Golling Falls, Austria

Some impressions of an unexpected visit to the Golling Falls from last week while being at Berchtesgaden. And I really mean unexpected, because I was on the way towards Slovenia, after I noticed the sign “Golling Falls” along the Austrian Autobahn. Somehow I got pulled over  and stayed there the whole afternoon, photographing this place, which looks like coming out of a fairy tale. The old saw mill is from 1618 – has Australia and North America existed back then…? Enjoy!

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Old saw mill, Golling Falls…

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Selfie at the Falls…

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Trying some art…

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Close-up of the Falls…

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At the bottom of the falls…

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“There are many things in life that will catch your eyes, but only a few will catch your heart – pursue those!”

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Black Forest Sojourn

Last week, I traveled to Freiburg, some 480 km west from where I´m living, attending a lecture by one of Germany´s most recognized (spiritual) book authors, Robert Betz. While traveling there, I took the chance to visit a lot of often-heard places at the Black Forest, but unfortunately haven´t been there myself so far. You know, since I quit my old job, I got time for what I love doing most, traveling and photography (besides carrying for my family…). First, I sought I would visit the Vosges Mountains in France, bordering onto South-West Germany, but the Black Forest area got so many attractions, that almost time ran out after five days of living out of the car. The stills/video is including places like the Japanese Garden of Freiburg, mountains with funny names like Schauinsland and Hornisgrinde, waterfalls like Todtnau Falls and Allerheiligen Falls, monastery ruins, views over the Rhine valley towards the Vosges Mountains, dramatic sunsets, windswept beech trees, snow at  Feldberg Mt. (highest mountain of the B.F. area), and yes, of course, my beloved night sky. Best of all, almost no tourists around at this time of the year. But with some of them, and that is becoming new to me (not really new, but it is coming back in some sort of way…), I´m getting into interaction. Sometimes just a small talk, sometimes a discussion about life itself or giving a young lady and her dog a lift to a place where I was already heading to. Life is reflecting what you are sending out – if you want it or not…By the way, music is by Nelly Furtado, a fantastic song called “Stars”. Enjoy!

(Press the HD-button for a better resolution if you like…)

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“Never give up on what you really want to do. The person with big dreams is more powerful than one with all the facts.” (Albert Einstein)

Sometimes, Magic Happens…

After touring Sicily for two weeks and having varying weather conditions down there (for night photography…), I found myself back home with best conditions for what I like doing most at nights – shooting stars. Heading out to my new favorite spot after sunset, I set up my gear for doing a startrail image, which I haven´t done since more than half a year now. The gibbous Moon was shining bright behind my back, so I got an hour or two before he would get into my set-up. Earlier, on the way to my spot, I had seen some deer, which are roaming this area frequently, and I “meet” them almost every time I´m out there. After finishing the startrail sequences (before the Moon gets into the image), I packed my stuff and walked uphill through the still leafless beech forest. And than it happened. When I got out of the woods, just before heading down the trail to the right, I spotted two deer, standing some 50 m uphill on a crest, grazing on the field. Wow. I had anticipated such a scene for so many times and now, out of nowhere, it happened! I was so excited that I wasn´t able to find a proper focus to get the shot I was thinking of for so long and for so many times: a deer standing on a crest, on a clear line with no distractions (bushes, trees…), with the stars in the background! Being actually very shy animal, they did let me be around for more than one hour, standing eye to eye,letting me follow them through their grazing around the field. I was so in awe, I got completely lost in time. Sometimes, magic happens….Enjoy!

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Startrails & Oak Tree @ Nautical Twilight…

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Roebuck, eye to eye, amidst the stars…

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Deer “posing” for the watcher;)…

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“Your imagination is your preview of life´s coming attractions.” (Albert Einstein)

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First Light: Etna, Sicily

After posting yesterdays blog post in the evening, just before hitting the sleeves, we got aware of the red lava flow, visible from our place of stay at Taormina, some 30 km in the distance. What a sight – First Light ;). Right now, we are sitting in the lobby at the Refugio Sapienza, Etna, 1980 m a.s.l. This morning we had some 17°C and sunshine, tonight we got 1°C and light snowfall…we might make it to the top by tomorrow, some 3300 m a.s.l. Enjoy!

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Lava flow through the clouds, Etna, Sicily…

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…even some stars are visible – a dream came true!

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On Tour: Taormina, Sicily

Second time traveling Italy, this time by car, with my two grown-up sons, Joseph and Lukas. We drove all the way down from Bavaria with my Sprinter, a total of 1740 km, taking the ferry to Messina and making our way towards Taormina today, the home of the most famous greek theatre in the world. By the way, the town is also pretty nice – not much tourists around at this time of the year. Enjoy!

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Italy, Nocturnal…

All images are taken in Italy during the last three years, including places like South Tyrol, Gargano Peninsula and Bologna. The ones showing the Occultation of Jupiter were taken some 30km north of the city of Bologna, 15th July 2012, the very morning and time, my mother has died. First time I show them in public…

Music by one of California´s finest, Social Distortion, song´s called “Let it be me”. Enjoy!

(Push the HD-button if you like for a higher resolution…)

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“There is a force in the Universe, which, if we permit it, will flow through us and produce miraculous results.”

(Mahatma Gandhi)

The Moon & Occultation Of A Star

Due to the unexpected cloudless weather on the 11th and 12th Feb. this week, I pulled out my 8″ Meade telescope, which I had not in use since June last year. When I moved from Landshut to Bad Abbach almost two weeks ago, I got a porch to the south, from where I can follow the planets from east to west along the ecliptic. Even better, an occultation of a 3.6 mag bright star of the constellation of Gemini were scheduled for Tuesday. After I had sent that image to http://astronomie.info , I got notice from Arnold Barmettler, who runs the site, that from my site it has been a “touching” occultation, which means that the star is drifting along the Terminator for some time, which is very rare throughout the year. Unfortunately, I only could  watch the beginning, because draining out of battery power at night. But it has been great looking through the eyepiece again after such a long abstinence. Full Moon will be tomorrow, 14th…Happy Valentine´s Day! Enjoy!

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Meade 8″ & Baader Hyperion Zoom, full size, no crop, 02/11/2014, HIP 35350 constellation of Gemini, 3.6.mag…

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Meade 8″ & 5DIII, full size, no crop, HIP 35350 at the bottom right…

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Almost Full Moon, 02/12/2014…

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Moon above Hl.Geist Spittal, Landshut, 02/11/2014…

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