Last Night’s Trip To The Swamp …

… with pictures from another trip last year…

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This week I’m off work and since my mom is hosting her first Vegan Dinner this Saturday I wanted to use the time to help with the preparations. Cooking for 10+ people she needed a second stove and since a new stove (well, it’s used, but looks new) won’t look good in a not so new room it was about time to renovate it. When renovating a 100+ year old house (actually the room I was renovating is attached to the barn which is 200 years old) you never know what you’ll find. And so I ended up with large areas of bare bricks, straw insulation and other curiosities. I didn’t want to spend all week on this so I hurried with putting on a new coat of paint. Today I got done with the blue paint for the doors and frames – and we all agreed: it looks much better!

Now the utility room (attached to the kitchen) is equipped not only with another fridge, but also with a stove and table, storage spaces and others – ready to be used on Saturday.
After having spent all of yesterday applying the white paint I needed a break so my mom and I decided to drive to the swamp which is just 10miles from here and watch the Cranes that are gathering here before migration.

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The Tister Bauernmoor  is a moorland here in the Lüneburg Heath (a popular touristy region) in Northern Germany; it’s a fairly new nature reserve of 1,400 acres in size (3,000 with another neighboring one). Less than twenty years ago the cranes started gathering here before migrating to the South. Over the years the swamps – a result of early turf cutting – became a popular spot for Crane populations of Northern Europe and during spring and fall you can see thousands of birds! It’s the ideal place for ornithologists as other birds can be found as well (even an Eagle species!). I’m more into reptiles and ground-creeping stuff so here are two gems from last year that I was able to spot.

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The snake (Vipera berus) is the only venomous species found in Northern Germany and it was a massive individual!
Last night we got to the swamps too late – there were only three cars and the sun had already begun to set. We took some pictures that are not worth sharing, but thanks to a follow nature lover who lent us his binoculars we could spot some fairly large groups of cranes. The noise they make when landing and taking off is amazing – I instantaneously feel like I’m somewhere in Africa. With (almost) no people around and those vast open spaces I always think to myself that you don’t have to travel the world to find some (hidden) gems…. When we got back home in the dark the noise of the adjacent soccer field brought me back to reality.

Here are some impressions. I hope you enjoy them!

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