Thursday, May 28, 2020

Rocks on a Roof

While traveling across the United States, I have often seen houses and particularly mobile homes with old tires on the roof. Especially when the roof was corrugated roofing usually either metal or PVC. I supposed that the tires were not there for storage but to assist in keeping the roof on the building. I remembered the old tires when I saw this house in Germany with rocks placed strategically to hold down the shingles.  

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

A Rural Church in Germany

You might overlook the church in the distance. The church is St. Coloman, a Baroque church. The lake in the background is the Forggensee. You can also see part of the village of Schwangau on the left side of the image near the lake. The village on the shore of the lake, just barely visible, is Waltenhofen. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Hohenschwangau, Germany

This image was taken from a lookout point high up on the mountain above the village. This Hohenschwangau. Here is an explanation of this village in Wikipedia: Hohenschwangau.
Hohenschwangau is a former village and now an urban district of the municipality of Schwangau, Ostallgäu district, Bavaria, Germany.

It is located between Schloss Neuschwanstein and Schloss Hohenschwangau and is visited by about 2 million people annually, where they start tours to the former royal palaces. The village is dominated by car parks, restaurants, guesthouses, hotels and souvenir shops.

Hohenschwangau is bordered by the Alpsee in the West. Here the Museum of the Bavarian Kings was established in 2011 in a former ancient hotel building (Alpseestraße 27).

The actress and singer Helen Vita was born in Hohenschwangau. Julien Duvivier shot exterior scenes of one of his films, Marianne de ma jeunesse, on the location.
You can either walk up the trail or ride a bus partway up the mountain. We walked some of the way up and all the way down. 

Monday, May 25, 2020

Detail of the Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

This is a real-life fairy tale castle but it isn't a real castle. The idea of a castle is fortification including a moat. This is called the Neuschwanstein Castle but it is really more a palace. The apparent fortifications are for show and design. Here is an explanation about why this lovely building and prototype for Walt Disney's trademark castle is really a palace. See Wikipedia: Neuschwanstein Castle.
Neuschwanstein Castle (German: Schloss Neuschwanstein, pronounced [ˈʃlɔs nɔʏˈʃvaːnʃtaɪn], Southern Bavarian: Schloss Neischwanstoa) is a 19th-century Romanesque Revival palace on a rugged hill above the village of Hohenschwangau near Füssen in southwest Bavaria, Germany. The palace was commissioned by Ludwig II of Bavaria as a retreat and in honour of Richard Wagner. Ludwig paid for the palace out of his personal fortune and by means of extensive borrowing, rather than Bavarian public funds.

The castle was intended as a home for the king, until he died in 1886. It was open to the public shortly after his death. Since then more than 61 million people have visited Neuschwanstein Castle. More than 1.3 million people visit annually, with as many as 6,000 per day in the summer.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

The Roots Are Showing

I was intrigued by this network of tree roots and the way they had been eroded from the dirt. This tangle was part of a trail I was hiking in Germany near the Neuschwanstein Castle. I have hiked a lot of trails in the mountains and the deserts and never seen roots eroded like this. 

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Crown on Westerkirk, Amsterdam

This is the crown on the steeple of the Westerkirk in Amsterdam. Here is a short history of the church from Wikipedia: Westerkirk.
The Westerkerk was built between 1620 and 1631 in Renaissance style according to designs by architect Hendrick de Keyser (1565-1621). He is buried in the church he designed earlier: the 'Zuiderkerk'. The building of the Westerkerk was finished and completed by his son Pieter de Keyser (1595-1676) and inaugurated on June 8, 1631. The church has a length of 58 meters and a width of 29 meters. The high nave is flanked by the two lower aisles. The three-aisled basilica has a rectangular plan with two transepts of equal dimensions. As a result, the plan for this church was given the form of two Greek crosses connected with each other. (a patriarchal cross).

Several older churches in Amsterdam, such as Oude Kerk and Nieuwe Kerk, were originally built before the Reformation and were converted to Protestantism during the Reformation in 1578. The Westerkerk was one of the first purposely built Protestant churches. The Noorderkerk and Zuiderkerk preceded the Westerkerk. Today the Westerkerk remains the largest church in the Netherlands that was built for Protestants, and is still in use by the PKN (Protestantse Kerk in Nederland)

Friday, May 22, 2020

An Iris of Two Colors

I have seen wild iris growing in the deserts and mountains of Arizona. In Spanish, the word for rainbow is "Arco Iris." Some of the species and varieties are very hardy plants. Here is a short description from Wikipedia of the Iris genus
Iris is a genus of 260–300 species of flowering plants with showy flowers. It takes its name from the Greek word for a rainbow, which is also the name for the Greek goddess of the rainbow, Iris. Some authors state that the name refers to the wide variety of flower colors found among the many species. As well as being the scientific name, iris is also widely used as a common name for all Iris species, as well as some belonging to other closely related genera. A common name for some species is 'flags', while the plants of the subgenus Scorpiris are widely known as 'junos', particularly in horticulture. It is a popular garden flower.

The often-segregated, monotypic genera Belamcanda (blackberry lily, I. domestica), Hermodactylus (snake's head iris, I. tuberosa), and Pardanthopsis (vesper iris, I. dichotoma) are currently included in Iris.

Three Iris varieties are used in the Iris flower data set outlined by Ronald Fisher in his 1936 paper The use of multiple measurements in taxonomic problems as an example of linear discriminant analysis.
An Iris by any other name...