Monday, November 18, 2013

Rhubarb in the Garden

24 February 2012

Have you ever seen rhubarb growing? We have it in the garden, and it is a beautiful plant. Look how exquisite the leaves are.

This is the blossom cluster, not yet fully open but you can see the flowers beginning to peek out.


26 January 2013

This morning we were treated to a dazzling display of dewdrops sparkling in the sunlight. I can never resist photographing dewdrops, even though my photos never seem to capture that elusive sparkle and glow the way my eye sees it.

Raking Leaves

05 January 2013

Spent the past two days raking leaves and ended up with this enormous pile!

 This was a LOT of work, no wonder people used to be healthier when sweeping, raking and mowing were all done manually without motorized equipment.

[NOTE: I am actually writing this entry eleven months later, and I'm delighted to report that I had to get rid of those jeans months ago because I shrunk out of them.]

Fall Critters

08 November 2013

The leaves are falling in piles from the nut trees in the yard. This morning our resident squirrel was up in the tree with a nut in his mouth and tried to scold me with his mouth full, waving his tail and making muffled noises. It was so funny! He is very pretty, the coloring is golden. He didn't sit still for a photo, but resembles this picture from Wikipedia:

Of course, ours is much fatter, having eaten all of the macadamia nuts - he has expensive taste.

I also found this beautiful insect this morning, about 4 inches long. Anyone know what it is?

Sadly, I left the insect where it was after photographing it, and the next time I went outside, my cat Mao had gotten at it. The poor leaf bug was on the ground shaking, and one of its legs was damaged. I rescued it and put it up in a tree on the other side of the house where the cat couldn't see me do it. I hope it can survive the damage to its leg.

When I put it in the tree, which still has green leaves, its camouflage was quite amazing.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Going home from Berlin

27 May 2013

Home again, home again, jiggety jog.

Pretty clouds above Berlin...

... and grim dark clouds over Frankfurt, where it was storming. Descending into the storm it was really dark.

Nothing more to see here.

Friday, May 24, 2013


24 May 2013

Kreuzberg - known these days as a neighborhood of immigrants and students. Here is a crowded currywurst shop near the subway station.
These cellars below the street level were originally used to store wood and coal, as labeled on this building.
Awesomely detailed graffiti art.
Yep, two years later I still think it's cool that the drain covers and manhole covers are so ornate in Germany. 
Inside this building (below the elephant nose lamp) is an art studio group.
The art studios have cleverly transformed the old buildings into a beautiful garden.

The Kreuzberg Markthalle (Market Hall) as seen from the outside.

On the inside, it is modern and upscale, full of high-end and/or organic products and a far cry from the crowded markets in China.
The gorgeous Passionskirche, poorly photographed by yours truly. Sadly, the beautiful side view is now blocked by a building which has been built just a couple of meters away.
The front is obscured by large trees, making it impossible (for me) to get a good photo. Maybe in winter when the trees lose their leaves... the architecture is just too amazing not to photograph.
 Hot chocolate at Sarotti, yummmmmm.... no Swiss Miss junk here, this is the REAL DEAL. Sarotti has been manufacturing chocolates since the 1800's.
Notice in both pictures, the Sarotti-Moor... talk about bygone eras.
On the arched ceiling, but not photographed, was a sky with clouds and cherubs sporting sunglasses and mp3 players, as if in counterpoint to Little Black Sambo.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Around Berlin

23 May 2013

Here are some random pics from around Berlin.

Inside the Hauptbahnhof (main train station). I love the glass structure, but the train was just arriving so had to hop on and not take more photos.

On my daily bike ride to school, I passed by this lovely church: Pfingstkirche, Friedrichshain.

In front of the church is a fabulous park area with a playground and lawn. On sunny afternoons it was crowded with picnickers.

A child's warning - do not drink poison? Do not use pesticides? Do not throw plastic bottles on the ground?

A gloomy day at Frankfurter Tor.

But these lovely little blooming wildflowers were a bright spot.

I still find the building art fascinating, whether it is graffiti or not. I think these were apartments.

This one is in Prenzlauerberg. Love the details in this artwork.

This incredible mysterious locked up and ovegrown brick building is next to the Burgeramt in Prenzlauerberg. It looks like a church, but we cannot identify it.

And again the compass needle of the Ferrnsehturm in the city center.

Architectural detail of a building on Frankfurter Allee.

And a little fractured English. What are they trying to say about their shop or products? I have no idea.
Hi I don't care thank you.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Sprachenatelier Language School

23 May 2013

This trip, rather than sightseeing like a fiend, I decided to spend my time taking a German course at one of Berlin's many private language schools. Two weeks went by in a flash and I wish it could have been longer, but two weeks of classes at three hours per day (plus homework) helped me improve tremendously.

Here are some pictures taken in and around my language school. Not my best photography ever, but you get an idea anyway.

The school is located on Frankfurter Allee. Here you can see the two towers of the historical Frankfurter Tor on either side of the street.  Between them and farther along is the Fernsehturm or TV tower, which acts as a compass, pointing out the center of Berlin no matter where you go.

The name of the school is Sprachenatelier, and it is in the most amazing old building. I am not so knowledgeable about architecture, but based on its appearance and that of the building behind it, I would guess that it was built after World War I during the Art Deco period.

As seen from the opposite side of the street:

Standing in front of the sign and the central gate which leads to the courtyard and back buildings:

Looking back toward the street through the courtyard gate. The courtyard was where we could park our bicycles.

View looking up the Sprachenatelier building from the back/courtyard side. At right was the most amazing staircase. Sadly my photos of the inside of the staircase did not turn out.

Window detail on the building directly behind at the back of the courtyard. That building housed some sort of rehab center, I think. Through the downstairs window I could see the cooks preparing meals in the large kitchen.

The entry of the building as seen from inside. Gorgeous details, if only you could see them in the photo.

Here are the amazing inlaid wood panels to the left and right in the above photo.

The handrail going up the stairwell was also original wood, and the doors on each landing had similar gorgeous inlaid wood designs. 
 And last, but not least: the bakery where I spent each morning before class having coffee and doing my homework. They had fabulous belegtes Brötchen (open faced sandwich on a freshly baked roll)., Yummmm. Good thing I was doing so much bicycling.