Buying a Christmas Tree from a Vendor near the Feldberg, Taunus

This past weekend, we drove up towards the Feldberg Mountain. Our usual vendor was closed, but there is always another one to choose from.

Heading towards the Feldberg, Taunus

I’m not picky about which tree to choose, but my husband is. I usually say yes to each one he picks up, as long as it isn’t so tall. Over the years, he has come down in size (the tree, that is), and our tree this year is ‘only’ 180-210cm (5’9″ – 6’9″) in height.

Christmas tree vendor near the Feldberg

The sign in the hut says, ‘Who cut one?’ indicating tree theft. We did not mention its other meaning in American slang. ­čÖé

Who cut one?

The vendor lady first approached me to offer assistance, but I pointed to my husband right away as the sole buyer.

Soon after, she was me telling about family feuds, tears, arguments, screaming, and whatever else might happen when families try to decide on a tree. She said, she had seen it all.

Here we are walking away with our 2020 Christmas tree.

Feldberg Radio Relay Station Kolbenberg in the Taunus, Germany

From a stateside reader, I got the following pictures as well as permission to publish them. My thanks goes to Donald Engel for his friendly contribution.

This one shows Oberursel and its main cross roads between the Vorstadt and the train station. The road names are Oberh├Âchst├Ądter Stra├če and Adenauerallee. The year is 1962.

Oberursel 1962

Now we are heading up to the Kolbenberg and its ‘new tower’ back in 1962.

Kolbenberg Tower 1962

This was the original memorial plaque, and the photo was taken in 2006.

Not only did Mr. Engel give me permission to use his photos, but he also designed the originial plaque *, which is placed near Sandplacken. The original one was stolen and in 2014, a replacement plaque was put up.

Kolbenberg Memorial Plaque

The barracks and other buildings around the Kolbenberg radio relay station.

Microwave dish Kolbenberg

These are the remains of the Feldberg radio relay station.

Rubble at Kolbenberg

Now, even the rubble has been cleared.

The Sandplacken area is a great place to visit also in the winter time. We usually buy our Christmas tree up there from one of the vendors. They usually also serve Bratwurst and Gl├╝hwein mulled wine. This will probably be a little different this year…

Also, if you like to join the Kolbenberg former military community, then visit this website: https://spokt.com/

*Edit on 20 November: Mr. Engel kindly pointed out an error on my behalf, and I corrected it within the text.

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 Borkenk├Ąfer (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 ÔéČ2.500 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

Restaurant at the Old Market Square in Oberursel

This historical postcard dates back to 1898, when the corner building at the Marktplatz (market square) used to be ‘Droeser’s Felsenkeller’, a restaurant with garden service.

On 12 October 1895, Mr. Adam J. H. Droeser opened the Felsenkeller (rock wall cellar) Restaurant.

The address was am Marktplatz 1, which houses the Vordertaunusmuseum (Anterior Taunus Museum) today.

Below is a photo of the same location, taken on 30 January 2019.

Altk├Ânig Statue at Camp King Oberursel

In August of this year, one of the members of the B-17 delegation asked me about the significance of this statue, Altk├Ânig (Lit: old king).┬á All I could tell her was the inscription left by the artist, Inga Dilcher-Hassenstein, who donated her piece of art to the city of Oberursel in 1998, and then found its permanent spot in Camp King in 2004.

Now, who is the ‘Altk├Ânig’? In its original form, the Altk├Ânig is the third highest mountain of the Taunus range in Hesse, Germany, reaching 798 metres above sea level. Around 400 BC, the Celts settled on the Altk├Ânig Mountain, built the Heidetrank Oppidum, as well as several ring walls around the summit, which are still present.

This is the only information I could find in regards to the statue’s namesake.

The statue is part of a little rest area adjacent to the former Officers’ Club (Mountain Lodge).

Der Altk├Ânig

Inga Dilcher-Hassenstein – 1975┬á Ms. Inga Dilcher-Hassenstein ( Name of the artist and date presented)

Geschenk an die Stadt Oberursel -1998  (Presented to the city of Oberursel in 1998)

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