaaa

Gerry Snape said...

wonderful photos again of all these beautiful Danish villages...I love the belted Galloways...didn't know that they were such an ancient breed. We see them on our walks in the Lake District. Thankyou Grethe

Thyra said...

Hej Carolyn! Thank you very much for nice words.

I don't know why Google has made these verifications. They have introduced many new things I have heard. I hope it's not too difficult to find out for humans!

Grethe ´)

Thyra said...

Thank you Gerry, I like this cattle too. They are so friendly. They are also in a Nationalpark in Mols Bjerge (East Jutland), where we can walk among them if we want to, they don't come up to you, which I find assuring!They are not curious - or too intrusive like fx the black-white cattle.
Have a nice day in the Lake District!

Teresa Evangeline said...

You have imbued these images and your words with a wonderful feeling. I have come to love what is oft considered "bleak." There's a beauty to it that is growing on me. Your descriptions make it easy to imagine your day. I'm so glad I stopped by this morning to read this. We got three inches of snow overnight. I love how it softens the landscape, but am looking forward to spring and all the blossoms.

I love your description of the ponies standing in hay. And the blue tinge to your photos really create then mood of the day. A beautiful post, Grethe.

Teresa Evangeline said...

I keep forgetting to mention how much I'm enjoying your carnival theme on your sidebar - wonderfully depicted in those paintings.

Thyra said...

Hej Teresa, it's lovely to hear from you. Thank you so much for your kind comments, I'm glad that you and the others also like the dark photos. I thought that they might be too dark, but you know the feeling in such a day. That's great. You've got snow too now.

I've got a little addition too. It's a lovely poem you have in your latest post. You are certainly a poet yourself.

Grethe ´)

Joan said...

Hello Grethe. I am back! I have much to catch up on here. This is a wonderful description of winter. I have no experience of snow and ice like this. It makes me want to go to some cold place for a real winter!
Now I must read some more of what I have missed! Thank you for sharing.

Thyra said...

Welcome back Joan, I have missed you and your posts. I hope you are okay.

Thank you for comment. I long for summer now, Joan!

Grethe `)

shoreacres said...

What a beautiful tour. We've missed any sort of winter this year, and it cheers me to see such nice photos surrounded by such interesting commentary.

I've heard of the Galloway cattle, but never was curious enough to look them up. Now that I see one with it's "belt", I realize there are a few stockmen here who have them. I don't see them often - it's been maybe a year or two since I've last seen one. They probably are kept as "exotics" - funny to think of cattle as exotic, but we get our milk and meat from other breeds.

During the last month there have been such beautiful photos of the northern lights, the Aurora Borealis. Did you happen to see them? I think it would be wonderful.

Thyra said...

Hej shoreacres, I would love to see the Aurora borealis. I never have, only what we call "Kornmodsglans" (it's explained as the reflections of faraway lightning) it's like large white curtains on the sky in late summer. It's called kornmod = ripe corn, because it occurs, when the corn is ripe. It looks beautiful, but not at all like the borealis.

Did you see the documentary with Joanna Lumley when she was at Nordkap in Norway and saw the Aurora? This was so beautiful.

The belted cattle and the Higland cattle are so sweet and friendly. I cannot resist them, and their little calves are so cute!

Thank you for comment!
Grethe ´)