Category Archives: Plants & Animals

Zoo Berlin, A Fantastic Attraction for Animal Fanatics

Zoos are something that always make me feel conflicted. While I hate seeing wild animals in captivity, especially if they seem agitated, I love animals. LOVE them! It’s unusual for us to even visit more than one zoo in a year, but during our recent trip to Berlin, we spent our last day in the city exploring the aquarium and one of the city’s two Continue reading Zoo Berlin, A Fantastic Attraction for Animal Fanatics

8 Highlights of the Cologne Zoo

Love ’em or hate ’em, zoos are an excellent way to get your wildlife fix if you’re an animal lover.  Like many people, I’m a bit on the fence about zoos.  Of the estimated 10,000 zoos worldwide, I’d like to think that the vast majority operate by prioritizing animal conservation and education.  Clearly not all do.  We were so Continue reading 8 Highlights of the Cologne Zoo

Eichsfeld-Hainich-Werratal Nature Park

We’re on a roll!  In one weekend, we visited a castle and two national parks in Germany.  After hiking on Sunday at Kellerwald-Edersee National Park, we spent the better part of my birthday exploring Wartburg Castle before heading north toward Hainich National Park.  Just 8 km from the castle as a crow flies, the distance by car is Continue reading Eichsfeld-Hainich-Werratal Nature Park

Kellerwald-Edersee National Park

Regardless of where we happen to be living or what the weather may be like, June always marks the beginning of summer in my mind.  That means the start of a season filled with hiking, camping, kayaking, and the outdoors in any form we can find it.  As we enter our first summer in Germany, it means a chance to visit some of the Continue reading Kellerwald-Edersee National Park

Kayaking the Werra River

Several weeks ago, I posted a blog about taking a drive with Travis over to Kiessee, a small lake in Göttingen, to try to connect with folks from the Göttinger Paddler-Club.  When we didn’t find anyone at their boathouse on the lake, I tried again to get in touch with them a week or so later.  Sending an email to an address listed on their Continue reading Kayaking the Werra River

Fishing Angelsee, From Lake to Plate

On Sunday, we discovered a fun, new “shopping” destination to buy fresh fish.  The only catch is, we had to hook them ourselves.

Tucked away in the nearby village of Pöhlde, a small lake called Angelsee is open year round for fishing.  Popular with locals, the lake Continue reading Fishing Angelsee, From Lake to Plate

Unlikely Woodland Playmates

For the past few months, Travis and I have been regularly seeing a family of foxes in the fields just the other side of our woods.  Typically we see them fairly late in the evening, often after 9 pm, and the mom and three pups are often hunting, frozen with an ear cocked to the ground before pouncing, or tussling with each other in Continue reading Unlikely Woodland Playmates

The Bat Effect

I’m not sure exactly why it is that people seem to love certain flying things like ladybugs and butterflies but hate others, like harmless fuzzy bats. Travis and I both have always lived in places where dusk gives refuge to the darting shadows of bats hunting, a task that I, for one, am eternally grateful they have.  Here in Switzerland, where Continue reading The Bat Effect

Hörnlihütte-Matterhorn Hike

After finishing the 5-Seenweg hike, we briefly rested in Zermatt, then wound through town to the lift that would take us up to Schwarzsee, or Black Lake (not to be confused with the Schwarzsee near our house in Fribourg canton).  At the ticket office, I nipped into the restroom while Trav took a seat outside to wait with Touille.  I Continue reading Hörnlihütte-Matterhorn Hike

UNESCO Alps Hike to Obersteinberg

The town of Stechelberg in Switzerland is just a smattering of quaint country homes, a restaurant, and limited tourist lodging, all tucked almost secretly away between the imposing canyon walls of Lauterbrunnen Valley. It’s where the road essentially ends, at least for through-traffic.  A narrow, gravel road continues past town for a Continue reading UNESCO Alps Hike to Obersteinberg