Death of a Forest Culture in Germany

Since 2017, heavy storms, droughts, and bugs have felled many trees. This is happening in the land of the poets, thinkers … and forest lovers.

While taking my own forest walks, I can see dead trees still standing as well as lying by the roadside, marked with numbers. We can also see cleared forest aisles from a 9th floor apartment located at the foot of the Taunus Mountains. In American English, this could also be called a swath of destruction – an attack on nature or a natural development..? This determination I will leave to the scientists.

On any walk, there is always some momentary despair in the air, but in the next moment, we manage yet to marvel at the green canopy of leaves which is still above us on our walks in the nearby forest.

The most recent killer creature has been the Borkenkäfer (bark beetle), which likes to feed on mostly conifer trees.

Germany’s forest is a mixed forest of deciduous and conifer trees, with the spruce making up 25% of Germany’s forest.

Thanks for these photos and permission to publish go to my friend, Udo Esser, who took them on one his runs around the forests and hills.

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Stormy winds and droughts kill trees. This photo is what a tree looks like after bark beetles have devoured it. Not much left, is there…

bark beetles at work

This might be a slightly better time for Wanderer (hikers), who now have a much better view all the way around, including onto Frankfurt and its skyline (some smog included).

Frankfurt Skyline

This is a Wasserschutzgebiet (water protection area). There is no water to protect, so the sign has become less important. At present, and under its current conditions, it must be difficult to keep Ordnung in the German forests.

Wasserschutzgebiet im Taunus

This is what you are likely to encounter when exploring the hiking trails around here. The lack of precipitation in recent months has added more misery.

September 2020
German forests facing storms, droughts, and bark beetles.

This tree had been taken down by a storm. Forest workers gave it a clean and final cut before it could do further damage.

We’ve had our share of storms and destroyed trees in our own private garden in the Taunus Mountains as well. There have been three major storms involving our garden, which took down close to 20 trees (some where over a hundred years old). One of these storms cost us €2.500 to have seven kneeled over trees taken down. The other trees, belonging to neighbors, had fallen into our garden.

This is a socalled Luthereiche, an oak tree planted in remembrance of Martin Luther.

It has lost all its leaves due to the recurring droughts.

I love trees, and if you ever saw my balcony, you could see it for yourself. I have many trees, most are volunteers left by the wind or the birds as carriers.

For in the true nature of things, if we rightly consider, every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold and silver. – Martin Luther

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Comfort Food beats Consumer Frenzy

I had the unique opportunity to go shopping with my husband in Frankfurt today, but I declined. This is a rare occasion to have a free Saturday afternoon just for me, and I’d rather not spend it in overcrowded trains and stuffy department stores.

I opted to stay at home and make dessert instead. I actually could step back, admire these frosted berries, and smile to myself. That’s what I call being in the spirit of Christmas.

These berries I used for making an Advent Tiramisu. Here is the recipe: https://www.theomaway.com/desserts/advent-tiramisu-recipe-dessert/

Happy Holidays… and don’t forget to visit yourself.

Guerilla Knitting at the Exeter University Forum

Guerilla Knitting is still alive! At least at the Exeter University Forum.

Back in 2011, while the husband and son were touring the U.K. for prospective universities, the rest of the family stayed behind in a rental in Bournemouth. During that time, I had so much fun adorning knitting and tying these to lamp posts, benches, and many other places. And for yarn, I used the colours of the British flag.

I tried the same thing here in Oberursel in the Rosengärtchen, but our building supervisor service (similar to a Hausmeister) immediately removed my little pieces of artful annoyances. This went on for a few days, and I gave up. This is proper Germany, and I had the Knit Graffiti Polizei on my heels… 🙂

So I was pleased to see this photo my daughter sent me today.

Guerilla Knitting in Exeter, U.K.

German Marketeers and English Spelling

Spotted this gem at Galeria Kaufhof at the Main-Taunus-Zentrum (MTZ) today.

German marketeers should have their English spelling checked. They surely had some cocktails while concocting this. 🙂

Did you know? MTZ was also the very first shopping mall to be built in Germany (modeled after the American prototype) in 1964.

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