The Great Bustard (Otis tarda) – The Brandenburg ostrich

The last surviving bustards in Germany can be found in the states of Brandenburg and Saxony-Anhalt. They are our largest native bird species. Thanks to extensive protection programs currently we have about 100 of these giant birds living in this country.

The Great Bustards are original inhabitants of natural steppes or long-range agricultural landscapes with vast wastelands, where they can find a rich food supply, especially insects.

Adult roosters can weigh up to 18 kg and the slender hens reach 8 kg.

From March to the end of May is their mating season. The courtship is a conspicuous “visual agitation” of the cocks. He is a big , stocky built bird of turkey-like shape with strong legs. The plumage top is brown and black banded. The beautiful head and thick neck are feathered gray. The bottom and the sides are white. About the chest wearing a rust-red breast band. There is a white feather beard on the beak root. When they flight they acts like geese, with slow, powerful wing beats.

The impressive courtship begins in which secrete the valves of the troops and spread over a large area. Then they turn into huge white flowers – they put the tail folded at the back and roll up their wings to partially so that the gleaming under the white tail – and under wing-coverts are pointing upwards. To this end, they pump the air bags near the neck like a balloon and place the head back so far that it almost vanishes in plumage . In this position, they turn jerkily in a circle.

The hen lays 1-3 eggs, which are incubated in 24 to 26 days. The hens perform months-long care of the chicks.

Photo Guide of the reserve “Kuhmühle”

The reserve “Kuhmühle” is one of our oldest protected areas – the period is extended to 2023!

The reserve “Kuhmühle” is in the district Bültum. It is located between Bültum and Upstedt and in the long term it could lease our community of practice already in 1985 by the congregation Bültum. Thus it is one of the oldest protected areas under the care of our association.

On the picture you can see a valuable survival and reproduction room from the originally dry grassland. It is developed by the setting of pollard willows along the southern border, more like a trench resembling small creek and through a fruit transferor open fields hedge the facility for numerous birds, small mammals and insects. From our many observations we know we can also find there migratory birds and other migratory animals again and again to appreciate this charming place. Most of the small area continues to be a species-rich grassland which is mown only once a year. This plant diversity attracts an equally diverse insect life in this protected area and thus increased even more its ecological value.

In particular, marked by the great skill and care activity of the area supervisor Alfred “Fredo” Philipps from Upstedt who has contributed to this very positive for the environment and for the protection initiative and demonstrates in an impressive way, that even on a small local landscape, may also arise а positively formative biotope. The protected area is in particular also a unifying element in the context of a biotope network which represents and fills a gap in the chain of habitat elements that are coming from the Netteaue to Werder along the composting stream through the district Cute / Bönnien and Upstedt way up extends to the local situation of Bültum.

A few thoughts on our landscape

Our ancient cultural landscapes are the product of a continuous struggle of man, in times when the nature didn’t allow much income. That diversity over the centuries with previously unprecedented biodiversity equipped landscape has spawned, were at that time “inadequate” options, as intensely as we can do business today.

You can see reported and meadows pool Lutter end of the 70s. This landscape is almost completely gone. Today corn is particularly cultivated on large areas there.

The fact is: Conservationists of which was also no . Were the meadows too wet , they could only mowed once in the fall and the litter are used for livestock. Colorful , diverse -> wet meadows were created in this way. Were the meadows to dry and lean, it came sheep and it developed today so vulnerable Magerrasen . This list goes on and on .

To dry out or to plow at such surfaces at that time was usually far too costly without today’s machines. The fields were colorful, not because the farmer was flower lovers, but because there was no herbicides and artificial fertilizers at all. Many farmers in low-yield regions with poor soils gnawed at the time of hunger. Exactly there the most beautiful cultural landscapes were created by today’s standards. In addition, the supply of the population had to be carried from the region. A house garden and the orchard was essential duty.

The thing that came out back in cattle, was then applied to the field again.

Today, these regional, eco-friendly circuits are decoupled. It is no longer necessary to invest all resources in the landscape. The fruit comes from New Zealand, the vegetables from Spain and Holland, sheep’s milk cheese from Greece, the rancher buys soy from Brazil. However, farmer who work on canola or corn use fertilizers to secure the return of the manure in the landscape. The needed water no longer comes from the local wells but via pipelines from the low mountain ranges.

Visit to farm Luna

In beautiful summer weather, we visited the Demeter Hof Luna.

We met a man who follows his vocation with joy in the heart. A person who uses to exploit the ground and the fortunes of a healthy ecosystem right instead of just see it as a production space.

In a short presentation in advance we got insights about the individual areas of the court, that the planned goals for the future and the reasons for the conversion of the farm to a biodynamic farming 20 years ago.

Many of us could well understand all the difficulties in the implementation of building a stable adaptive ecosystem, marketing and conservation of endangered animal and plant species in the form of countless political and institutional rush stumbling blocks. More and more regulations and unnatural laws limit the entrepreneurial spirit and creativity of the people.

We saw the “Angler cattle” and the location for the planned construction of a barn for a conservation breeding herd. Mr. Bertram told us about the importance of the cow’s horns and the good properties of this milk-stressed cattle breed. During the commission of the fields we enjoyed at the species-rich hedge planting with their fruit and herb garden.

The herb garden could inspire you!

The treatment of the soil for humus formation was not only interest of the gardeners for hobby. Without humus to the soil it is infertile and the man loses his food source. About 2 billion hectares of arable land of the world are already infertile due to decades of exploitation and failure management. How should consist of a club, which is swung against nature, grow something good for the people? We can learn that one day in an impressive way.

We ended our tour tasting natural products at Vespers buffet.

Photo Giude 2013 Lady Orchid in Ambergau

Every year Local orchids Working Groups participate in the contest for “Orchid of the Year”. The election for 2013 was in a way, which could also be found in our Ambergau: The Purple Orchid (Orchis purpurea) album.

Orchids in Ambergau, is there such a thing really? Yes, there is and there are even more types. One of these will be presented in more details here.

During late spring – early summer Purpurote orchid can be more than 80 cm high and is one of the largest domestic orchids. The dense flowers can be designed highly variable in color and form. The basic color of the lip is white to light pink and more or less filled with purple hair tufts. The flower’s helmet is colored purple brown.

The purple orchid could still be found scattered in the limestone areas. Preferably, this orchid grows in warm dry forests and sparse shrubbery. Even semi-dry grasslands are populated with it. Orchis purpurea is at risk particularly by changes in the forest use and the progressive loss of suitable habitats.

Grassy vacancies in the light forest in milder climatic Location: One of the favorite locations of the purple orchid herb.

Like all wild orchids, the purple orchid is in a conservation area in Germany. In the Red list of ferns and flowering plants of Lower Saxony and Bremen (2004) the species is listed as endangered (3) for our area.

In comparison to the types of damp to lean dry meadows, which have through agricultural intensification, afforestation or dereliction of numerous habitats (even in Ambergau with us) recorded a historical loss of species , heard the beautiful purple -Knapp herb still an integral part of our flora. Let’s hope that this will also remain in the future.

Photo Guide on The Upper Harz Water Regale – World Heritage Site in the Harz National Park – Part 2

Historical moat

Water runs through the block rocks. On the one side was the water power for the operation of the so-called “driving skills” , that unique delivery system that made ​​it possible for the miners, only by mutually changing a counter to move up and down linkage without much effort in the tunnel – or at the end of the shift eject again.

Regardless of the formerly used ladders by the miners they often had to go down several hundred meters and then they had to climb up again. And they had to do this twice a day! An incredible effort! On the other hand, the conveyor system also served the dewatering of the tunnel and its ventilation and eventually became the operation of the stamp mills, in which crushed the mined ore and prepared it for smelting.

Something disappeared like a gnome under the gloomy, stunted spruce or was it only a brief of wind that made us twitch? Wasn’t something slipping near the heap block and disappeared into a chasm? The tales and myths of the resin, familiar from childhood – here they could be born! But are they fairy tales, are they myths? One would doubt sometimes …

Rocks and forest by the roadside

After a good rest and a delicious meal in Rehberger grave house Bernhard chamber led us to another, sometimes a bit cumbersome way (not counting tree roots, slippery rocks, rises ), sometimes rather a path through the wilderness like here , quite primitive Harz Forest back to our comfortable cars that were parked near the pond Or . Although for some participants in the journey the way back was not so easy, it was wonderful excerpt from the multiform resin, this telling and legendary Lower Saxony highlands.
Dear Bernhard, Thank you for this wonderful experience!

Photo Guide on The Upper Harz Water Regale – World Heritage Site in the Harz National Park

The traveling plaque at Oderich

As part of a group guided by the Vice-Chairman Bernhard, on October 6 this year we had the possibility to learn more about a very scenic part of “The Upper Harz Water Regale”.

The Oderich

This, raised by the UNESCO in the status of a World Heritage Site in 2010, artificial above ground water system or whatever you want to call it was created to operate the conveyor and pumping equipment in the numerous Harz mines several centuries ago. For this purpose, sophisticated storage ponds, channels, aqueducts and resin fortifications were built in the wild nature.

The Fantastic skills and knowledge in hydrology and hydrodynamics and their incredibly effective technical implementation enabled the system and still keep it in good working condition, as an independent seasonal variation system for use of water power in the Harz mining area.

Our hike led by Oderich always along the overground recycled water system to Rehberger grave house. On the way we could also see well-designed, usable for forestry vehicles -looking nature of the resin, in spite of the accompanying drizzle most of the time we could enjoy our trip.

Photo Guide on the High Hill – an early medieval settlement in the southern Sackwald

Photo 1: Our hiking group

Guided by Karl Bremer, temporarily helped by the teacher Alfelder, the local historian and archaeologists Mr G. Kraus, we started a hiking group to the High Jump, above Winzenburg on 9 November.

Photo 2: Views from the High Hills

Here was found a settlement from the early Middle Ages. It was analyzed for decades by the archaeologists and is partly secured.

Photo 3: Mr Kraus finds а great trouvaille

In the surrounding forests partially rudimentary recognizable Wölbäcker and other signs for this settlement period. Here once stood the Winzenburg, in a whole chain of hill forts on the so-called Rennstieg. Later it lost its form and gradually eroded. With their bricks also shifted they led to the present site Winzenburg.

The beginning of a somewhat difficult sector on our difficult autumnal road. At times the weather was quiet nice and we had yet to see quite a lot of interesting nature sights so we gladly marched through the colorful forests.

K. Bremer and G. Kraus at selected points of the archaeological findings of the settlement told us about the history of the place. For the good mood among the hikers also contributed the anticipation of a Delicious suckling pig with “plum – Kreuger”. A few tricky paths could not break the good mood.

Photo 4: Below the High Hill, a protected replanting

We have to thank Karl Bremer for the good organization and pathfinder skills on this day. Many thanks also for Mr. G. Kraus for his excellent academic explanations of the history of colonization and its exploration in the area around the High Jump.

Photo guide island trip on Phuket

This compact guide, full of travel know-how, leads to the world-famous beaches of Phuket, explains its characteristics and provides the latest recommendations on accommodation, restaurants, transport and excursions. As a contrast to the beaches, the cultural attractions are described are usually located away from the tourist hustle and bustle beach (almost hidden ) in the intern part of the island.

There is also information about walking tours, sightseeing trips and excursions to neighboring, smaller islands. An annual calendar shows the most important festivals and events. This small photo guide describes the best vantage points that you should not miss.

From the contents: The most beautiful beaches are deserted, quiet and “wild”. All the important places and attractions on Phuket.

Culinary: from Thai home cooking to gourmet menu. Cafes, bars, discos and restaurants. Scene Hint: Where could you go in the evening? The boulevards and shopping places. The best land and beach hotels.

For details on travel preparation. Phuket discover: the rental car and public transport. Lots of exciting and useful tips, and background information: Small Thai phrase book for the everyday tourist on Phuket.

Features: full color, handy format, numerous photos, practical overview maps, detailed maps, large folding map on the island when you want to go out, detailed register and many more.

Festival of Lights – Berlin with Photo Guide

It’s time again for the “Festival of Lights” in Berlin 2012. The festival is free for visitors and you could find more information at the festival’s Facebook fan page! The official opening will be at 19:30 o’clock at the Potsdamer Platz. Among the others who will be in the opening you would see Klaus Wowereit – the patron of the festival, Ayman, the opera tenor Raphael Pauss, Till Pohlmann and Feeding the Fish.

One of the largest illumination festivals in the world outside our own front door is a must visit place for any photographer. Together, the Blue hour and the night makes photography even more fun. At 3 o’clock will be presented unique designs for snapping and experimentation on the Gendarmenmarkt and Museum Island.

Extensive information about photography and especially for taking night shots as well as valuable professional photographer tips will be mediated and could be implemented directly.
learn how to take photos at a postcard level – by only working with colors and light without using the effects of an image editing program.

Learn more about the photo tours and workshops in Berlin on www.Fotoguide – Berlin.de.