Galapagos: Day And Night On Santa Cruz Island

Our transport from Baltra airport to Puerto Ayora – 20.000 inhabitants and the biggest town on the archipelago – lead through a desert-like looking landscape with huge opuntia trees as main vegetation. There is real beauty in this islands but there is also visible hostility. Nature declared no-mans-land most of the time.

The really crazy and extraordinary thing about the Galapagos Archipelago is the tameness of the animals. Millions of years of evolution without natural predators and without mankind, led to this atmosphere of peaceful coexistence between men and animal. You’ll never see sealions, sharks, stingrays, finches, seagulls, tortoises and pelicans as near as you do here.

The chilling animals of Puerto Ayora

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At night in Puerto Ayora

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Our crazy hippie-style hotel “Lonesome George”

 

A rainy bike ride to Bellavista

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Oderbruch

Vastness At The Oderbruch

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We went to Coethen, one hour east of Berlin next to Bad Freienwalde to see an exposition of the artist Karin Kerkmann in the beautiful chapel of the village.

 

Afterwards we still had some time to hike above Stille Oder and Alte Oder. As you hike on hills you have some breathtaking vast views on the Oderbruch. A real hiking recommendation! Next time I’ll come with more time.

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Location: Schiffmühle – Teufelsauge – Bergkolonie – Granitberg – Gabow – Schiffmühle / Distance: 7 km / from city center: 60 km / North East / Weather: 18 °C, sunny and a little cloudy  / Camera: Nikon D90, 35 mm lens

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9 Things You Probably Don’t Know About The Forest

Forest Knowledge 

Since some years I roam Berlins, Brandenburgs, Germanys and Europes forests. During the time I saw many phenomenons and asked myself a lot of questions which I googled or read about afterwards. Here is a collection of the most astonishing explications I found.


A One Hundred Year Old Beech Tree …

  • is 20 Meters high
  • has 600.000 leaves
  • it produces 12kg of sugar per day
  • takes in the CO2 Emission of 3 houses
  • evaporates 400l of water
  • and produces oxygen for ten people

Always think of a tree as somebody that makes it possible for you to breathe!

 

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The Age Of Trees

Normally they are cut down early for their wood, but trees are able to live much longer. Spruces can live up to 300 years, Beeches 250, Pines 500  and oaks up to incredible 1000 years which makes them one of the oldest living organisms on earth. Go to the article If Old Trees Could Tell Their Stories to read about the moving story of an only 400 years not-so-old oak.

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The Soil Is Alive

In a hand full of forest soil are more creatures than human beings on earth. They are the binmen oft he forest and transform dead organic material to humus which becomes new soil to feed new plants who create everything humans need to survive.

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The Communication Of Trees

When trees are attacked, for example by a parasite, they produce fragrances to defend themselves. But not only the attacked tree, even the surrounding trees do it. Those fragrances are very different from each other and represent the vocabulary of the trees. Worldwide there are already more than 2000 “words” discovered trees exchange with each other.

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There is an Antibiotic Atmosphere in The Forest

In a classic needle Forest you’ll find a lot of antibiotic fragrances which makes the air nearly germ free. And even if we as humans don’t notice them, it could be, that we react on the communication of trees.

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Shin rin Yoku – Bathing In The Forest

Is a form of therapy against stress and depression in Japan. Our immun system is stimulated by the forest and the effect last up to one week from our last forest walk. Blood pressure normalizes. Forest air has a different electric charge from city air and the oxygen concentration is much higher through photosynthesis. Both is good for human health.

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1000 Liters Of Water

Together with other nutritive substances the tree transports water from the roots to the leaves on the top trough capillary action. When it rains a tree can store up to 1000 liters of water.

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Crown Shyness

There is a phenomenon called Crown Shyness which means trees don’t touch each other and only grow their branches to the point that they can move in the wind.

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Planting trees means thinking of the survival of mankind

After every war or traumatic event people planted trees. The reforestation represented as a sign of hope, a vision that there will be a future even after the own life has ended. Because a tree won’t grow during your lifetime. I wish todays politicians would be as farsighted as those rangers of the past.

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Foto 16.08.17My cousin and her family in Africa

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Berlin Day Hike: The Havel From Above On The Havelhöhenweg

A wonderful hike along Havel river through Grunewald, Germanys biggest city forest.

  • Read something about the very moved history of the beautiful island of Schwanenwerder at the entrance of the island.
  • On the island, during Nazi era, Goebbels, Speer and other leaders “bought” – for more or less symbolic prices – Villas from Jews.
  • In 1933 when the first edition of Monopoly appeared in Germany, the most expensive road wasn’t Schloßstrasse like it is today but Inselstrasse, upon which Goebbels banned the game.
  • Maybe you can have a cappuccino in one of the sailing clubs overviewing the Havel. But at the end it’s Berlin. You never know before trying 🙂
  • Gaze at the other shore of Havel river trough Großes Fenster and have a look at Grunewalds oldest oak tree in the garden of the lifesavers station.
  • If you do it in summer, bring insect repellent.
  • The only downer is that you will always hear some slight traffic noises even when already in dense underbrush. But man, you’re still in the city! What do you want?

Location: Strandbad Wannsee – crossing Inselstraße to Schwanenwerder – along Havel – Großes Fenster – Havelhöhenweg – Havelberg – E-Gestell – back to Strandbad Wannsee / Distance: 10,5 km / from city center: 20 km / South West / Weather: 22 °C, sunny and a little cloudy  / Camera: Nikon D90, 35 mm lens

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Sorry, the recording didn’t work between Schwanenwerder and Großes Fenster. You’ll find the old oak tree approximately where the red line begins and crosses the green line.

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