Friday, November 30, 2012

A Rare Guest from the Far East.

Brown Shrike

A little pretty bird which is a very rare guest in Denmark has stayed by a lake close to the city of Århus since the 4th of november. It's the second time it has visited Denmark and the fifth time it has been noticed in Europe. It's the brown shrike. (Lanius cristatus). The brown shrike is closely related to the red-backed shrike and the Isabella shrike, and like them it has a "bandit mask" through the eye. It breeds in the northern Asia from Mongolia to Siberia and overwinters in southern parts of Asia.

Lots of birdwatchers have come from far and away since the 4th of November, from all Denmark, but also from Sweden, Norway and Germany. This little bird has been stared at and photographed more than crownprincess Mary. The rare little guest has now been there for almost a month, but the winter cold has come, and there is no guarantee that it will survive. 


photo 24 November 2012: stig bachmann nielsen, & grethe bachmann 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Days are short when you reach November.......

yes, the lyrics of the "September Song" can be changed like the weather.........

the fog has almost gone

What shall I take care of this winter in order to stay healthy? There are always so many warnings everywhere and it is so difficult to remember it all, isn't it?
"Winter can have a pretty big impact on our physical health and emotional health,” said Dr. Conrad Iber, director of the Fairview sleep program at the University of Minnesota Medical Center.

a low gravehill with trees.
farm in November sun

"Remember to drink lots of water, eat more whole grains and more vegetables and be physically active, your bedroom has to be cold, you'll become more grumpy, because there's less sunlight, it might be a good idea to get a sunlight lamp, do some exercise, socialize, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, rich in D- vitamin,  it's prime time for colds and flu, again remember a balanced diet, exercise, fresh air and adequate sleep. Get a flu shot. And then here's something I wasn't aware of:  your body adapts to the cold by shifting more blood flow to interior organs and away from your hands, feet and face. So that's what happens!.... again remember exercise and a good diet, wear layers, cover your wrists, ankels and head, when you're outside on cold days".

I promise I'll try to remember everything.
Btw: I have got a flu shot ...........

cattle enjoying still being out...

 oak with  leaves down to the ground, (enlarge).

When all this has been said I went out Saturday to see what was happening outside on a cold day in November. It was not very cold . The cold of winter will arrive on the last day of November, on Friday the 30. "Make no sorrow in advance" is an old saying. The weather people might be wrong. I'm not ready for snow.

well-dressed hunters
old kloster church, Tvilum

It was very foggy that morning, at least here in Århus and East Jutland. There was no sign of a blue heaven and I couldn't imagine it might be any better. It's actually a great help that we can look at the satelite on the net and see where to go. "There are no clouds to the north!"  So we took the north-road hoping for a little sunlight on this short afternoon. It took almost an hour before we were out of the fog, and the sun came through the haze and threw a golden light upon the landscape.

flowing lines

Gudenaa River Valley, at Sminge
Gudenaa River Valley, at Sminge

landscape with windmills, Tvilum

I always take some photos while we're driving, which probably is obvious but I use them anyway because they can tell a little about my country. All seasons have their charm. November is reflective, now the year has almost passed, and we are going into a long winter, summer feels far away now, and we'll have to wait almost half a year before we'll see it again. Although the days grow shorter, there is a special light in the day hours when the sun is low. It's this golden light we can see in summer on a late afternoon. I love that golden light. Hours like this makes me wish that I lived in a cosy house out in the country, where I could meet the nature from morning til noon. But I'm a city girl. The countryside is not always so romantic, muddy roads and smell from the swine farms ..........

now we're going back home....

 - but we were surprised by a strange change of weather, suddenly dark clouds came close to the ground and surrounded everything with a mysterious dark haze. We could see the lake, but it looked like something from the Arthurian saga, we'll go down and await the boat from Avalon.....

Well, let's go back to reality. What stuff are dreams made of anyway? 

Before reaching home we took a side-trip to a lake close by my home, where a rare bird has visited Denmark for some weeks. This bird has been in Denmark twice and in Europe five times, it comes from far away, from Asia. It's the Brown Shrike - and I'm sure this is now the most photographed "person" in Denmark beside Crownprincess Mary. The birdwatchers come from abroad too. I haven't got a photo yet. I've been promised one and I'll bring it on the blog for those who are interested. But I did see this little fine bird - eventually. First I was staring at a pole with a spot in the top. This was not the right pole, but then I saw the little famous star just before it jumped down into the grass.

See you see soon again. I've been on Amled's Heath with Prince Hamlet's grave. I'll show you later.  

Looking for the Brown Shrike.

the bird is here - somewhere........

photo 24.November 2012: grethe bachmann 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

A new little Hippo-kid in Copenhagen

 one hour ago

See video from Copenhagen Zoo, first time out in public, the little hippo is 1 month old.
Cute Hippo-kid

There is a better video on youtube of the hippo under water but it is not available for use here on the blog.


Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Trelde Næs, Vejle fjord

The eastern part of Jutland has many inlets where cities lie cosy and safe in the corners, like the cities Randers, Hobro, Horsens, Vejle, Kolding - these inlets have created some beautiful hilly landscapes around the cities and along the coasts. The nature in Jutland is very varied, here in East Jutland is a vigorous landscape, mild and soft. This day we were going to a hilly, forested landscape, to a a cape south of  Vejle fjord, called Trelde Næs*, which is now protected land.

( * Næs is an isthmus or a cape) 

At Trelde Næs lies the 30 meter high Trelde Klint*  -  and along the coast towards Lillebælt are until 20 meter high cliffs with significant slides. The hinterland is a forest, Østerskoven, with many rare plants. Lillebælt is the water between East Jutland and the island Funen, connected by the Lillebælt-Bridge. South of the cape lies the city Fredericia..

( *Klint is a cliff or a slope)

photo from Google Earth Map

one of the hiking paths
There is a considerable erosion on the entire Trelde Næs, and breakwaters lie along the coast, built in both granite boulders and poles. Big slides of clay occur at spring-thawing, especially on the south side. On the north side of the cape is a broad sandy beach with fine bathing conditions.

The plastic clay on Trelde Næs is a greasy red, green or grey clay, which is easy to shape. A clay like this was deposited in Paleogene about 54-38 million years ago, and plastic clay is in Denmark found upon Røsnæs, by and under Lillebælt, at Æbelø and in Mid Jutland. The plastic clay is among other things used for concrete tiles. In geotechnics the property of the clay is very significant, since the alternating water absorbtion and dessication can cause serious problems in buildings, which are founded on plastic clay.

Along the southeast coast with the especially large  slides, which face the city Fredericia, the beach is narrow and difficult to pass. Greasy clay lies like tongues along the edge of the beach and many dead trees block the way. In the early spring, where many slides occur, it's a riscy business to walk here. Waders are needed!

The cliffs towards Lillebælt are crowned with deciduous forest and some coniferous forest in the hinterland.

Flora and Fauna 

many benches like this  in the forest,
The animal life include gobies, shrimps and glass eel in spring, in summer are clouds of garfish- and herring fry and tobis. There are sand mussel and cockles, and in some places large banks of blue mussels. At the land spit called Kasser Odde, with stones along the beach, are seaweed forests of various seaweed species. In late summer and autumn are big heaps of blue mussel shells and shells from the red whelk and dwarf whelk.

blackberry with pink flowers in autumn.
Both on the beach and in the forest is a rich flora. On the beach is cakile, sea kale, saltbush, goosefoot and various grass species, and in the forest hawthorn, sloe, rosa canina, honeysuckle and fly honeysuckle, spindle, ivy, blackberry, holly, arum, etc. Upon the terasses, where the cliff has made slides, are rare orchids. They are protected and must not be plucked or digged up. Where the clay is free of water grow coltsfoot, European swamp thistle, marsh sow thistle, great horsetail and upon the dead beech tress on the beach a fungus called schizophyllum.


 Schizophyllum is probably the fungus which globally has the largest extent. It grows everywhere possible. It has been gathered worldwide and cultivated in laboratories and it is the same species everywhere. Research has shown that the fungus has at least 28.000 different sexes. Schizophyllum is common in rotting wood, but can also cause disease in humans. It has been known to cause a human myosis in just a few cases involving immunoincompetent people, especially children. In one case the fungus had grown through the soft palate of a child's mouth and was actually forming fruiting bodies (mushrooms) in her sinuses.

The Hunter

In several places in the high cliffs are colonies of sand martins, and the red-breasted merganser breeds behind the downfallen tree roots. Among the breeding birds of the forest are buzzard, sparrow hawk, kestrel, tawny owl, raven and green woodpecker - in the summer season cormorants are seen upon the fishing stakes, and all winter lie the tufted duck, greater scaup, swan and various ducks like eider and common scoter close to the coast. In spring is a fine migration of birds like lark, starling, jackdaw, crow and lapwing and large flocks of the meadow pipit, chaffinch and brambling. A migration of birds of prey is also seen in the area. Seals and porpoise are seen at Kasser Odde. (the land tip) 

At the beach called Bøgeskov Strand is a spring with angelica and marsh sow thistle.
In the slopes have been made unique finds of fossilized fish-skulls and swords from sword fish. There are good possibilities of finding fossiles in the dark clay layers, but the clay is oily and there are many slides, especially in spring.    

north side with fine autumn colours
here comes a horse who would not go into his waggon.
one of the saw mill buildings
According to tradition the outlawed grev Trolle infested Trelde Næs in the early Middle Ages, he was called "Næssekongen", ("King of the Cape") -  in the 14-15th century the cape belonged to the Crown and since then there was an ongoing feud among several landowners about the rights of the area, especially the rights of the good herring fishing, which Trelde Næs was famous for. In the 1800s a ferry sailed between Trelde Næs and the north side of Vejle fjord, but it was given up because of low water. The propetry was in 1919 bought by Harald Plum who built a saw mill and several other buildings like the socalled "Troldehus" on the outmost tip which he used as a summer residence. Kulvig havn, a small harbour on the nortside of Trelde Næs ,was established in connection to the saw mill industry as a sawmill harbour by Harald Plum. A later owner was for several years Ane Rydholt, called "Næssedronningen", (Queen of the Cape), who kept the area closed to the public. She lived a withdrawn life and had a reputation of being a bit of an oddball. In 1966 the outmost part of Trelde Næs was bought by Fredericia Municipality with a support from the Culture-Ministery - and it is now protected land . Today there is public access to the baeautiful area , at the north side of the coast is a fine bathing beach  and there are 3 marked hiking paths. "Troldehuset" is now rebuilt into a cap school. The lighthouse is buiilt in steel grating, materials from a German canon foundation from WWII. Because of the slides in the coast the lighthouse was rebuilt three times and moved twice. Upon the næs have been found kitchen middens from Stone Age.
Trelde, in the village.

photo Trelde Næs 27 October 2012: grethe bachmann