Grass, Bees, Thistles in Belchen Germany

Original of my favourite photo from a trip to The Belchen.

The Belchen (35 Km south of Freiburg) is a mountain in the Black Forest of Germany. The Belchen Cableway takes you up to scenic viewpoints and hiking trails.

A Drawing filter with a splatter overlay
A High Density Resolution filter
Heavy brush strokes filter
An oil painting filter
Impressionist style filter

Grass, Bees, Thistles – Half a World Away in Belchen Germany

When the Internet publicity began, I remember being struck by how much the world was not the way we thought it was, that there was infinite variation in how people viewed the world.
– Eric Schmidt –

The Belchen (35 Km south of Freiburg) is a mountain in the Black Forest of Germany. The Belchen Cableway takes you up to scenic viewpoints and hiking trails.

If you do a web search for The Belchen, you will find lots of photos of the scenery, but no photos of a bee and some thistles on the grassy slopes of the flanks of the mountain. You also won’t find very many moderately funny or interesting quotations about variations. Until now…

I’ve been getting a lot of science fiction scripts which contained variations on my Star Trek character and I’ve been turning them down. I strongly feel that the next role I do, I should not be wearing spandex.
– Marina Sirtis –

Creativity varies inversely with the number of cooks involved in the broth.
– Bernice Fitz-Gibbon –

Time rushes towards us with its hospital tray of infinitely varied narcotics, even while it is preparing us for its inevitably fatal operation.
– Tennessee Williams –

No patent medicine was ever put to wider and more varied use than the Fourteenth Amendment.
– William O. Douglas –

More varied than any landscape was the landscape in the sky, with islands of gold and silver, peninsulas of apricot and rose against a background of many shades of turquoise and azure.
– Cecil Beaton –

Country people do not behave as if they think life is short; they live on the principle that it is long, and savor variations of the kind best appreciated if most days are the same.
– Edward Hoagland –

How many vacation photos have you taken that could just as easily depict something in your neighbourhood or backyard?

This week’s Photo Challenge is Variations on a Theme.

Why There are Back-seat Drivers

This is a story that started out with the Monarch Butterflies in my garden. I learned a bit about them and their remarkable journeys. It seemed quite natural then to discuss human journeys, directionally disadvantaged navigators, and why there are back-seat drivers.

An Arizona Monarch Butterfly

Some humans are remarkable navigators. Others – not so much. I call these people ‘directionally challenged’. Unlike a butterfly that can find the way from Canada to Mexico with only the sun and the stars to guide them, certain people are lost by the time they drive past the edge of their neighbourhood.

My spouse, The Car Guy, is moderately directionally challenged. The invention of GPS navigation has been a godsend for him. He has a friend, 3P, who is both directionally challenged AND has failed GPS 101. 3P can get lost when he ventures past the end of his street.

We discovered this on a recent road trip where 3P was the driver, and The Car Guy was the navigator. The ‘wives’ sat in the back seat of the vehicle. Neither wife realized that the spouse of the other would have difficulty finding the local mall, let alone executing a road trip that involved more than one left turn.

The driver’s vehicle had a GPS system. The Car Guy had a map and another GPS system. Both men, however, were unaware that the other had a navigational deficit. Both assumed the other knew the route and would, in fact, navigate when needed. Within half an hour, they had not only erred with the first few critical turns in the road, they were, in fact, heading back towards home.

That is why some people, usually wives, become ‘back-seat drivers’. They aren’t nags -they are navigators!

Do you have a ‘directionally challenged’ driver in your family?

More photos of Monarchs can be found at my Chirps and Buzzes blog: Monarchs in Alberta

Red as a Color of Emotion – Myths Busted!

We lay there and looked up at the night sky and she told me about stars called blue squares and red swirls and I told her I’d never heard of them. Of course not, she said, the really important stuff they never tell you. You have to imagine it on your own.
Brian Andreas

Roll out the red carpet! This is your red letter day. We’re going to paint the town red. We’ll catch the red eye to Amsterdam and take a tour of the famous Red Light District. Oh, don’t go red faced, it is a famous old part of town full of beautiful old buildings…

Red – it is an emotionally intense color that is said to stimulate the heart, breathing, and appetite. It is my number one favourite color here at The Red House! Last year I even painted my living room a deep autumn red. I expected this colour would help keep The Car Guy from falling asleep on the couch in the evening, but that is not the case.

It is also said that red cars are popular targets for thieves, but we have owned 5 red vehicles, and none were ever stolen. Studies have suggested that car theft is tightly linked to the popularity of the color, so red cars would only be more likely to be stolen if you lived someplace where red cars were highly popular.  That certainly isn’t the case where I live!

It is also said that red clothing gets noticed and makes the wearer appear heavier. Nonsense! Being overweight is what makes you look heavier. As for the myth that the red cape of the Spanish Matadors makes a bull go wild – Mythbusters has shown that it isn’t the colour of the cape, it is merely the waving of the cape!

red berryThe Rose Hip – isn’t Hip an odd word to describe the fruit of the Rose Plant? We have quite a few Wild Roses at both the Red House and at the Cabin. I remember my mom making Rose Hip Jam when I was a kid. It was nothing to write home about. Personally, I prefer to leave the Rose Hips on the plants for the birds and whatever else can tolerate the flavour.

My red poppiesPapaver somniferum – are one of the few really red flowers that thrive in my yard. These poppies refuse to partake in the cross pollination practices of the other poppy species I grow, so I can always count on them to be red.

red flower boxes horse drawn cartRed flowers in boxes – these in Rothenburg, Germany.  I took a lot of photos of old buildings with red flower boxes when we did our driving tour of  Southern Germany!  They were everywhere!

red flowers AustriaVienna, Austria – beautiful long borders of flowers, this bed in red and white.

red and black insect close upIn the case of the ladybug, a red coat does make her/him look rather plump….

A summer day at the cabin – the boys are checking the lake for things that swim, hop, or slither. The red shirt certainly stands out!

How good a red hot idea is usually depends on how much heat it loses when somebody throws cold water on it.
Author Unknown