Sunday, 22 November 2015

White Wonders

It's that time of the year again. One can either stay in bed and sleep in or... yes, we did the latter, and went out for a lovely hike through this temporary (?) winter wonderland. 

We didn't have to worry about getting stuck. As a matter of fact winter driving can be a lot of fun, when your car is equipped with 4WD and winter tires.

Every so often we were bombarded by hail and sleet. The hike was steep but the view was well worth the effort.

We found this cross in the fields, braving the elements since its installation in 1908. 

There was no one to be seen in the forest except for us, and a deer. Surprised by the unexpected wildlife encounter we looked at each other. We didn't hear it coming, because the white stuff had cancelled all noise. It was so silent that you could actually hear the snow hit the ground. Back home we thought how nice it would be to have a fireplace... alas that's something you don't get much in modern housing.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Strange Encounters in the Forest

Another sunny, albeit somewhat colder day in an unbelievable pleasant November. We decide to do a hike right in front of our doorstep. As usual the first two kilometers are the hardest as we climb approximately 200m before we slowly start a long descent back to our place.

The sun does not have the power to warm up the cool forest, so although we need regular short stops to catch our breath we do not break into sweat. But we have a couple of strange encounters in the forest...

Someone carved a figure into a tree. Must have been there for a few years, but we never noticed it before:

Nature decided to change a tree stump into a dog sculpture:

A very rugged looking free-running hen looking for some food in the leaves. She looked pretty hungry, so we did not try to approach her:

There is always something going on in the black forest!

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Sunday Weirdness

The rural scenery proves that fall is supposed to be in its last leg of its journey. However the temperature begged to differ. We likely had a new record happening today: an awkward 23.2°C (74°F) on November 8th, 2015.

And the weirdness didn't stop there, we encountered a small herd of coloured sheep along the road, not sure what its purpose was. However, I liked the pink one best.

And the weirdness still went on... it was Sunday and the shops were open. GASP! Businesses in Germany are not free to decide about their business hours. Opening times are restricted to 24/6, and  opening up on Sundays or holidays is VERBOTEN, due to an archaic legislation called Ladenschlussgesetz (shops closing act). There have always been certain regular exceptions such as gas stations or bakeries though.

But finally after loads of discussions with politicians, members of various churches and unions a more recent rule allows businesses nowadays to open their doors on up to 10 Sundays a year.  And we, the people, like it very much (not that politicians would ever care about popular opinion).