On the road, across the pond

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

Here are a few things I'm seeing around the Pfalz, as I'm trying to overcome jet lag.

As you can see, German weather this time of year ranges from cold wet fog to cold wet gray skies. Many plants like this sort of thing, despite our protestations.

Picea abies on its home turf

Viburnum davidii as a ground cover

Viburnum x rhytidophylloides as a cut-back shrub

Edited to add italics...



This message was edited Dec 19, 2015 7:21 PM

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Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

Various Vitis vinifera varietals...


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Vienna, VA(Zone 7a)

Hmm...cold wet weather and jet-lag: May I recommend going to a Christmas market and warming yourself with Gluhwein as you walk around, then sitting down for a heavy German dinner and copious amounts of quality Rhein Wein...enough to knock you out for an earlier bedtime and a good night's sleep?

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

That's our usual pattern, and we've managed to do that each night here.

Potato pancakes mit apfeln; roasted chestnuts; great Ganse; and enough wurst to wrap 'round Weisbaden.

Kerner, Silvaner, Gewurtztraminer, and Riesling of all stripes - from the Ahr, Nahe, und the Deutsche Weinstrasse centerline in der Pfalz.

Still, 3:30 to 4:00 a.m. finds us bright-eyed. Sometimes only time can reset the Circadian rhythms...


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Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

Finally! A night of sleep - although stayed up till almost 2:00 a.m. Small favors...

The Deutsche Weinstrasse is really such a beautiful place. Home of so many fine German white wine varietals that I learned nearly 30 years ago, its production has shifted with fickle consumer winds to many more red wines - which aren't really in the Rhine valley sweet spot for growing and vinifying. Riesling is still king, and I don't think anyone does it better.

If you can raise grapes well, then many other species will come along and prosper, too. Here are a few trees in Wachenheim - that a certain fellow from Lititz might like - that I've been watching grow since first visiting on my honeymoon...

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Lake Stevens, WA(Zone 8a)

First and last photos sure look like my neck of the woods, even the one of the vineyard on the flats. However here the hills are left to the loggers, there are no picturesque towns, and the food, Oh well...

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

I think there are some serious wines - as well as mighty fine seafood - that I've had during my couple of visits to Washington state. Certainly good enough to make me want to visit again, landslides and volcanoes be damned.

We are up in Rothenburg ob der Tauber today. This is a great old town, with many buildings, churches, turms, tors, and medieval walls dating to 1100 - 1300s. The Weinachtsmarkt is quite special, and lit up at night with a bit of winter moon was magical.

Or was that the Scheurebe, or Morio-Muskat, or Bacchus...


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Magnolia, TX(Zone 9a)

When they chopped down The Black Forest, I lost interest in my Black Deutsch genes. Jet lag gets less attractive the older I get, but the food sounds almost as good as our south Texas Germans at Beerfest.... awesome pictures,VV

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

John--good to see you here....DG is slowly dying....

Lovely pictures from your trip to Germany! Yummy food shots!
Sehr gemutlich!

Now--in case you want to watch something amazing, hunker down on the sofa and enjoy.
Hope this link works. If not--Google "A store front in Berlin"
From all the links, choose the one by "Optimus"..(long version)....

SOOOO___here goes! Enjoy! Gita

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YGjqDmwkIPE

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

Dying is in the eye of the beholder. Those bailing from here due to some IT snafus are seemingly fairweather friends who will blow with the next wind. I don't base my decisions on time well spent like that.

We had a big old time in Germany, and I expect I will add to the epistle here with more images and stories.

I don't typically click on links for things I know nothing about. Tell me more about what you've provided...

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

So agree with you, John. But then there's the herd and the not-so-herded. There's the anti-corp folk who feel safer under the wing of Ma and Pa. Oh well.

We had a dinnet party kohlroulade (stuffed cabbage) as requested by DD for her birthday dinner last night along with sauteed spiced apples. Traditional fare in our household. The kids referred to it as "soul food".

Looking forward to your further travel adventures.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Oh, John! You don't trust me??? I am conservative too--but I really love this.

"A storefront in Berlin" is an amazing, mesmerizing 10 minutes or so.
The storefront is converted to many magical scenarios one could believe
to be really happening to the storefront--thanks to the WHOLE storefront
being a canvas for crazy, unbelieving things happening to it for "real" .

I would say it is all achieved by projecting what is going on to this canvas,
perfectly fitted to the store front. Like the whole building crumbling---
Windows popping and a giant octopus tentacles emerging from them..
Hope this entices you to spend 10 minutes of "magic" as you watch.
I don't want to ruin this for you... Just go for it!

Over the years, whenever I have received some Amazing forwards that I would
never want to lose--I stash these in a Folder I made called "Amazing Things"...
This is just one of them. There are many,many more in my stash.

Re DG demise--it is not just a "snafus". It pretty much disabled us communicating the way we had. And--there was NO warning. One day you go to DG--and the whole format
has changed. Now they are trying to fix things to take it back to
more user friendly formats--but it seems too late. Most people feel that the people in charge do not care a iota about the paying members--so many have bailed to ATP.

I am torn--as I like "same old--same old". That is my comfort level. BUT--I click on DG--
and there is almost no one left that posts. That is so sad! Maybe 6 people or so
in our DG group still drop by now and then. We are all hurting...

I like the looks and the way ATP is run (by Dave, of course)--but I have not yet
found it as comfortable as DG used to be. I don't know how to navigate the site.

Honestly, John, this is the death of DG as we all know it.. They just don't care!
Wonder what they are trying to create to appease all the Tablet and other media people?
Seems Terry and other Admin. people are no longer in charge of anything either.
All they have to do is hear all the complaints and try to fix what they an fix.
Sometimes--things cannot be fixed any more when they arethis broken.

Go to the MAF and see the MAG posts--you can count them on one hand. SO sad!!!

Any way--I wish you and yours a wonderful New Year--a bit late--but still from the heart.

Gita
Now--please look at the Berlin site. It is all a lot of FUN!

Eau Claire, WI(Zone 4a)

Quote from MaypopLaurel :
Looking forward to your further travel adventures.

Yeah, me too. I don't think anyone would object too strongly if you shared some highlights of your trip and most would be appreciative. We'll rein you in if need be...

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

Pseudo, seeing you location reminds me when I appled to U of W Eau Claire for college. Why? 'Cause I lived in North Miami Beach, FL. Snow, cheese curds and lutefisk sounded very exotic.

Eau Claire, WI(Zone 4a)

Interesting. What about UW-EC led you to apply? Oh sure, bitter winters, greasy cheese, and foul smelling fish will do it for me everytime, but North Miami Beach??

Magnolia, TX(Zone 9a)

Eau Claire is Nestles to me! Squeaky cheese curds, and thunder snows. And that awful hill. Hot choc plz!

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

I think it was the school of architecture. Having only seen snow for the first time the previous year, it awakened new feelings of possibilities beyond palm trees and flip flops, lox and pickled herring or pot cheese and Limburger. I had never seen a Viburnum or a valley.

Eau Claire, WI(Zone 4a)

Kittriana, do you drive truck? You may have already shared this with us, but I can't recall. I'm guessing there aren't all that many drivers who share your interest in plants, but I could be very wrong about that. If you ever find yourself stuck in Eau Claire with a layover, give me a shout and I'll give you a tour of our fine city.

Magnolia, TX(Zone 9a)

Those whose interest is in plants, are usually nursing a small tree to the home, a few have a potted plant and many have cats that never go outside the truck. The gals will get a dishpan of clean water for the animals, then float 2or more tubs of catgrass in that big tub for their pets.
Chuckl, my cup holder is a plant holder as I just grabbed a plant from Fl to become a well traveled trukplant. Richmond, Va thru DC and into NJ tonite - then flip tomoro for Tomah- no rest for the wicked and the righteous dont need it, so they say- not sure where I fit tween there tho...sorry VV, we need more of YOUR trip here please.

This message was edited Jan 19, 2016 7:34 PM

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Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

OK - Gita won me over. I watched - and it was creatively imaginative. I bet it is far better on a computer screen than in person, though.

And if it takes more "on the road, across the pond" to way-lay Cheesehead Nostalgia - I'm all in.

I last checked in from Rothenburg ob der Tauber. It lays along the Romantischer Strasse, kind of a made-up corridor to re-encourage tourism in Germany after the destruction of wartime. That aside, this series of cities retain so much of the historical character because they were out of the way of most of the bombing directed at larger cities and industrial centers.

Very walkable, lots of shops to separate you from $$ and/or - but also good food and drink to be had.

And labeled plants with the dates from 200, or 500, or even 800 years ago when they were installed (no warranty)....

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Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

Anyone else experiencing oddities? Took three tries after previewing for the above to post...

Magnolia, TX(Zone 9a)

Yup, posts don't wish to open up. I love the 'hand' tree.

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

Well, I'll keep trying.

I really like winter aspects - so interesting to see the structure behind the leaves, and understand how a tree behaves...even after centuries of "reaching out".

More of these wonderful old plants in the Castle Garden remainder at Rothenburg.

**Probably the biggest old Aesculus x carnea I've ever seen (#1 and #2)

**Grand old Acer campestre - Hedge Maple indeed (#3)

**I'm going to leave this one for you all to guess at... (#4 and #5)



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Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

And as much as I liked all the gnarled veterans of centuries past - I really loved what was guarding the back gate.

You know who you can trust...

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Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

So, then our day in the country was over and we headed out of town and back to the homestead in Wegberg. Aside from narrowly avoiding a head-on collision while rubbernecking at another wizened old tree as we exited the southern city gate (an amazing intricate array of stellar stonework itself), our experience here demanded a return visit.

Here are some shots down the Tauber valley and across the countryside.

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Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

Cross country invites investigation of...vistas. This route took us downstream along the Neckar River. I won't need to say more.

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Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

OK, John--
Now that I have your trust--here is something else you should watch.
Yes! it runs 2 hours--but you can snuggle up one evening and just enjoy this.

"Earth from Space". It will open your eyes to how everything is connected.
It is put out by NOVA.
I KNOW--This runs 2 hours---but PLEASE, PLEASE take the time to watch all of this.
It is all about Earth from Space--via the many Satellites that circle it and send pictures back..
You can pause and continue when you have time--but I tell you---you will never look at
the Earth the same way again. You will have many "AHA!!!" moments and understand
what causes what and what leads to what. Spectacular photography-all in motion..
Enjoy! Gita

edited--- The link below brigs up the NOVA show in FULL screen.

http://www.pbs.org/video/2334144059/

This message was edited Jan 20, 2016 11:54 AM

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

The photos are fantastic. Sorry. I get easily sidetracked by platters of beautiful food.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Maypop--
Just hit "Pause" where you left off and then get back to it.
You HAVE TO watch the whole video!!! Gita

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

Beautiful food I can do - feast on this...


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Magnolia, TX(Zone 9a)

You are hard on my salad supper, I hope you know.

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

Oh my! More food. Got me with the sausage. I'm still back there trying to guess the tree in photos #4 and #5. I give up.

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

Well, that is actually a shrub in most people's estimation - though it is not very common in the south.

You will recognize its name immediately. This is about as extraordinary a specimen as I've ever seen, having never witnessed bark evolved to this character.

Hints will include opposite arrangement of buds/foliage, fragrant terminal flowers in spring, and a plant most at home in more northerly states. Old World origins have led to many hybrids besides this relatively common species.

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

Hmm, you expect a native tropical beachcomber to know this? Syringa?

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

Touchee!

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

You're kidding!!! Off to gloat and pat back. :)

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

And judging by its prominent buds, it will have purple flowers - or at least lilac...

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(Robin) Blissfield, MI(Zone 6a)

Good job Maypop!

Thanks for bringing us on your mid-winter vacay VV...yummy!

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

Yay! My π is back in the saddle...

Sorry that I've been under the weather - which cursedly nice right now here at the Valley - and not been adding info here. I'll get back at it eventually.

Glad you are enjoying the retrospective so far.

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

OK, since I'm still home and sick, I'll pick back up on the holiday trip to our German family's part of the world.

We drove back to Wegberg on December 22nd, and the next few days were spent prepping for the feast on Christmas Eve, when Germans traditionally celebrate the holiday.

All I can spare are few meager images of food...

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